9 Cliché Decorating Rules We Should All Start Breaking

While some decorating rules of thumb are definitely worth paying attention to—think: "Decorate rooms one at a time" or "Always design rooms around furniture"—others are made to be broken. To prove our point, we asked a few of our favorite designers which old-school decorating clichés they believe should be ignored, and their responses didn't disappoint. Read ahead for nine decorating clichés our experts say you should avoid following.

1. The Rule of Threes

"There's this very cliché rumor that if you do a pop of color in a room it should appear in three different places, which is just such a funny thing to suggest! I never think a room should be that contrived. Accents are great when they are unique." —Alyssa Kapito, Alyssa Kapito Interiors

2. There's No Room for Experimentation

"It's not necessary to match every single item in one room. In fact, we always mix it up. Many people fall into the habit of matching the artwork with the couch and the rug and even an accent piece such as a throw pillow. Experiment by incorporating different patterns and colors that go well together in order to add character. We like to mix vintage with new and love texture." —Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez, Dekar Design

3. All White Walls are Boring

"I think that people tend to think that white walls are boring, but personally, I love white walls. There are many shades of white, one for every taste. White paint brightens and expands spaces visually, and it's a blank canvas that can inspire you to engage and play with more daring colors in your accessories (which are easier to change)." —Anjie Cho

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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


Live the Green Dream and Let Plants Take Root In Your Home

featured on Irish Examiner by Kya deLongchamps

image credit: Irish Examiner

image credit: Irish Examiner

Minimalist or austere? The uptight, sleek, relatively empty neutral space spiked with worthy mid-century inspired furnishings is being challenged in 2019 with the return to a cosier more full inhabited feel of maximalism. Celebrated American architect Robert Charles Venturi Jr, who sadly died this year, tangled with the Mies Van Der Rohe’s sacred but paralysing adage trotted out in the last 10 years of decorating – ‘Less is more’, Venturi stated flatly, ‘- and less - is a bore.’

One of the most popular and luxurious interpretations of the ‘more is more’ school of aesthetics is the Memphis look – a 1970s fantasy of brass bound tables, marble, velvet and abstract art layered joyfully over every wall, glass and lacquered surface. It’s still chic, but there’s a lot more ‘you’ in these playful rooms.

In lush imagery of the Memphis lifestyle in European and American trade shows, living and faux greenery softens glass counters, orphaned corners and empty vertical voids using the exquisite geometry of rosette succulents, string-of-pearl (trailing Senecio Rowleyanus) and statuesque palms-house super-stars.

…read full article


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


New Year, New Home: Q&A with Anjie Cho

image credit: CICO Books via    Ryland Peter & Small

image credit: CICO Books via Ryland Peter & Small

We know January can feel like a bit of a slog, but it's also a great time to stand back and take stock of where you are and what you want to achieve this year. If you feel like your home is in need of a re-design, big or small, now's the time to make sure your environment is supporting and nurturing you as much as possible. We spoke to Anjie Cho, architect, feng shui consultant and author of Holistic Spaces, about how to maximize the potential of your space and get 2019 off to the best possible start!

Hi Anjie! So what are holistic spaces?

Space is physical, emotional, energetic, and so holistic spaces is a way to look at all the space around you in an integrated way. When you can begin to see that your inner and outer spaces are connected, it gives you insight and joy. It's a mindful way to work with the environment around us, so that we can see the magic in our everyday life. Every moment and every space has a gift to offer. 

When did you first become interested in feng shui?

In my late twenties I was pretty miserable and looking for happiness outside of myself. On a trip to the Buddhist country of Thailand, I had an epiphany during a Reiki session where I realized that when I returned to New York City I would begin a journey to find contentment within myself. So, I started studying meditation, yoga, and naturally next came feng shui. I was an architect so I wanted to bring this mindfulness into my work as well.

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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


How to spruce up a Sheepshead Bay co-op with a peach-tiled bath and plain kitchen

featured this month on Brick Underground by Leah Hochbaum Rosner

image credit:    Brick Underground

image credit: Brick Underground

This Sheepshead Bay one bedroom, 2711 Ave., X, #6D is asking $225,000 and has a lot going for it, according to architect and Feng Shui expert Anjie Cho, including a “workable” floor plan, a private balcony, and decent-looking floors.

Still, there are lots of things that could be improved, such as the prodigiously peach bathroom, which she believes needs to be gutted immediately. “The wallpaper. That vanity. That gray tub. Oh my God,” she says.

She also hates the tiny, makeshift sunroom between the living room and terrace—which accounts for the second layer of windows visible behind the original windows—as well as two terrace doors. It takes precious square footage away from the terrace and makes the back wall in the living room look too busy. It’s also fairly shabby-looking, she says, noting the exposed wiring and “dingy” doors. “It’s the first thing you see when you walk in. It doesn’t make a very good impression.”

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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


It's Nesting Season — Here's How To Make Your Bed The Coziest On The Planet

image credit: Megan Doty, mbg Creative via    MindBodyGreen

image credit: Megan Doty, mbg Creative via MindBodyGreen

The term "hygge" first popped up on the American scene in 2016, and unlike other home trends come and gone, the Danish philosophy that prizes cozy, comfortable spaces has withstood the test of time.

