Q&A Sunday: What is the Best Art for the Bedroom?

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What is the best art to hang in the bedroom?

Magalie R., Los Angeles, CA

Hi Magalie,

Thanks for your question! I remember when you asked if it was good feng shui to have a painting of water in the bedroom. This one seems to be a follow up, as you're wondering what is the best art to hang in the bedroom

There are many times that I go into a single person’s bedroom and see art of single people, or the person's pet. While this is totally fine, usually the single person is looking to meet a partner. In feng shui we would say that by having images of single people you are giving the universe the message that you want to be alone. Now sometimes I see a lot of photos of the pet(s) as well. This may indicate that the single person has no room for a partner as the pet has filled up that spot.

If you want a partner (or already have one), feng shui encourages you to have things in pairs. So images in pairs whether it be people, or two things that are similar but not necessarily identical, give the universe the message that you’re ready to have a partnership that’s balanced and equal with another person. I'm not just talking about image of couples, but perhaps two similar pieces of art in similar frames.

In addition, the bedroom is a place of rest and relaxation. Any artwork that is tranquil and nurturing in color and subject matter is ideal, especially if you have trouble sleeping. Pale, muted or dark blues, greens, pinks and purples in art can create a restful mood in a bedroom. If you want to bring in a little more spice and passion, add red artwork to bring in some fire energy.

If there is a particular piece of art you are looking to add to your bedroom, please feel free to submit it for the next Q&A Sunday!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday" (formerly “Question of the Month”).  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers.  Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


Q&A Sunday: Symbology of the Six Pointed Star

I came across your site and it is beautiful. Really like the idea of incorporating feng shui and zen in your living space. I was searching the mandala site and saw the Ketu yantra, which got my attention. I noticed the center looks like a Jewish star. I wonder if that's your intention that it is actually a Jewish star - which I absolutely find appealing, as my husband is Jewish and I am Chinese. 

Emily B., Encino, CA

Hi Emily,

Thanks for your email, and I’m so glad you like the website and the Ketu yantra. A lot of people are drawn to this one. It’s very healing. It’s actually related to my Vedic destiny number, so it’s one of my mandalas that’s very personal to me.

Many of the yantras (like Ketu) have the six pointed star in the center, which is the same symbol as the Jewish Star of David. In Vedic symbology, this symbol is the combination two equilateral triangles. One is triangle is upward pointing (male, yang, fire), the other downward pointing (female, yin, water), and the overlap of the two create balance of these opposite energies, like the yin and yang symbol

I hope you find the use of these shapes as interesting as I do! Since I love sacred geometry and symbols, I really loved responding to this question. On a final note, my yantra teacher Mavis Gewant, describes geometric symbols in an interview I did with her

A yantra is a geometric pattern of energy specific to deities and planets. It has been said that they are the physical form of a deity, where mantra is the sound form. Yantras give a structure or pattern to energy. They are composed of geometric forms like squares and circles. Since all cultures have these kinds of shapes, they resonate in our DNA when we see them. Yantras are archetypal and universal.
— Mavis Gewant

PS: I am Korean (also Asian), and my husband is also Jewish! 

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


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Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for an Office with No Windows

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What are some feng shui considerations for a psychotherapist’s office with no windows?

Erin H., Mountainview, CA

Hi Erin, 

Thank you for your question: what some feng shui considerations are for your office, since it has no windows. I think the answer for this question may be helpful to many people in windowless offices. 

It's ideal to have at least one window in any space, as having natural light and fresh air is vital to human beings. Everything living grows towards the light. When I work with my private architecture and feng shui clients, one of the main desires across the board is maximizing light. Light is so important, and without it, we can feel claustrophobic, suffer from health issues and even become depressed. As an architect, for any habitable space, there are actually light and air requirements. We need air circulation and light, and it's difficult if we don't have them both.

In feng shui, the windows represent the eyes of the inhabitants and can symbolize how we see the world around us. If it's not possible to change offices, I recommend including some artwork that feels like a window. This doesn't mean finding pictures of windows. Instead, look for images of landscapes or other settings where you're bringing the outdoors in. Hanging this kind of art on the wall can give the impression of having a window, even when there isn't physically one there. 

There are also seasonal affective disorder lamps, which simulate natural daylight, that may help. These can be used in any space, especially one without sufficient natural light, to counteract the negative effects of lack of sunlight. They are often recommended by therapists during the colder, darker seasons. In fact, as a psychotherapist, you may already be familiar with them!

