A good bathroom is like a good closet or bedroom — it may not get as much traffic as the rest of a home, especially the kitchen or family room, but it certainly plays a big role as a prime source of daily comfort. The bathroom is where you prepare yourself for the workday ahead or for that special occasion. It’s also where you can wash off a long day — which can make all the difference — right before family dinner. Any builder knows that a major home remodel pretty much always includes a bathroom upgrade. At Giffin & Crane, we’ve done hundreds, always working closely with architects, designers, and, most importantly, the homeowners, with the goal of making the most out of these small but important spaces for cleanliness, privacy, and comfort. Here’s a handful of favorites, with some background on the complete projects and those involved.
GARDEN STREET’S CROCKER ROW: Without the guidance of original blueprints, the comprehensive restoration of this 120-year-old luxury vacation home started with replacing its boulder foundation with an up-to-code concrete footing disguised with original sandstone. From there, period features — from fireplace mantels and staircase balusters to an upstairs quatrefoil window — were inventoried and stored temporarily while the home was updated with inconspicuous modern amenities, such as radiant flooring and air conditioning. The interior design, including this bathroom, was headed up by Harrison Design’s Barbara Lowenthal and Lindsay Hunter Design. Tony Spann, of Harrison Design, oversaw the award-winning architecture.
CONTEMPORARY ASIAN: Architect Howard Wittausch designed this single-family residence to fit its woodland surroundings with minimal impact on the nearby creek and attendant habitats. To make that concept work on the ground, Wittausch and Giffin & Crane defined the building’s footprint by the natural drip line of existing trees and the required setback from the top of the creek bank. Roof shapes were conceived and constructed to fit those natural parameters, translating to unique interior lines, including in this bathroom.
COZY ON THE MESA: Inside and out, an extensive remodel opened up this two-bed, two-bathroom home with easy connections between levels and across living spaces without departing from the neighborhood character. Modern upgrades and conveniences — including hardwood floors throughout and a Japanese soaking tub in the guest bathroom (pictured) — blend with refinished original charms. Interior by Susan Aldrich Designs.
CONTEMPORARY FRENCH FARMHOUSE: A sophisticated blend of rustic and contemporary, this all-new hillside home — rising from the ashes of the 2009 Jesusita Fire — features the must-haves of its discerning owner while adhering to a strict budget and local wildfire building codes. Vaulted 20-foot ceilings and steel windows welcome long views to the ocean as radiant-heat concrete provides flooring that’s durable and comfortable throughout 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.