Cristal's Blog


June 26, 2023

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Nestled along the scenic coastline of California, the charming town of Montecito has become a coveted destination for luxury homeowners seeking a retreat that features the splendors of nature. With its Mediterranean climate, Montecito boasts an idyllic setting that beckons residents to embrace outdoor living year-round. In this blog post, I will explore the allure of outdoor living spaces in Montecito's luxury homes, showcasing some of the top outdoor brands.

Backyard of a home at sunset, with floor to ceiling windows illuminated from within, with a pool, lounge chairs and lawn in the foreground.

Outdoor Living at Its Finest

1. Montecito's Mediterranean Weather
One of the greatest appeals of Montecito's luxury homes is the region's Mediterranean weather. This picturesque coastal town enjoys mild, sunny summers and temperate winters, making it an ideal environment for creating inviting outdoor spaces. Homeowners can capitalize on this favorable climate by designing outdoor living areas offering relaxation and entertainment options, seamlessly blending with the beautiful natural surroundings.

A room with wood plank ceiling, a bar and large sofa opening seamlessly to a pool, terrace, and ocean view

2. Outdoor Kitchens: Elevating Culinary Experiences
For those who enjoy entertaining and culinary delights (and who doesn’t?), an outdoor kitchen is a must-have feature when it comes to luxury in Montecito. In this exclusive community, residents can select from various high-end and renowned brands to create their dream outdoor cooking space. Some of the top brands known for their exceptional craftsmanship and functionality include:

  • Wolf
    Renowned for its high-performance outdoor appliances, Wolf offers luxury homeowners a wide range of professional-grade grills, cooktops, and outdoor ovens that bring the art of cooking to the great outdoors.
  • Sub-Zero
    Combining sleek aesthetics with cutting-edge technology, Sub-Zero's outdoor refrigeration systems provide ample storage for fresh ingredients and beverages, ensuring that Montecito's homeowners enjoy the great outdoors with the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen.
  • Lynx
    With a reputation for innovation and durability, Lynx offers a comprehensive range of outdoor kitchen appliances, including grills, refrigeration, and storage solutions. Their products feature sleek designs and precise engineering, allowing homeowners to easily create a culinary masterpiece.
The luxury outdoor living space of a Mediterranean Montecito estate, with a fireplace, luxurious chairs and a lounge

3. Other Elements to Consider
When it comes to luxury outdoor kitchens, it's essential to go beyond the standard grill and consider additional features that enhance the culinary experience. A fireplace like the one pictured above is a must. But, imagine having a wok range for stir-frying delectable dishes, a pizza oven for crafting artisanal pizzas with a perfect crust, a sink for easy cleanup, and ample counter space for prepping and plating meals. These additions allow homeowners in Montecito to fully immerse themselves in the outdoor cooking experience, eliminating the need to constantly go inside and ensuring that every aspect of meal preparation can be done in the fresh air. Some of the top luxury brands include:

  • Viking
    Prioritizes functionality and aesthetics, allowing homeowners to create exceptional outdoor kitchens that reflect their personal style and culinary aspirations.
  • DCS
    With a deep appreciation for the outdoor lifestyle, DCS is a company that wholeheartedly embraces the concept of outdoor living. Originally founded in Surf City, Huntington Beach, this renowned brand has swiftly gained popularity not only across the country but also right here in Montecito, offering exceptional outdoor living solutions.
  • Kalamazoo
    Known for offering comprehensive outdoor kitchen solutions, offering a wide range of appliances and accessories that cater to the discerning tastes of Montecito's residents. These brands prioritize functionality and aesthetics, allowing homeowners to create exceptional outdoor kitchens that reflect their personal style and culinary aspirations.

    A luxurious Hope Ranch Santa Barbara estate home in the background, with a bi-level stone terrace, sparkling pool and expansive lawn in the foreground

4. Luxurious Outdoor Furniture: Comfort and Elegance Combined
Combining traditional craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics, Gloster's outdoor furniture collections effortlessly blend luxury with functionality. Their pieces are created using sustainably sourced teak, complemented by high-quality upholstery materials, ensuring long-lasting beauty and comfort.

Doors open to the tereace of a Miramar Beach Estate, with a white picket fence and two chairs and a table showcasing mature tropical gardens and an ocean view

5. Creating Seamless Indoor-Outdoor Transitions
Montecito's luxury homeowners understand the importance of creating a seamless flow between indoor and outdoor spaces. In fact, we started the indoor/outdoor lifestyle! Incorporating architectural elements such as folding glass doors, retractable awnings, and covered patios allows residents to blur the boundaries between the interior and exterior, enhancing the overall living experience. Homeowners can create a tranquil and captivating atmosphere that embodies the essence of outdoor living by integrating nature-inspired design elements, such as lush landscaping, water features, and ambient lighting.

In conclusion, Montecito's perfect Mediterranean weather and the availability of top brands for outdoor kitchens and furniture make it an ideal location for luxury homeowners seeking to create serene and captivating outdoor living spaces. By embracing the natural beauty of the surroundings and incorporating high-quality products, residents can design outdoor areas that blend comfort, elegance, and functionality. Whether hosting gatherings or finding solace in a peaceful retreat, Montecito's luxury homeowners can enjoy the splendors of outdoor living throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a new home where you can add your own touch in creating serene outdoor living spaces in any of Santa Barbara’s high-end communities, I’m here to help. Just give me a call at (805) 886-9378 or email me at Cristal@Montecito-Estate. I’ll help you find the perfect new abode where you and your family can dine alfresco — nightly if you want. Begin your home hunt by checking out the listings on my comprehensive website. See something you like? Let me arrange a private tour. We can celebrate in your own serene outdoor space when the time comes to complete the paperwork.

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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