Finally, you could also bring nature into your space with fresh flowers or green plants. It's true that most plants need natural sunlight to grow, but you can opt for a low-light plant or even add a fake plant to your space. If possible, aim for a real plant, as this can help out with indoor air quality as well. Fresh flowers are also an incredible way to bring in nature energy and connect you with the outdoors. Take a look at some of our posts on flowers for ideas on which blooms to select for your space!

by Anjie Cho


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!


How to Choose Your Bathroom Vanity Lighting

featured this month on Houzz by Yanic Simard

The bathroom vanity is a special part of the home, but one that can sometimes get overlooked. In a primary bathroom, it can be the central hub for many important parts of our self-care and the true workhorse for much of our daily routines. For this reason, bathroom vanities need carefully selected lighting to live up to their full potential. There are many options to choose from, all of which work in different scenarios and can be used together to get the best of both worlds. Read on to find out how to pick the right bathroom vanity lighting.

Use a Single Sconce Above the Mirror If:

  • You don’t have room on one or both sides of the mirror to fit a pair of sconces.
  • You have a very wide mirror with no breaks in between.
  • You have a tall space and want to dramatically accentuate the height by adding a focal point up high.

...read full article


Check Out A Feng Shui Designer's Blissed-Out NYC Apartment

featured on MindBodyGreen by Emma Loewe

Today on Holistic Home Tours, we’re checking out the New York City home of interior architect and feng shui designer Anjie Cho

Perched in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, Anjie Cho's space feels worlds away. The interior architect has used her knowledge of feng shui to deck out her new apartment—which she shares with her husband, Jeremiah, and their two Chihuahuas, Javier and Pearl—like only a pro could. She's letting us in on how she used feng shui to create an oasis in the middle of the city, and you're going to want to take notes.

What are three words that describe your design philosophy at home?

Simple, bright, calm.

What was the first room you tackled when you moved in?

Definitely the bedroom. We needed a place to sleep, and in feng shui the bedroom is thought to be the most important room in the house since it represents who you are. Since I have a home office, we split the bedroom up with some white fabric panels to create separate spaces. My husband loves how soft and tent-like these feel.

...read full article


My Favorite Things: 5 Back-To-School Must Haves

Welcome to My Favorite Things! Each month, we highlight products to help you create a holistic lifestyle that inspires and nurtures you, so that you can be happier and feel supported.

As summer is wrapping up, many of us are gearing up to head back to school or double down for the fall season. Of course, it's much easier to take on a busy few months if we're organized and ready for what's ahead. So this month we've curated our top recommendations for getting back into the school season swing with a clear head and a neat space. Be sure to also check out our next podcast, with Diane Lowy from New York at Home. Diane creates "apartment solutions", and she's offered our listeners tips on getting organized!


Focus Mist

Our most recent podcast features my good friend and colleague, Andrea Giordano, who is a feng shui and essential oil expert. She also helped curate the Holistic Spaces Apothecary collection, and the Focus spray is one of my favorites!

A blend of fair trade essential oils and carnelian crystal, our Focus Mist was created to provide grounding, clarity and mental focus, and it's ideal for back-to-school!

Available at: Holistic Spaces


Mini Round Boxes

In our next podcast, I chat with organizer and space designer, Diane Lowy, and ask her advice on getting organized. 

Diane was also kind enough to recommend some of her favorite organizational tools for this month's My Favorite Things, and these mini round boxes made the cut!

"These are great for pretty much anything small that's otherwise tough to find in a drawer or your bag: SIM cards, paper clips, earrings, safety pins, a pair of earplugs, Tic Tacs, Tylenol. 12 clear boxes for $2.29 makes them an easy yes."

Available at: The Container Store


Recycled Notebooks

Notebooks are great for keeping notes and lists, setting goals and even organizing your thoughts through journaling

I love MUJI notebooks! I use these to keep all my notes, from meditation class to client meetings. It makes it easier for me to keep things in one location, and I like to write it down rather than put it in my phone. I love that they're recycled too!

Available at: MUJI


Post-It Tape

Another of Diane's favorites is Post-It tape.

"Post-It Note Tape is a great way to make labels anywhere that just peel off without leaving a residue but stay in place for as long as you need it. It comes in white as well as highlighter colors, and you can write on it just like paper. 

Labels can be super helpful when brainstorming for layouts after a move or renovation. They are also great reminders for that first week or two after moving stuff around and are very helpful when living with roommates!"

Available at: Amazon


Saraswati Yantra Mandala for Knowledge and Creativity

I love the Saraswati mandala because it is useful in so many ways! This yantra is associated with the Knowledge area of the bagua, since Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of wisdom and the arts. 

For inspiration in these areas, place the Saraswati yantra mandala in the Knowledge area of your space. 

