We were doing a site visit for a upcoming restaurant design project in Carpinteria which is just south of Santa Barbara and it was lunch time. It was a pretty hot day so we headed over to another project of ours that was completed a few years ago, Lucky Llama Coffee for an acai bowl and an iced coffee. We sat on the deck under the worlds largest Torrey Pine Tree and talked about Carpinteria, it’s opportunities and challenges as the city grows. How can a city maintain it’s charm and authenticity in the face of the tourist onslaught and drive to be bigger and better? We decided that locally owned and operated businesses like this one will help to maintain the character that brings people to Carpinteria, so please support your local shops and stores!
lucky llama concept
How it turned out
lucky llama before
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Our Vaquero Residence is underway! The building permit was issued, the builder was selected and work has begun. This project is located in Santa Barbara and is a modest addition and remodel to a single story home. We are excited to see the transformation take place and the client of course can’t wait to have it completed. We will be checking in regularly to help bring this project to a successful completion.
The before shot
Completed addition and remodel
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We presented our Sierra Madre project to the Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review last week for the first time and they were very pleased with the project!
View from back yard
The Santa Barbara County Board of Architectural Review is tasked with ensuring the design of homes in the County area meet the criteria of good design and that the proposed design is appropriate for the neighborhood and site. They have a difficult job and must balance the desires of the property owner with what is best for the site and what is allowable by the zoning ordinance. Often they are forced to turn away projects that are too big or too tall for the neighborhood and instruct the property owner to find an alternate approach. Typically in Santa Barbara the design review process is a 3 step process; conceptual then preliminary and final review. A project may sail thru these steps if the design is of high quality and the drawings have the information and detail required. We also use colored perspective images like the one above and models to present our ideas. Not only are these useful for the design process and for client communication but the design board really appreciates the extra effort. They can look at these and immediately understand what we are trying to do.
The design board members liked the sensitive approach of placing the addition on the back of the house and using the existing topography to integrate the lower story into the site. They appreciated the low impact on the neighborhood especially that the design does not effect anyones views or privacy. They liked the glass wall opening up to the view and how we are providing shade for the glass without interrupting the view. They asked us to return for preliminary review where we will be able to present more developed drawings, details and material choices. We will be working with our structural engineer to dial in the sizes and location of structural elements. We will also lean heavily on door and window experts to find the best layout for the glass wall, multi-sliders, folding or some combination? Working closely with talented people helps us achieve the best project possible.
Model and rendering
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We have a new project underway in Santa Barbara’s evolving Funk Zone! If you are not familiar with this area it has a mixture of uses and architectural styles and has become a destination in itself for wine tasting, high quality restaurants and shops. For Santa Barbara Architects the Funk Zone is a special place, it allows for experimentation and creativity in a city known for a particular style. It is also home to our live work / mixed use Funk Zone Lofts project on the corner of Yanonali and Gray. This new project will add to this mix as a new beer and wine bar with a full kitchen coming in the future. This project will add to our growing list of restaurant design projects which are fun to be involved in. With this design we are looking to take advantage of the character of the existing structure and are trying to add layers of texture and color while opening up the walls to allow light in. We are also opening up the wall to allow for indoor and outdoor service a the bar for the small outdoor seating area. Take a look and let us know what you think!
Interior rendering and inspiration photos
We have a kitchen remodel getting close to wrapping up here in Santa Barbara. The dated kitchen and appliances were due for a update and we were asked to create an economic re-design of this large kitchen with a beautiful view out over the pool area towards the ocean. We responded by suggesting that the footprint of the kitchen remain the same and the locations of the plumbing fixtures and major appliances remain to avoid costly changes to the plumbing and electrical system. Secondly we recommended not changing the granite countertop which are nice dark shade but swapped out the cabinet fronts and side panels to upgrade the appearance. We added new cabinet doors with glass to further open up and “lighten” the feel of the kitchen while allowing for display of platters/bowls etc. All the cabinet doors and drawers received new soft close hinges and rails which adds to the level of quality expected in a project like this. We replaced the old under cabinet lighting with new efficient LED linear fixtures that are placed to not have hot and cold spots in the light pattern. We then removed the old gas cooktop and cut the counter top and removed the lower cabinet to allow a new 36″ dual fuel Wolf Range to slide in. We then removed the old cabinet mounted noisy exhaust fan and upper cabinet to expose the wall to emphasize the height of the ceilings. This gave us the opportunity to create a boldly tiled backsplash that would play off the clean lines of the appliances and the more traditional cabinets. We looked at many tile samples that ranged from ceramic tiles to cement tiles from Granada Tile but went with a handmade tile with a lithograph print produced by Cle Tile that took the design to another level. Take a look at the progress photos and let us know what you think!
