Cristal's Blog


February 8, 2024

Back to Articles

Valentine month is a magical time in Santa Barbara, with the sun-kissed coastal city taking on an inviting aura. While you're busy planning romantic gestures for your loved ones, it's the perfect time to turn your attention to another love of your life: your home. Use the following guide to help you infuse a dose of love and freshness into every corner of your living space. After all, your Santa Barbara home is not just a house, it’s a haven of love and comfort.

Here are 11 ways to shower it with affection.

The open shower and adjacent sink of a luxury bathroom with grey stone walls and floor and white towels.

1. Give the Bathroom an Upgrade

Your bathroom, often an underrated space, deserves some love, too. A quick refresh can do wonders; consider adding new linen and chic storage containers. Small changes can make your master bath and powder rooms feel like a luxurious spa retreat.

2. Take Care of Those Maintenance Tasks

Address those pending home tasks that require professional attention. Whether it's non-functional outlets, overdue HVAC maintenance, or the desire to replace cabinets, now is the time to make a few phone calls and schedule the necessary appointments. Planning ahead allows you to gather recommendations from neighbors and friends.

3. Declutter a Closet

Don't let a cluttered closet be a source of stress. Take the time to organize your closet by using the sell, donate, and trash method. Consider adding storage solutions like hanging baskets, hooks, and over-the-door organizers for a more efficient and visually appealing space.

A luxury backyard patio with upscsale furniture, a fire pit, a hammock, pavers on the ground surrounded by lush greenery, with the Mediterranean-style home in the background.

4. Update Your Outside Space

As we eagerly anticipate the arrival of spring, the opportune moment presents itself to rejuvenate and enhance the allure of your home's outdoor amenities. Embrace the upcoming season with a touch of aesthetic renewal, transforming your outdoor spaces into havens of comfort and leisure where you can fully relish the beauty of Santa Barbara's natural surroundings.

5. Love Your Laundry Room

Transform your laundry room into a space you actually enjoy spending time in. Better storage options, efficient appliances, and a clutter-free environment can make laundry day much more manageable. Consider adding stock cabinets or shelves to enhance storage and organization.

A cozy luxury bedroom with a ceiling fan and a large mirror with an open door leading to the bathroom

6. Check Those Ceiling Fans

As we approach warmer months, it's essential to ensure your ceiling fans are in top-notch condition. Dust them off, and remember, they should rotate counterclockwise for optimal cooling. A simple hack using an old pillowcase can help keep your space breezy and comfortable.

7. Pick a New Paint Color

A fresh coat of paint can work wonders in revitalizing your living space. Whether you opt for a complete color change or focus on an accent wall, painting is a low-cost, high-impact way to infuse new life into your home.

In  the living room of a luxury Montecito home, a grouping of atelier windows – slanted to showcase the hillside - are complemented by a high ceiling and modernist angles..

8. Brighten the Space

Upgrade your lighting fixtures to instantly transform the ambiance of any room. From recessed lighting and sconces, to pendants and chandeliers, there are plenty of options to choose from. Additionally, consider swapping out light bulbs or adding touch and remote lights for a cost-effective lighting makeover.

9. Update Your Hardware

Give your kitchen and bathroom a quick facelift by updating cabinet pulls and doorknobs. This simple change can bring a fresh and modern look to your living spaces. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even explore more unique and personalized hardware options.

10. Have Your Home Deep Cleaned

February is the perfect time for a thorough cleaning session. Take the opportunity to have your staff refresh carpets, wash walls, and disinfect surfaces in every room. Don't forget the windows; clean window treatments or blinds, and give the windowsills a good scrub.

11. Tech Your Space

Bring your home into the 21st century with smart technology. Upgrading to a video doorbell, lights controlled through your phone, or a digital thermostat can make your home smarter and your life a little easier. Many smart home tech options are user-friendly and can be installed without expert assistance.

A classic Cape Cod style home with a pool in the foreground and mountains in the background.

Bonus Tip: Plan for the Future with Your Home

As we celebrate love, consider envisioning your future with your home. Whether it's making small upgrades or planning for a larger renovation, your home is a vital part of your life story. Explore the possibilities and take steps toward creating the living space that aligns with your vision.

This Valentine month, turn your Santa Barbara home into a sanctuary of love and joy. Small changes can make a big difference in how you feel about your living space. By following the tips above, it won’t be hard to fall in love with your home all over again.

Should your current home fail to steal your heart, rest assured, I'm ready to assist you in discovering a new abode within the lovable neighborhoods of Santa Barbara. Reach out to me for a complimentary consultation at (805) 886-9378 or via email at I'm more than happy to provide personalized guidance on both selling and buying. Meantime, make this Valentine's Month a truly special celebration of love to your family, friends and home.

Of Related Interest:

Back to Articles

Client Reviews

“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