2018 American Institute of Architects California Central Coast Home Tour


San Luis Obispo Custom Homes (Garden Green)

Modern and inviting – Karen and Lee Bren’s 2,400 sq. ft. Garden Green condominium in downtown San Luis Obispo is one of five homes that will be featured May 20th on the American Institute of Architects California Central Coast Home Tour.

Our home team here at Robbins|Reed is proud of the work we did for Karen and Lee Bren and stoked for visitors to explore their remarkable space.

The warm and welcoming San Luis Obispo home is “California modern” to echo the Central Coast’s relaxing lifestyle.

Robbins|Reed built the luxurious three-story condominiums in 2013. The 6,383 sq.ft. building neighbors a 1941 fire station and the condominiums’ exterior mirrors the look and feel of that time. Historical details include: a brick fascia, corbels, concrete window surrounds and a belly band that runs around the building’s midsection.

Each of the homeowners in the building chose their own finish materials. Together Robbins|Reed and Casagrande Woodworks ensured this complex challenge was expertly met. Reclaimed oak flooring is the one material all three units have in common. Known for its distinctive tight grain, the wood was sourced from Germany.

Special features:
  • A sophisticated stainless inset in every wall gives the illusion of “floating” above the floor.
  • Generous open shelving in the kitchen provides ample storage and makes the space appear larger.
  • The dining room is traditional with intricate inlays.
  • Stylish ceilings unique to every room elevate this space, including a ceiling window cupola in the living room.
  • Bi-folding doors to the outdoor deck connect interior and exterior spaces.

This project is the result of teamwork. The Brens not only worked with our talented crew they also collaborated with architect Thom Brajkovich of Paragon Designs to achieve their vision.

2018 AIACCC Home Tour

You’re invited to meet the professional builders and designers for each local home throughout the American Institute of Architects California Central Coast Home Tour! The event takes place Sunday, May 20th, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Tickets are available in advance for $30 or $50 for two tickets.

The day of, tickets will $40 and can be purchased at aiacentralcoast.org.

All proceeds will benefits architecture education programs here on the Central Coast.

Robbins|Reed Custom Homes: Elevating Your Outdoor Space

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San Luis Obispo custom homebuilders

Here at Robbins|Reed Custom Homes, our San Luis Obispo custom homebuilders think the great outdoors can serve as a convenient extension of your custom home.

From well-appointed backyard kitchens to luxurious spas and vegetable gardens, there are endless ways to personalize your outdoor space. With summer right around the corner, it’s a good time to start thinking about how you plan to entertain outdoors.

To help get you inspired, our luxury homebuilders decided to round up a few simple ideas to elevate your outdoor space.

Add a daybed

A durable daybed is a simple way to create a living room type feel outdoors. It’s an ideal spot to unwind and relax in the sunshine or shade.

Say yes to a pizza oven

A freestanding pizza oven not only makes delicious custom pies, but adds architectural interest to your space as well.

Get competitive (it’s all fun and games)

Who doesn’t love bocce ball? We think you need your own custom bocce court.

String bistro lights

Glowing lights add an inviting ambiance to any outdoor event.

Create more space to entertain with an outdoor kitchen

Make the most of the space you have with an outdoor kitchen. Whether you’re ready to BBQ with friends and family or seeking to host an elevated dinner party with a guest chef – an outdoor kitchen offers a fun array of options.

Dive into a custom pool

Families, pets, and guests agree – a backyard pool is a great way to stay cool. Seeking a spa-like vibe? How about a lap pool that takes up minimal space? Interested in a kid-friendly splash zone? Whatever your vision, Robbins|Reed can make it happen.

There’s a difference between building a place you call home and a place you simply come home to. Robbins|Reed is available to help you personalize your outdoor space. Simply put, our passion is building yours. Contact us to learn more and share your vision.


Building a Custom Home in 2018

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Thinking about building a custom home on the Central Coast in 2018? Take your time to select details you love that will ultimately make a difference in your day-to-day. We’re sharing inspiring new trends to consider in the New Year – directly from the creative minds at Houzz:

1. Dedicated chopping and baking stations.

Regular countertop height is fine for those casual weekly meals. But for larger, more involved recipes that require a lot of chopping, rolling or other strenuous maneuvers, a lower countertop is more ideal. That’s why some avid home cooks are gravitating toward dedicated chopping and baking stations that are often a continuation of a larger, standard-height island.

