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How to Create the Big Little Lies' Interior Design Styles in Your Montecito Estate

July 9, 2019

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LOS ANGELES - FEB 7:  Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon at the

The HBO hit show Big Little Lies has become the latest TV real estate obsession for many who appreciate classic and hip interior design styles. That’s because the setting is more than just a show’s backdrop. Fans of the smart, darkly comedic series are enthralled with every room featured in the popular show. It follows the seemingly perfect lives of upper-class mothers in Northern California, played by Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley as women whose lives unravel to the point of murder. Fans are trying to emulate the look of the show’s beachfront mansions that sprawl along the Monterey Bay coastline.

Read: Ocean View Homes are Good for Our Health

In fact, America has always had a fascination with TV interiors and real estate. A decade ago, fans fawned over Rachel and Monica’s Friends apartment. Others gushed over the interiors, along with the fashion, in Sex and the City. The obsession with that show continues to this day. There is even a tour available of Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment.

Read: Is Information on Real Estate TV Shows Believable?

It’s deemed to be okay to grab décor inspiration from the homes of your favorite TV characters. Producers believe that including interesting interior design makes a show just that much better and richer. Today, fans of Big Little Lies are equally enthralled by the secrets unraveled in the sleepy California coastal town's well-heeled mommy brigade. Especially when those fans catch a glimpse of a dreamy Hans Wegner chair or glossy Jonathan Adler chandelier.

Read: How to Decorate Your Mid-century modern Home

While life may not be rosy for the show’s characters, there's no denying that each woman has a unique sense of style in their homes: featuring a delightful mix of midcentury classics and coastal staples in homes overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

L.A.-based interior designer Lauren Soloff believes the look of cool and calm can be achieved anywhere. Known for her inviting, laid back interiors, she shares her vision when it comes to creating the California cool look in your Montecito home.

Lauren Soloff's 7 Ways to Classic and Hip Interior Design Styles

1. When it comes to fabrics, keep it clean.

Example of master bedroom layered in a neutral palette

“For spaces that are small, I tend to stay very light and neutral in palette and use fabrics like woven linens and pure cottons. Layering these materials in shades of white and ivory is a great way to achieve texture and subtle contrast without overwhelming the room. This will help open up a space and create more of that airy feel. For a bed, try to do all shades of white and layer them: cotton sheets and a linen duvet cover with pillows and shams."

2. Be smart with shades.

“It’s always nice to select window fabrics and coverings that play with the way light is being filtered. This can be tremendously effective and create an amazing atmosphere. Belgian linen and linen sheers are go-to fabrics for me. I also really like using white Mecho shades with 5 percent opacity to let the light in. Lately, I have been using woven wood shades, and I really like the effect these give off in a room at different times of day.”

3. Incorporate handmade originals.

“Finding items woven of natural fibers, like an oversize basket or something handmade such as pottery, always adds a bohemian touch. One trick is to not overuse them. A large basket or small and curated collections of unique pottery pieces are both nice touches. For artwork, an interesting line drawing is a pleasant detail and doesn’t interrupt the serenity.”

4. Remember: The clearer, the better.

“Less is always more when it comes to furniture, even in bigger spaces. For a smaller living room, having ample seating is important, but be realistic about how many people you will actually be having over at one time. Keeping a space clear is essential.”

5. Spend on a great rug.

This rug really makes the room, don't you think?

“A rug is the one item that I always ask clients to splurge on. Rugs are a wonderful way to use color and pattern, and they’re very important in creating a room’s vibe. I tend to go very neutral and simple in everything I design, and then pop in color and pattern on the floor. Vintage rugs add an important layer and can give a room real life. Vintage Moroccan rugs with Berber motifs and Turkish kilims are two of my favorites.”

6. Adopt a houseplant.

“Houseplants give life to any space, and if you have a greenish thumb, adding some Mother Nature can make a difference to the overall look. It might be a bit of a pseudo-science, but I do believe they are naturally de-stressing and a functional decor. They also have elements of the ’70s and ’80s, which were very influential design decades. Rubber trees are a great choice since they don’t need much light and are considered an easier plant to take care of.”

7. Stick with natural and organic materials.

The perfect example of how natural and organic materials can make a room feel clean and pure.

“Natural materials have a tendency to make a space feel clean and pure. When a home is small, those are important things to strive for. Woods, woven materials, linens, and objects found in nature are all great elements to incorporate.”

Read: A New Trend in Santa Barbara Interior Design?

See how easy and natural it is to create the Big Little Lies' interior design styles in your Montecito estate? Looking to move in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities to create your own version of California cool? Then call Cristal at 805.886.9378 or email She’ll happily add your listing to her portfolio of fine homes in the area and find your new dream home for your family.

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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