Saraswati can also be used to cultivate abundance! Deepak Chopra shared a story about this in his book, Creating Affluence. You can read more about it in my blog post on attracting abundance

Available at: Holistic Spaces



Why Your Holistic Space Needs Art

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Art may not be the first thing you think of when designing your holistic space, but it actually plays a very important role on many levels. Art, by nature, is very subjective, but its effects in design are much more objective and global. Adding the perfect pieces to your home can bring your area together in various ways. 

Balance The Five Elements

We've mentioned art many times as one of the easiest ways to balance out the five elements in any space. As each element relates to a certain area of the feng shui bagua, symbolized by certain shapes, colors and subjects, selecting a piece of art can bring in one or more of the five elements. For Earth you can add earthy colors like brown, orange and yellow and square shapes. For Metal, look for metallic colors, whites, grays and circular shapes. For Water, choose the colors dark blue and black and wavy shapes. For Wood, opt for green, blue and columnar shapes, and finally, for Fire, look for the color red and triangular shapes.

Meditation

Some types of sacred art can be viewed and contemplated in meditation. For instance, the yantra mandalas are created through meditation in action but also can be a visual focal point of a meditation practice. Sacred art is often created with mantra and symbolism. I once attended and event at the Rubin Museum of Art called a "Dream Over". The museum hosts this event in which attendees are assigned a piece of art that you contemplate overnight. Participants meditate, are read bedtime stories and are invited to sleep and dream under their selected piece of art. Art can be a wonderful way to guide meditation and open your mind to inspiration and creativity. What moves you? Look for that in your art pieces.

Add Nature

While the best way to add nature to a space for feng shui adjustments is with living plants, there are times when that option isn't feasible. Maybe your thumb is charcoal black or you have boisterous pets (or children). In this case, choosing artwork that depicts nature can be a great alternative. Be sure to pay attention to the colors in your art and match them to your feng shui needs for the specific room.

Add Color Without Paint

On a similar note, there are often occasions when painting a space is not an option, such as when renting an apartment. In this case, artwork can serve as a way to add color and brighten a room without breaking terms of a lease. Images can add a healthy dose of color on their own, or you can grab a blank canvas and paint it one solid color for a big pop. 

Nurture Inspiration

Part of what makes a space holistic is that it provides nourishment and inspiration to its residents. We've even done a few posts and a podcast on how to make your space inspirational. One easy way to do this is with art. One of the best things about art is that it can be interpreted in so many ways and boosts creative thinking. Find a piece that inspires you to work toward your goals, make more art, spend more time on creative outlets, etc. 

Strengthen a Room's Purpose

I mentioned earlier that it's important to keep each room's needs in mind when selecting art. This can also be used to your advantage! In design, we often aim for a certain feeling or aura in specific rooms. For instance, the bathroom is often meant to be a place for relaxation and the bedroom for passion. Adding curated artwork can help establish these purposes. Before you look at art, take stock of what you want each room in your space to inspire and find a piece that matches that feeling!

Whether you make your own art, find art that speaks to you or commission a personal piece, bringing artwork into your space can go a long way in making a house into a holistic home. If you're on the lookout for artwork now, consider a Holistic Spaces mandala or reach out to some of our favorite artists below:

Amy T. Won
Mavis Gewant
Carmen Mensink
Karl Lorenzen

by Anjie Cho


How To Make The Most Of Your Teeny-Tiny Home

featured this month on Nylon by Jenna Igneri

  image credit:  Jihyang Lim via  Nylon

image credit: Jihyang Lim via Nylon

All of us could probably stand to have a bit more space when it comes to our home—we, New Yorkers, know that to be a fact. (Really, though, what’s a girl gotta do for a walk-in closet around here?)

However, just because our living space is tiny doesn’t make it any less awesome. Home is where the heart is, after all, even if our living room is nonexistent and our bathtub is in our kitchen. Moving into a shoebox-sized studio may seem discouraging at first, but it doesn’t mean that it can’t have the potential to look and feel as spacious as your dream loft. We chatted with experts in the world of interior design to get their insider tips and hacks for making the most of a small space.

Read on for ways to make your space look larger (even if it is just an optical illusion), utilize your walls space, and help keep your spirits high, even if your square footage is low. 

Your choice in paint can make a huge difference

Whether you choose a darker color or not, painting your walls and your ceiling the same color can also trick your eye into thinking a room is bigger. Anjie Cho, architect, certified feng shui consultant, and author of 108 Ways To Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes, suggests going for an all-over color, as the monotone look creates a continuous surface, thus making the room look more expansive.

...read full article