Environmental Architecture?

Many homes and buildings have a unique character, but are they really alive? We can affirm that the walls are.  Walk down Forest Ave in Laguna Beach and notice succulents draping off of an art gallery’s exterior walls. This is just one example of the multitude of ‘Living Walls’ that have sprouted throughout Orange County. The architectural art form is both environmentally friendly and tasteful. It is said that Living Walls can clean outside air of pollutants, dust and offset the carbon footprint of people and fuel emissions. Living Walls can create more biodiversity and also increase real estate value. Cha Ching $$.

721 Hotel in Laguna Beach, Tropical Shade Mix
Corporate Lobby of Irvine Company Commercial Office Building, CA, Fern Tropical Foliage Mix

Seasons Natural Engineering in Orange County has an impressive resume of large living wall projects throughout the city. Check them out here!

Moving and storage have met the 21st Century…

Need to call an Uber to store your antique collectibles? No need to, ClosetBox provides full-service, concierge storage with a free pickup at your door and on-demand return delivery for the cost of a traditional self-storage unit. Say goodbye to stuffing storage into the attic. ClosetBox service has become wildly popular in urban areas and high-populated cities to store belongings in a stress-free way, by taking the ‘self’ out of self-storage. Serving 65 cities across the nation, people have said ClosetBox has brought moving and storage into the 21st century.

Where the items are stored is another public concern. Communities have been arguing that storage containers are aesthetic eyesores. “Towns are even asking that self-storage buildings include fake windows and doors on the exteriors, so buildings blend in with their urban or suburban surroundings.” Communities also complain that storage facilities don’t generate enough sales tax revenue and that self-storage facilities don’t employ as many people as other commercial uses would…first world problems.

Just down the street from Seven Gables new CDM office…

506 Poinsettia Avenue, Corona Del Mar

Welcome to beach living! This Charming duplex is ideally located on a highly desirable street within walking distance to the heart of Corona Del Mar. Check it out- 506 Poinsettia Avenue, Corona Del Mar.

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Ode to the great indoors….

The Wellness Habitat Company suspects the most important element contributing to human well-being is the indoor environment. Studies have shown that the air indoors, where we spend 90% of our time, is up to 5x more polluted than outdoor air. Wellness-minded design is growing in popularity as younger generations are pushing for healthier environments in their workplaces and homes. Robert Thorne, CEO and co-founder of the Wellness Habitat Company, said many people have started to realize that while their wellness levels have been improved at work, they’ve been neglecting air quality, toxins, negative-impact lighting and other important health components in their own homes.

Inside the Beastie Boys Modern Malibu House

Indoor lighting has the ability to affect the human body in two ways: how well we are able to see, and effects on our mood, behavior and even hormonal balance. Wellness Habitat Company believes that if you live in a healthy environment, it can really change who you are on every level.

Check out these nine ways you can start making your home healthier, click here then scroll to the bottom of the page.

Just In! Huge Solar Energy Spill…

…and we all get to bathe in it. There will be a change in electric rates for homeowners and businesses going solar July 1 or later in most of Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties as well as a large swath of Los Angeles County. New solar customers rush to beat the deadline before rates change later this year. A mother of three from Ladera Ranch recently had 21 three by five-foot panels installed. She said, “We are going to generate electricity like no other. That’s my goal. Reduce our dependence on current infrastructures.” She is part of a handful of new solar customers who are rushing to take advantage of the existing solar rates before a new, more expensive solar plan kicks in.

Southern Beauty…

Panoramic ocean views from the exclusive Solana Beach listing, 233 S Helix 18, Solana Beach.

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Yes, we could technically shop for properties on the couch with a cup of coffee…

In the industry of Real Estate, which is largely ruled by veterans, technology is commonly met with suspicion and uncertainty. But nonetheless, technology has taken over and completely changed the way we research and buy homes. As a customer, technology has enabled transparency about the pricing of homes, there is speed in the deal making process and massive amounts of data is organized in a mobile device.

Getting your brand and property visibility has never been easier and more cost effective. Previously, the majority of research was focused on what happened in the past, now we are using real time data to observe pricing and availability.

