Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui in Any Environment

You to Planet

How does one live a feng shui lifestyle if the environment is not "good feng shui?" Steps are being made towards a feng shui inspired environment, but how do I create good feng shui without changing/renovating the physical architectural elements. Thanks for your help!

Charlene R., Pacifica, CA

Although I am a professional architect and incorporate feng shui principles into my architecture and design, we always still work with existing environments that cannot be changed. Beyond the actual built architecture of your home or office, there’s also the natural environment, the street, the city, the country, etc. See the image above. We are all influenced by these concentric circles, or degrees, of the environment that we can’t just go and change. I own an apartment in New York City. The bathroom and kitchen have to stay where they are, as does the front door, the relationship to the street, etc. You can do your best to pick the most advantageous location, but nothing is perfect.

Luckily, I practice BTB Feng Shui. This school of feng shui is influenced greatly by intention and offers many solutions that can work with your existing environment. Most feng shui is remedial, and we work with what you have.

If we go back to the concentric circles, you see the green center area is YOU. Start with changing your energy and your personal feng shui. Then work outward. I think the steps you're taking and even intention to start making shifts are great first steps. From here, work on changing the feng shui of your bedroom. Put your bed in the commanding position, which means either moving the bed or placing a mirror so that you can see the door.

Take a look at my other tips, and take it step by step! And by starting with yourself, you’re already creating a good feng shui environment. 

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!

How to Spring Clean & Green your Beauty Cabinet with Anjie Cho

featured this month on Modern Minerals by Mo Mi

image credit: Lotus Wei

image credit: Lotus Wei

In the late summer of 2015, I was in Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan where I found a book titled “108 Ways to Create Holistic Spaces“. I was in a bit of a rush, but snapped a photo of this because I knew this was something I needed to read. At the time I was with my Mom and said “I would love to meet this designer one day”. A year later, my friend Katie Hess invited me to a super moon soirée on the roof top of building in Flatiron. I sat down next to Anjie and we started talking and I immediately knew we were going to be friends. It wasn’t until in 2017 that I had finally got around to organizing my photos when I found this photo I had taken in 2015 to remind me I wanted to read this book, and to my surprise the author was my incredible friend Anjie Cho! Since getting to know Anjie and watching her on YouTube, I often turn to Anjie when I’m feeling like something could be made better or for practical solutions to improve the flow of energy and balance in my space. Learn more from her podcasts HERE.

I wanted to find out more about Anjie for some advice on how to Spring Clean our beauty cabinets and asked her for some advice…Check it out!

...read full article


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui and Pregnancy

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Is there any sort of feng shui I should pay special attention to if I'm pregnant?

Stephanie C., Washington D.C.

Hi Stephanie,

First of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! 

There are a few things to consider when we look at feng shui and pregnancy. For one, I would encourage you not to do any kind of house renovations during your pregnancy. Your home represents your body, so during a pregnancy, you don’t want to do any renovations or move things around or rebuild things. Not only does this disturb your body's natural chi, any chemicals or substances that become airborne during a renovation can be harmful to an unborn baby. 

Since your body, for the next nine months, is your baby's only space, do your best to keep this space healthy, both emotionally and physically. Avoid high-stress situations and instances where you might come into contact with anything physically harmful for your baby's growth. Check out my recipes for DIY non-toxic cleaners and laundry detergent, and if you feel the need to nest (which you most likely will!) aim for a green cleaning approach, natural space clearing and the like. And don't do any painting yourself, but check out how to create a relaxing atmosphere, use the color wheel and incorporate other feng shui aspects into your baby's space

Don't forget to take time out for yourself to eliminate stress too! Meditate, use essential oils or do any other activities you can to calm down without changing the overall chi of your baby's temporary space. 

In feng shui, there are also some important factors to consider before you get pregnant, when you are trying to have a baby. One of the most important is to avoid cleaning out from under your bed during this time. Though feng shui recommends keeping space beneath your bed clear, it is important to understand the concept of "ling particles" as it relates to pregnancy. 

Feng shui practitioners believe that there are what we call "ling particles" in the air that help create and support life. When a baby is conceived, a ling particle gives the embryo life, and these particles are said to collect under the bed. For this reason, if you're hoping to become pregnant, you don’t want to clean under your bed. I would also encourage you not to do any renovations when you’re trying to get pregnant.

For the most part, feng shui advocates creating a healthy, positive space for your baby. This means not making any drastic changes to the environment you've already created, and doing what you can to maintain a stress-free, healthy lifestyle. This will also help to create a holistic space in which for you to welcome your baby to the world!  

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: Feng Shui for a New Home

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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: Tips for Spiritual & Healing Providers

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What are some basic tips for people who provide spiritual or healing services to reflect a fun, sacred, zen-like atmosphere to spaces/venues that are already designed?

T.F, Stamford, CT

This is a situation that many face: how to create a holistic space with what you have. It’s a little like life, right? We come into this world with our cultural and environmental conditioning and limitations. My teachers would say that if you’re born a Honda you’ll never be a Mercedes, but you can be the best Honda you can be! Similarly, we can work with what we’re given. Most feng shui is remedial - we make adjustments after the fact. With my clients I actually incorporate feng shui into the architectural design. But not everyone has that luxury or foresight.

Space Clearing

My first suggestion is space clearing. In feng shui we use different rituals involving mantras, sometimes rice, sometimes oranges and others. If you want to do this yourself I recommend getting some orange essential oil and placing 9 drops in a bowl of water. With this bowl, walk around clockwise from the entrance sprinkling the essence throughout the space. Lately I’ve also been burning palo santo, a Peruvian wood used to smudge (or clear) a space. Remember when you clear a space, always put positive energy back in.

Commanding Position

Second, use the commanding position to layout the most important areas in your space. For a spiritual or healing provider, this may be your desk or the position in which a client receives your services. The commanding position locates us in an advantageous place so we can feel relaxed and in control of our environment. This position is that which is furthest back from the door, while not in line with or behind the swing of the door.

Five Elements

Third, use the five elements to create a balanced and harmonious space. Take a look at this previous Holistic Spaces blog article or explore our five elements series on the Holistic Spaces podcast.

Bring in Nature

Finally, for a healing and zen-like space be sure to have some green plants. Use non-toxic cleaning products and add fresh flowers when possible. The plants not only improve the indoor air quality, they add life energy to the space. Plants promote kindness and flexibility. Fragrant fresh flowers bring joy and improve energy flow.

There is also something my teachers call “method of minor additions” which involve the use of feng shui adjustment objects such as crystals, mirrors, windchimes, colors, etc. Unfortunately that’s where the feng shui expert comes in. This depends on the particular location, situation, and person.

Good luck with your space, and kudos to you for providing such beautiful services to help others.

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!