Listen: Feng Shui for Home Renovations

The Home Discovery Show's Ian Power and I are at it again! This week we talked about the lunar new year for the Year of the Ram and how to incorporate feng shui into your home renovations. Tune in for answers to these questions and more! 

Interview Transcript:

IP: Anjie Cho is a holistic interior architect and a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. A registered architect in the State of New York and a certified Feng Shui practitioner, Anjie creates beautiful spaces throughout New York and beyond. And we reached her today in California, good morning.

AC: Good morning.

You’re on West Coast time today.

Yes, yes, I’m in California this week.

Whereabouts in California?

I’m in the Los Angeles area in Burbank.

Nice of you to join us this morning. Your new book is already a best seller on Amazon, congratulations for that, that’s quite an accomplishment. It also tells us that there’s a huge interest in the things that you do and talk about. The book, 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes. What does that mean to the unwashed?

Well, Feng Shui is a philosophy where you can look at your environment as a metaphor for your life. So if you began to look at how your environment, which means your home, your office, how those spaces affect you, you can make positive shifts in your life. Everybody knows when you’re happy in your home and you feel like you have clean, supportive environment, you feel much more successful, and things come a lot easier in your life so that’s really what it’s about. My goal for the book was to create 108 simple tips that people could use to incorporate Feng Shui and Green Design principles in their life to create a more holistic environment that supports them and nurtures them.

It’s a beautiful book by the way. There’s a lot of comfort in holding your book, just the way it’s laid out and the look of it, maybe all of this ties in. I wanted to ask you about the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year which is February 19th, that’s the Year of the Ram, and what, if any, implications that might have on what you do.

Well, it’s interesting. I think we talked the other day Ian, we’re coming out of the year of the horse and into the year of the ram. And the year of the horse; what does the horse do? A horse just runs and runs, and sometimes they hit walls and they just keep going, and it was a very active and crazy year. So I have all these things that are finally coming to a culmination right now. So it seems like a lot of things are happening right now with my book and I started an online store and my business. So this coming year, the year of the ram, is a lot more thoughtful and slower. The ram is also the same as the sheep. The sheep like to go around in herds and they like to pass a lot of friends around them and a lot of support and they move a lot more slowly, so this year is going to be a lot more thoughtful, a lot more introspective I think. There’s going to be less hitting walls and more of people getting along and supporting each other.

That’s good news. And how do we tie that in to home renovations and/or home design and decoration?

Well, I think it’s a good time to just remind yourself if you’re in a middle of a renovation or you’re considering doing renovations, why not incorporate some Feng Shui aspects into the changes that you make? I found that most of my clients, maybe they’re not interested in Feng Shui but they’re like, well, why not? Everyone’s actually becoming so much more open to it because everyone understands that your environment is so important to you especially if you’re doing a home renovation. You want to spend probably a lot of your savings on making your home just the perfect space for you to support you and your family whether you want to entertain and have your friends over for great dinners and/or have your family come stay with you or your grandchildren... There’re so many emotions and positive things involved with renovation that why not make the most of it and add in some Feng Shui tips in your renovations?

Let’s talk about the kitchen because that’s everybody’s favorite room. What are some Feng Shui tips for the kitchen?

There’s a couple Feng Shui tips. One is the kitchen cabinet. Now, a lot of people sometimes get pre-fabricated kitchen cabinets, and that’s okay if you can’t afford a custom kitchen cabinet. But if possible, try to push your cabinets, your upper cabinets, all the way to the ceiling or create a soffit above, because in Feng Shui, that area, that gap between the ceiling and the top of the cabinet, that’s a place where dead energy can collect, and if you think about it in a practical sense, it’s a dust collector. The idea is that this is a place where energy can stagnate, and it causes problems with your health and with your prosperity in your life. So just push them all the way, either push them to the ceiling or drop a soffit or put another sort of cabinet up there. And nowadays, people also have taller backsplashes because they want to accommodate like those blenders and whatnot, so we’re not seeing shorter backsplashes anymore. So that’s one of my first tips, so push your kitchen cabinet, the upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling. 

Sure. What about the stove? I know that’s an important part of Feng Shui.

The stove is really important. When we look at the three most important areas or objects in your home,  the first 3 are your bed, your stove and your desk. So the stove is really important because this is how we nourish ourselves, we cook, we feed, it’s a modern hearth, right? Everyone gathers around the kitchen now, especially with these open kitchens where we have the island. Where the stove is located is really important for the prosperity in your life because how well you nourish yourself relates to how well you can work in the world and bring abundance in your life. So if you are in a place where your stove, for instance, is not facing the door so your back is facing the entry door or you can’t see what or who’s coming in to the room, that actually puts you in a position of stress and fear, and you actually can put that energy into your food where you’re cooking and that doesn’t help you. So if you’re going to renovate your kitchen, if possible, it would be great if you could position your stove so you can see the entry towards the kitchen where most of the people are coming in so that when you’re cooking, you’re in command of your space, you’re not in a place where your back is exposed, where you don’t know what’s happening so you’re in full control, you’re happy, you're stress free and you’re relaxed while you’re cooking and nourishing yourself.

Makes sense.

And if that’s not possible, you can set up a mirror or say even like a mirror teapot on your stove so you can, it’s like a little cheat, that you can see behind you like what one of those convex rearview mirrors


So then consciously and subconsciously, you know that you could still see behind you if you heard someone coming.

Sure. Just want to move along Anjie, just because we’re just about at time and I want to make sure that I get this in, because I think one of the easiest things to do and certainly affordable things to do is to create a more inviting entry, and I want to know how and why that’s important to Feng Shui.

In Feng Shui, your entry represents your space in the world and especially, unless you're retired, most people want to have the best relationships come to you, the best opportunities come to you, and if your entry is not inviting then it’s hard for that energy or that chi to find your front door and come in to your life. So one thing is to push your entry out beyond the space of the home, that would help because it actually adds more space, more energy to that entry area. You also should really make it stand out and attractive and easy to find. There’s so many times where I see front doors hidden behind a bush or you park your car but you have no idea do I go left, do I go right, how do I get to the door…

You know what Anjie? I’m going to have to leave it there just because of time but you know what? The rest of the answer is in 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes by Anjie Cho. Look for it online at Anjie, we’ll get you back, we’re going to talk about college and other things the next time you join us on the Home Discovery Show. Thanks for your time and we’ll be back on the Home Discovery Show from the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show

by Anjie Cho

From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

Join Ian Power every Sunday from 10 to 11 am PT as he’s joined by experts on home renovations and upgrades, plus the latest tools and tricks from the trades.