Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui Professionals

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What should you look for when hiring a feng shui professional?

Jacqueline R., Cleveland, OH

Great question, Jacqueline! Finding the right feng shui consultant for your needs is a very important step in the adjustment process. The more harmony you have with your chosen professional, the more successful your adjustments will be.

Take some time to review the certifications that your prospective consultant may have. I took a three year certification program, the BTB Masters Program. I think feng shui and architecture, like many other professions, require lifetime study and apprenticeship to develop your craft. It takes decades to become a seasoned feng shui master or architect. I suggest you look for a certification and the length and quality of experience. If you want "Barnes and Noble" feng shui, just go buy and read a book! Also, look at who their teachers are. I still speak to and work with my mentors. I still go to them for a lot of support.

Most importantly, with a designer or feng shui professional, select someone you truly resonate with. Spend some time, ask some questions and see how you feel about the person. Go with your gut intuition and see who you connect with the most. Be sure to ask them about their processes and let them know what you want. Different consultants will be able to focus better on different needs.

Do you need someone who is more focused on energy flow? Do you need a designer who is more into the decorative aspects? Do you want to have someone who focuses on traditional feng shui or a more modern adaptation? Would it be helpful if they specialized in a specific area, such as children?

Naturally, there are many factors you should consider when hiring any professional, including your comfort level, whether the consultant sees your goals in the same way you do, recommendations, experience, certifications...the list goes on. These are just a few suggestions to consider when looking to hire a feng shui professional to help you create a holistic space you love!

by Anjie Cho

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. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.

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!

Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui and Headboards

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What's so important about headboards in feng shui?  And how do I select the best one for my bedroom?

Stephanie S., Jersey City, NJ

Thanks Stephanie!  This is a great question. I find that a lot of people don't have headboards for their beds. Headboards are so important for relationships in feng shui because they represent stability. A solid and sturdy headboard is like a strong backbone for a relationship. They should be attached securely and mechanically to the bed. So a headboard that is attached to the wall and not the bed does not work in this situation.

In selecting the best feng shui headboard, something that’s solid is very important. If possible avoid headboards with bars that can resemble feeling imprisoned. A headboard with many perforations is also not preferred because this can represent holes or insecurity for one or both partners. The most ideal shape is rounded or heart shaped. Since my aesthetics are a bit less traditional, I prefer rectangular headboards.

There is not a huge difference between a solid wood and a soft upholstered headboard, as long as both partners are comfortable with the style. Remember, it’s there to support both of you!

I can say from experience that this feng shui adjustment works. I didn’t have a headboard for years, until I met my husband. Not only did I go get a headboard, I also re-arranged my room so there was space on both sides of the bed.  And we still live happily ever after! 

by Anjie Cho

Dive deeper into feng shui to transform your life!

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Create sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com

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!

Featured Project in NY Spaces Magazine

featured this week on NY Spaces

Architect Anjie Cho turns a client's two-bedroom railroad apartment in Chelsea into a spacious, modern oasis.

NYS: We love the whole design concept for this space! What was the client's directive?

Anjie Cho: The client desired a modern and simple design for this two-bedroom railroad apartment. She wanted to maximize the living space, add storage, update the kitchen and bathrooms, as well as brighten up the space with the finishes. The client was also living abroad for the majority of the design and construction so we worked via email and phone.

NYS: You seem to have a very global sensibility. What aspects of the design are inspired by travel or your love of holistic living?

Anjie Cho: Actually, my sensibilities are highly influenced by the homeowner. They will be living there, not me! So in this particular design, the client was very cosmopolitan. She had lived in: Morocco, China, Italy, and was French! But because she was so globally-minded, she also embraced holistic design and feng shui which we used in her space. All of this inspired the furnishings, artwork and layout.

NYS: What, if any, interior renovations did you have applied to the apartment?

Anjie Cho: The construction renovation scope included: new kitchen layout and design, new built in cabinets (bedroom and in living area), refinishing of existing flooring, stripping of window moldings, and we also restored the existing fireplace mantel to the original condition.

NYS: We absolutely love the approach to the kitchen/dining area. What was the inspiration here?

Anjie Cho: The client and I both love simplicity—so we went with the shaker style doors in a decorator's white and also the white refrigerator. We also wanted to maximize the vertical space for storage. In the future, the client and I are planning to design a custom library ladder for the top cabinets. She also wanted to be able to entertain, watch her son, and look out into the living space while cooking. I've had many a glass a wine and cheese with her there!

NYS: Where is the countertop from and what made you choose this specific material/color?

