Brighten Your Apartment: 6 Simple Tricks

Not everyone has the luxury of having big windows that let in ample sunlight. Most apartments have at least one room or space that is continually dark. A dark room can cause accidents, eye-strain, and even a sour disposition. If you’d like to illuminate your space – without taking a sledgehammer to your walls – try a few of these apartment-brightening tricks. A brighter space will lead to a brighter mood!

Paint your walls a light color

Dark walls actually soak up the light, making the room seem darker – even when you put the lights on. But lighter colors have a higher LRV, or “light reflectance value.” LRV tells you how much useable light is reflected by a surface. Wall colors with a higher LRV help to spread light deep into a space. 

Use eggshell or semi-gloss paint

Flat finishes absorb light, while glossier paints reflect the light back into the room. One warning, though: Because of the light reflection, a glossy finish does call attention to any flaws in the wall.

Keep your ceiling white 

It’s amazing the difference that a white ceiling makes on a room. Even if you have dark walls, a white ceiling will help keep the darkness from overwhelming the space. My go-to color is Benjamin Moore Super White in a flat finish -- it's the most reflective for ceilings.

Add more lamps

Yes, this seems obvious. But many apartment dwellers rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate the rooms. Light needs to come from various levels – low, middle, and high. Combining uplights on the floor and lamps on tables around the room with overhead lighting will create a brighter, more comfortable space. In feng shui, uplighting can also lift your mood and energy.

Hang large mirrors

Large mirrors can act like windows, reflecting the light back into the room. 

Choose reflective surfaces 

Just like walls, other large surfaces can absorb or reflect your light. Opt for glossy countertops, add glass panes to your hanging artwork, and place mirrored trays on top of dark tables.

Light is important for your physical and mental health. So make sure your home is gets as much light as possible!

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 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! To get on the list about it, sign up at:

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 New Home

Feng Shui for a New Home.jpg

We are looking to move to a new home. What positive feng shui elements should we look for when looking for a new home?

Margaret W., Seal Beach, CA

Just in case you didn’t know, Margaret is my sister and the co-owner of Holistic Spaces Studio!

Margaret, I get this question a lot! First of all, it really is the best to start looking for or designing a home from the beginning with feng shui in mind. This way you can avoid doing remedial feng shui. While most feng shui is remedial, it’s most ideal to get it right to begin with! Because each home and family has different needs, I’ll address the general exterior elements that affect the feng shui of a home.

Neighborhood Chi

As you approach the new home, pay close attention to the chi (or energy) of the neighborhood. Are the trees healthy? Is the neighborhood vibrant? Do the neighbors appear happy? You can gather a lot of information from observing the area. From the feng shui perspective, when the natural and human elements in the surrounding area are lively and lush it’s a good indication that the inhabitants will dwell similarly.

Curb Appeal

Getting closer to the prospective home, examine the condition of the exterior including the landscaping, the curb and location of the entry door. Like the neighborhood chi, in feng shui we look for healthy landscaping and good curb appeal. The exterior appearance influences how the world will see the homeowners. We want the exterior to be welcoming and well manicured. The location of the door is also important. Was it easy to find the front door? Or is it hidden behind an overgrowth of bushes? The ease in which you can find the front door indicates how effortless it will be for opportunities and positive energy to find their way into your life.

Predecessor Chi

If possible, research as much information as you can about all the previous owners. The fates of the preceding inhabitants surely affect the feng shui of the home. The predecessor energy may indicate a happy and abundant lifestyle. On the other hand it may expose leanings towards health or money troubles. This is especially true if there are recurring patterns. But if you find a home that you love, there are usually ways to clear the home of the negative predecessor chi with space clearing techniques.

By the way, in case you're also selling a home, here are some feng shui tips for sellers!

Overall, it’s important to look at the location, exterior and history of a home before you decide to move. We want your home to improve and support the health, happiness and prosperity of you and your family.

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!

Q&A Sunday: A Feng Shui Aquarium

I read about your write-up about Goldfish and Feng Shui on the International Feng Shui Guild website. I have recently set up an aquarium and intend to keep goldfish to attach positive 'chi.' May I seek your advice? Instead of keeping 8 gold and 1 black, can I have 5 gold and 1 black?

Raymond S., Singapore

Hello to Singapore!

Thank you for your question. What’s interesting is that I asked my teacher, Steven Post, a similar one when I first started my feng shui studies. I had only room for a small aquarium, so I asked if I could use 3 fish total (rather than 9 total). 

