It happens all the time, especially this time of year. As days run long and nights run cool, Santa Barbarans like to get outdoors. But that doesn’t necessarily require a weekend hike or beach day. Often, it simply means opening the slider to enjoy a late-afternoon cold one or a twilight dinner on the patio with friends and fam. Over the years at Giffin & Crane, we’ve helped countless homeowners take advantage of the pleasant views and temps Santa Barbara is famous for. Here’s a handful of some of our favorite outdoors spaces, with project background and design credits.

Credit: Jim Bartsch

OUTDOOR DINING:  After 20 years of providing consummate dining experiences in Santa Barbara’s fitting Mediterranean climate, this outdoor space was due for an upgrade. Framed by new beams, lighting, and a taupe sunshade, the country kitchen features all-new plastered masonry cabinets, a cast-in-place waxed concrete countertop, Lynx outdoor appliances, and comfortable seating. Designed by Katie O’Reilly Rogers.

Credit: Jim Bartsch

EXEMPLARY SHOWHOUSE:  Traditional Home magazine paired with Harrison Design to produce this benefit showhouse for Santa Barbara’s CALM, a child-abuse prevention and treatment nonprofit. Built in one year, this Mission Revival harmoniously blends Eastern and Western influences and an indoor-outdoor fusion that maximizes ocean views through surrounding oak woodlands. Architecture by Bill Harrison, interiors by Barry Dixon, and landscape design by Katie O’Reilly Rogers. 

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Credit: Jim Bartsch

DELUXE POOLHOUSE:  Conceptualized on-site during weekly meetings with the owners, this remodel project upgraded the family swimming pool and its 150-square-foot changing room and outdoor kitchen. Pool renovations included adding a built-in spa, a concealed cover with hidden spool, and custom-poured concrete coping that’s grippy but not too abrasive. Inside, crews installed a sauna, a skylight, and further lightened the room with a waterproof plaster finish. New appliances and a flat-screen TV highlighted the outdoor living space.  

Credit: Jim Bartsch

BLENDED:  Creating a seamless connection from interior transitional spaces to a private patio and stunning ocean view, the owners of this hillside renovation principally invested in a sliding glass pocket wall for the living room. The top-hung panels are 12 feet high and 15 feet wide, opening to an upgraded backyard living space with landscape lighting and a flagstone pathway around the home. Ellen Bildsten headed up the architecture, interiors, and landscape design.

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

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