Cristal's Blog


January 6, 2023

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Luxurious homes often come with cutting-edge items and appliances to suit the lifestyle of the affluent, the comfortable, and the tech-minded. What do luxury homes offer, and what will they offer in the future? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the latest luxury amenities.

A laptop and notebook to illustrate advanced technology for the cutting-edge home
Photo by on Unsplash

Homes of the Future

Luxury items on the market today are designed to transport a home into the future. Many utilize technology in a variety of ways to make life easier and more luxurious at the same time, but some are simply a sign of the times we live in. Here are 10 luxury amenities to watch for:

  • LED Ceiling
    One exciting new trend is to cover your entire ceiling with tiny LED lights. The homeowner can use a special pen to draw designs all over their ceiling with these lights. It is a great way to de-stress after a long day or keep your guests busy while you prepare dinner. Your creative spirit will run wild, allowing you to consistently change your decor without overhauling an entire room. Or, customize a wall in your home with rotating blocks that can be adjusted based on your mood, current décor, or even the weather.
  • Zoom Rooms
    Among the new luxury amenities we are already seeing is the addition of a "Zoom room.” According to Zillow, some home shoppers are looking for properties that have additional space dedicated to telecommuting meetings. As a result, home listings that mention "home office" or "Zoom room" have risen by nearly 50% compared to last year.

  • Gourmet Kitchens
    More people are seeking gourmet kitchens complete with high-tech equipment and dining space. Buyers are specifically looking for larger cabinets and island additions for the space they need to cook their favorite meals. Smart ovens can take a home chef’s cooking to the next level because they literally do everything from steaming vegetables to baking on a hot stone or even grilling. Some also have a touchscreen interface that connects to your phone so that you can monitor your food.

    A backyard flagstone patio flanked by verandas, with trees and the ocean in the background

  • Outdoor Living
    Those of us who live on the American Rivera know about outdoor living. One could say we invented it! Our year-round Mediterranean weather allows us to utilize our outdoor spaces all year long. Search keywords like "dock" and "waterfront" are among the top 10 most sought-after features.
  • Spa Inspired Bathrooms
    Homeowners also appear to be seeking new ways to replicate luxury vacation settings in their homes, which boosted "spa-like bathtub" and "relaxing-rain shower" amenities. Listings that mentioned a free-standing tub typically sold for 5.5% more than expected last year, while the listing keyword 'spa-inspired' resulted in a 1.8% price premium. The future of toilets is to create an entirely hands-free experience for the user. It opens and closes on its own, has a bidet, and is self-cleaning, so you never have to get your hands dirty again. You can ditch toilet paper for good because this futuristic machine has you covered. It even has a remote control that you use to tell the toilet what functions to use and when so it never wastes any water or energy trying to keep your backside clean.
  • Intergenerational Living Spaces
    Another movement could be the advent of intergenerational living spaces since both young adults and grandparents may move into their parents’ and children's homes, respectively.
  • Germ-Free Living
    New smart tech comes out every year, and the big trend for the future is germ-free living. One of the latest luxury amenities is a self-sterilizing door handle to help prevent germs transmitted by hand contact. It runs UV light through the handle when it is not in use and is not harmful to your skin.
  • The Trophy Garage
    Ride-sharing and driverless cars will become the norm by 2050. That means a reduction of the space allocated to parking vehicles by 25%. Yet, as garages shrink or even disappear, one luxury amenity is expanding: With more vehicles lining up to wait or drop residents at home, a lavish driveway is more essential than ever.
  • Smart Gadgets
    Today, there is no limit to the number of hi-tech gadgets designed to make life a little easier for homeowners. While some of the most inspiring devices are based on the simplest of concepts, homeowners need to be discerning, investing in the most practical and stylish items. One of the must-haves is an up-to-date smart TV. The latest models include detailed 4K (or 8K) screens, powerful HDR, and robust features, including HDMI 2.1 connections with support for 120Hz input and Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) for next-gen game consoles and PCs. And in the future, there will be even more possibilities in smart TV tech.

    A cutting-edge home wellness center with a massage table in the middle of the room

  • Wellness Features
    Wellness features are very popular moving forward. One of the most important is having a sophisticated home gym. These home gym spaces center around a home gym mirror. It keeps track of your stats, and there are plenty of workouts to choose from, whether you prefer yoga, strength training, or Pilates.

So, what does the cutting-edge luxury home offer, and what does the future hold? Now you know the answer to that question. If your future includes a new luxury home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, I’m here to help. Please take a look at my comprehensive website then call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at The future looks bright for all of us who call the American Rivera home!

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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