Sierra Madre House Now Under Construction!

It is happening! This hillside home in Santa Barbara is under construction, transforming a dark and dull house into a bright modern home that is designed to take advantage of the views to the ocean and the city below. See here for the future look


The first steps are the demolition of the back of the house and the start of grading, lots of noise, dust and dirt at this point and a bit hard for the owners to see how it will all come together. But as the saying goes, you have to go backwards first before we can go forwards. The contractor and the subcontractors will be working to remove a portion of the concrete slab to make room for the grading equipment to lay the soil back and start the foundations for the lower level.

The expectation is that the construction will take 10 to 11 months to complete, it should take about a month to complete the grading and demolition. Once this is done the work will start on the foundations and various water proofing required for the lower level that is partially buried in the hillside. Then finally the walls can start to be built and this home will start to take its shape.

Check back soon for updates on the construction of this project!



Modern Beach Shack Progress

Our modern beach shack project located here on the Santa Barbara Mesa has been progressing well. After a brief pause while we worked with the owner to include additional changes to the kitchen and the rest of the house the project is coming to a close.

Here is the street elevation as the stain was going on the cedar siding. You can see the thin windows wrapping around the upper floor bringing light in from all sides and the mitered glass corner window in the lower right providing views out into the garden.

street elevation

street elevation

Below is the current view of the rear of the addition. Here you can see the master suite on the upper floor with the deck providing views out to the ocean. On the ground level is the garage which can be used for a number of uses, we included big sliding glass doors on the back wall to help connect this space to the back yard


Here is the view from the living room, the view doesn’t look like much right now but the landscape plan includes plans for a new fence and plenty of planting


This is the new stair leading to the master suite upstairs. We designed this with a thin steel stringer and open treads to try and bring as much light thru the space as possible. To the left you can see the beginning of the installation of the pivoting glass front door.


The master bath tub sits within what we call a wet area meaning that the shower is also within this space. The shower is not enclosed in glass which helps make the space feel larger. There is also the big bonus of being able to see the ocean from the shower.


We are very excited to see this project coming to completion for the owners, hopefully soon they will be moving in and getting a feel for their new home!

Mixed Use Project Gets Warm Reception at First ABR Review

Our latest mixed use AUD project went in front of the ABR for its first look this week and was very warmly received.  The project will provide three new rental units and a ground floor commercial space within a mostly 2 story structure. We presented colored floor plans, elevations, a perspective view and a study model along with photos of the area. The ABR members liked the style, size and location of the project and felt it was appropriate for the neighborhood. This is a great first step for the project! Now we can get to work on the more detailed drawings and continue to refine the design.

Our client had initially hired another Architect to put together a design for the site and after many months and several reviews, the planning department and the ABR still could not support the project as designed. It got even worse as we found out that the design was way over the clients construction budget and could not be built.

The client then contacted us because they liked our Funk Zone Lofts and Lama Dog projects and asked us to step in and start from scratch. We were honest with them and let them know that the project would need to be scaled back both for the City’s design review process and to meet the project budget. We removed one rental unit which allowed the project to be mostly 2 stories with a small third story and split the project into 2 separate buildings. We proposed a simple modern Mediterranean design without complicated details or expensive finishes. All of this reduces the budget dramatically. Splitting the building up gives the client the option of phasing the construction and completing the build out on their schedule.

We are excited to see how this project progresses! Stay tuned

Mixed Use Perspective

Mixed Use Perspective





North Elevation

North Elevation


Satellite Wine Bar Now Open!

We are happy to announce that Satellite Wine Bar is now open for biz!

Located at 1117 State St in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara this little wine bar is making a big impact thanks to the owner Drew and his incredible knowledge of all things wine and beer. They currently serve wine and beer along with a small lunch and dinner menu. Its a fun intimate space with big doors opening out onto State St. offering great people watching. Go check it out!

Satellite wine bar interior design 3


Satellite wine bar interior design


Satellite wine bar interior design 2


Here is a snippet from the owner:

Satellite SB is a restaurant, wine bar, and fine wine shop. We have a globally focused list featuring small production wines from across the globe and here in Santa Barbara.

