Q&A Sunday: Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?

Fu Dogs or Qi Lin?.jpg

What is the meaning of the fu dogs that are just standing on all fours or just laying stretched out with nothing under their paws like the others?

Wanda B., Lexington, SC

Hi Wanda,

Thanks for your question. I am not an expert on fu dogs, so I asked around…

One colleague told me that she had never seen a fu dog in this position. We suspect that the Chinese statues described here as an animal standing on all fours, or stretched out with nothing under their paws are typically Qi Lin (chi lin). They look similar.

Fu Dogs and Qi Lin are mythical creatures and heavenly guardians believed to have the ultimate protection and power to ward off evil spirits and keep harmful people at bay (such as robbers)—silently watching over homes, temples and businesses. They also bring in more good fortune (happy chi, good business) by improving the Feng Shui of the entrance.

Fu dogs come in pairs, a male and female. The male is depicted playing with a ball (symbolizing authority and command of the householder) while the female has its claws on its cub (symbolizing loyalty and maternal protection). These Feng Shui guardians are usually placed at the front door facing outwards at ground level or on shelves at either side of the front door. Or, they can be raised high up on both sides of your main gate. The male is placed on the left side (from standing inside the doorway of your building looking outside) and the female on the right. Ideally, you’d have them activated by your Feng Shui consultant performing the traditional “Opening the Eyes” Ceremony.

Qi Lin can be single or in pairs, and is a dragon-like figure. Typically it has the head of a dragon and a horse-like body. They can be used outside or inside of a home. Did you see these statues inside or outside? Hopefully this provides a little clarity around fu dogs! Send in a photo if you see them again. We’d love to share!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


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 Give Your Home An Energetic Makeover This Fall, According To Feng Shui

featured on MindBodyGreen

In feng shui philosophy, the season of autumn is related to the metal element. Metal, water, wood, fire, and earth make up the five "phases," or elements, that Taoists and Buddhists observe to relate the cycles of nature with the patterns in our homes, bodies, and lives. Many different ancient cultures have their own five-element system, such as the Native Americans, Tibetans, and Hindus. 

So what's "metal" about autumn? It's the feeling of the cool, crisp air on your skin, the poignant sadness that summer is ending, the leaves on the trees begin to die and fall away, and the sense of contraction—a hibernation of sorts.

Conceptually, metal is about precision, beauty, and completion. Metal can be wielded into a mighty sword or exquisite shiny jewelry. As a sword, it can swiftly cut through confusion and chaos with intelligence and compassion. A beautiful gold necklace can magnify the radiance embodied by the wearer. Metal and autumn is connected to the time when we work hard to harvest the fruits of our labor as well as celebrate our successes. The mouth and right speech are also connected to the element of metal.

…read full article

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Q&A Sunday: Is a Canopy Bed in a Bed Alcove Good Feng Shui?

Is a Canopy Bed in a Bed Alcove Good Feng Shui?.jpg

I'm moving into a studio that has an alcove for the bed right next to the front door. Because of the layout of the apartment, there is no other position for the bed that would work (it would literally be in the kitchen, lol). Would having a canopy around the bed, and keeping it enclosed, help with the feng shui in this scenario?

Nakia, on Organizing your Studio Apartment: Feng Shui Tips

Hi Nakia,

Thanks for responding to our Organizing your Studio Apartment: Feng Shui Tips post! 

I hope your move went well. So, you are correct, you definitely don’t want to have your bed in the kitchen! Hahaha! We have to work with what we’re given, and sometimes we are presented with obstacles because there’s a teaching in that. 

With a studio, or sometimes they call them junior one bedrooms, there’s some sort of separate alcove for a bed, but it’s all one open space in the living area. You were wondering if a canopy around the bed would work to keep it enclosed, since a canopy bed typically has a curtain around it. While it would definitely serve a function to enclose the bed, isn’t it already enclosed because it’s in an alcove? I am getting the feeling that it would actually feel pretty tight and maybe suffocating. But I don’t know how big your alcove is. My first thought is a no. Why would you want to make the alcove seem even smaller? There may be a specific reason for you that would be beneficial, but in general I would not advise it. If you want to visually separate the bed, I’d rather see one use a curtain or perhaps a room divider. 

You may want to double check our posts on the commanding position and other bedroom tips and see if any of those adjustments apply to your new space. It’s your apartment, so you should make it comforting and relaxing for you, and there are usually feng shui tips for this.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


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!


Stale Nursery Trends It’s Time to Say Goodbye To

featured on Domino by Caroline Biggs

  image credit: Pottery Barn Kids via    Domino

image credit: Pottery Barn Kids via Domino

Ask any parent-to-be and they’ll probably say the same thing: Half the fun of prepping for a baby is designing the nursery. But before you go pinning up a storm on Pinterest, it’s important to take a minute to think about the trends that are actually worth putting in your little one’s room. While some ideas might offer initial appeal—much like other outdated home décor crazes—a lot of nursery fads are fleeting.

