Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Porches & Patios & Feng Shui

I’m trying, friends. I’m really trying to post regularly and in some sort of sense here.

It’s not working out too well. Yet. And while it’s a small group of us – so far – that are interested in feng shui, what I write and how often is very important to me. To be fair (to myself) I paint a lot more than I work on the feng shui of my home. So I have a lot more content for my painting blog.

But that’s still no excuse. I’ve wondered how other bloggers keep up with multiple blogs so easily. Then this morning I read this post from The Nester who has {gulp} four blogs! And then I relaxed and quit beating myself up. And then a few hours later I was inspired to write this post.

I think there’s a message in there somewhere.

For now, I’ll keep trying to post regularly. Eventually I’ll have enough posts so I can categorize all of them in a way that makes sense. Eventually.


Acadian Home traditional porch

For this blog I get 99% of my photos from Houzz. The photos are lovely and work perfectly for demonstration purposes. Today I got a little carried away and just started righting, creating an Ideabook for Porches & Patios. Since pictures speak a thousand words – and I added a few hundred more in captions – just head over to Houzz to see visual examples of Porches & Patios.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How To Position The Bed

In feng shui, there are areas called Power Spots. It’s no coincidence that Power Spots fall in areas where we spend a great deal of our time – at the stove, our desks, and our beds.

Las Palmas Viejas Master Bedroom mediterranean bedroom

Power Spots have one thing in common – you want to be in the “command” position. This means that you can see the entrance into the room while your at the stove, your desk, or in your bed. This can pose problems because a lot of western architecture doesn’t allow for this.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yin and Yang in the Kitchen

Typically speaking, kitchens have yang energy more than yin. Kitchens are workspaces and need that yang energy.
Kitchen surfaces are smooth – tile, linoleum, stainless steel, etc. – and energy flows fast on those surfaces. We want our kitchens bright and full of light (yang energy) because it helps us see, and work, better.
I did a lot of searching, trying to find pictures of yin kitchens. It was hard to find kitchens with yin elements, but I found a handful.
Urban Transitional Residence modern kitchen
While the counters and appliances in this kitchen are stainless steel, the hanging shelves bring a yin energy to the space. Even though they appear to be made of glass, or plexiglass, (yang) the mere fact that they’re hanging brings the energy downward, creating yin. The dark wood cabinetry and chairs also bring yin energy into the space.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yin & Yang in The Home

Feminine/Masculine. Light/Dark. These are common thoughts of what Yin and Yang represent. But there’s so much more. Yin and yang represent complementary opposites. And everything can be expressed in terms of yin/yang balance.

Yin is passive and yang is active. So how is that represented in your home? We’ll get to some common symbolisms in a minute. But first, it’s important to know what you, yourself, are drawn to – more yin or more yang. There’s no right or wrong to this. It’s just who you are and where you feel better – in environments with more yin energy or more yang energy. Often we find that it’s not a static thing either. Sometimes I feel better with yin, sometimes with yang. However, mostly I am ‘at home’ with yin energy.

Here’s the thing – just because yin energy feels the most comfortable to me doesn’t mean it’s always the ‘best’ for me. Sometimes I need motivation, energy, light – yang energy. And even though it doesn’t feel ‘comfortable’, it’s what I need to move forward, to get things accomplished.

So let’s look at some common keywords for yin and yang so you’ll begin to identify items in your home with their energies.

Yin is . . .
Yang is . . .
dark light
muted bright
curved straight
dimly lit brightly lit
moist dry
low high
quiet loud
soft hard
horizontal, sinking vertical, rising
empty full
decreasing, reducing, shrinking growing, expanding
hidden exposed
earthy urbane
traditional innovative
cool warm
still moving

Take a look around the room your in right now. After reading the chart above, does it feel more yin or yang to you? Or fairly equal?


While an equal balance seems to be an obvious choice, it’s not always the optimal choice for an environment. Next time we’ll look at some photos of interiors so you get a better ‘feeling’ of yin and yang in colors and furniture.

