Furniture Arranging with Feng Shui

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to totally transform the energy in a room is to simply move the furniture. Here’s the thing: Far more important than the style and color of your couch and how much you paid for it, how you arrange your furniture is absolutely key to the feel and function of a space. And nowhere is that more important than a living room or family room.

I’ve seen sofas placed like barricades, blocking easy entry (and energy flow) into a room. I’ve seen them backed up against windows so as to prohibit the easy operation of blinds and shades. I’ve seen furniture arrangements so confused, you’d need a GPS to figure out the traffic flow in the room. In all of these situations, the rooms ended up being barely used by the homes’ inhabitants—the furniture placement literally blocked relationships and family togetherness, and did nothing to enhance social gatherings.

But there is one phenomenon that I’ve found more common than all the others. I call it the “Pushing All the Furniture Against the Wall” syndrome.

This happens when people position every sofa and chair in a room around its perimeter, backed up to a wall, or stuck in a corner, leaving a big open space in the middle. I’ve seen the syndrome exhibited in homes large and small, and when I ask people why they have chosen to arrange the furniture this way, I inevitably get the same answer: “It makes the room look bigger.”

I recall one jumbo size suburban house I was asked to consult on. You couldn’t have made the home’s vast double-height living room look small even if you tried, yet all of the furniture was lined up against a wall or set in the corners. It looked like you’d have to shout to have a conversation and would need a pair of binoculars to watch TV. It was no surprise to me when the homeowner disclosed that her family tended not to hang out in the room. But when I suggested we move the furniture, she protested: “But won’t that make the room look smaller?”

Here’s what I say: There is no absolute value in a room looking bigger. The more important thing to consider is: What do you want that space to serve in your life? What are some things you and your family want to do in that room and how do you want to feel when you’re in it?

If you practice ballroom dancing in your living room on a daily basis, or your kid uses the room to train for gymnastics competitions, then, by all means, push that furniture up against the wall and leave that open space in the middle. For you, it serves a function.

But for most of us, that is not the case. Our living rooms and family rooms are primarily places to relax, read, entertain, watch television, and connect with a partner and/or our kids. So, want to enhance your family and social life? Pull that lonely furniture away from those walls and think about arranging it in a convivial “U” shape that promotes conversation and eye contact. Or bring  two armchairs out of the corners (where they bock the flow of energy in the room) and set them side by side to face the couch directly, with a coffee table in between (like the lovely room pictured in the photo above). Just remember that a good distance for easy conversing is no more than about 8 ft.

If it is possible to do so, a good Feng Shui rule of thumb is to place your sofa so that its occupants can see the main entrance into the room.

Of course, pulling the furniture away from the walls means moving side tables and lamps as well, which might mean moving them away from wall outlets. To avoid cords trailing across the room, consider having in-floor electrical outlets installed exactly where you need them.

Remember to plan for traffic flow. Decide on the points where people will exit and enter a room, and how they’ll circulate, and leave about 3 feet of clearance for them to move through those spaces.

And what if your living room is also the location of your TV? That’s a subject for a whole other blog post. But I will say this: Unless it’s specifically a media room, orienting all of the furniture around a giant flat-screen TV can have a way of making TV-watching the dominant activity in a room, energetically blocking its potential for other kinds of activities. If that’s not what you want, consider your options carefully.

Finally, there is a ton of great information and ideas on furniture arranging on the web, including a slideshow with tips from Better Homes & Gardens here, one from Traditional Home magazine here, and another on the Apartment Therapy site, here.

So get moving!

 

Eils Lotozo is a Feng Shui expert, writer, and speaker who loves to help and inspire people to create homes that reflect who they are and support the life they want to live.  Read more about Eils.

 

 

Article/Image Source: Furniture Arranging with Feng Shui

Feng Shui for Love

Whether you are in a committed relationship or still searching for The One,” Feng Shui paves the way for more harmonious relationships. Feng Shui helps you recognize how your space reflects your life and encourages you to create a new relationship with your space. Find out more details and ideas from Kim Julen, Finding Your Fiji.

