Feng shui specialist and life coach shares her top tips for creating a balanced and harmonious home
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Feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient Chinese knowledge that originated 6,000 years ago. It explains how the placement of objects affects the energy flow in your home, and by extension your personal energy flow. Feng shui takes the approach that your surroundings affect not just your level of material comfort, but also your physical and mental health, relationships and success.
Profile: Zoi Mpichtas
Before discovering feng shui, I had a successful corporate career in the fashion industry as a chief operating officer for a multinational company. I felt trapped in a job that lacked meaning and purpose.
After a burnout (that's what happens when you work 90 hours a week and don't listen to your body), I booked my trip to Asia. That was my turning point. I discovered feng shui through research and decided to become a practitioner.
I work with private clients, architects and interior designers. We are currently working with Gert Voorjans (interior designer of Mick Jagger and Dries Van Noten) on his home and office in Antwerp. We also oversaw the design of a 40,000m2 residential building in Taipei for Zaha Hadid.
Though I do love 'total redos', a complete overhaul isn't always necessary. Most of my clients are seeking to improve an existing home, so we simply move the furniture and add some colors and objects in order to optimise the space.
3 common myths to avoid
People tend to falsely believe that feng shui is...
- a quick fix for all of your problems
- a superstitious or magical belief system, or a New Age system
- a luxury only the rich and famous can afford
Applying feng shui to your home
Symmetry and the yin and yang principle are key. The main aim is to find balance and harmony in your life through environmental analysis. Feng shui allows you to discover the potential of your home and make it work for you. I can draw up an energetic map of your home that relates to your desires, whether that's wealth, health or good relationships. Bedrooms: I look at beams, windows and wall decoration, especially above the bed. Positioning the bed under a beam can cause health issues, and wall decoration such as paintings above the bed affects the quality of your sleep. Living rooms: Try to avoid sitting under beams or with your back to a window, which can make you feel uncomfortable and restless. Closed or covered bookshelves improve the energy of a space, making the room more harmonious, balanced and peaceful.
9 tips for the layout of your home
- There should be an open space on the inside of the main door - no wall, bathroom or stove.
- Avoid a straight line from the front to a back door or window.
- The back of the house must be quiet.
- No bathrooms or utility rooms at the center of the house.
- Stoves should not be seen from the front door.
- The house cannot be divided in half by a hallway or staircase, as this causes divisions in the household.
- Doors should not be in alignment with beds.
- Place every bed against a solid wall.
- Toilets cannot be:
- in alignment with beds
- opposite the main door
- above the main door
- opposite or in alignment with the stove
Astrology in feng shui I can make differences without astrology but results are quicker and more profound with birth details. Colours Your favourable and unfavourable colours come from astrological analysis. From my experience, intuitive people are automatically attracted to their favourable colours, but this isn't always true. Elements If you favour fire, for instance, I would suggest making use of candles and the colours red, orange and purple. Having a fireplace in your home would also be ideal.
7 tips for workspaces
- Clean out your desk drawers and filing cabinets. Throw out, or recycle, anything you haven't used in six months.
- Do not face a wall.
- Face a window for yang energy.
- Do not sit in alignment with a door. The spot furthest from the door is a "protected" location, and we perform better at work when we feel safe and supported.
- Sit with your back to a solid wall. The back is the vulnerable yin side. It governs the quality of your health and relationships.
- To your left should be the most active energy - i.e. doors and windows. The left is the yang side, associated with male energy. It influences material opportunities, wealth and prosperity. If you cannot place your desk in this position, place a television, CD player or another object that generates activity.
- To your right should be quiet energy. The right is the receptive yin side, associated with female energy. Place heavy pieces of furniture here.
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