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May 12, 2022

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World-class Resorts Have Nothing on These Liquid Sanctuaries

Some of the most swoon-worthy bodies of water in the world (in addition to the Pacific Ocean) can be found right here. Luxurious Santa Barbara swimming pools like those pictured throughout this blog post are created with relentless attention to design elements, congruence with the surrounding environment and architecture, and a proper selection of materials, colors, and textures. They’re an excellent amenity when it comes time to sell because pools are highly sought after by today’s home buyers looking for their own backyard oasis.

Let’s dive in and see a sampling of amazing Santa Barbara swimming pools.

Square lap pool with umbrella and two lounges overlooking the ocean

For me, luxurious pools are simple in their design. Complicated pools that are inconsistent with their surroundings or use water in unnatural ways create tension—that uneasy feeling that makes one want to leave rather than relax. The lovely pool oasis above complements the home’s timeless Spanish Colonial architecture, reborn through a state-of-the-art renovation by peerless craftspeople to become a stunning exemplar of the Santa Barbara lifestyle. The success of specific details requires nothing less than a comprehensive design where all the senses are stimulated in a balanced and harmonious way. For example, this infinity edge pool showcases the home’s phenomenal world-class view of the dazzling Pacific Ocean and beyond. Who wouldn’t love to spend an afternoon swimming in this sanctuary by the sea?

Beautiful pool with infinity edge and cabana in the background

When you think sleek and modern, you think smooth, geometric lines that flow into the design. In architecture, the look is striking yet subtle. And the feeling should extend to the home’s backyard and pool, too. Above is a prime example of what a modern pool should look like. As you can see, it’s rectangular and streamlined, with a negative edge and glass-like water. Modern pools often have a minimalist landscape with natural stone tiles or travertine pavers to create an elegant look while allowing the pool to stand out. In the case of the property above, the pool oasis includes a handsome and versatile multi-room cabaña with an outdoor kitchen and two bathrooms.

Backyard of luxury home with serene pool area surrounded by tropical plants

This pool oasis guarantees an infinitely relaxing escape, taking its cue from Italy’s celebrated Lake Como waterfront, known for its beautiful swimming pools. Its adjacent landscape truly makes this Santa Barbara swimming pool a private oasis. Even more, the lush tropical plants surrounding this pool set it apart and take R&R to a whole new level of luxe, perfect for retreating from the daytime heat or nighttime chill. This ideal space is perhaps even more beautiful at night when the landscaping and pool are romantically spotlighted beneath the violet sky. Here, homeowners can relax and enjoy their own private sanctuary, bridging outdoor activities and indoor comfort both day and night.

Backyard deck with luxury furniture, an umbrella, a firepit and a pool

The rectangular lap resort-like pool and in-pool spa above enhance the grounds of a contemporary Montecito estate. Contemporary architecture is considered minimalist, taking a less-is-more position. The look is very popular today, distinguished by its cool hues, updated materials and finishes, and cutting-edge shapes, all on display in this backyard that invites residents to spend time outdoors on the expansive pool terrace.

To pull off the contemporary look and feel, particular attention must be paid to the color scheme of the furniture and décor. And while contemporary-styled pools are great for swimming, parties, and long summer days, they’re also a statement piece adding a fresh and different feel to any backyard. It’s not hard to imagine the owners of this property spending endless nights under the stars by the outdoor fireplace or days lounging and enjoying our perfect Mediterranean weather.

Indoor pool with huge skylight and hand painted tiles

Indoor pools are becoming popular today. And this historic 1920s George Washington Smith-designed Natatorium is an exclusive amenity for those who reside in any of the eight distinctive Moorish-style residences in the prestigious, gated Casa Blanca enclave of Carpinteria. The Hispano-Moorish pool house, which has achieved Santa Barbara County historical landmark status, incorporates minarets and Tunisian wall tiles capturing the vibrant design of Oriental carpets, complemented with distinctive hexagonal floor tiles and intricate wrought-iron grillwork. The pool area is illuminated by a retractable full-length skylight surrounded by massive wooden beams. A beautiful fireplace surrounded by gorgeous tiles handmade in Spain and tiled columns supporting Moorish arches can be found at one end of the pool. In contrast, the other end is decorated with a finely detailed Tunisian six-foot-tall original mural, all done in hand-painted tiles.

Luxury Santa Barbara swimming pools are more than just an amenity. They help create the Santa Barbara lifestyle that we all love. If you’re thinking of moving to any of the lovely communities in and around Santa Barbara, I invite you to call me at (805) 886-9378 or send me an email at for a complimentary consultation.

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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