  

Feng Shui for Love by Kim Julen

In the relationship arena, Feng Shui can help:

  • Bring balance, equality and harmony
  • Get the sparks flying again
  • Attract your soul mate
  • Reduce/eliminate arguments
  • Improve relationships with family, friends and coworkers
  • Deepen your relationship with yourself or creator

There are two main areas in your home we look at to improve relationships. One area is the partnership corner. (If you’re new to Feng Shui, click here to read my blog on Feng Shui’s mental map, the Bagua, to learn how your space reflects your life.) The other area is your bedroom, no matter where it’s located in your home. In this article, I’m focusing primarily on your bedroom. Ideally, this should be your favorite room in the house, an oasis that is both romantic and peaceful.

Let’s first talk about the things to AVOID in your bedroom:

  1. Clutter: As in every area of your home or office, clutter represents stuck energy. It’s also distracting. So, if you’re trying to get your partner in the right mood, removing clutter from the bedroom will help them feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed.
  2. Dirt: This can represent staleness in your relationship. To keep your Partnership fresh and new feeling, keep your bedroom dusted and clean. You will sleep better too!
  3. Dead Things: One client I worked with had pictures of dead relatives decorating a corner of her bedroom! Sometimes we place things in spaces without really think about the metaphorical message we are sending. You want things that are alive and thriving in your bedroom and Partnership area of your home. Remove any dried flowers from your bedroom (and home) as well.
  4. Pictures of your kids and other people: Even if the relatives are living, we do not want them invading our bedroom, right? And kids certainly are important in our life, but again, we do not need them coming between us and our partner. The bedroom is your personal partnership space.
  5. Toys and stuffed animals: We want to be an adult in our relationships so childish things do not belong in the bedroom. If they are keepsakes or mementos that you love, they can be placed in another area of the home – perhaps in the Creativity and Children area.

Next, let’s talk about the things you DO WANT in your bedroom. What can you do to get the love lava flowing again or to attract your soul mate?

  1. Two equal size/weight night stands: This symbolizes equality in the relationship and is particularly important if you currently do not have a partner. What does it say if one partner has a large dresser on their side and the other a small nightstand? Or if one partner has no nightstand at all? Will they have much say in the relationship? Matching lamps will bring additional balance and harmony to your love connection.
  2. Art symbolizing what you want in your relationship: Look at the art on your bedroom walls. Is it romantic? Or do you have pictures of a frozen lake? Is it peaceful and copacetic or showing conflict? Are there single people or animals depicted in the paintings? That single cowboy picture not only shows a desert, but the guy is alone, right? That leads me to the next tip…
  3. Pairs of things: Pairs represent partnership and intentionally placing pairs of things in your bedroom will help balance your relationship.
  4. A current picture of the two of you, if you’re in a partnership, should be placed in your bedroom and will help solidify your bond. Sometimes I recommend a wedding picture be placed here too, to help you remember how you felt when you fell in love.
  5. Vibrant, living things: To really promote a healthy sex life, place 9 lush plants in the bedroom. Then, make sure you keep them alive!
  6. Add Pink and Fire: The partnership color is pink and adding a dash of it here or there intentionally will boost your budding or rekindling relationship. Adding the element of fire, which is all about passion, will further heat things up. You can use the color red to represent fire or physical fire (like candles) or triangle shapes. We don’t like fireplaces in bedrooms, because it’s too much energy to allow you to sleep well. However, the Partnership area of your main level is a perfect place for a fireplace.

Making changes in your Partnership area and bedroom with intention means taking time to really think about what you want to cultivate in your relationships.

Your bedroom is a key Feng Shui area. It can affect not only your relationships, but also your sleep, your health, and your mind.

 

Kim JulenKim Julen, founder of Finding Your Fiji, is a dynamic thought leader, writer, entrepreneur, speaker and shift master. She provides unique tools, guidance and courses to bring harmony to your head, heart and home. Read more about Kim.

