We are all used to applying the word “holistic” to our bodies but architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho believes that it is also relevant to property.
Anjie, a feng shui expert and an architect with an interest in eco-friendly design, is perfectly placed to show us how to turn our homes into calm, balanced and harmonious oases. Her book, Holistic Spaces, published by Cico, £9.99, has 108 tips that blend everything from feng shui to Buddhist and Taoist philosophies and environmental psychology. She says: “Holistic spaces are designed by looking beyond the surface to create awareness and an environment that supports and nurtures the inhabitants.”
The book is a fascinating read and begins with a feng shui bagua map that you can align with the entrance to each of your rooms. It splits the space into nine areas, each relating to a different energy covering everything from new beginnings and relationships to wealth, health and knowledge. It then suggests what you can do to improve these areas.
Decorating with colour is another basic way of adjusting your feng shui. “Humans rely heavily on visuals to adapt to the world around them, therefore colour has a huge influence on our moods, healing and emotions,” says Anjie.
Greens, teals and blues are associated with new beginnings and growth. Green is aligned with the heart chakra, which is related to emotional healing and empathy.
“The placement of green plants, living or fake, also promotes growth and healing in the home,” says Anjie, who adds that purple is connected with wealth and abundance and flesh tones are appropriate for restful rooms, such as the bedroom.
Peach and soft pink are also useful for the bedroom as flatter your skin tone and peach is a lucky colour for attracting a romantic partner.
“In feng shui, peach is a very lucky colour for attracting a partner. We call it ‘peach blossom luck'. It is ideal to paint your bedroom peach and wear peach to attract your future mate,” says Anjie.
Fashionable grey is good for most spaces as it is tranquil and quiet as it is a balance of black and white, yin and yang. If you have painted your walls in soff-whites, you've done the right thing because they are “soft and friendly”.
However, while black is related to wisdom, Anjie advises that it is best used sparingly as too much can be oppressive and depressing.
Refresh your front door: Make sure you clean the door and repaint, if necessary. Make sure the doorbell and hardware is in good condition. You should also vacuum under the doormat. The front door is where energy can enter your home. An excellent way to attract this is to get a new doormat in red or black if possible and, ideally, it should be the same width as the door. You should also use this door regularly. If possible, open it every day. If you forget about using it, you miss opportunities to bring positive energies into you life and home.
Orange peel: In feng shui, oranges and orange peel represent vibrant, life-affirming yang energy. Orange essence is refreshing and happy and contributes to positive and brightening energy. Fresh orange peel works best but you can also use orange essential oil. Place the peel of one orange or 27 drops of the oil into a spray bottle, fill it with water and walk round your house spraying the citrus essence, paying special attention to dead corners and closets. Do this on an annual or even monthly basis.
Double your burners: Your stove represents your wealth and how you nourish yourself. Make sure it is in a commanding position. If possible set up a mirror behind or next to it as this will multiply the burners. In feng shui, the more burners on your stove, the more abundance and prosperity for the occupants of the home.
Sing: When we sing we activate fire energy in our hearts. Take some time to sing every day. It exercises your lungs and abdominal muscles and releases endorphins. When I sing I visualise the sound waves twirling through the air to the other end of the room, filling it with energy and joy. It doesn't hurt to dance too.
Fresh flowers: Fresh flowers can bring in joy and uplift the energy of your home. It is always great to bring in local and seasonal flowers, if possible. Be sure to keep flowers fresh, removing any dead leaves or flowers and by replacing the water on a daily basis.