Friday, March 25, 2011

No Time to Feng Shui?

Pickles & Lollipops

Happy Friday! Today I have a special treat for you – a guest post by Margaret at Pickles & Lollipops.

Margaret has a wonderful take on keeping your home in ‘feng shui condition’ in just a few minutes! I dunno about you, but I certainly can use some timesaving tips!

So, here you go . . . take it away, Margaret!


Have you read about Feng Shui only to think, "right, like I have time to tweak each area of my home when I don't have time to do a load of laundry." Well, I am here to tell you that you can Feng Shui your home. Sure, you can definitely go gua (area) by gua and fine tune the good and weed out the bad. However, you could also do a few overall steps that will certainly cause your home to become more balanced with better chi (energy) and that truly is the overall goal of Feng Shui. 

  • The Stove/Oven - A big overall symbol of good chi in Feng Shui is the stove. Keep it clean, in and out, clutter free and in good working order. Don't cook? Turn the burners on occasionally for about ten seconds each. 
  • Water Feature - Having a water fountain in your home, especially near the entrance, is favorable. If you can't keep it clean though, don't have one! A fishbowl or beach landscape will work to. 
  • Main Home Entrance - First impressions mean a lot, and that goes double in Feng Shui. Keep things neat, clean and attractive. Be sure it welcomes guests, and doesn't scare them away. 
  • Plants - Living plants and silk or other fake plants are both good anywhere in the home if 1) they are kept up/clean 2) they are not dried 3) are not in the cactus family. 
  • Pipes & Toilets, Oh My! - Good chi tends to go down the drain and be flushed down making pipes and toilets necessary evils. A quick remedy is to tie red ribbon around the water pipes under the sinks and behind the toilets. They won't be visible and they combat the bad effects.
  • Good Scents - Be generous with candles. If you have little ones the flameless one's work just fine!
  • Clutter Free & Clean - It doesn't matter what book you read on Feng Shui, these two things are included. Granted, with a busy family it may be tough but instead of throwing in the towel - try to accomplish something, no matter how small each day. This goes for organizing and/or cleaning. it may not always all look just done, but nothing will get completely out of hand.

By following the hints above, you will be putting in place some of the most important Feng Shui steps for putting balance and good energy into your home. Think of it as an ongoing practice. It doesn't all have to be done overnight. Remember - Reaching a goal in any endeavor usually comes from cumulative effort not overnight success.


So true, Margaret! Thanks so much for your great post today. I hope everyone takes a minute to thank Margaret for her article.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Apply Feng Shui To Your Home – Drawing a Footprint


The first thing I do when I want to apply feng shui to a house is draw a footprint. Not a floorplan – a footprint.

Big difference.

Now, you can measure walls, windows, furniture, appliances and draw a floorplan if you want. Knock yourself out. To me, it’s just not that necessary.


There are a couple of goals here –

  • applying the Bagua to the home
  • finding the relationship between doors and windows
  • establishing drain locations in the Bagua

If you want to reposition your furniture, you might find this post on space planning helpful.



Okay, here’s what you’ll need to draw a simple footprint -

  • blank paper (a few sheets because you’ll probably redraw it a few times. I did.)
  • pencil & eraser
  • felt pen
  • ruler
  • sheet protector

You’ll want to draw the house on an 8-1/2” x 11” piece of paper so it will fit inside the sheet protector.

If you have a 2 story house, we’ll address the second story in a later post.


Here’s my pencil sketch. I started with the front door, then to the left, to the right, and worked my way around the entire outside of the house. Then I filled in the rooms.

You can do it that way, or start with the front door, add the room you first see, and work your way around the house, room by room.

Either way works, but don’t be surprised if it takes a few times to get it just right.


I thought I had it down, so I took out my felt pen and went over the pencil marks.



Nope. First try was a scratch.



Second try was a little better. I’ll work with this one just for this tutorial.



