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The Feng Shui House: Creating Balance and Flow in Your Santa Barbara Home

December 3, 2020

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Conceptual image of Feng Shui with five elements

The Chinese words "feng" and "shui" translate to mean “wind” and “water," respectively. This concept derived from an ancient poem that talks about human life being connected and flowing with the environment around it. The feng shui house should do the same.

READ: Timeless Interior Design Trends

What is Feng Shui?

This ancient practice of feng shui has to do with the art and science of energy flow focusing on Yin (passive energy) and Yang (active energy) associated with objects in your home. Yin is feminine, represented by that which is slower, softer and flexible. Yang is masculine, which is faster, harder, and rigid. Part of balancing your home is being able to identify masculine and feminine design inclinations. Having more of one over the other creates an imbalance.

Practically, creating a feng shui house is arranging the items in your living spaces to create balance with the natural world. The goal is to harness energy forces and establish harmony between an individual and their environment. In Asian culture, this philosophy is called the Tao, which translates to mean “the way." Taoism is the way of nature and all the basic principles of feng shui reflect nature.

READ: How to Clear the Clutter in Your Montecito Home

Potted home plant Crassula with dollar bills in flower form isolated on white. This plant is known to be a great wealth luck feng-shui symbol (or dollar tree)

Let’s begin

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start when it comes to creating a feng shui house. What rooms should you begin with? How do you start fresh or what do you do if a room is already decorated? Luckily, the journey to a happier and healthier home can be easily obtained by following these 8 expert tips:

  • Make your entryway bright
    In feng shui, your entryway represents how energy enters your home and your life, so, naturally, this is the perfect place to begin your journey to balance, connection and flow. For many homeowners, miscellaneous objects tend to accumulate at the front door, so start by decluttering there. Spending time making the entryway clean, inviting and spacious will create the space for positive energy to enter your home. Make sure this area is well lit. If possible, with lots of natural light.
  • Keep windows clean
    For the adults in a home, windows symbolize the eyes, while for children, they symbolize the voice. To create a good feng shui house, clean your windows on a regular basis, using non-toxic cleaners whenever possible. Clear, clean windows let in more sunlight that naturally energizes and wakes us up. When we let more light in, we make our homes more expansive, vibrant, and energetic.
  • Pay attention to your doors
    In feng shui, doors are portals. Think of doors as places where opportunities can come into your life. Get rid of any clutter that might prevent your doors from opening to at least a full 90 degrees. Also check the hardware functions, focusing on the hinges. Check to make sure the door can close well and with ease. All these details affect how the energy finds its way to you and your family. You want the flow to be as smooth as possible. 
  • Consider each room’s commanding position
    One of the most important principles in feng shui is the commanding position, also known as feng shui power position. This refers to the spot in a room that places you in the best position to deal with whatever life throws at you. Look at the placement of your bed, desk, and stove. Are they all in the commanding position? When you are in your command position, you can see the door clearly. This is important because it governs how you position yourself in your entire life.
  • Remove obstacles in your path
    It’s easy to become desensitized to all the blocks and physical obstacles we have in our daily path. It’s an obstacle when you have to squeeze through a cluttered hallway or when you hopelessly peer into a closet jammed with clothes that don’t fit you anymore. Maybe there’s a light fixture that flickers or a door that always sticks, making it a fight to open or close. All of this affects you and your home’s feng shui.
  • Take advantage of the life energy of plants
    In feng shui, plants embody life energy. Simply put, living, green house plants connect us to nature and bring vibrancy into our homes. The most important thing to remember is to find plants that you can care for easily and are appropriate for the space.
  • Get spacious by decluttering
    When it comes to creating a feng shui house, the goal of de-cluttering is about creating space. To begin, tackle one physical spot at a time. Think kitchen junk drawer, kids room, refrigerator, desk and let go of what’s no longer necessary. When you let something go, you create an open space to invite a new, fresh opportunity.
  • Live in gratitude
    Feng shui is a shamanic tradition with the belief that everything is alive, including our furniture and spaces. Your home gives you and your family a place to rest, nourish, celebrate, and much more. Offering gratitude to your home is simple. Just speak to your home with a humble heart and say “Thank you.”

The goal of a feng shui house is the creation of harmony in your interior spaces to promote a healthy and balanced living environment. I’m here to help you find the perfect home in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities in which to create a sense of harmony by incorporating both Yin and Yang. Just call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at and we’ll enjoy a harmonious house hunting journey together. I look forward to helping you find your dream home or selling your property in this beautiful part of the world.

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“It was an emotional experience selling our mother’s home in Montecito that we all loved so much but Cristal made the process easier on our whole family by guiding us through the transaction every step of the way. She knows the market so well and everything she recommended was on point including the asking price, painting, and staging the home, which looked beautiful and helped the buyer envision her new home. We sold it the first day it hit the market with an offer above asking! Cristal did an incredible job communicating with us and the buyer to ensure that the transaction would run smoothly. We highly recommend using Cristal, she was a pleasure to work with! ”

- J & A

“Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

- M.F.

“Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

- P.B.

“We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

- T.C.

“Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

- D.R.

“I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

- M.A.

“Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

- D.K.

“Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

- S.N. Decker Ph.D.

“Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

- Johan and Paula van den Berg

“Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

- John and Lacey Williams

“After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

- Michael & Nancy Lee

“Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

- Richard and Catherine Frinier

“Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

- Laurie Siegel

“We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

- Ken Saffir

“Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

- Michael & Susan Marquart

“A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

- Rob & Judi Kelch