Anjie Cho: The countertop is honed Italian Carrara marble. One of my favorites. The client also loved it as well. We chose it together because although marble is challenging to care for, the look is just classic, simple and beautiful!

NYS: Can you tell us about the painting? It is very interesting!

Anjie Cho: The client loves Bali and this is an original Balinese painting that she brought with her from her last residence in China. She describes it as "a large format Batuan traditional Balinese painting. This specific style often depicts crowded villages during celebration. The scenes are considered surreal as mix in both lives of villagers together with their venerated deities." I absolutely adore it!

NYS: Where did you find the lighting?

Anjie Cho: Most of the lighting was purchased from West Elm. Other pieces were from her previous residence.

NYS: What was the approach to the bedroom? Where did you source your bedding and that beautiful mirror?

Anjie Cho: The bedroom is incredibly small (New York City apartments!), so we wanted to maximize the space but still provide some storage for closets. We designed the millwork so that the client would have a desk and vanity space as well as closet space for hanging clothing and drawers. The white organic duvet cover is from West Elm, and the round walnut mirror from Organic Modernism. The feng shui purpose of the mirror above the bed was to encourage harmony in the marriage. The red throw is to add a little bit of passion into the bedroom and the balance the five elements (earth, water, fire, metal and wood) in the space.

NYS: Can you tell us how adding plants to your space (we love those three in the windowsill) adds to your sense of peace?

Anjie Cho: Ah yes, the three plants in the window were also a feng shui adjustment. This particular placement is in the "New beginnings–Family" area of the home, and the purpose was to support the family's "new beginning" moving back to the States. In feng shui, plants add life energy, flexibility and kindness in your environment. On a practical level, green plants also improve the indoor air quality, which also contributes to a peaceful home.

NYS: We love that you left the brick walls. Did you paint the living/dining area's walls white? If so, why?

Anjie Cho: The brick was exposed when we started, and we loved it although it made the space a bit dark. We opted to paint a matte white wash on the exposed brick so there was still some of the natural brick and texture coming through. Dark colors absorb light, and white reflects. So just painting the exposed brick white added tremendous amounts of light to the space.

NYS: What advice would you give someone who would like to replicate the look of this space?

Anjie Cho: Look for cool whites (like Benjamin Moore's Decorator's White) and brown walnut pieces. We painted the walls Decorator's White, and used earthy tones in the rest of the space. Also find some pieces that you love, like the Balinese painting or a Buddha—again with the earthy tones.

NYS: What is one of your favorite design aspects of the finished project?

Anjie Cho: My favorite is the closet in the living room with the Buddha in front. I love the invisible doors that blend into the wall! It's my favorite thing to design.

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How to Stage Your Home for the Feng Shui Buyer

featured this week in Better Homes and Gardens


Collaborated with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate to talk about Feng Shui for Chinese-American buyers

Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate recently conducted a real estate survey of the US market, focusing on Chinese and Chinese Americans who comprise the fastest growing segment of home buyers. As a whole, they spent an estimated $28.6 billion on residential real estate in the U.S. from April 2014 to March 2015.  

The research questioned 500 Chinese-Americans in partnership with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA) to understand the impact of the ancient design philosophy, feng shui, on this population’s home buying mindset and preferences. This research also has implications for furniture and other home furnishings purchases.

Feng shui is still a pervasive, even indispensable, design influence and lifestyle for such a large group of Americans. Some key points from the survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate include:

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    14 Easy Tips That Will Help You Be Happier In Your Home

    featured this month on BuzzFeed, by Mackenzie Kruvant

    What is feng shui and why is it important?

    Feng shui looks at how energy (also called chi) moves through your home. If there is an area where the chi is moving too quickly or is stuck then that can represent either an area where you’re stuck in your life or things that you need to improve on.

    There are two ways to look at your apartment. You can think, "This is just my apartment" — or you can look at it as an ecosystem, an environment that affects you. If you choose to look at it the second way, then feng shui can help you achieve good energy and a space that will get you over your energy funk — and it’s easier than you’d think. We asked feng shui expert Anjie Cho to show us how.

    1. Make sure your entranceway reflects who you are — it’s how energy comes into your home.

    “Your door represents how opportunities come to you. It’s where energy comes into your home,” Cho tells BuzzFeed Life. “That’s why it’s so important that it reflects you.” It’s also important that you have a clear number or name written somewhere. “If you don’t have anything on your door it may stop people from being able to find you,” Cho says. If possible, try not to crowd the door. “Make your entry look nice, because it’s your face to the world. Have a clean and positive doormat for clean and positive energy.”

    ...read full article

    by Anjie Cho