A well-constructed custom entrance is more than meets the eye. Of course, it serves to welcome guests and introduce the personality of the home with design symmetry, warm lighting, and perhaps a carefully maintained deck of landscaping. But beyond making a statement and a lasting first impression, a convenient entrance should serve the comings and goings of family and visitors, including those with reduced mobility. That’s when architectural lines, colorful finishes and a welcoming front door go hand in hand with easy access. Here are some of our favorite entries, along with a brief history of the Giffin & Crane project.
SANTA BARBARA MEETS TAOS: This comprehensive transformation, led by architect Hugh Twibell, stripped the existing hodgepodge home down to its bare bones before resurrecting it with the soft corners and earthy tones of distinct southwestern styles. On the ground floor, the owners extended the adjoining garage and added two guest bedrooms and a bathroom. Upstairs, a brand new master suite opens onto an airy kitchen and living/dining room, with a large balcony overlooking the ocean.
AMERICAN COLONIAL REBIRTH: Highlights of this transformative remodel include a distinct and welcoming front porch and an all-new entry that represents an architectural solution to the owners’ desire to deviate from the original ranch appearances without major structural changes. The new look also appeals to owners’ East Coast sensibilities, while maintaining true California themes, also captured in the gardens and outdoor living areas. The project’s architecture was by Harrison Design, with interiors by Fran Wolfe and landscaping by Katie O’Reilly Rogers.
MEDITERRANEAN HILL: Staying within the home’s budget and original footprint, designers – including lead architect Anthony Spann of Harrison Design – and builders transformed compartmentalized interior spaces into an open layout connecting the kitchen to the living areas and of dining room. The resulting floor plan succeeded in providing the new owners with the desired California vibe without compromising the structural integrity of the building. Outside, a new staircase connects the house to the swimming pool and a 360 degree view of the mountains and the sea.
MONTECITO RENOVATION: After forming a symbiotic relationship with Giffin & Crane during a successful kitchen renovation, the owners of this four-bedroom, six-bathroom single-family home decided to move forward with a kitchen upgrade. independent guest house and, finally, a half-timbered renovation of the main house, with new landscaping by Gregg Toland. As part of a design-build team with leading builders and architect Tom Meaney, clients could confidently adjust their ideas to suit site constraints and budget. Ultimately, the new floor plan transformed the old, disjointed layout into a fluid space with sophisticated architectural lines and an appreciation for the comforts needed for a growing family.
Giffin & Crane has been building custom homes in Santa Barbara since 1986.
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