Architecture and interiors by Mosaic Architects & Interiors. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

In Santa Barbara, warm summer days tend to drag on well into fall. But at the same time, our nights cool down quite a bit. By late October, an evening fire can be a welcomed warming from the steadily shortened afternoon light. And during the holidays — and hopefully during some long rainy days well into the new year — a warm and mesmerizing fireplace can make it feel like a real winter around here. 

We’ve helped build countless custom fireplaces over the years. It’s tough to pick a favorite. But here’s five great ones.

California Cottage: Working with the architect and builders as this remodel evolved, the owners stayed true to their vision of clean, minimalist living spaces. After reinforcing the building with foundational underpinnings and shear walls, crews vaulted the kitchen ceiling, installed radiant flooring throughout, and added square footage to the master suite, with French doors to the garden.

Architecture by Tom Meaney. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

Renovated Montecito Mediterranean: As part of a design-build team with the principal builders and architect, the clients could confidently adjust their ideas according to site constraints and budget. Ultimately, the new floor plan transformed the old disjointed layout into a flowing space with sophisticated architectural lines and an appreciation of necessary comforts for a growing family.

Architectural design by J Grant Design Studio and Hall Pardoe Design. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

Blending Old & New: The owners of this 1930s estate home initially started on an all-new master suite before realizing a whole-house renovation was in order. While the inside was reconfigured with better flow and modern elements, including finishes and ceiling treatments, the traditional Spanish exterior was preserved.

Architecture and interiors by Harrison Design. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

Montecito Modern Ranch: This comprehensive remodel had the grandchildren in mind, welcoming frequent visits with a beach house ambiance and an all-new outdoor shower near the property’s seasonal creek. Inside, a rearranged floor plan opened the kitchen to the family room and maintained a semi-private living room. Plus, there’s this cozy bedroom fireplace.

Architecture by Ketzel & Goodman. Credit: Jim Bartsch

Classic Spanish Mediterranean: With an open floor plan and lots of glass to welcome the ocean view, this all-new home fits the climate and mountain backdrop with its distinct Mediterranean style. A roomy kitchen with a center island faces the family room and formal dining area, reflecting architectural shifts from traditional layouts to the rising popularity of the great room, a signature space in 1990s high-end homebuilding.

Giffin & Crane has been building custom homes in Santa Barbara since 1986. 


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