A quick shot of what is on the desk today.
We are preparing for a client meeting for our Sierra Madre Residence which is an addition and remodel to a home in the foothills of Santa Barbara. We have a study model, drawings and a couple of renderings to review some tweaks to the roof form and interior layout. We think they are going to love the changes! We use study model to communicate the overall form of the house as well as how the house interacts with the topography. The drawings are best for communicating the layout and dimensions of the house while the renderings really express the materiality and quality of light and shadow.
We are making solid design progress in our Sierra Madre residence which is an addition and remodel set in the foothills of Santa Barbara. We have made a few tweaks to improve the floor plan for the master bedroom and bath which also makes for a better experience in the great room. As you can see we are fully in the computer now, adding detail to the model like materials, furnishing and lighting fixtures. We go back and forth between the plan views and 3d views like these to look for opportunities to improve the design. The computer model lets us get into the finer layers of design earlier in the process, you couldn’t do this with a 2 dimensional CAD program.
These are raw views from the model so you are seeing what we see while we work. In this interior view we are looking out from the kitchen at how the materials are working together, how much the new roof floats over the wall on the right, how do the pendant lighting fixtures look at these levels… plenty of decisions to make
View of Addition from Garden
In this view we are experimenting with how the lowest level appears and how the changes to the master bedroom addition look with the roof flying over it.
We put this much energy into all of our projects to ensure we are producing unique and site specific design.
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Doing the work to bring this home to life…
A view behind the scenes of the documentation process of our Santa Barbara Mesa Modern Beach Shack project. The project is an addition of a master bedroom and bath to the second floor, a new living room and entry and a dining room and kitchen remodel, This is where we carefully craft the details that make our projects unique and special. We filter thru the thousands of choices and options on behalf of the client to specify the materials, finishes and fixtures for the project. The doors, windows, sinks, faucets, lighting etc. are all determined, noted and detailed within the drawings. This allows the contractor to accurately price the work and gives the client confidence that the budget will stay as quoted and the project stays on schedule.
We are moving along with the design of our Mesa Beach Shack here in Santa Barbara and wanted to share some progress. These images show are how we work thru the interior design process. We use the computer model as a tool for exploration and communication with the client. In a single meeting the client was able to understand the possibilities and materiality we had in our minds, how we had opened up the space the south to flood the addition with light. We made a few small moves to provide some built-in storage and modulation of the walls. We are thinking of using flooring and tile from a company called Porcelanosa which we really like. They produce beautiful ceramic and stone finishes with incredible patterns and colors that fit our modern aesthetic. You can see some images from the Porcelanosa website below. The client was very excited to see the progress and understands how the spaces could look. In our minds this is what Architecture is and what Architects do. The design of a building does not stop at the exterior, the interiors must be just as carefully considered. Stay tuned for more updates in the future.
New Living Room View
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We have a new project in the early design phase. Located in the San Roque neighborhood of Santa Barbara this project consists of an addition and remodel to an original house providing a master suite and new kitchen and dining room. We have created a outdoor space that connects directly to the dining area promoting easy indoor and outdoor living. The addition frames an outdoor living space with fireplace and built-in seating, learn more about these outdoor design principles here. We dipped into our knowledge base to produce a design that gave the client everything they needed but done smartly to avoid unwanted costs as outlined in our previous post here.
Rinconada Street View