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Our New Style Specialist

Upon launching more than five years ago, the Independent’s real estate section became a place where experts in design, efficiency, and all things home could share their insights with the greater Santa Barbara community. This week’s paper introduces a brand-new column in this collection: The Style Specialist, by Christine Cowles, who runs the company Styled & Staged Santa Barbara. (See She’ll be writing about home styling tips, exploring decorating trends, and offering advice on how to prepare homes for sale. 

How did you come into this work?  Originally from Houston, I’ve been in Santa Barbara for 20 years and was drawn to the outdoor lifestyle here. My background is in graphic design, event planning, and fundraising, and I spent most of my time in S.B. working for nonprofits. I started staging homes in 2016 to pursue my passion for design and helping homeowners move into the next phase of their lives. 

What do you hope to provide for readers in your column?  I hope to provide readers with insight into creating spaces they love.

What do you like to do in your free time?  My favorite hobbies are camping and hiking in the High Sierra, kayaking, and cooking.

Any fun facts we should know?  I’m a twin. Before moving to Santa Barbara, I was a park ranger in Yosemite National Park. I make a mean Thai green curry and bánh mì sandwich. And I’m refinishing my father’s 1959 wood canoe.


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