 

Article/Image Source: Feng Shui for Love

Encourage Rest and Regeneration in Bedrooms

Rest and regeneration are fundamental to our well-being and have an important role in aiding in recuperation as well. Because they are the quietest environments in the home, bedrooms are often the first location where we retire to heal.  Read tips and hints from Feng Shui expert and teacher, Los Angeles based, Alex Stark.

Source: Pinterest/Ballard Designs - bedrooms

Source: Pinterest/Ballard Designs

  • Bedrooms should be located in a quiet, protected area of the house, preferably towards the rear of the building. A corner with Southwestern exposure is ideal.
  • Bedrooms should not have more than one doorway.
  • Bedrooms should not face a stairway, elevator or any exit doors.
  • Bedrooms should not be located at the end of corridors, next to stairs or elevators or directly adjacent to bathrooms, parking garages, or mechanical rooms.
  • Position your bed diagonally opposite the entry door and in such a way that you can see the door when lying in bed. If you can’t, hang a mirror so that you can see the door from the bed.
  • Mirrors are best avoided in the bedroom. If you have to have one, make sure you cannot see yourself reflected in the mirror when lying in bed. Restlessness, poor sleep and loss of performance can be the result.
  • Position your bed so that your feet do not point out the door. If you cannot avoid this, place a table, screen or hanging crystal between the door and the bed.
  • Avoid overhanging beams or knifelike corners pointing at the bed, especially across it.
  • Avoid bedrooms under slanted ceilings. If at all possible, have a flat drop-ceiling.
  • Your bed should rest with its back against a solid wall.
  • The headboard should be higher than the foot board.
  • In a home where the male is too dominant, decorate with additional symbols of the feminine: seashells, the moon, round, oval or crescent shapes, the color yellow, or earth materials such as stone or clay.
  • In a home where the female is too dominant, decorate with additional symbols of the masculine: animals, the sun, square or blunt objects, grandfather clocks, hunting scenes and paraphernalia, metallic objects and the color white.
  • During pregnancy do not move the bed to avoid the risk of a miscarriage.
  • Have your bedrooms checked for Electro-Magnetic Fields (EMF’s) and for Geopathic Stresses

 

Alex StarkAlex Stark is an internationally recognized consultant, advisor, and teacher on issues of creativity, efficiency, and design. A graduate of the Yale University School of Architecture, he is a practitioner of Feng Shui and European Geomancy. Read more about Alex.

Front Door Feng Shui

Your Front Door Feng Shui – the simple guide to making the most of your entrance and your chi! By Maureen Calamia

Front Door, Maureen CalamiaIn feng shui, the front door is known as the “mouth of chi” in the ancient art of Feng Shui. It is the portal where the majority of subtle life force energy (chi) enters your home from the neighborhood. Feng shui uses a language of metaphor. If the front door is not positioned well or is blocked by some structure, it can affect all life areas of the inhabitants, including prosperity, career, health, relationships, etc.

I think that the most effective way to understand chi is to imagine it as a welcomed guest. Consider these issues below and imagine how a welcomed guest would feel when approaching your home for the first time.

Attractive and well-lit

Be sure that your front entry is well-lit to avoid feelings of lack of safety as well as tripping hazards! In addition, the entry should be attractive. Remember, first impressions are key when you have visiting guests.

Well-positioned

It is important to be able to see the door from the street. If chi cannot see your front door it causes delay and confusion in your life. Stagnation can set in. If the placement of your front door is not obvious from the street, light the pathway to it or add moving objects such as flags to attract attention to the placement of the door.

Handling a Blocking Tree

You may have a large tree or shrub blocking the view of the front door. You may consider cutting the shrub or tree back to open and expand the view. However, if this tree is beautiful and well-loved, you can actually give a blessing to the tree as protector of the home, such as I did with a large oak tree at their entrance.