Seven Gables agent, Peggy DeSantis’ free app that delivers information about Open House’s in the North Tustin area

“If consumers use the internet properly, they don’t even have to get out of their pajamas,” says Pinto, who has been in the real estate industry for more than 40 years. “They can look at a satellite view of properties, write an offer and get it to the seller’s real estate agent in 90 minutes. In the old days, that process would take a few weeks.”

Rick Sharga, vice president of Auction.com states, “For the past 200 years, real estate professionals have basically controlled 90% of the transaction. The Internet has flipped the model upside down and put the customer in charge.” Michael Beckerman states that one will actually buy a home on purely an algorithm, it’s too big of a decision and there are too many variables at play.

Hey you…put…the phone…down…

Hide electronics in a hollowed-out book

With Technology, a business can perform from virtually anywhere and this means more of us are able to work remotely; work is increasingly following us home. It is becoming more important to create a separation between home and office. In organizing a home space that adheres to Feng Shui, it is important to put computers and televisions within doors or cabinets. This enhances the conversation, relaxation, and serenity in the home. This also assures that YOU, not the equipment are the master of the house. Here are some tips on hiding electronics at home.

Good morning…

Intelligently designed by Chris Abel, Laguna Beach legacy architect, 1535 Morningside is a contemporary achievement with soaring ocean and canyon views.

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2016 word of the year: surreal

A royal living room with turquoise rugs and gold plated coasters…

Close your eyes and imagine your dream living space. Now open your eyes, are you there? It’s okay, most of us aren’t. But, as we dust off 2016 lets discuss interior designs, colors and textures that are expected to catch trend in 2017.

Hunter Green and Merlot Shades

There are several colors of the year, Poised Taupe, Greenery, Shadow and more. Design trends will include earthy pastel hues, mixed metals, natural textures and art-inspired wallpaper. The 2017 design trends report from Dunn-Edwards Paints illustrates how color is influenced by a need to liberate imaginations and explore new and exciting territories. Polished Aqua walls are layered with deep blue-green trim, modern furnishings and sparkling gold accents. Dark shades of green will become the new must-have dark interior color as we say goodbye to navy and midnight blues. Jewel tones and velvet will soon overtake interior design, inspired by metals, space, stars, clouds and the cosmos.

Dark jewel tones and velvet accents

In 2017, design trends that are falling out of style are copper, quote artworks, fiddle leaf figs, chalk board walls, mason jars, burlap and subway tiles. Okay, okay we’ll get rid of the keep calm and carry on signs, geez.

When you accidentally write down 2016 instead of 2017…

Numerous news and real estate companies throughout Orange County reference Corelogic’s expanded perspective on real estate and market trends. One way to get a good read on the topics that were at the forefront of everyone’s minds in 2016 is to look at the top ten blogs for the year. These include articles on Market Value vs. Replacement Cost, Deciphering the Code of the Millennials and Is Flipping Coming Back… oh nostalgia.

Subtly creative, elegant yet comfortable…


COMING SOON, 2441 N Riverside Drive in Floral Park is an incredibly unique and welcoming home with classic style and playful layout. Note the cunning Eames Lounge Chair.

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Santa got a Craftsman upgrade…

A long-long time ago, before Santa could order gifts through Amazon, he squeezed his way down chimneys of Victorian houses. Yes, those late 19th century estates with frills and sash windows. In response to the excessive, over-the-top ornamentation of the Victorian era, American Craftsman architecture was born. Think a low-pitched roof, wide eaves, exposed roof rafters, wood shingles, stone chimneys, porches and column bases.

Rustic interior design inspired by American Craftsman architecture

Here are some of the simple values of the Arts and Crafts movement:

  • Find joy in work
  • Create well-designed, affordable objects
  • Live simply
  • Stay connected to nature
  • Maintain integrity

Craftsman bungalows are now very popular with preservationists and young homeowners wanting to restore a beautiful historic house back to its original splendor.

Modern touches on American Craftsman interior design

When the elves talk money…

The elves are strapping on their dancing shoes. According to CoreLogic, the economy will grow between 2 and 2 ¼ percent next year. With that backdrop here are some features to look for in next year’s housing market. Let’s dance. Mortgage rates will increase- the Federal Reserve will hike its federal funds target by one-quarter of a percentage point this month which will increase the cost of loans tied to short-term rates. There will be fewer homes available in the rental market and it is expected that for-sale inventories will remain lean in many markets as well. Phew, fruit punch break. This will equate to home-price appreciation in most markets. Expect a drop in refinance origination in 2017 and new loans with relatively low credit risks. But first, let’s take an Elfie.