2. Matte black finishes.

Last year, satin brass made its takeover of kitchens. This year, look out for matte black in bathrooms as well as kitchens. Homeowners looking for a statement-making look that’s contemporary and complements a variety of materials and styles are embracing this tough, versatile finish. Companies like Moen, whose matte black finish is shown here, are expanding their products to include more options in the durable finish.

3. More color in kitchens.

While white kitchens aren’t even close to going away, expect to see a rise in color for the kitchen, especially other neutrals like gray and blue. Plus, warm wood tones are becoming a popular replacement for painted cabinets, leading to sophisticated, rich palettes.

4. Antibacterial materials.

Imagine a countertop that helps take care of that salmonella bacteria for you after preparing chicken for dinner. That’s the idea behind several materials presented at the International Exhibition of Ceramic Tile and Bathroom Furnishings (CERSAIE) in Italy back in September.

The new K-Life technology incorporated into Porcelanosa’s Krion solid surface not only is antibacterial but also eliminates chemicals that come into contact with it, as well as purifies the surrounding air.

How does it accomplish this? Through a process called photocatalysis, which uses a semiconductor in the surface to enhance a reaction to light, killing bacteria and breaking up pollutants.

5. Dining tables in the kitchen.

Not everyone is in favor of a big island, especially for eating family meals. Who wants to face the same direction all the time, as in a diner? Many homes, especially those with smaller kitchens, are reconsidering a traditional dining table in place of an island.

6. Wallpaper-like tile.

There’s new tile that looks like wood, concrete, resin, fabric and even wallpaper. The latter is prized for offering the elaborate pattern look of modern-day wallpapers while being durable enough to wipe down with a sponge and detergent.

7. Glass insert for tub-shower combos.

Many still love their shower curtains, but partial glass dividers are coming on strong. Glass shower panels keep compact spaces airy and open, allowing a clear view to a statement shower tile or more natural light.

8. Concrete accents.

Concrete has always been a popular material choice, but don’t be surprised to see it in more unexpected ways, such as in furniture, decorative accessories, wallcoverings, countertops and tile. “My clients are expressing a desire to use materials in unusual ways,” says designer and Houzz Contributor Jennifer Ott. “Concrete is as popular as ever, but it’s showing up in unexpected places such as in furniture, decorative accessories and even as concrete-look wallcoverings.”

Designer Yanic Simard agrees. “The humble material and its comforting cool tones mixed with light linen and pearl grays add relaxed air to any space,” he says.

9. Bold-colored sofas.

A daring sofa color tackles two common design challenges: adding color and creating a focal point. If you feel like your living room is lacking in either of these areas, consider taking your sofa color up a notch. Blue, pink and green are all great places to start.

10. Casual and calm modern bedrooms.

You can’t decorate your way to a good night’s sleep. In other words, if you’re looking for a calm, relaxing bedroom — ideal for a restful night — you don’t want the space dripping with ornate decor, busy patterns or eye-opening color. Instead, a pared down, verging-on-minimalist look that incorporates soothing neutrals, soft fabrics and simple, functional pieces is the direction homeowners are heading.

11. Defining kitchens in open floor plans.

Every time a bell rings, an interior wall gets knocked down. OK, maybe not that frequently but it seems like the open floor plan has dominated homes in recent years, and not all homeowners love it. And some are going the other way, seeking some sort of delineation of space, such as in the photo shown here. A half wall of cabinetry creates a semi-closed space between the kitchen and living room.

12. Millwork feature walls and detailing.

Shiplap, millwork panels and reclaimed wood boards have been around for a while now. But with affordable big box store options and the relative ease with which the average homeowner is able to DIY these materials as accents, expect to see this trend to continue for some time, especially as bedroom feature walls.

13. Hidden range hoods.

A statement range hood can make an ideal focal point in a kitchen. But in more compact spaces, the last thing you may want is another bulky appliance. Coupled with under-cabinet outlets, hidden appliances allows the small amount of backsplash to appear large, streamlined and elegant.

14. Mixing metals, texture and sheen.

“People are mixing metallic elements and are paying more and more attention to sheen and texture,” Ott says. Think shiny brass mixed with matte black steel, or a honed countertop with matte tile backsplash.

15. Countertop details.

Sure, it’s important to focus on choosing the right countertop material for your needs, but don’t stop there. There are a bevy of options to ratchet up the look and function of your countertop.

