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The Home of the Future From Leading Architects

March 26, 2021

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The front of a beautiful Montecito home for sale that already has the trends of the future

What will a home of the future offer? According to leading architects, future home spaces will include important features designed to change our lives for the better. Think eco-friendly elements, an emphasis on nature, and more opportunities for socialization. Many of the amazing homes for sale on my comprehensive website already offer these features including the Birnam Wood Residence pictured above and throughout this blog post.

READ: Housing Market Forecast: Predictions for 2021

Here are 4 important details from the pros who predict what we will see in our spaces down the line:

  • A Greater Focus on Sustainability
    Each year, Americans become more aware of the need for environmentally friendly housing and home design, and paying attention to the needs of the world around us often leads us back to questions regarding sustainability. New construction offers an opportunity to build eco-friendly designs from the ground up, from energy-saving designs to recycled building materials.

READ: 2021 Color Trends: Soothing Hues Take Center Stage

“I foresee a future in which all new homes will be built with sustainability criteria in mind,” Lucía Bravo Guinea, an architect in Madrid, Spain, says. “It will not be a fashionable trend like it is now, but an essential requisite to be matched by all new quality buildings.” He has good news for those who appreciate incorporating an antique or two into their interior design. “Curated vintage memorabilia will become more desired, even beyond its current state, as it offers the chance to reuse and provide historical touchpoints.”

According to Sari Lehtinen of M+A Architects, when looking for or building a home of the future, homeowners will want to give back, aiming at reducing waste, reusing and refurbishing items over owning new, keeping in mind the lifecycle of the most commonly used products. “Being much more aware of our carbon footprint—and wanting to be more responsible with their choices—residents will prioritize space, furnishings, and functions that give back.”

In order to be classified as sustainable, the house must be designed using materials that can easily be replaced. It also implies that the home’s materials are more durable and will not need replacing or repair nearly as quickly. This often includes recycled materials, green building supplies, and surplus building materials. Hardwoods, pine floors, cork countertops or flooring, toilets and showers that use less water, environmentally-friendly fabrics, and more are examples of sustainable materials for a house.

Separate office of Montecito home that's currently on the market

“The future of our homes will see our spaces return to the days of separation and designation,” explains Eddie Maestri, principal architect and owner of Maestri Studio. “… purposeful and versatile spaces are where homes are going. The spaces in our home need to be able to adapt and provide purpose to the way we live today and tomorrow.”

Time spent working from home and learning from home has made it important to have separate spaces, even in an open floor plan. Everyone needs a room, or a designated structure like a guest house where they can get to work like the office in my Birnam Wood listing pictured above. This home’s open concept floor plan includes rooms where the occupants can get away from one another when needed yet effortlessly transition from interior to exterior to enjoy the sophisticated indoor/outdoor lifestyle we prize here.

Here’s why that is important today:

  • Noise Travel
    As we all know, noise travels and is absorbed by surfaces, so if there are no walls to absorb the sound, it will flow to whichever ear is present.
  • Less Privacy
    Having an open concept living room can bring everyone together and create a fun and bustling environment, but it can also reduce the amount of privacy.
  • Lack of Coziness
    Opening up a home can create a beautiful living space, but if not planned carefully it can also reduce the level of coziness.
The stunning outside patio with pool beyond, perfect for Multigenerational gatherings.
  • Areas for Co-Living
    With the rise of the multigenerational home comes the trend of co-living areas. In 1940, nearly a quarter of the country lived in a home that included more than two generations. Those numbers hit an all-time low in the 1980s. A 2011 study by Generations United revealed that the number has risen since the recession to 17%. Imagine having the family spend an afternoon in the backyard pictured above. Blissful, right?

“Bridging the need for community and socialization from isolation, co-living and shared living pods offer needed amenities and experiences,” Lehtinen explains. “These pods also offer multi-generational living, which is a much more desired and acceptable living arrangement by Boomers and Gen Z.”

The live flowers on the fireplace mantle of this Montecito home bring it to life.
  • Bring your interior to life with plants
    Live indoor plants strategically situated in your home add casual elegance to any room. Just take a look at the beautiful potted flowers on the mantle of the living room above. Even more, they also purify the air inside your home, bringing health benefits to your environment. Plus, a touch of nature is among those interior design trends that will never go out of style in a home of the future.

According to Lehtinen: “Science has proven the power of nature, and biophilic design, and the benefits of alleviating mental fatigue by relaxing and restoring the mind are more coveted than ever before.” She adds that newer buildings may begin to include outdoor gardens or balconies, as developers are “now prioritizing these residential features, recognizing their appeal to residents and ability to provide cognitive respite.”

Now, let’s find you a new home where you can experience the home of the future now! If you’re considering moving to, or within Montecito, Hope Ranch, or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, please call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at I’ll happily add your listing to my portfolio of fine homes in the area and sell it while finding your new dream home. By moving to Montecito, your future looks bright!

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“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

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- M.F.

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- 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.”

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- Johan and Paula van den Berg

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- 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