We offer courses in wine through the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and are the only permanent home of wine education in Santa Barbara!

LA Weekly Covers the Santa Barbara Restaurant Scene

5 New Reasons to Eat in Santa Barbara

by LA Weekly Magazine

Click here to read the full article

“A third new restaurant to open recently in the Funk Zone, the Nook is the eat to Lama Dog Tap Room’s drink. Bright and airy, long communal tables fill the refurbished shipping container, and there’s a patio, too, that’s perfect for pets. It’s just one of the community gathering spots inside 120 Santa Barbara Street’s Waterline, an industrial warehouse that’s been freshly re-envisioned as a place for food, beer, wine and an artisan collective.”

Lama Dog and Nook Interior

Exciting stuff to see our local eateries getting some out of town coverage! We hope to continue this trend with some upcoming projects, stay tuned.

Guilded Table Opens in the Funk Zone!

More coverage of our Waterline project in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone

Check it out here as Noozhawk covers the opening of the Guilded Table Artist Collective which shares the space with Lama Dog Tap Room, The Nook, Topa Topa Brewery and Fox Wine Co.

The Guilded Table is a place for artisans and artists to create their work within the Funk Zone. We that this support of the arts community is a critical component of the fabric of the community and helps to maintain the authenticity that draws so many people to the Funk Zone. I hope you have a chance to come and check out the popular space at 120 Santa Barbara St, stay for a drink and some food!

Guilded Table

Santa Barbara Beach House Progress

We’ve been visiting the construction site of our Santa Barbara Mesa Beach House design and wanted to share a few photos of the progress.

Below you can see the stages of construction that have happened over the course of a few months.

beach house foundation and existing house

beach house foundation and existing house

Above you can see the portion of the existing house that remains and the formwork for the foundations of the addition. The addition is happening mainly in the front yard so access hasn’t been a problem.

beach house foundation

beach house foundation

After the foundation and slab were poured and cured the framers start their work on the ground floor. Below you can see the corner window element and the how all the structure works together to achieve this.

beach house corner window

beach house corner window

beach house second floor framing

The next time we visited they had the second floor framing underway and the start of the roof framing. The project seems like it goes at warp speed during this phase and suddenly the form of the house is apparent.

beach house second floor view

beach house second floor view

We always knew that there would be a ocean view but you never really know until you get up there. In this case what a great surprise to find beautiful views looking out toward the channel islands from the master bedroom.

Street Elevation

Street Elevation

Here is the current view of the project from the street, quite a change for this little house. Check back in for more photos soon!

The Nook Featured in 805 Living Magazine

Some kind words about our latest creation in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone The Nook and Chef Norbert are featured in this months 805 Living. Its great to see Norbert and his crew getting the recognition they deserve, they are consistently putting out great innovative food like lobster mac’n cheese (my kids favorite). When you pair this great food with the beer and wine options provided by Lama Dog you have a combination that is hard to beat, a fact that many people agree with judging by the crowds! The Waterline will be adding Topa Topa Brewing and a wine tasting room for Blair Fox Wines in the next few months!


Industry Wine Merchant

Photo by Paul Wellman

Photo by Paul Wellman

Here’s a little article on a very cool wine import and retail company that we helped to get their facility up and going! We hope they continue to grow and expand. Thanks to Ashley & Vance Engineering for the help

Click Here For the Full Article

“Industry Wine Merchant is designed to function like a “bespoke ordering system,” in which Trupiano and Erickson will begin to learn their customers’ tastes and budget. But it must go both ways to work. “We want them to get to know our palates just like we’ve gotten to know our importers’ palates,” said Trupiano.

Currently, they offer more than 300 selections, though both would like to grow that number past 1,000 in the years to come. They have both extreme luxury offerings, such as the $2,500 Domaine Leroy Richebourg Grand Cru 2009, as well as great values, such as $15 Chablis from Christophe et Fils and $16 Malat Grüner Veltliner from Austria.”