Hey Drummer boy, drum roll please…


Coming soon to Seven Gables, 21832 Rushford is an authentic American Craftsman with exposed beams, brick-chimney, interior wood built-ins and surrounding nature. Ho ho ho.

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I’ll try to keep this minimal…

Minimalism is a tool to rid yourself of lives excess in favor of focusing on what’s important- so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom. Apparently, some people are all about it. I guess it’s to escape the excesses of the world around us, like consumerism, material possessions, clutter or having too much to do “Be bold with the truth of simplicity and owning less.”

Here are 25 reasons you might be a minimalist...click it it’s fun.

What’s to come… of OC… in 2017?  

S|O to these soon-to-be Orange County developments:

Newport Beach
The crowd was evenly divided between supporters and opponents at the City Council meeting, where they confirmed the project slated to replace the Orange County Museum of Art with a 25-story, 100-unit luxury housing condominium project. Phew, that’s a lot of luxury.

The project will be one of the tallest buildings in Orange County, but is said it will not obstruct any ocean views. Some people think it will take residents “away from our roots” and change “who we are as a community”. The development is expected to generate over $21 million for the city through several fees paid by developers.

On the other side of town, a 388 acre business park was approved by Tustin City Council that will bring 870,000 square feet of creative office space to an area that currently has, almost, none.

The eight-building complex, called FLIGHT, will be accessible with an urban feel and agriculture-inspired landscape. It has not been confirmed which companies will join, but its possible we could have a new SoCal Silicon Valley…tweet me?

Creative masterpiece, in the suburbs…


Welcome to 12140 Skyline. One-of-a-kind North Tustin estate with soaring ceilings and intricate details. Got Views?



That family member who keeps mentioning Game Of Thrones… 

You’re not alone. In a Luxe interiors article, Brielle M. Ferreira explains how today’s hottest television shows encourage viewers to tune in for design inspiration and innovative interiors. Shows like Game of Thrones and House of Cards have attracted fan mail asking about particular furniture and fabrics used in the set design. A set designer’s attention to detail is a form of story telling, the set becomes an interior back drop that adds to the plot.

What story does the interior of your home tell?

Nate Berkus claims, “I think many people feel like they’re decorating with one eye over their shoulder. What do the neighbors think? Is this on trend? Will my mother approve of this color?”

We’ve all been there. There is a language to designing. It’s story telling that gives insight into who we are, or what that particular house stands for. It’s the story of where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and what we love. A home should to be inviting. It should draw us in and encourage us to create, to use our imagination.

Nate Berkus Design, unique wooden pieces and selective wall art make this space intelligent, yet inviting

When you notice Luxury buyers flooding to OC…

CoreLogic reported that Orange County’s median selling price is up 9.3 percent from a year ago. It’s worth noting it took nine years to beat the previous high of $645,000 set in June 2007. The soaring median selling price of early fall is not scaring off too many buyers, considering 3,365 OC residences were purchased in the period surveyed (up 7.7 % from last year).

This could be a result of RE transactions of more pricey, luxury homes rather than signifying any increase in values of individual homes. Some RE pros say this is because of a limited supply of more “affordable” level homes. Basically: The high priced, luxury market in OC is happening. We may be seeing more Teslas on the road.

Aristocracy in Orange County…


Grand, private and remarkably spacious, 18985 Seabiscuit is among Yorba Linda’s premier listings. Nothing like enjoying your morning coffee with an imperial staircase and twinkling chandelier overhead. Royalty. 

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From sea to shining sea…

Since the beginning of the United States of America, eager colonists left Europe’s aristocracies to pursue their dream of owning real estate in the land of the free. Politicians have campaigned and debated, in hopes of being elected as President, to help Americans realize their dream of homeownership. Many people are curious about how political parties have impacted home prices in the past, how changes in 2017 may impact real estate and predictions in the luxury market. We read and we discuss.

