Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui in a Small Home

I am living in a very small house with a combination of toilet and shower (too small) on the ground floor. We have the intention to create a proper bathroom (no toilet) on the first floor, but the only room where that's possible is in the wealth & prosperity area of the bagua. As far as I know, this is not the best place because of the downward flow of energy. At the same time, we want to make an extension to create workspace, but this is only possible in front of the front door line. I have a lot of doubts and even consider whether it is better to move.

Corina van T., Holland

Hello to Holland! 

Thank you for your email, and thanks for reading my newsletter!

For clarification, in your small house, you currently have a small bathroom with toilet and shower only on the ground floor. You would like to create a bathroom on the upper floor with a bathtub and sink, but no toilet. However you are concerned because this area is in the wealth/abundance area of your home.

I have a couple of thoughts and comments. First, laying the bagua on upper floors is sometimes challenging. You would determine the layout based on what direction you are facing and where you are located as you make your final step onto the floor in question. So, I would ask you to double check the bagua layout. It’s a little challenging and usually something that an advanced feng shui practioner should advise you on. But if the bathroom must be in the abundance area, or you’re not able to layout the bagua confidently, it is what it is! I suggest balancing the energy with plants. The thought with bathrooms is that there is a lot of water flowing out, which symbolizes loss of cash flow and wealth. By adding plants, you can use this downward qi flow and feed the plants so there’s an upward positive growth.

Your second question is in regards to a work space or office in front of the front door (or “kan line”), which places it outside of the bagua. My teachers have taught that an extension of workspace in front of the kan line (front door line) is fine. In fact, it might be beneficial in two ways. First, you are extending the “gua,” whether the gua is Knowledge, Path in Life/Career, or Benefactors/Helpful people. The extension improves and expands your work in light of the gua it’s in. Second, the office outside the front door can mean you’re out in the world more, and can receive support in this way for your career.

Finally, whether to move or not, well that's up to you. I don’t know exactly how challenging it is there, functionally and feng shui wise, but in BTB feng shui we try to make suggestions so you don't have to move, which can be difficult and disruptive. However, if moving seems like the best positive thing for you, it should be considered. My intuition tells me that the issues that you asked about are able to be worked with :)

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!

Small Bedroom Ideas: The Best Ways to Maximize Your Tiny Space

featured on wirecutter by Caroline Biggs

image credit: Rozette Rago via    wirecutter

image credit: Rozette Rago via wirecutter

Small bedrooms pose big challenges, particularly if you’re short on closets or if you need to fit in a home office. That’s why we asked five design and organizing experts for advice on getting the most out of a tiny bedroom, then tested decor in a 275-square-foot New York City apartment. Whether you want a storage bed, a compact nightstand, or a room divider, the 19 items we recommend should help maximize your small space.

Why you should trust me

I’ve been writing about small-space design for over seven years, for publications including The New York Times (now the parent company of Wirecutter), Refinery 29, Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest, and Domino. For this guide, I researched hundreds of bedroom furnishings sold through Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Container Store, IKEA, Target, and other retailers. I tested more than a dozen items in my own 250-square-foot apartment and I evaluated other products in person at IKEA and West Elm.

I also spoke with five home-organizing experts to get their insights on designing a small bedroom: Emily Henderson, interior designer and blogger behind Style by Emily Henderson; Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, professional organizers at The Home Edit and authors of The Home Edit: A Guide to Organizing and Realizing Your House Goals; Tali Roth, interior designer at Homepolish; Anjie Cho, interior architect, holistic designer, and feng shui educator; and Nicole Anzia, professional organizer and founder of Neatnik.

How to organize a small bedroom

Before you decide what to buy, consider the types of items that work best in a small bedroom. Our experts recommended thinking about these four general guidelines to help maximize every inch.

…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 Small Spaces

Feng Shui for Small Spaces.jpg

I am trying to use more basic Feng Shui tips to make my medium-sized bedroom into a sort of mini convertible studio. During the day I would fold my bed up into a mini couch and have much more open space to do yoga and other activities. Then during the night I would unfold my bed and use ceiling curtains to separate my office area from the bed area (with balanced elements on both sides of the bed). Oh and the bed lays on the ground, which I personally find most comforting. What do you think about this setup in terms of Feng Shui? I really need to have a sanctuary at home from all the intense things going on in my life.

Tenzin C., Easthampton, MA

Hi Tenzin,

Thank you for sending in your question! Your description is careful and thorough, so I can only imagine that your bedroom is laid out with as much attention. 

I’m guessing that you live in a roommate situation, so your bedroom is where you find your personal space. It sounds like your daily ritual of transforming your bed into a sofa is beneficial. Not only do you have more space for your daily activities, but you have also created a separate “daytime” space for more active applications that goes hand in hand with daytime. The visual separation with curtains of your bed from the office is also wonderful, so that active yang energy will transition into the yin sleepy time when it’s appropriate. Plus you don’t have a bed in the daytime - which can prove difficult in a studio apartment setting. Seeing the bed while working can affect your attention and motivation. Also, good job on the balanced bed elements, probably nightstands and lights

The only thing I may comment on is the bed on the ground. In feng shui, it’s ideal to have the bed off the ground, on a stable bed frame with headboard so that the air and qi can flow around you while you’re sleeping. This is good for your health. Also, if you’re prone to depression, the proximity to the floor may correspond to the low mood. However, you have described you find the bed on the ground “comforting”, so pay attention that that. If it feels correct for you, then it’s okay. Especially if you don’t have a tendency towards depression.

You mentioned that there are intense things going on in your life. I don’t know the details, but I can suggest a feng shui adjustment to lighten things up! It can be very simple, but I’ll offer two suggestions. First, bringing fresh cut flowers into the bedroom. You can collect them yourself, or get some from the store. But fresh flowers uplift the qi and bring joy. Second, purchasing a new lamp where the light shines up. A Torchiere like this one works wonderfully. Again, this lifts the energy and can balance the low bed.  

Overall, I think that you’ve done a wonderful job of creating a feng shui studio sanctuary in your bedroom. All the attention to the details and the ritual aspect provide a lot of positive energy in the space. 

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 are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-do business boosters for soulpreneurs and wellness practitioners”  coming up, too! 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!


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How to Arrange a Compact Teen Bedroom

featured this month on Houzz by Eva Byrne

A teen bedroom is a place of refuge, a private retreat from family life. You’ll need to provide somewhere to sleep, somewhere to study and somewhere to store clothes. With clever planning, you can accommodate these needs in even the tiniest of spaces. Think in terms of a ship’s cabin to squeeze the most out of every available centimetre.

When planning your family home, it’ll do no harm to think ahead to this stage from the outset, so radiators and wardrobes are in the best spots for the optimum teen layout.

Max the make-up

A teen girl will always appreciate even the tiniest of dressing tables. Your bathroom will thank you, too, with one less demand on its use.

Slip a narrow table within the run of wardrobes, perhaps near the window to maximise that all-important light. Add strong artificial light for night-time use, and, of course, a large mirror. A drawer beneath the dressing table would be handy for lotions and potions.

...read full article


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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