Opens Easily

This seems pretty intuitive, but oftentimes I find that my client’s doors are difficult to open either due to the door frame or hardware. I had a client install a brand-new door in her renovation and she never opened the door from the outside before I visited (they used the side door, as many people do!) So, when I visited her for a consultation, I went outside and attempted to open the door into her foyer. I wasn’t able to! The hardware was not working as it should. Be sure that your door opens easily to allow the positive chi in.

Use the Front Door!

Now that your front door has wonderful Feng Shui, use it! It is important to open this door daily to provide the maximum chi into your home. If it’s more convenient to use the side door, I suggest my client use the front door to get the mail, walk the dog, and even to check the weather.

 

maureenkcalamia_RRMaureen Calamia is founder of the Re-Nature Feng Shui™ philosophy based on the fact that we need to restore nature back into our lives. Maureen brings her passion for Feng Shui to the greater community as an educator and long time past IFSG board member. Read more about Maureen.

 

 Article/Image Source: Front Door Feng Shui

Quick and Easy Feng Shui Ideas – for the Kitchen

Feng shui masters spend their lives studying the discipline, aligning themselves with various approaches such as black hat sect, traditional, or intuitive feng shui. But you can make instant design improvements with our quick and easy feng shui tips for your kitchen.  Read more about simple kitchen design ideas from Terah Kathryn Collins.

Quick and Easy Feng Shui Ideas - for the Kitchen, Terah CollinsLayout
The cook’s back should never face the kitchen entrance. If the cook is unaware of who enters and exists, he or she could be startled, transferring negative Ch’i into the food. Place the cooktop on an island so the cook can face the door. If the cook’s back must turn away from the entrance, hang a mirror on the backsplash or place a reflective object (like a tea kettle or a stainless steel utensil holder) on or beside the stove. This will allow the cook to remain aware of all activity.

  • The stove should not be placed under a window. Wind currents could pull the good Ch’i out of your food.
  • Elements of fire and water clash, leading to bad Ch’i. Design your kitchen with distance between the two-your stove should not be adjacent to your refriuigerator or sink. If such a placement is unavoidable, add a nourishing wood element-like a plant, butcher block, or wooden spoon-to turn the opposition into a cyclical relationship.

Organization

  • Pay attention to your stove. Food nourishes you, affecting your ability to work and earn money, and the Ch’i of your cooking area will affect your meal. Keep the burners clean and use each one equally to illustrate the movement of good fortune in your life.
  • Clutter crowds your kitchen’s surfaces, causing frustration and inihibiting the cook’s ability to prepare food. Keep all surfaces clear, storing all food and appliances not used on a daily basis out of sight.
  • Apply the same order to your pantry and cabinets. Broken items, empty boxes and containers, and unused food should be donated or discarded.
  • Keep trash and recycling centers out of sight. Garbage rarely signifies health and prosperity!
  • Don’t forget safety, an important component of feng shui. Knives should always be stored out of sight.
  • Nourishment is as much a product of the cook as the food itself. The cook’s focus and spirits are transferred to the food. Make every effort to structure your kitchen (and your life!) in a way that facilitates a relaxed, leisurely, and meditative cooking process.

Decorating

  • Plentiful food indicates prosperity. Hang pictures of fruits or vegetables on your kitchen’s walls to increase the sensation of abundance. Mirrors by your eating area, stove, or preparation will “double” your food as well, increasing wealth and health.
  • Surround yourself with meaningful things with positive Ch’i. Keep seashells gathered during a special family vacation on your windowsill, or display fresh flowers in an antique vase.
  • Remember-negative feelings and events tarnish the quality of your life. As a “feng shui rule of thumb,” surround yourself with whatever makes you comfortable and safe.
  • Sharp corners can be both unsafe and uncomfortable, Choose rounded corners over squared ones for tables, countertops, and chairs. Select wood over pointed glass tables. Hide and protect existing corners with plants and cushions.
  • When selecting your dining table, choose a softer, safer wood model over a pointed glass one. Oval and round tables are preferred over square and rectangular ones as they promote good Ch’i circulation.