Luckily, we have a lot of designer friends to call upon for help. We asked these interior aficionados what nursery trends are on their way out, and they had a lot to share. From animal prints to crib mobiles, read ahead for the trends the experts say it’s time to bid adieu to.

Gendered Colors

As gendered stereotypes become more and more passé in the real world, it’s no surprise that hip designers are making a concerted effort to create gender-neutral nurseries.

“Gender roles in society are beginning to be revisited, and so are the traditional go-to hues (i.e. pink for girls and blue for boys) used in nurseries,” says designer Anjie Cho. “Gray—my favorite is Benjamin Moore’s Gray Owl—is the new yellow of non-gendered nursery colors; it works with pastels and is both soothing and neutral.”

…read full article


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Q&A Sunday: Self-Sabotaging Love

Self-Sabotaging Love.jpg

I'm not sure if there is a way to answer this question with feng shui, but it's worth a try! I am a single woman hoping to find lasting romance. I've done most of the suggested feng shui adjustments to welcome love into my life, and I find that I have no problem finding interested men, but I seem to self-sabotage with my anxiety. For the past year, I've noticed a pattern of becoming paranoid and distrustful of men I'm involved with, and that almost always leads to me pushing them away or running them off. Is there a feng shui adjustment that can help with this?

April S., Philadelphia, PA

Hi April,

Thank you for your question. I think there are probably a lot of people who feel the same way you do, so I’m glad you asked the question. It does sound like you have a good idea of what your personal issues are, that they revolve around anxiety and trust. This is definitely the toughest thing when it comes to love — being vulnerable. 

When clients approach me about love and relationships, I ask a series of questions that can best help me to determine what feng shui adjustments would be the most appropriate. You already answered some of these. Are you meeting people? Yes. Are you meeting people that you’re interested in and that are interested in you? Sounds like a yes. But is it really? It is also possible that you have not met anyone who is worthy of your trust as well. That you are simply not meeting the right people. But from your words, it sounds like the main issue is that you fear being vulnerable. 

The Career/Path in Life area of the feng shui bagua map is related to fear and water. There is a fear of opening your heart and being hurt. But if we never risk anything and stay safe, then there is no chance for love. Also, there’s also the importance of seeing the situation clearly, rather than what our conditioning colors. The first thing that comes to mind for clarity is for you to clean your windows. The windows symbolize your eyes. If you can’t see the reality of the situation, it’s easy to remain closed off, and you may miss opportunities. Once you can see things as they truly are, then you can trust your experience and know what to accept and what to reject. And then there is less fear.

The second part is related to Knowledge and Self-Cultivation. There is more you can do there. Work on the anxiety and trust issues. Where do they come from, and are they still useful? Feng shui is by no means a substitution for good mental health. So take care of yourself and ask for help. I used to also have a lot of anxiety, and meditation has really helped me. I also have mentors, teachers and community all around me to support me on this path. A simple exercise of writing an affirmation 27 times each day for 27 days while sitting in the center of your bed can activate the Health area, which impacts the entire bagua on your bed. I’m thinking something along the lines of “I am ready to open my heart and be vulnerable.” You can take the affirmations from each page, tuck them into a sealed red envelope and place them in the Relationship area of your bed (top right), under the mattress. 

Thank you for being willing to share and asking for insight on this. Remember that the mundane is just as important as the metaphysical, so please take care of yourself and take time for wellness. When you work with this and the suggested adjustments, you may find your heart opening to new experiences and opportunities.

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


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!


An architect's guide to creating holistic spaces

featured in Irish Examiner by Carol O’Callaghan

  image credit: Irish Examiner

image credit: Irish Examiner

Tradition and modernity combine in a new book by architect Anjie Cho who takes the art of mindfulness into the organisation of our homes, helping us to lead healthier lives, writes Carol O’Callaghan

Architect Anjie Cho is about to revive our interest in the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui with her new book, Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to create a Mindful and Peaceful Home. Drawing on her own approach to interior design, it aims to create supportive and nurturing environments for the inhabitants.

As a one-time prolific reader of anything feng shui related, and never knowingly passing an advertisement for a Saturday seminar on the subject, I would say the most challenging aspect of feng shui is getting to grips with the bagua — a floor plan of the home divided into nine areas relating to different aspects of life — work, relationships and health, for example.

…read full article


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Father and Daughter

Feng Shui for a Father and Daughter.jpg

We moved into a rental empty apartment, myself and adult daughter, and need to maximize space also because we love lots of space and room just to be. One room is big enough for a full bed and desk and has one small door for closet. The other room has one side wall as a huge closet and one small closet on the opposite wall for things like books. It has a mirror that will face east and the water, but shines into the bed no matter what position the bed is placed (so it can be covered at night). Because my ex and my son come to visit, I thought about a daybed with a trundle so when none of us are there, she has room for exercise also, since it has a big mirror, and to spend time during the day at the daybed. However I will be living with her for a while and do not wish to create bad energy for myself or future for herself. Can you please advise?

