Building Better Bathrooms – The Santa Barbara Independent

A good bathroom is like a good closet or a good bedroom – it may not receive as much traffic as the rest of a home, especially the kitchen or family room, but it certainly plays an important role as a main source of daily comfort. The bathroom is where you get ready for the upcoming work day or for that special occasion. It’s also where you can wash up for a long day – which can make all the difference – right before dinner with the family. Any builder knows that a major home renovation almost always includes a bathroom upgrade. At Giffin & Crane, we’ve done hundreds of them, always working closely with architects, designers and, most importantly, homeowners, to make the most of these small but important spaces for cleanliness, privacy and comfort. Here are a handful of favorites, with some info on the completed projects and the people involved.

GARDEN STREET CROCKER ROW: Without the aid of original plans, the complete restoration of this 120-year-old luxury vacation home began with the replacement of its rock foundation with a code-compliant concrete footing disguised as the original sandstone. From there, period features—from fireplace mantels and stair balusters to an upstairs quatrefoil window—were inventoried and temporarily stored while the house was updated with understated modern amenities, such as radiant floor and air conditioning. The interior design, including this bathroom, was led by Barbara Lowenthal and Lindsay Hunter Design of Harrison Design. Tony Spann of Harrison Design supervised the award-winning architecture.

Architect Howard Wittausch designed this single-family residence to fit into its wooded surroundings. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

CONTEMPORARY ASIAN: Architect Howard Wittausch designed this single-family residence to fit into its wooded surroundings with minimal impact to the nearby creek and associated habitats. To make this concept work in the field, Wittausch and Giffin & Crane defined the building’s footprint by the natural drip line of the existing trees and the required setback from the top of the creek bank. The roof forms were designed and constructed to suit these natural settings, resulting in unique interior lines, including in this bathroom.



Inside and out, a complete renovation has opened up this two-bed, two-bath home. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

COZY ON THE MESA: Inside and out, an extensive remodel opened up this two-bed, two-bath home with easy connections between levels and through living areas without deviating from the character of the neighborhood. Modern upgrades and conveniences — including hardwood floors throughout and a Japanese soaking tub in the guest bathroom (pictured) — blend with the refinished original charms. Interior by Susan Aldrich Designs.

A sophisticated blend of rustic and contemporary, this brand new hillside home – rising from the ashes of the 2009 Jesusita fire – features its discerning owner’s must-haves. | Credit: Jim Bartsch

CONTEMPORARY FRENCH FARM: A sophisticated blend of rustic and contemporary, this brand new hillside home – rising from the ashes of the 2009 Jesusita fire – features its savvy owner’s must-haves while adhering to a strict budget and local building codes against forest fires. Vaulted 20-foot ceilings and steel windows provide long ocean views, while radiant-heat concrete provides durable, comfortable flooring in living areas and bathrooms. Architecture by J Grant Design Studio, with interiors by Hall Pardoe Design.

Giffin & Crane has been building custom homes in Santa Barbara since 1986.


Support it Santa Barbara Independent through a long-term or one-time contribution.


Comments are closed.