Cristal's Blog


December 14, 2023

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The grand reveal of the Color of the Year is an annual spectacle eagerly anticipated by those passionate about all aspects of design. In the intricate world of color, 2024 promises a mesmerizing interplay of sophistication and creativity, inviting Santa Barbara homeowners to embark on a journey through a rich tapestry of tones that redefine the aesthetics of contemporary living.

The exterior of a large Cape-Cod Style home in Montecito, with a sprawling lawn in front and mountains in the background glowing orange at duskns

The Transformative Power of Color in Home Design

In the realm of home design, color serves as the brushstroke that breathes life into a space, as you can see in the image above of my Exquisite Cape-Cod Style Estate listing. Beyond the exterior, color permeates every aspect of decor, offering a spectrum of emotions from the traditional to the avant-garde. The upcoming year's color trends present a canvas that ranges from calming neutrals to exhilarating bursts of vibrancy, providing a unique opportunity for homeowners to express their individuality through the language of color.

The Emotional Tapestry Woven by Home Color

The significance of color extends beyond the visual; it is a language that resonates emotionally within the confines of our homes. With the power to sway thinking, alter actions, and provoke reactions, the right color palette becomes a transformative force. Whether the goal is to create a serene sanctuary or an invigorating space, the carefully chosen hues of 2024 offer the tools to curate a home that genuinely reflects its inhabitants.

A soft-focus, peachy-hued photo of a person blowing on a dandelion pappus
Peach Fuzz, the Pantone 2024 Color of the Year. Photo courtesy of Pantone the Development.

Pantone's Radiant Vision for 2024

At the forefront of color forecasting, Pantone introduces Peach Fuzz as the Color of the Year for 2024. This heartfelt peach hue is selected to bring a feeling of tenderness and communicate a message of caring and sharing, community, and collaboration. Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, describes it as a shade that resonates with compassion, offering a tactile embrace and effortlessly bridging the youthful with the timeless. Check out this story on houzz for ideas on how to incorporate this soft shade of orange in your Santa Barbara home.

Diverse Picks by Other Experts for 2024

The color choices of other paint companies promise versatility and style for every homeowner:

  • Benjamin Moore ventures into the cosmos with Blue Nova (825), a blue-violet blend that beckons adventure and new experiences. The cosmic, blue-violet blend encourages adventure, symbolizing a yearning for new experiences and a willingness to indulge in the unknown.
  • Sherwin-Williams unveiled Upward (SW 6239) as its designated Color of the Year, and this serene blue effortlessly encapsulates the feeling of inhaling a leisurely breath of crisp, fresh air. The company chose this palette because it doesn't overwhelm a space. Instead, it fosters meditation and tranquility. The light blue hue, adorned with subtle gray undertones, is particularly well-suited for cultivating a coastal chic design aesthetic. Upward can be artfully employed as a standout color in bathrooms or kitchens, enhancing the seaside vibe. Alternatively, in a serene bedroom setting, it serves as a revitalizing accent wall, adding a touch of freshness and calm to the overall ambiance.
  • Valspar's Renew Blue draws inspiration from Santa Barbara's coastal hues, offering a tranquil light blue ideal for mixing and matching. Renew Blue is chosen to evoke the calming and serene nature of Santa Barbara's coastal landscapes, creating a versatile and soothing palette for any home.
  • Behr named Cracked Pepper (PPU18-01) as the color of 2024. This soft black hue provides a timeless anchor adaptable to various design styles. Selected as an approachable segue into the darker side of the color spectrum, Cracked Pepper melds seamlessly into any design style, offering a classic and enduring touch.
  • Dutch Boy Paints unveils Ironside, a deep olive shade with black undertones, merging moody mystery with comforting appeal. Ironside offers homeowners a way to exude moody mystery vibes while providing a comforting atmosphere, offering a versatile color that complements any room without overwhelming.
  • Glidden, under PPG, has declared Limitless (PPG1091-3) as its pick. Described as a honey beige hue, the brand emphasizes that it is "anything but yellow," possessing the endurance of a primary color coupled with the adaptability of a neutral shade. The company noted that this choice came from the evolving trend of consumers exploring color in increasingly unconventional ways and emphasized the need for a versatile palette that seamlessly integrates with new and existing decor.
  • C2 Paint's Thermal (#752) is perfect for the Santa Barbara lifestyle we hold so near and dear to our hearts. The refreshing blue is reminiscent of a clear sky, encouraging a calm and uplifting atmosphere. Thermal is selected as a bespoke pale yet punchy blue poised for adventure, symbolizing loyalty, trust, and confidence, providing a call to action to live boldly and express unique styles freely.

A Symphony of Hues

Read this article in House Beautiful for more Color of the Year 2024 choices. They've even laid out some ideas on bringing the colors into your home to kickstart your creative flow with hues that evoke comfort, versatility, and a continued connection to nature.

Considerations for Home Sellers and Buyers: For those contemplating the sale of their homes, a fresh coat of paint aligned with the latest color trends becomes a strategic move to enhance appeal. As a distinguished Santa Barbara Realtor, I bring invaluable insights into the local real estate market. Those searching for a new home can explore my portfolio of current listings by reaching out at (805) 886-9378 or

Of Related Interest:

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Client Reviews

“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- 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