Santa Barbara Coastal News


Architects incorporate modern design trends into classic Santa Barbara real estate

26 Sep 2013 5:00 PM
Architects incorporate modern design trends into classic Santa Barbara real estate

As one of the most affluent areas in California, Santa Barbara has been the birthplace of numerous trends that have permeated popular culture. Aside from being a venue for film and television shoots, and home to famous personalities, the community's attractive exterior design scheme of Spanish Colonial Revivalism, which includes white-washed walls and red-tiled roofs, has come to define the outward appearance of many upscale properties throughout much of the southern U.S.

While some may argue that this aesthetic is outdated and overdone, a handful of local architects have made successful attempts at updating the familiar look and incorporating it into stylish new homes, according to the Santa Barbara Independent. If you currently own, or are planning to acquire lavish Santa Barbara real estate, you may want to think about taking notes.

According to the local news source, three of the 12 houses featured in October's ArchitecTours 2013 have combined the area's classic charm with contemporary accents. The results are chic exteriors in keeping with the year's theme of urban living.

Vintage appeal, modern feel
One such property, located on East Canon Perdido Street, was remodeled by architect Peter Baker and his team of designers, the SBI reported. The group enhanced the property's landscaping and restored its outward appearance, all while focusing on improvements to the house's interior. High-end appliances were introduced to the space, as well as a chandelier from Georgia. 

"I like to make a place where, unless you were an architectural historian, you wouldn't know for sure what was added or changed," Becker told the newspaper. "It's this old Charles More idea that you can tell the beauty of a building by the happiness of the designers."

Contemporary functionality, Mediterranean style
At first view, this two-story structure on East Carrillo Street may appear to be a modern home like those found in major metropolitan areas, according to the SBI. However, upon further review, it becomes clear that the home's bones are rooted in classic Santa Barbara architecture. Boasting a minimalist Mediterranean appearance outside, this manse, which was cooperatively designed by James Gauer, Ellen Bildsten and Susan Sherwin, includes solar panels and other environmental features like radiant heating floors.

Bildsten reportedly said the area's growing acceptance of attractive green amenities and upgrades has taken some time to gain traction, but is alive and well.

"It's been a long time coming," she told the news source. "And we're pretty excited to be a part of it."