Remodeling and Home Design

Sunday, June 15, 2008

santa barbara discoveries

yesterday i had the pleasure of participating as a speaker at built green expo sponsored by the santa barbara contractors association. a nice variety of build and design exhibitors were located in a beautiful outdoor setting at the santa barbara city college under blue skies with the ocean, kites and masts in the background. the extensive conference portion was located in classrooms adjacent to the exhibit area and speakers included michelle kaufmann! speaking of michelle kaufmann, at the final hour i caught the end of the house tour, also part of built green expo, and saw one of her designs. i liked the seamless connection between the indoors and outdoors. the interior is filled with lots of daylight and the sun casts beautiful shadows on the front and back patios through adjustable louver overhangs.

to make the most of my santa barbara visit and feel less guilty about the gas guzzling trip, i spent time visiting with my ventura-based designer friend carrie chase. we visited 3 lovely diani boutiques in the same plaza. inspiration comes from the pristine diani beach in kenya where the owner spent many childhood holidays. i was happy to see green design elements like driftwood used as a table base and mirror frame. also, the owner re-used perforated panels originally installed in the windows and recessed some of them into the wall and also made some stencil on the wall! they also sell queenb candles, a brand new 100% beeswax candle from australia. yes, it's imported but it's a step in the right direction.

then, we went to canary hotel, formerly hotel andalucia, which i helped re-design when i was at michael s. smith. it was so nice to see the lovely general manager again as well as the beautiful result of our design efforts last year. there was also a nice transition into the newly renovated restaurant coast by jim gillam of the design firm backen gillam. they did a wonderful job converting the restaurant which seems to already be a hit as evidenced by the crowds pouring in over the early dinner hour on a Saturday.

it was a wonderful day trip to santa barbara topped off with a stop at my favorite smoothie place, blenders in the grass. then i drove back to LA along the coast with a stop to view the surfers hanging 10 on friendly waves at leo carillo as the sun set...ahhhh.

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