Syl P., Providence, RI

Hi Syl,

Thanks for writing in. I have not seen your floor plan, but in general it sounds like you need advice on how you’re going to survive living with your adult daughter in a small space. There is also the consideration of hosting your ex and your son. Since you wish to not create bad energy for yourself or for your daughter, I’m sensing there is some negativity there already. 

There are, of course, the mundane space planning aspect, but it sounds like you’ve thought this through. And since there’s no floor plan, there’s not much I can advise on. But what I can offer you is some tools to work with uplifting the space. 

Somethings to look out for:

  • Is your bedroom in the commanding position of the home? It would be better if your bedroom was more in command (further back) than your daughter’s. This establishes you as the father so you can support your daughter.

  • Is your bed in the commanding position of your bedroom?

  • Are there any doors that open and hit each other? This can mean arguments. You can learn how to correct this from a feng shui consultant, but for now, you can just be aware if you do have this happening in your home.

Because you’re the father, I’m assuming that you will want to do what you can to support your daughter. The Abundance area of the feng shui bagua map is related to the eldest daughter. This area is also related to a big tree, and what a big tree needs is water to grow and feel supported. To activate and support your daughter, some adjustments can be made to the Abundance area of your home. For instance, a water element like a fountain, or even purchasing fresh flowers in a vase of clean water. The flowers might be a wonderful idea, because you will have to refresh them frequently. Each time you do, you can remember that the purpose is to help your daughter grow and flourish in the world. The flowers also work to add joy into the home. Fresh fragrant flowers can unstick any negative energy.

Take a look at some of our blog posts, like Decorating with Seasonal Flowers and Do You Speak the Language of Flowers? for ideas on what kind of flowers to bring into your space for your needs. Also, be sure if you add a fountain, the water flows into the home - not out. Good luck in your new space with your family!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


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!


Space for the Spirit

featured this month in Psychologies Magazine by Danielle Woodward

Space for the Spirit.jpg
  image credits: Psychologies Magazine

image credits: Psychologies Magazine

Excited to share another print magazine feature, this time in Psychologies Magazine! Read up on how to make “space for the spirit” in this month’s issue.

Grab a copy to read the full article!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


Q&A Sunday: What Should I Put on the Wall by My Bed to Attract Love?

What Should I Put on the Wall by My Bed to Attract Love?.jpg

What should I put on that wall by my bed? And I wouldn’t mind working on my love life!

Stephen, Brooklyn, NY

Hi Stephen,

Thanks for your question and the cute floor plan! Love the colors! Sometimes people are surprised to hear that even the execution of the floor plan can give me some content for the person’s Feng Shui.

What Should I Put on the Wall by My Bed to Attract Love? - Floor Plan.png

I’m not surprised you’d like to focus on love, because pink tones are associated with the Relationship area, and the grey is related to Completion and Joy. Maybe you’d like some more joy in your love life? And maybe some things need to end to make room for new love. I laid the feng shui bagua map on your bedroom plan, and two things stick out. The bed is the first.

The bed would ideally be rotated so the headboard along the wall that says “10 ft”. This puts you in the commanding position. But from your dimensions I see that you might not have enough room. If you can, I would advise it. If you can’t, the ideal thing to place on the wall next to the bed would be a mirror. It’s always a good idea to have space available on both sides of the bed. Even just a few inches will help. In regards to relationships, when you have that bed up next to the wall, there’s no space for a partner to come into your life. It’s important to have a space that is equal (or in your case, as big as you can make it), to attract an equal and balanced partner into your life. 

As far as what to put up on the wall in the bedroom, as I mentioned before, a mirror would be best if you can’t change the orientation of your bed. By placing a mirror on the side of the bed that’s up next to the wall, you can energetically and visually create that space. And since your bed is not in command, you can also place a mirror somewhere in the room so that you can see the door reflected in it when you’re in bed. By having the back of your head facing the entry, you’re not in command. This puts you at a disadvantage in many ways…one of which is that you may not be able to truly see all the possibilities for love clearly.

The second thing I noticed was that in your Relationship area you have your hamper! Yes, I know the hamper has to go somewhere, but maybe if you’re looking for a partnership, it’s better in a different bagua area! It may imply that you have old stinky laundry that’s keeping you from finding a partner! If it must be in that area, just be mindful to do your laundry regularly and not let it pile up. But if possible, best to move it anywhere else for now.

Finally, the last suggestion circles back to the colors pink and peach. In BTB feng shui, we have something called “peach blossom luck” which helps you to attract a partner. You can paint one or all of your walls pink or peach. But even pink or peach linens or pillows or other accessories will work. Find a large canvas at the art store and paint it a lovely shade of peach. It’s even effective to wear pink and peach.

Let us know how it goes! 

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish.


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!