16. Trough or bucket sinks.

These deep, wide and durable sinks are great for hardworking laundry rooms and busy kids bathrooms. And their rise dovetails nicely with the expected continued prevalence of a quieted-down modern farmhouse style.

17. Fish-scale pattern backsplash.

If you’ve grown bored of subway tile but still want something simple and classic, check out a scalloped or fish-scale pattern. The look offers more movement, and a bit more interest, than rectangular tile but is still versatile enough to work with almost any kitchen style.

18. Rich colors.

Warm grays with rich, earthy shades will edge out cooler neutrals for a more sumptuous look. “I’m seeing a move toward warm grays and rich, earthy shades of camel, rust, tobacco and brown-blacks,” Ott says.

19. Vintage lighting.

Pros are reporting more interest in vintage-style fixtures, such as aged copper pendant lights. “There’s a huge focus on lighting right now, especially vintage pieces, which is also considered to be a great art solution,” Simard says.

20. Dedicated broom closets.

It takes a lot to keep a home looking clean: brooms, brushes, mops, dusters, Swiffers, cleaning supplies. And finding space to keep these things organized while always at the ready shouldn’t be an afterthought.

That’s why homeowners are gravitating toward a dedicated broom closet or cabinet. Clever rollouts and design tactics that make use of slim spaces, such as the inches between the side of a fridge and a wall, can turn out highly functional storage units for cleaning tools.

21. Florals make a comeback.

This popular print is getting a revival and a bit of an update, say Ott and Simard. Forget low-energy patterns, and think botanical references in high-contrast colors and oversize blooms. “I’m seeing florals making a comeback,” but not the traditional variety, Ott says. “These are bold, graphic floral prints in high-contrast colors such as black and white or teal and gold.”

22. Fewer white or stainless-steel sinks.

White and stainless steel sinks have had their day, says designer Ott. Expect more concrete, stone, copper and granite composite sinks in darker hues of gray, bronze or black.

As you can see, there’s a ton of details to take into consideration when building your luxury dream home. Know that Robbins|Reed Custom Homes is here to transform your ideas into a tangible place all your own to call home. Contact us today at (805) 316-5046.


Construction Update II: Cava Robles


The holidays are in full swing but we can’t stop dreaming about spring break. Why? Luxury RV resort Cava Robles is expected to open in May of 2018. Robbins|Reed Builders are making serious progress on this project. Scope out their latest blog to see the construction site photos for yourself. While you’re at it – note ALL the amenities designed for active guests (the list is longer than Santa’s).

Robbins|Reed: Mustang Movers and Shakers


The Fall issue of Cal Poly’s Construction Management Department’s magazine, Construction Innovator, features none other than Robbins|Reed and we’re stoked about it.

The profile shares how our very own Construction Management Mustangs Grant Robbins (’94) and Shawn Reed (’92) have made a practice of hiring talented Cal Poly alums. Founded in 2007, our San Luis Obispo contracting and real estate development firm has encouraged alumni hiring alumni for over a decade. The feature also recognized Robbins|Reed for what we are – the premier builders on California’s Central Coast.

Both Robbins and Reed were given shout-outs for their contributions in our community. Robbins for his involvement with the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce, and Reed for his outstanding leadership of Habitat for Humanity. Not to mention, he’s a board member of the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast.

Beyond founding partners Robbins and Reed, our capable team is made up of numerous Cal Poly graduates, including:

  • Partner Aaryn Abbot (‘06)
  • Vice President Ryan Adams (’06)
  • Director of Custom Homes Stephen Griggs (’00)
  • Project Manager Gil Bastidas (’12)
  • Construction Manager Scott Merson (‘05)
  • Accounting Administrator Matt Reddell (’11)
  • Project Engineer Jeff Hadley (‘16)

Did you know Robbins|Reed supports the Cal Poly Women in Construction club? In fact – our amazing intern Sarah De Los Reyes serves as a club officer. We’re lucky to count on her.

Construction Management Lecturer Stacy Kolegraff founded the Cal Poly Women in Construction club in February of this year. Kolegraff shares that the organization is dedicated to empowering women through mentorship, networking, youth outreach, and industry support, including scholarships. The club is open to all Cal Poly students interested in construction.

That’s a wrap on our latest local headlines. Know that our commitment to hiring Cal Poly graduates and supporting women in construction is important to every one of us.