The ideal set up is 9 goldfish total. It’s especially beneficial to have 8 gold and one black. 9 is an auspicious number in feng shui, as are the numbers 3 and 5.

I also asked if I might use other fish, rather than goldfish, since goldfish need a large amount of space!  But it’s better to use orange goldfish rather than, say, a tiger barb, because orange goldfish have special symbolism in Asian mythology. They can transform into dragons! Steven noted that the black goldfish is a “balance of the normative and exceptional.” Black also represents knowledge and wisdom.

To answer your question, if you don’t have room for 9 goldfish, it’s better to have 3 total with 2 gold and 1 black. Please let me know how it goes! Good luck to you!

For more information, read the previous article here.


Raymond sent in some photos of his new aquarium based on our Q&A Sunday! Thanks for sharing Raymond!

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!

What Your Cluttered Desk Says About Your Career

featured this week on Over the Moon 

image credit: Serg Zastavkin/Shutterstock via  Over the Moon

image credit: Serg Zastavkin/Shutterstock via Over the Moon

I like to say that feng shui is original green design because it seeks to examine space and how humans impact nature and the environment around us. Feng shui looks at how physical spaces affect us on a spiritual and energetic level. Through feng shui principles, we observe how the earth influences us; how does earth affect us and how do we affect it?

A powerful place to start is to look at the feng shui of your desk. Your desk, whether it resides in your home or outside, represents your career and path in life. What you do and the direction in which you walk in this life.

So lets take a look at where your clutter happens on your desk.

If it’s in the top left corner, your money and wealth might be stuck or tied up. If you have a pile of papers on the furthest right corner, the “Relationship” corner, you might need to cultivate your relationships more. Clutter isn’t a bad thing, as long as it doesn't interfere with your life or cause guilt and distress.

Next, look at where you need to add some support in your life. On my desk, I have a status of Kuan Yin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. The statue represents weight and stability. I placed the statue in the relationship area of my desk to provide support and cultivate compassion in my business and life relationships.

For some time I also had a beautiful orchid on my desk in the top middle of my desk in the recognition position. Recognition represents fame, and how you’re seen in the world. It also represents the fire element. The orchid is a living plant, which is the wood element. Wood feeds fire, so this orchid provided fuel to the fire of fame that I wanted to cultivate in my career. Finally in my top left corner is the wealth and abundance area. Here I have a beautiful piece of citrine. Citrine is a natural crystal that attracts prosperity and does not require cleansing.

I encourage you to look at these areas of your desk and select one or two that need the most attention in terms of your career and life direction. Stimulate some growth and change by clearing up the clutter and examining the feng shui.  

by Anjie Cho

Feng Shui Your Wallet!

I truly believe that how you treat your money reflects on how it will treat you. Keep reading for ways to feng shui your wallet and your money mindset. Remember, your wealth comes in many forms.

Your Wallet

Take a good look at your wallet. Go ahead, grab it. Is it frayed, unsightly, falling apart and on its last legs? If you said yes to any of these, it is time to treat yourself to a brand new wallet! I give you permission to splurge on that nice wallet you’ve wanted. If you have a nice one, you’re good. Just keep it in good condition and when it starts to fall into disrepair be sure to replace it.

Organize Your Bills

Take care and be mindful of your cash in your wallet. I don’t want to see you shoving your dollars and wadding them up into your wallet. :) Be gentle, and thoughtfully unfold your bills, smoothing out folds and creases. Then put them in order, facing the same direction. Finally, place the largest bills in front so you see that hundred-dollar bill first!


Be sure to de-clutter your wallet regularly. A good rule of thumb is at least every 27 days. This means to clean out old receipts or cards as required. Keep the wallet clean and trim!


If you have enough room in your wallet, it is beneficial to carry a piece of citrine with you to attract wealth and abundance. Citrine is self-cleansing so you don’t need to regularly clear that gemstone. It also helps to clear the items and currency you keep in your wallet.

Recently I was interviewed by Amanda Gates for her “Design 101- Designing your best life” Podcast. We had a really great time talking and connecting. She was telling me about her recent blog post “11 stupidly easy techniques to feng shui your wallet." That inspired me to share my tips to feng shui your wallet as well. Be sure to check out her tips as well! And look out for our interview, coming up in a couple of months.

by Anjie Cho