This edition of The Home Page was originally emailed to subscribers on March 31, 2024. To receive Sarah Sinclair’s real estate newsletter in your inbox each Sunday, sign up at

Ohmygoodness there is so much to love about this crazy tiled backyard and the history behind it. Part Where’s Waldo? — find the snake, the smiley face, the slice of pizza — and part barn-raising, more than 30 artist friends have helped designer Ellen Van Dusen cover the backyard of her 1899 New York brownstone in a colorful, chaotic, ever-evolving tile mosaic. Van Dusen’s own textiles are featured in the story, which I initially tripped over on the Curbed blog — pun intended — and after devouring every link included therein, I have a wish list a mile long, and a new favorite fantasy for what to do in my own backyard.

Things are looking up over at Giffin & Crane’s Instagram account. Straight up to the ceiling, with this recent post featuring “10 stunning ceiling design ideas that will have you looking up all day long.” From traditional to rustic and everything in between, I love the dramatic angles and interplay of color and texture. Stay tuned for more of Giffin and Crane’s projects in upcoming Heart of the Home columns.

Back-to-school time is upon us, which means it’s time to pitch in to help our local students make it their best school year ever. Last year, the Teachers Fund marked its 20-year anniversary by hitting a milestone of $2 million raised for local schools. Founded by the owners of Village Properties to fill gaps in needed supplies and equipment in local classrooms, the Fund allows teachers to apply and receive reimbursement for exactly what they need. The Teachers Fund is revving up its efforts for the 2023/24 school year right now: soliciting sponsors and donations, and accepting applications from teachers as they prep their classrooms for the new year.

Last year, St. Raphael’s transitional kindergarten (TK) class was able to purchase these brand-new red chairs thanks to the Fund. Classrooms from Santa Ynez through Carpinteria, from TK through 12th grade, are eligible to apply. Get involved now, and see how your donations help local students this year. 

In another feel-good collaboration, PATH is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity Santa Barbara for a neighborhood cleanup next Saturday, August 19, focusing on trash in the Eastside area. Find out more or sign up here. Insider tip: I’m told that there will be coffee, water, and even Jersey Mike’s!

First American Title is holding a supply drive to gather backpacks, binders, glue sticks, number-two pencils, pens, highlighters, folders, rulers  you get the picture  to benefit United Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County. Drop off your donations by September 1 at the First American Title Co. office in S.B. (3780 State St., Ste. C) or Montecito (1165 Coast Village Rd., Ste. B). To learn more, contact Marisa Holly at (805) 325-3730 or The photo above is none other than Santa Barbara Junior High School, a historic landmark and the oldest junior high in the city, dating back to 1924. 

If you want to make the most of your last days of summer, check out this week’s issue, with fun ideas for everyone  from ziplining to berry-picking and more. In real estate, you’ll find 29 pages of homes, including 988 Coyote Road, the secluded ranch-style residence shown above, set on 2.5 acres with gorgeous ocean views, offered for sale by the Bartron Real Estate Group. Plus, there will be more than 50 open houses for your home-touring pleasure today. Enjoy! 


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