Feng shui, the 3,000-year-old Chinese art of arranging surroundings to achieve a balanced “chi,” or energy, is increasingly being adopted to help people feel more at peace in their abodes.
The result is a healthier home or work environment and a more connected you, says Nadia Vee, award-winning designer, feng shui and staging expert, owner of Great Neck-based GNR Design, LTD., and faculty member of the Metropolitan Institute of Design.
Vee offers tips to get started with feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) and embark on a wondrous path of opportunity
CLUTTER BE GONE
Sounds daunting, but by decluttering your space from nonessential “stuff,” you free your mind and almost instantly gain clarity, inviting opportunities for new, positive emotions and successes.
“Ask yourself, ‘Do I need it? Do I love it? Do I use it?’” Vee says.
If the answer is “No,” bid farewell.
OPENING TO PEACE
The path of opportunity begins at the front door.
“It is the transition between the outer and inner world,” says Vee.
This is where you make your first impression to others and set the tone for your day, your mood and your life. Make sure you can open the door to a 90-degree angle.
“If you can’t, it means you’re blocking opportunities,” she says.
Clear the entranceway of piles of shoes, magazines, newspapers or boxes. No squeaky door hinges. No overgrown greens.
Don’t take the easy way out by entering and exiting through side or garage doors, Vee says.
COOK UP PROSPERITY
It’s no secret that the kitchen is often the key gathering place for company and the life source of your home, where good, healthy food is prepared and enjoyed amongst family and friends.
The kitchen is symbolic of health, wellness and prosperity, says Vee. She suggests a round table with no sharp edges, a clean stove, and a decor that features earthy tones, not just on the walls and cabinetry but with displayable food — colorful fruits and vegetables and an herb garden, too.
FOSTER JOY, SERENITY
The living room or family room is where you entertain friends and enjoy quality time with family.
It’s where you socialize in the comfort of your home, regroup and reconnect. Earthy colors are [again] very important, says Vee.
“They enhance the mood,” she says.
Create a focal point — a fireplace, television or coffee table, in an area where everyone can gather together. Comfy seating is super important. This room needs to be warm and inviting.
Sentimental photos or children’s artwork are also a nice touch.
ART INSPIRES CONVERSATION
Art has information, a story. Nature has life. When both are strategically placed in the environment, energy radiates throughout.
Choose art — paintings, sculptures, photos, a special vase — that carries a positive message or triggers a fond memory. Welcome beauty, strength, prosperity and growth with lush, living plants, orchards or palm trees…a bouquet of homegrown flowers on the kitchen table, in the living room and hallway.
“If you have a small, dark bathroom, display a bamboo with rocks…you will be amazed how good it will do,” says Vee.
THE THREE S’S
“Sleep, sex and senses,” says Vee. “You’re spending so much of your life in the bedroom, replenishing your energy and connecting to your senses.”
The bed should be comfortable and always have fresh linens. Situate it against the wall with a clear view of the door and window(s) from the headboard. Represent an equal partnership by placing a nightstand on either side and assuring that there’s space for each partner to walk around the bed.
“The bedroom is a sacred place for you and your partner,” says Vee.
Decorate with soft, pastel colors. Avoid photos and memorabilia that are tied to negative memories.
When you initiate feng shui, you’re not just enhancing decor, you’re taking the next step toward a better you, Vee says.