 

Terah CollinsTerah Kathryn Collins is a best-selling author and the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui®. She is also the originator of Essential Feng Shui®, which focuses on the many valuable applications Feng Shui has in our Western culture while honoring the essence of its Eastern heritage. Read more about Terah.

 

Article/Photo Source:  Quick and Easy Feng Shui IdeasThe Western Guide to Feng Shui: Room By Room, by Terah Kathryn Collins

Is it the same if a robot vacuums your home?

We are always looking for ways to make our lives easier, faster, and better.  Technology can often be a great benefit to making things happen. When it comes to cleaning your home, how many of you use a robot vacuum – you know, the little device that runs on it’s own, happily sweeping away the dust bunnies and dirt left by you, your family, and your guests. Is there a downside to this lovely little invention?  Find out more from space clearing expert, Karen Kingston.

Robot vacuum, space clearing, Karen KingstonI’ve always been fascinated by how effectively vacuuming removes not just physical debris but also refreshes the energy of a room.

A vacuum cleaner is a physical, mechanical device, designed to suck up dust and all the inevitable bits that get dropped on the floor. But because stagnant energies also sink to floor level, it does a remarkably good job of revitalizing them too, through its vibrating, sweeping, sucking action. Or as Hoover’s oh so memorable advertising slogan of 1919 put it: ‘It Beats, as it Sweeps, as it Cleans.’

Robot vacuums
And now we have a new generation of robot vacuums, designed to clean up after us automatically without us having to lift a finger. The good quality ones are still too pricey to be mainstream, but it looks like the future of cleaning is heading that way. My question is, because no human operator is involved, does your home feel as clean after a robot has cleaned it as it does if you clean it yourself using a good old-fashioned handheld vacuum?

Technically (and depending on the efficiency of the model, of course), there may be no difference. The same amount of dust and dirt gets hoovered up and the floor looks equally clean. But just as food tastes different according to the love and care that is put into it by the person who cooks it, so a room can feel different according to whether it is vacuumed by a mechanical device or by a human who puts care into it. Scientists can’t measure this subtle quality, but most people can sure as heck taste it in food, and more sensitive folk will be able to feel the difference with a robot vacuum too.

So does it really matter?
Well, here we get into the realm of etheric awareness and space clearing. If you’ve ever had your home space cleared by one of the professionals I’ve trained, you will know how different it can feel after all the stagnant energies and astral imprints have been cleaned out and new, higher frequencies have been instilled. It is as if a fresh wind has swept through, cleansing and revitalizing the space at a very deep level, and resetting your home as a clean slate on which to write your life.

My husband, Richard, and I, regularly space clear our home and keep it energetically maintained in this way, so that it supports us in our lives rather than holding us back. Because of this, we have noticed a huge difference between how it feels when we vacuum the floors ourselves and how it feels when we hire someone to do this for us.

When we vacuum ourselves, we presence and own the space as we go. When a cleaner does it for us, he or she may use the same equipment, and it has the same mechanical action, but it never feels as clean. On a physical level there’s no difference, but at the higher levels, just as with food that is cooked without love and care, something is tangibly missing.

Or rather, here in the West it is. When we lived in Bali, we were fortunate to have a wonderful woman called Padmi who cleaned our home beautifully. Not just at the physical level, but at the higher levels too. The Balinese have space clearing rituals they perform on a daily basis, and they naturally carry spiritual forces of purification in their blood. Padmi did not just beat as she swept as she cleaned. She loved and cared for and presenced our home too. Ah, how we miss her now!

So there is a spiritual component that can be brought to the mundane action of vacuuming a home, and if the result can be so different when your average western cleaner does it, how much greater will this be if the task is relegated to a robot? I’ll leave it to you to experiment and discover for yourself.

 

Karen KingstonKaren Kingston has pioneered the development of space clearing since 1978 and is recognized as the western world’s leading authority in this field. Her two books, Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui and Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui are both million-copy bestsellers in 25 languages and have established themselves as ‘must read’ feng shui classics. Read more about Karen.

 

Article/Image Source: Is it the same if a robot vacuums your home?

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