Q&A Sunday: What to Do When Your Desk Isn't In Command

What to Do When Your Desk Isn't In Command.jpg

I happily discovered your blog and am inspired to feng shui my desk! Unfortunately I have an L-Shaped desk attached to the walls, and the right side of my body is directly in line with the door. I do not have the option to change this, what can I do instead? Can I use crystals?

- Joanne C., San Francisco, CA

BTB feng shuiHi Joanne, thanks so much for your question. This is a good question, because it’s very common. If you work in a cubicle, or most office spaces, it’s very likely you will have a desk that is fastened to the walls, often placing the worker directly in line with the door (or door of the cubicle). I have designed many, many office spaces in my time, and even after learning feng shui, sometimes you end up with a situation like this. For instance, in my home office, my only option is also to place my desk so that my (left) side is directly in line with the door.

Luckily, BTB feng shui gives us some tools to adjust these situations. Ideally, if at all possible, it is best to place the desk in command. But for those of us without that option, I have some suggestions!

Convex Mirror

If the side of your body is facing the door, then you are not in command while sitting at your desk. A simple way to adjust this is to use a convex mirror. I have a small one on the top of my computer monitor so that it expands my view around me. It’s even better if you can place it angled so that you can see the door. You can get one at the Holistic Spaces store here.

Feng Shui Crystal Ball

Because you’re in line with the door, that puts you in the path of qi. This should be adjusted, because the qi comes at you very quickly and can be damaging. The feng shui way of adjusting for this is to place a faceted feng shui crystal ball halfway between you and the door. Grab a crystal ball with string at the Holistic Spaces store here. Hang the crystal ball with a red string from the ceiling. The length of the string can be cut in a dimension that is a multiple of 9, such as 9”, 18”, 27” and so forth. You can use any units, including centimeters. The crystal ball energetically breaks up that rushing qi and disperses it.

If you have enough room, you can use something else to break up the line of qi, such as a piece of furniture or plants. We’d love to see a photo of what you end up doing!

I hope you also listen to my Podcast, Episode #3 feng shui for your desk!

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" (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!

10 Designer-Approved Home Offices to Inspire Your Own

featured on Martha Stewart by Caroline Biggs

image credit: Aaron Dyer via  Martha Stewart

image credit: Aaron Dyer via Martha Stewart

Whether we like it or not, most of us have to work from home at some point. That's why creating a home office space you actually want to spend time in is so important. "Designing a home office can be challenging because the purpose of the space is for working rather than 'living,'" says Anjie Cho, interior architect and author of Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.

The first step in creating a home office where you'll actually get work done, is finding the space to put one. "I've found that a lot of people can't find the physical space for a proper home office, so they have to carve out what they can in another room," Cho says. "If this is the case, I suggest using a fabric drape, roller shade, or freestanding screen or shelf to visually separate your workspace from the rest of the room."

When it comes to furnishing your home office, Cho says to start with the essentials. "A desk or work table is the most important furniture item in a home office," she explains, "so take care to properly measure the office area to make sure you have enough room for the one you want."

…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.

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

Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Bedrooms

I would love to hear your opinion on one feature of my room (in a three bedroom apartment). The entrance of my room does happen to be almost directly across the entrance to the apartment. My bed is a few feet (~2ft.) from the entrance to my room, and I can see the door when I lie in bed. The headboard touches the back of a beat up leather couch that faces the two windows in my room (one north, one east). I feel uncomfortable and have trouble sleeping with this positioning but am not sure how to change it. Is there any way for me to move them in a way that might be better for the energy of my room? I’ve also tried the bed rotated clock-wise so the headboard is against the wall on the right side. Thanks! 

Valerie W., New York, NY

Hi Valerie

Thanks for your email. The sketch helps tremendously. A picture says a thousand words!

Q&A Sunday- Feng Shui for Bedrooms_Sketch.jpg

There are a few feng shui issues that stand out with the floor plan of the room. 

My first suggestion is to swap the sofa area and the bed area. By having the bed closer to the door, and the social “living” area with the sofa in a commanding position because it’s further back, this implies that your private life is not as private as you need it. Or perhaps your public life commands what happens to you internally. It’s preferable to have your bedroom further from the door if you can do that. If you can't, try this option. 

Second thing, the headboard is floating in the middle of the room. In feng shui vocabulary, this means you have no support in your life, and you’re just floating along without security. It’s no wonder that you feel uncomfortable! Locate the bed in the commanding position, with the headboard against a wall and facing the door if possible. See my articles on the commanding position. It’s OK to put the headboard against a window if you’re not on the ground floor. Also if possible, it’s best to have space open on each side of the bed. Read this article.

A couple of other things to consider: try not to place the headboard on a wall with a toilet on the other side. I see that the washroom is next door on the left. Also, if possible please relocate your desk(s) in the commanding position? Do you really need two desks? The room seems small for two desks.

I hope this helps! Send us some photos!

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!

Finding the Right Place for a Home Office

image credit: Trisha Krauss via  New York Times

image credit: Trisha Krauss via New York Times

When working from home, where you work is often an afterthought. But it shouldn’t be.

Earlier this year, I faced a conundrum that many of us who work from home know well: Where in the house can I actually work?

Unless you’re blessed with a home large enough for a dedicated office, or are a truly nomadic worker and able to set up shop on a sofa with nothing more than a cup of tea and your laptop, you’re inevitably going to have to carve out space in a room that isn’t naturally intended for work.

Any spot you choose has the potential to diminish what you had before. Set up camp in your bedroom, and you’re left staring down your desk when you’re trying to get to sleep, all those unanswered emails calling to you as you lie awake at 4 a.m. Move to the kitchen or dining room, and snack time becomes an endless loop. (Why work when you could sample that fresh salsa from the farmers market?) Steal a corner of the living room, and suddenly your prime social area feels like some weird break room outside an office cubicle.

These were my options when I relinquished my airy bedroom office to my son when he outgrew the room he had long shared with his sister. I knew this day would come, and yet, when it did, I still didn’t have a good answer for where to go.

So I went to the place where all objects with no obvious home inevitably end up: the basement.

…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.

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

5 Ways to Make Over Your Desk So It Inspires Creativity

featured on MindBodyGreen by Emma Loewe

image credit: Elsa Noblet/Unsplash via  MindBodyGreen

image credit: Elsa Noblet/Unsplash via MindBodyGreen

Your outer landscape has a direct impact on your inner one, whether you realize it or not. When it comes to decorating your home or office, there's real power in designing a space that speaks to your goals and intentions.

Plant-based athlete, author, and mbg Collective member Rich Rollsaid it best in a recent Instagram post about his at-home office scene: a converted shipping container filled with books, notepads, a skateboard, and other trinkets he finds inspiring. "The more fertile the space, the more fertile the mind," its caption reads. "Put intention into your personal space. Create the environment to create."

While research has found that some things are beneficial for nearly every work environment (adding a plant to your desk can increase productivity by 15%; sitting near a window while you work can improve sleep and boost energy levels), it's largely personal. So for inspiration, we asked some of the creative, design-oriented people in our world about how they invite productivity and inspiration into their workspaces. Here are some of their favorite strategies you can emulate in your office or home:

…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.

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