The American dream of homeownership is still alive, and we thank Seven Gables Real Estate Agents for helping the community achieve their real estate dreams. What a time to be alive.

When you shyly ask yourself, what’s the difference between modern and contemporary design?

Well, everything. Lets break this down.

When a design style is Modern, we are referring to the specific time period between the 1920’s-1950’s. Modern was probably the contemporary of that time. Modern really refers to Mid-Century Modern, which is recognized by clean, unadorned interiors that use natural materials such as wood, leather, teak and linen. This includes stripped down, simple lined aesthetics of cube shaped structures with flat roofs and a greater use of exposed steel and concrete. In Modern architecture, form follows function and building designs are inspired by surrounding nature, see Frank Lloyd Wright for example. Modern design is set, defined and unchanging.

Mid Century Modern; notice the Eames lounge chair, use of wood and plants

Contemporary design is ever changing as a shifting group of recent styles and trends. Contemporary encompasses a range of styles developed in the second half of the 20th century, some are more playful with bright colors while others are more dramatic with a black-and-white palette. Contemporary by definition means “existing, occurring or living at the same time” and basically refers to what is in-style.

Contemporary Interior Design with a sleek black-and-white pallet

An Analysis of 2016 home listings through September said luxury homes described as Contemporary had a lower median listing price than Modern homes. Many ultra luxury buyers are drawn to Midcentury Modern but are opting for a blend of styles. “They want a modern home but with a little more of a soul, the cold minimalistic white box is on its way out”.

When your friend asks where to find Mid-Century Modern in Orange County…


Look no further than 1672 Sirrine Drive, North Tustin. With awe-inspiring architecture, grand custom pool and truly exquisite finishes, Sirrine Drive is a cinematic accomplishment.


When there are no Millennials at the wine and cheese open house…

In popular Real Estate gab, its been said that Millennial’s don’t buy homes due to low income and lingering student debt. But disparate than what we’ve heard, there’s a strong indication that millennials do want to become homeowners and that they consider owning a home more sensible than renting for both financial and lifestyle reasons. It’s stated, that many of the roadblocks Millennials face, are from a lack of knowledge about the options available to finance a mortgage. Even those struggling with student loan debt may qualify for income-based repayment options or may be able to refinance their loans. Myth solved. 

What to say when your neighbor asks if they should sell…


Now is the time. The Fed has sent new signals about a possible December rate increase. Once the Fed decides to raise interest rates, home prices are going to fall because it’s going to be more expensive to borrow money. We are at the peak, so now is the best time to sell. Basically, your home has never been worth as much as it is right now.

Lets have Quinoa and Green Tea…


Sophistication and modern design meet simplicity at 13410 Via Alicante.

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Making a difference…

Newport Beach’s Community Development Partners are converting a motel into the first large-scale permanent supportive housing project for the homeless in OC. This stands as a model, or the ‘secret sauce’ for finding a solution to chronic homelessness in Santa Ana county. Proud.

How to have the most popular dinner parties…

Feng Shui (translates to wind and water), is a centuries-old philosophy, originating in China, that is used in homes and urban planning to create a calm, harmonious environment for well being and balance. As busy people, it is important to always be mindful of the energy of a home. This starts with the energy flow from the front door. With Feng Shui the positioning of the bed, mirrors and furniture in a room all impact the experience. Clutter is like a stop sign to energy, so it’s important to ruthlessly get rid of anything that has not been used in the past 12 months. Even items under the bed, that carry negative energy, can affect sleep. Certain colors, water features and wind sensitive objects can enhance energy flows and improve different aspects in the owners life. Basically, how you construct the environment you live in can impact how your life turns out. We’re heading to Roger’s Gardens for indoor plants ASAP.


How to supervise your teens and avoid driving late night carpool…

Parents are taking more action in providing safe places for teenagers to hang out, at home. The space needs to offer enough privacy and enticing features that teens want to be there, rather than hanging out in places where they might not be as supervised. “Adolescents are always looking for places to gather without too much adult interference”, says Jamie Howard, a clinical psychologist.

Soaring views…


Hop on your broomstick through aerial-drone footage of 2525 Ocean Blvd F6 in Corona Del Mar. With indoor plants and sleek designs, this ocean view home is Feng Shui approved.