It makes sense: Who wouldn't want to walk in their front door and immediately feel wrapped in a warm hug? Typical hyggelig fodder includes fuzzy socks and roaring candles, but to ring in winter 2019 we're calling for the next iteration of a wellness-approved hygge bedroom: one that makes us feel cushy and safe while also promoting a better night's sleep.

Go forth and make the bed of your dreams with these eight add-ons:

6. Reminders of people (or pets!) you love.

Placing a reminder of someone or something you love right across from your bed basically guarantees that you wake up in a good mood every morning. It can be a photograph from a family trip, a dreamy landscape, or an ode to a furry friend.

When you're hanging yours, take a cue from feng shui design philosophy and place it a little higher on the wall than you think you need to. "If someone has issues with depression and low energy, I often notice that their artwork, photographs, and mirrors are hung low on the walls. The low artwork can bring down your chi," feng shui expert Anjie Cho explained in a piece about bedroom design. "It's also good to fasten frames in two places so the art isn't crooked."

…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.

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.


Mindful Design Feng Shui: Kick-Start Something New in Your Life Using Feng Shui

During these winter months, as we naturally slow down, we can use this time to reflect and set our intentions for the new year. In a few weeks time, the energy will begin to stir under the soil, as nature prepares for spring time. You can use this transitional energy to start preparing for something new and spectacular in your life.

In this week’s video, Anjie discusses a specific question that is very relevant for this time of year.

…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.

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 Small Office with Windows

Feng Shui for a Small Office.jpg

Hey Anjie! I don’t know if this would be a good question for your blog, but I was just put in a small office with two other people. It has floor to ceiling windows on one side. Is there one item you’d recommend putting in a small office that would help with the feng shui? Here is the floor plan. Thanks so much! 

Mandy T., Livermore, CA

Hi Mandy!

For the readers, Mandy is one of my oldest friends! We used to make lots of trouble together as teenagers into our early twenties. But we turned out ok! So thank you for this question! 

Based on your photos, it looks like you have the floor to ceiling windows on the wall opposite the office door. This sort of design detail where there are floor to ceiling windows is not ideal feng shui-wise, however it’s fairly common in modern buildings. The floor to ceiling windows create less ground, and the qi can rush out, rather than gather in the space. In your case, there are two suggestions I’ll offer.

Feng Shui for a Small Office - Layout.png

First, you can strategically place a feng shui crystal ball as shown with the red star here. I recommend a crystal ball that is 40mm in diameter (or larger), and you use a red string to hang it halfway between the window and the door. The crystal should be centered on the door and hang from a red string (Holistic Spaces feng shui crystal balls come with a red string!). Ideally the ball will hang so that it’s the same height as the top of the door, but make sure the door does not hit the ball. The feng shui faceted crystal ball can take any qi that comes in from the door and disperse it into the room, rather than having it rush out the window.

Finally, I would also recommend that you ask if you can apply a frosted solar film to the bottom half of the windows. This will also help to keep the qi in the office and create more groundedness. If that’s not possible, you can try to arrange the furniture so that it blocks the bottom half of the window. There’s also a practical purpose: the people outside the window won’t be able to see up your skirt if your desk is up to the window! 

Hope this helps! I’d also be curious to hear about the two other people that you work with in there. I could offer suggestions on how to locate people and furniture with feng shui in mind for the most harmonious working relationships!

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design feng shui cerfication program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. Check us out at www.mindfuldesignschool.com

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.


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!


Home Notes: featured in Country Homes & Interiors

featured in Country Homes & Interiors by Vivienne Ayers

UK readers, I’m featured in Novmeber’s issue of Country Homes & Interiors! Take a peek at the Home Notes and head over to Amazon to grab your own copy of “Holistic Spaces: 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home.” Don’t forget to snag a copy of Country Homes & Interiors too!

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: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

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.


How to create a mindful and peaceful home

featured in The Yorkshire Post by Sharon Dale

image credit:  Dunelm  via    The Yorkshire Post

image credit: Dunelm via The Yorkshire Post

Architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho has put together 108 tips on how to create a mindful and peaceful home. Sharon Dale reports.

We are all used to applying the word “holistic” to our bodies but architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho believes that it is also relevant to property.

Anjie, a feng shui expert and an architect with an interest in eco-friendly design, is perfectly placed to show us how to turn our homes into calm, balanced and harmonious oases. Her book, Holistic Spaces, published by Cico, £9.99, has 108 tips that blend everything from feng shui to Buddhist and Taoist philosophies and environmental psychology. She says: “Holistic spaces are designed by looking beyond the surface to create awareness and an environment that supports and nurtures the inhabitants.” The book is a fascinating read and begins with a feng shui bagua map that you can align with the entrance to each of your rooms. It splits the space into nine areas, each relating to a different energy covering everything from new beginnings and relationships to wealth, health and knowledge. It then suggests what you can do to improve these areas.

…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.

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.