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

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

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!

8 Open Concept Layout Mistakes We Should All Stop Making

featured on Apartment Therapy by Caroline Biggs

image credit: Jessica Isaac via  Apartment Therapy

image credit: Jessica Isaac via Apartment Therapy

For as spacious as the layout may be, designing an open concept home can be tricky. Along with figuring out the right way to arrange your furniture, you’re often stuck with the daunting task of forging distinct areas inside a lofty, wall-less space.

Thankfully, we know a few space-savvy designer friends to call upon for help. We reached out to eight interior design aficionados for advice on what not to do when you’re laying out your open concept living area. Here’s what they had they had to say.

3. Being Too Open

“With open concept living spaces, I find that there’s the paradox of wanting to have lots of openness, but also wanting smaller intimate spaces for connection. It’s helpful to keep certain areas open for larger gatherings, but also create intimate nooks, like a reading corner or small workspace, so you have spots you can hang out alone in too.” — Anjie Cho

…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