Next, draw little boxes on the walls to represent windows. You don’t have to actually measure the windows, but try to get them in proper relationship to doors, if possible. That will be important later on.



Then draw in all the drains –

  • kitchen – sink(s) & dishwasher
  • bathroom – sink(s), toilet, tub, shower
  • laundry room – sink, washing machine

You could stop here if you want. This is enough information to place the Bagua over the house and see which room falls where.


Or, you could continue on and draw in the furniture layout.

Later on, we’ll get to lighting, plants, mirrors, etc. This is plenty to start with.


Now, put your footprint into the sheet protector.


You want to divide the main portion of the house into 3 areas, both horizontally and vertically.

I say the main portion because you’ll likely have areas that project outward or recede inward. You can read this post on Projections & Missing areas if you want a little more background.



I used a purple felt pen to draw the Bagua just for demonstration purposes.



I tried to write the Bagua areas on the outside of the home, except for the Health area in the center, and the corresponding colors. But if you don’t have colored felt pens, no worries. Just use what you’ve got.

If you want to download the Bagua map, I drew one up here.  Just remember to place the Bagua so your front door lies in either Knowledge, Career, or Helpful People.

*there are exceptions to this if your front door sets back from a front room and the garage. Then you’d put the bottom sector of the Bagua over that front room and garage and see where your front door lies – possibly Health.


Another thing I do is apply the Bagua to each independent room – based, again, on the doorway of that room. I use the other side of the sheet protector for that. It winds up being small, but it’s helpful. When you’re working on a particular area, say Career, it’s really helpful to actually see the Career area in each and every room.

You might be surprised. Often, you’ll find clutter in those areas, or things that need repaired, or drains.

It happens all the time.


So that’s our starting place. Once you have your footprint and the Bagua, everything will be a lot easier and make more sense.

Since my house has two stories, I’ll address how to apply the Bagua in my next post.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Keepin’ It Real

While I sit here in the new/old house, feeling overwhelmed and nearly paralyzed, I thought, “How did I get here? How did my life become this?”

Six months ago I lost my house, so I moved in with my mother full time. For the past 2 years I had been splitting time between her home and my own. Most of our belonging went into storage, save for a few clothes and my paints.

Not the best situation, being away from my husband, but only a temporary one until we get back on our feet.

Then my mom loses her 3 year old home. Which means another move, back to my childhood home – the house she couldn’t sell which eventually lead to the foreclosure of her new home, the house that needs more cleaning, updating, painting, and maintenance then I can bear to thing about.

I was so overwhelmed by all of this that I couldn’t begin to write about feng shui. It just felt hypocritical. How could I – someone who lost not one, but two homes, write about creating a space full of harmony and blessings?

Now – I’ve never claimed to be a feng shui expert. I’m a student. An enthusiast. Yes, I’ve taught classes, but I think I’ve learned more from my students than they from me. Yes, I’ve done home consultations, but I think I’ve spent more time on the consultations than the clients did on making adjustments to their home. But still, I enjoy sharing what knowledge, or lack or it, I have with Blogland.

How did I wind up here, after making all the necessary feng shui adjustments to my home(s)?

Then it hit me – I changed things in the houses, but didn’t change my thinking. You may or may not subscribe to positive thinking and the Law of Attraction, but – to me – it’s the one constant, the one thing that makes sense. Yet, knowing that, knowing feng shui principles, I’m still in a situation that is hard for me to fathom.

So the tone and tenor of this blog is changing for a time. I’ll be sharing all my trials and tribulations (and hopefully successes) of cleaning, updating and painting the new/old house, and all the feng shui adjustments and effects (if any). I’ll be candid about my thought patterns in the hopes of helping some of you, not to mention myself!

I want to thank those of you who have hung in with me so far, and will continue to hang in there for the nitty gritty of cleaning a very old house – and I’m not just talking about the one with four walls, I’m also talking about the house inside my head!