Cristal's Blog


December 4, 2023

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In the picturesque coastal haven of Santa Barbara, where the architecture seamlessly blends with the natural beauty of the surroundings, Architect Britt Jewett stands out as a luminary figure. As the creative force behind Studio 7, he has etched his mark on the cityscape, bringing a unique blend of historic appreciation and contemporary vision to each project.

Architect Britt Jewett at work in his office.
Image credit: Kim Reiersion

About Architect Britt Jewett AIA

Britt Jewett's journey into the world of architecture is deeply rooted in his own familial inspiration. His father, an amusement park architect, imparted not only technical skills but a profound appreciation for the emotive power of physical spaces. "I was aware that I possessed an artistic gift," Jewett reflected in a recent interview. "It has been the principal lens through which I see myself and the world. As an architect, I approach my profession as an artist first."

After completing his formal education at Ohio State, Jewett made his way to California, where he honed his craft alongside notable figures in the field. A pivotal experience came during his time with Charles Moore and later collaborating with Barry Berkus, where he delved into projects ranging from residential interiors to urban planning. These formative experiences refined his understanding of architectural space and set the stage for his impactful career.

The outside of a Britt Jewett-designed farmhouse-style guest house, with its stone patio and upscale patio furniture in the foreground. The sun is casting golden rays through a tree's leaves

To enhance his skills and adopt a more flexible approach, Jewett established Studio 7, a collaborative design studio breaking away from the constraints of a traditional office structure. According to Jewett, this studio allows him to work on various projects, including remodels, new residences, specialty structures, architectural interiors, furniture, and lighting.

Jewett draws from both historic and contemporary sources in the arts and popular culture in his work. He also points to the significance of collaboration in his design process, connecting him with a wide range of artists and design professionals to inform and deepen his own range of expertise. He also finds inspiration in public sculpture and installation art, citing the work of Richard Serra as particularly influential.

The bright and airy living room of a Britt Jewett-designed guest house, with a high vaulted ceiling, clerestory windows, and a row of windows overlooking the grounds.

Santa Barbara Masterpieces

Jewett designed the exquisite guest residence for my Magical Toro Canyon Estate listing. This exceptionally private guest house is elegantly elevated above a three-car garage, optimizing breathtaking ocean views, islands, and mountains. Its exterior exudes a modern farmhouse charm with board and batten siding. Stepping inside, one immediately experiences the ambiance of expansive openness and luminosity, achieved through white walls and vaulted ceilings accentuated by an abundance of mullioned and clerestory Riviera Bronze windows and doors.

The interior features a well-appointed galley kitchen, a cozy bedroom, and a tastefully designed bathroom, completing this inviting and stylish living space.

Interior hallway of the Spanish Colonial revival style Santa Barbara County Courthouse, with expansive archways, vintage light fixtures, and polished Saltillo tile floor
Archinia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

One of Jewett's most notable contributions to the Santa Barbara architectural landscape is the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Hall of Records in which he oversaw meticulous restoration. The building, a masterpiece of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, was initially envisioned by the renowned architect William Mooser III and finalized in 1929. Acclaimed architect Charles Willard Moore hailed it as the "grandest Spanish Colonial Revival structure ever built," underscoring its significance as the quintessential representation of Santa Barbara's embrace of Spanish Colonial aesthetics in civic design. Due to its architectural importance, the complex earned the prestigious designation of a National Historic Landmark in 2005.

Beyond the realm of traditional architecture, Jewett ventured into the world of set design and installations for the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. This creative outlet showcased his versatility and commitment to pushing creative boundaries.

Expansive stone terrace covered by a pergola with the glow of the home's interior lighting emanating through windows.
Image credit: Joe Bryant, @joebryantco

Santa Barbara Lighting Company

In addition to his role as a distinguished architect, Britt Jewett’s role as the Lead Designer for the Santa Barbara Lighting Company offers him another outlet for his creativity. There, Jewett spearheads a team dedicated to merging the artistry of handcrafted light fixtures with an unwavering commitment to preserving the legacy of American manufacturing. The Santa Barbara Lighting Company operates under the philosophy that a well-designed and meticulously crafted light fixture possesses the transformative power to transcend mere aesthetics and become a timeless complement to any structure. The well crafted pieces span a spectrum of styles, from the classic Spanish Colonial and Gothic Revival to the modern American Craftsman and Minimalist, showcasing a commitment to diversity and innovation in lighting design.

A Beacon of Artistic Integrity

In a profession where creativity and pragmatism must coexist, Britt Jewett stands as a beacon of artistic integrity and innovative design in the heart of Santa Barbara. His ability to seamlessly blend tradition with modernity, coupled with a collaborative spirit, ensures that Studio 7 remains at the forefront of architectural innovation, shaping our city's skyline with each inspired project.

I’d be happy to arrange a private tour for qualified buyers of my Magical Toro Canyon Estate with the Britt Jewett designed guesthouse, or any of the listings found on my comprehensive website. Meantime, if you’re considering moving within any of our upscale communities, please give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at

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- J & A

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- M.F.

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- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch