Listen: Feng Shui at Home in the Year of the Monkey

Happy Chinese New Year! To welcome the Year of the Monkey, I joined up with one of our favorites, Ian Power from The Home Discovery Show, to talk feng shui for the new lunar year and the Year of the Fire Monkey. Listen in for what to expect from the fire energy of this year and feng shui tips for starting off the Chinese New Year right! 


Listen: Color and Lights

I'm happy to, once again, be a guest on The Home Discovery Show with Ian Power! This time, it's all about color and lighting. Ever wondered what Kelvins are or how a regular looking light bulb can be considered "blue" or "red?" Or how lighting matters in feng shui? We've got the answers!


Feng Shui and Color for Spring on The Home Discovery Show

last week on the Home Discovery Show

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How can feng shui and changing colors help you adjust to each season? What effect do you have on your environment? The Home Discovery Show's Ian Power and I talk color, lighting and what it means for newly budding spring. Check it out! 

Interview Transcript:

IP: Home Discovery Show is on the Corus Radio Network. My name is Ian Power. I want to bring in Anjie Cho, a holistic interior architect and author, sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. A registered architect and certified Feng Shui practitioner, Anjie creates beautiful spaces throughout New York and beyond. The entire world is yours Anjie. Nice to have you on with us again.

AC: Hi Ian, so nice to be back.

Your book is already a best seller. Congratulations. That’s quite an accomplishment! That also tells us that there’s a huge interest in the things that you do and you talk about. Your book is 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces: Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes. Just a quick overview on your book.

Well, my book is 108 tips in which you can incorporate Feng Shui and Green Design principles in your home. Simple things like what colors mean and what they symbolize or how can you save water in your bathroom, just small little digestible bits that are easy to implement so you really have no excuse not to do it.

Excellent. What’s happening in New York right now? You’re in New York. Is it snowing, raining, slitting?

It is getting a little bit warmer. It’s still pretty cold. It’s 40 degrees; I don’t know what that is in Celsius, but the snow is gone. It did snowed on the equinox though, which was a couple of days ago.

Well, here we’ve been in full on spring mode for at least a couple of weeks and last time we spoke, we wanted to get you back during spring to talk about color, because I know that’s really important. What is the relationship between spring, color, Feng Shui and how it relates to interior design? Can you talk about that a little bit?

Sure, of course. Humans are very visual. We’re very visual people, so color is a really great and easy way to change the feeling of your home and to change the mood in your home. So you could either do that with paint or adding accents, and spring is a great time to kind of refresh things. Spring is about new beginning and starting anew, so great spring color is green. Greens are really healing and they represent growth, and blues are also similar to greens. Blues and greens are both very comforting and they’re healing, because they actually remind us of the natural world, and the wavelengths are actually shorter, so in a physical way, it’s more comforting to our eyes.

That’s interesting. When you say blue, most people, when you just say the word “blue,” they think of the “blues” and they also think that blue, the color, is a little bit colder.

Well, it really depends on what shade of blue of course, right? So grayer blues can be cooler and maybe more depressing, and if you have that thought when you think of the color blue, then definitely go for green which is more hopeful. But we’re also talking about summer too, which will soon be around the corner, and as it gets warmer, that’s when, actually, blue is really good because it is cooling, and the color blue actually helps to cool down your spaces.

Okay. I’m thinking now, I don’t want to paint every season, obviously, so will these colors still work in the winter time when that rolls around eventually?

Absolutely. And besides painting the walls, you can add accents into your home through plants or pillows or rugs. Pillows, you can easily change up and plants are green all the time, but green is actually great for all year round because plants reminds us of the seasons, because they usually reflect what’s happening. Indoor plants like a little bit darker green in the colder months and they might start to flower in the spring and summer months, and that reminds us of the change of season.

Does Feng Shui play into the colors or the colors into Feng Shui? How does one relate to the other?

Feng Shui looks a lot at color and so, again, the colors, for instance green and blue, are very comforting and expansive, and they also represent the wood element. When you think of the wood element, you think of a plant, a plant that’s growing and expanding and growing from a small seed and growing in to huge redwood tree. You think about that growth and going from that energetic little sprout to a big, grounded, supported tree, and that symbolism can affect your life when you surround yourself with things like plants or the colors green and blue, because it encourages the growth and expansion in your life.

You do, obviously, residential properties. You also do commercial properties. When you’re doing an office, for example in a commercial property, is there a different technique or different form of Feng Shui applied to, let’s say, a commercial office than, let’s say, your home office?

In terms of color? They’re pretty similar, I think your home office and your work office, but for instance, a retail store, you might want more active colors like orange and red. I’m doing a retail store right now that we have a lot of black. You have more opportunities to get more exciting, I guess. In homes and offices, you want something more neutral, because you spend much more time in there and so your mind and your eyes don’t want to be activated all the time. You want to also have some time for rest and relaxation.

How about lighting inside the home? What role does that play in Feng Shui?

Lighting is really important. One thing that people don’t realize is that light represents the fire energy, so when you have more light and you have a home that’s able to be brightly lit, that represents being able to have more opportunities for advancement and to be able to see. Do you see the metaphor? When you have a lot of light, you can see more clearly what’s coming towards you. And it doesn’t mean that you need to have your lights at full blast all the time, but having the opportunity to clearly see your space around you translates into your ability to see opportunities coming to you and to your life.

Sure. And one of the things that, and we have to leave it here, but it must be noted that a lot of what you do, and I don’t know if it’s just your practice, Anjie Cho, if it’s Feng Shui related, but you’re very eco-conscious and you’re very energy efficient in all the things that you do.

Well I think that when you say energy, that can go in two ways. That can be a more esoteric energy, but also actual electrical energy, and they go hand and hand. My hope is that people begin to see how you can impact the environment around you and how, in turn, the environment can impact you. Once you realize you have that ability to change the world around you, and it can change you and support you, you really become able to shape a happy and nurturing life.

Holisticspaces.com is the website for Anjie Cho, interior architect, author and sought after expert in Feng Shui and Green Design....Anjie, thanks so much for your time. We’re gonna get you back in a short time from now, and we’re going to talk more about this and learn more about what you do. We really appreciate your time. Anjie Cho, HolisticSpaces.com. And we’ll be back in a moment on The Home Discovery Show on the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show

by Anjie Cho


From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

Join Ian Power every Sunday from 10 to 11 am PT as he’s joined by experts on home renovations and upgrades, plus the latest tools and tricks from the trades.


Visit the Holistic Spaces Store

Listen: Feng Shui for Home Renovations

The Home Discovery Show's Ian Power and I are at it again! This week we talked about the lunar new year for the Year of the Ram and how to incorporate feng shui into your home renovations. Tune in for answers to these questions and more! 

Interview Transcript:

IP: Anjie Cho is a holistic interior architect and a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. A registered architect in the State of New York and a certified Feng Shui practitioner, Anjie creates beautiful spaces throughout New York and beyond. And we reached her today in California, good morning.

AC: Good morning.

You’re on West Coast time today.

Yes, yes, I’m in California this week.

Whereabouts in California?

I’m in the Los Angeles area in Burbank.

Nice of you to join us this morning. Your new book is already a best seller on Amazon, congratulations for that, that’s quite an accomplishment. It also tells us that there’s a huge interest in the things that you do and talk about. The book, 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes. What does that mean to the unwashed?

Well, Feng Shui is a philosophy where you can look at your environment as a metaphor for your life. So if you began to look at how your environment, which means your home, your office, how those spaces affect you, you can make positive shifts in your life. Everybody knows when you’re happy in your home and you feel like you have clean, supportive environment, you feel much more successful, and things come a lot easier in your life so that’s really what it’s about. My goal for the book was to create 108 simple tips that people could use to incorporate Feng Shui and Green Design principles in their life to create a more holistic environment that supports them and nurtures them.

It’s a beautiful book by the way. There’s a lot of comfort in holding your book, just the way it’s laid out and the look of it, maybe all of this ties in. I wanted to ask you about the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year which is February 19th, that’s the Year of the Ram, and what, if any, implications that might have on what you do.

Well, it’s interesting. I think we talked the other day Ian, we’re coming out of the year of the horse and into the year of the ram. And the year of the horse; what does the horse do? A horse just runs and runs, and sometimes they hit walls and they just keep going, and it was a very active and crazy year. So I have all these things that are finally coming to a culmination right now. So it seems like a lot of things are happening right now with my book and I started an online store and my business. So this coming year, the year of the ram, is a lot more thoughtful and slower. The ram is also the same as the sheep. The sheep like to go around in herds and they like to pass a lot of friends around them and a lot of support and they move a lot more slowly, so this year is going to be a lot more thoughtful, a lot more introspective I think. There’s going to be less hitting walls and more of people getting along and supporting each other.

That’s good news. And how do we tie that in to home renovations and/or home design and decoration?

Well, I think it’s a good time to just remind yourself if you’re in a middle of a renovation or you’re considering doing renovations, why not incorporate some Feng Shui aspects into the changes that you make? I found that most of my clients, maybe they’re not interested in Feng Shui but they’re like, well, why not? Everyone’s actually becoming so much more open to it because everyone understands that your environment is so important to you especially if you’re doing a home renovation. You want to spend probably a lot of your savings on making your home just the perfect space for you to support you and your family whether you want to entertain and have your friends over for great dinners and/or have your family come stay with you or your grandchildren... There’re so many emotions and positive things involved with renovation that why not make the most of it and add in some Feng Shui tips in your renovations?

Let’s talk about the kitchen because that’s everybody’s favorite room. What are some Feng Shui tips for the kitchen?

There’s a couple Feng Shui tips. One is the kitchen cabinet. Now, a lot of people sometimes get pre-fabricated kitchen cabinets, and that’s okay if you can’t afford a custom kitchen cabinet. But if possible, try to push your cabinets, your upper cabinets, all the way to the ceiling or create a soffit above, because in Feng Shui, that area, that gap between the ceiling and the top of the cabinet, that’s a place where dead energy can collect, and if you think about it in a practical sense, it’s a dust collector. The idea is that this is a place where energy can stagnate, and it causes problems with your health and with your prosperity in your life. So just push them all the way, either push them to the ceiling or drop a soffit or put another sort of cabinet up there. And nowadays, people also have taller backsplashes because they want to accommodate like those blenders and whatnot, so we’re not seeing shorter backsplashes anymore. So that’s one of my first tips, so push your kitchen cabinet, the upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling. 

Sure. What about the stove? I know that’s an important part of Feng Shui.

The stove is really important. When we look at the three most important areas or objects in your home,  the first 3 are your bed, your stove and your desk. So the stove is really important because this is how we nourish ourselves, we cook, we feed, it’s a modern hearth, right? Everyone gathers around the kitchen now, especially with these open kitchens where we have the island. Where the stove is located is really important for the prosperity in your life because how well you nourish yourself relates to how well you can work in the world and bring abundance in your life. So if you are in a place where your stove, for instance, is not facing the door so your back is facing the entry door or you can’t see what or who’s coming in to the room, that actually puts you in a position of stress and fear, and you actually can put that energy into your food where you’re cooking and that doesn’t help you. So if you’re going to renovate your kitchen, if possible, it would be great if you could position your stove so you can see the entry towards the kitchen where most of the people are coming in so that when you’re cooking, you’re in command of your space, you’re not in a place where your back is exposed, where you don’t know what’s happening so you’re in full control, you’re happy, you're stress free and you’re relaxed while you’re cooking and nourishing yourself.

Makes sense.

And if that’s not possible, you can set up a mirror or say even like a mirror teapot on your stove so you can, it’s like a little cheat, that you can see behind you like what one of those convex rearview mirrors

Right.

So then consciously and subconsciously, you know that you could still see behind you if you heard someone coming.

Sure. Just want to move along Anjie, just because we’re just about at time and I want to make sure that I get this in, because I think one of the easiest things to do and certainly affordable things to do is to create a more inviting entry, and I want to know how and why that’s important to Feng Shui.

In Feng Shui, your entry represents your space in the world and especially, unless you're retired, most people want to have the best relationships come to you, the best opportunities come to you, and if your entry is not inviting then it’s hard for that energy or that chi to find your front door and come in to your life. So one thing is to push your entry out beyond the space of the home, that would help because it actually adds more space, more energy to that entry area. You also should really make it stand out and attractive and easy to find. There’s so many times where I see front doors hidden behind a bush or you park your car but you have no idea do I go left, do I go right, how do I get to the door…

You know what Anjie? I’m going to have to leave it there just because of time but you know what? The rest of the answer is in 108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces, Feng Shui and Green Design for Healing and Organic Homes by Anjie Cho. Look for it online at holisticspaces.com. Anjie, we’ll get you back, we’re going to talk about college and other things the next time you join us on the Home Discovery Show. Thanks for your time and we’ll be back on the Home Discovery Show from the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show

by Anjie Cho


From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

Join Ian Power every Sunday from 10 to 11 am PT as he’s joined by experts on home renovations and upgrades, plus the latest tools and tricks from the trades.


Listen: Feng Shui for the Lunar New Year

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HAPPY LUNAR NEW YEAR to my readers!

Listen to me discuss with Ian Power of Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show, Feng Shui considerations for the Lunar New Year.

What is Feng Shui?  What are considerations for the year of the Horse?

Interview Transcript:

IP: Anjie Cho is a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and is a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. She’s also the founder of the online blog, Holistic Spaces.

AC: Good morning Ian.

Kung Hei Fat Choi.

Happy New Year to you too.

What is Feng Shui?

Well, Feng Shui is an ancient art of placement that was developed thousands of years ago, specifically in China, and it really seeks to enhance and improve the flow of energy through your space, whether it be your workspace or your home space, to maximize the potential in your life.

Is that the same as chi?

Well, chi is the energy that I referred to. So in Feng Shui, we call that energy, that life force that moves through all of us and it also moves through your space, we call that chi.

Okay. Who is it for?

Well, everyone could be interested in Feng Shui. So I practice Feng Shui but I also apply it in my home. I do architecture and interior design, so I can apply it to peoples’ homes, I can apply it to their offices, you can even apply Feng Shui principles to your desk, to your bed, to your body...so anyone can use Feng Shui. Actually, almost every culture has some form of Feng Shui. Ancient cultures looked at what was the best place to locate your home or your farm or your business based on the environment around you and to create the most positive impact.

With the Lunar New Year upon us, are there any special considerations? We’re in the year of the horse, what significance does that play in Feng Shui?

I think in Western culture, we look back at what we did and try to repair that, but we really just absorb. So how do we welcome the new energy that’s coming in to the year? That’s really what the Chinese zodiac is about. Each year has certain characteristic, so for instance, last year was a Water Snake year. If you think about a snake, how does a snake move? It moves indirectly. It goes left and right, and it kinda slithers along, and it’s more subtle. It’s indirect, very serpentine in its direction. So that was the energy of last year. But when you think of a horse, a horse really moves straightforward. It’s very direct, and they work in teams, and they gallop together, and they’re just charging forward all the time. In one way, we look at how do we welcome this new energy, and the best way to welcome the new energy is to do a little space clearing. What that means is taking the old energy in your space and letting it go. Clearing some clutter in your home, maybe there is a box that’s been sitting in your closet for years, and maybe it’s a good time to look through it or just maybe throw it away if you haven’t touched it on years. Also you can literally clear the space by opening up your windows, use fresh orange peels. Orange peels have very strong, yang, life-affirming energy. When you peel an orange, that smell just makes you happy…

It sure does.

… it’s very brightening.

Orange peels are also good for cleaning.

Yes, absolutely. So they can physically clean, spiritually clean, energetically clean as well. It’s all the same thing.

If there’s one thing, what would that one thing be that you would recommend they do?

The first thing that pops to mind is what I talked about with clearing the space so, opening up your windows, literally letting out the old air, open up your closet. Something else that I think is really important is starting in your bedroom and looking at your bed, what’s going on with your bed? A lot of people have a lot of stuff under their bed, and in Feng Shui, it’s actually not a good place to store anything. If you have to store something, you could store bed related things like blankets, pillows, soft things. I know a lot of people who have, pictures or letters from ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, energetically negative items under their bed, and that really influences you. Because think about it, you’re passive in bed for 8 hours a day. You spend so much time in your bedroom, and that energy really affects you so I think that’s a really great place to start.

I’m thinking about all those socks that are under my bed.

I think socks are okay, but it might represent that you’re always moving forward. Because it’s your feet, right, and when you think about your feet, you’re walking along a path. People who have a lot of shoes too, it might be that that they’re always on the go or walking away from things.

Yeah. I’m thinking of the horse too, and we’re just about out of time so I gotta move this along, but I am thinking, with the horse and the horseshoe, is there any kind of a luck component to this?

Well you know how I said we can apply it to any religion or culture? Because in Western culture the horse shoe represents good luck, absolutely, you can use it. I think that’s a great way to tie in the Eastern and Western together, because, traditionally, if you put the horse shoe up above a door, that’s a good luck charm, right?

Mhm. Anjie…

I think that’s great.

As always, a pleasure and a lot of fun talking to you.

Thank you, Happy New Year.

Happy New Year to you. Anjie Cho, a Feng Shui interior architect based in New York City and Los Angeles and is a sought after expert in the fields of Feng Shui and Green Design. Look for the Home Discovery Show podcast at cknw.com. We’re also on Facebook for Zahir Muslin, who is our technical producer and Steve Seaborn, the little contractor, and my name is Ian Power. We’ll be back next week on The Home Discovery Show, here on the Corus Radio Network.

Click here to listen to my other interviews with the Home Discovery Show.

by Anjie Cho


From the leaky faucet upstairs, to an entire back yard overhaul, when it comes to projects around your home, the advice you need is heard weekly on Vancouver’s CKNW Home Discovery Show.

Join Ian Power every Sunday from 10 to 11 am PT as he’s joined by experts on home renovations and upgrades, plus the latest tools and tricks from the trades.