7 Things at Home That Are Killing Your Concentration

featured this month on apartment therapy by Caroline Biggs

image credit:    Diana Liang    via apartment therapy

image credit: Diana Liang via apartment therapy

Finding it hard to concentrate on things while you're at home? There might be some things in your space that could be working against you.

To figure out what items at home could be inadvertently killing our concentration and fussing with our focus, we called on Anjie Cho, architect and feng shui educator, for help. Read ahead to see what she had to say.

1. Poor lighting

According to Cho, lighting can make or break your ability to focus when you're at home. "Often it's a lack of lighting that affects your concentration," she explains. "When it's difficult to visually focus, it in turn affects your mental focus." She suggests setting a lighting scheme that closely resembles natural light, because it's "the most soothing to the eyes," and employing dimmers when necessary "so you have flexibility."

2. Sitting with your back to the door

"When you're sitting at your desk, or in a place where you're trying to focus and concentrate, it's beneficial to see the door to the room." Explains Cho, "When your back is to the door, your stress levels increase and part of your attention is in protection mode; who knows who can creep up behind you!"

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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.


Brighten Your Apartment: 6 Simple Tricks

Not everyone has the luxury of having big windows that let in ample sunlight. Most apartments have at least one room or space that is continually dark. A dark room can cause accidents, eye-strain, and even a sour disposition. If you’d like to illuminate your space – without taking a sledgehammer to your walls – try a few of these apartment-brightening tricks. A brighter space will lead to a brighter mood!

Paint your walls a light color

Dark walls actually soak up the light, making the room seem darker – even when you put the lights on. But lighter colors have a higher LRV, or “light reflectance value.” LRV tells you how much useable light is reflected by a surface. Wall colors with a higher LRV help to spread light deep into a space. 

Use eggshell or semi-gloss paint

Flat finishes absorb light, while glossier paints reflect the light back into the room. One warning, though: Because of the light reflection, a glossy finish does call attention to any flaws in the wall.

Keep your ceiling white 

It’s amazing the difference that a white ceiling makes on a room. Even if you have dark walls, a white ceiling will help keep the darkness from overwhelming the space. My go-to color is Benjamin Moore Super White in a flat finish -- it's the most reflective for ceilings.

Add more lamps

Yes, this seems obvious. But many apartment dwellers rely solely on overhead lights to illuminate the rooms. Light needs to come from various levels – low, middle, and high. Combining uplights on the floor and lamps on tables around the room with overhead lighting will create a brighter, more comfortable space. In feng shui, uplighting can also lift your mood and energy.

Hang large mirrors

Large mirrors can act like windows, reflecting the light back into the room. 

Choose reflective surfaces 

Just like walls, other large surfaces can absorb or reflect your light. Opt for glossy countertops, add glass panes to your hanging artwork, and place mirrored trays on top of dark tables.

Light is important for your physical and mental health. So make sure your home is gets as much light as possible!

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.


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for Career Growth and Direction

Feng Shui for Career Growth and Direction.jpg

I just wanted to say thank you for your amazing podcast! I am also still deciding which Feng Shui school works best for me but I love learning about Feng Shui and your podcast really taught me so much. My whole apartment is located directly above a laundromat. I'm interested in tapping into some good energies for mine and my boyfriend's careers. I need to figure out what direction I want to go in career-wise, and my boyfriend is hoping to grow his business. Thanks for all your help Anjie!

Amy A., Easthampton, MA

Hi Amy,

Thank you so much for listening to the podcast and for submitting your floor plan. Maybe one day we’ll start the podcast again! But I’ve had a busy year working on my book,  and launching Mindful Design Feng Shui School.

From your email, you’ve indicated that you and your boyfriend would like to have some feng shui advice on how to improve your careers. The boyfriend wishes to grow his business, and you would like some direction and clarity on your career in general.

Feng Shui for Career Growth Floor Plan.png

I appreciate the time and energy you spent on this floor plan, and even drawing it up on the computer! Everything is part of the story for you, including the appearance of this floor plan. My first observation was that that you’ve drawn this with a very thick black boundary. In fact the boundary is even thicker at the front door, and I had to spend some time to even find the front door on the plan. Of course all of this relates to your careers. This tells me that there may be some blocks in how business and career opportunities find you. You and your boyfriend can make a bit more effort to put yourself out in the world more. It can be literally getting out of the house more, as well as opening your mind up as well. 

It's interesting that you live above a laundromat. A few things come to mind...living above a lot of things spinning around in circles. And also people coming in to clean their "dirty laundry" and coming out fresh and clean! Finally, the ritual of cleaning. So maybe in your life, you spin things around a few times, but end up with freshness and new beginnings!

A little more on the entry, since the entry and this large block is in the Benefactors area, I think that it would be beneficial to look for helpful people and to travel outside of your comfort zone. Are there mentors you can work with? Are there friends or colleagues that you can reach out to for support? Be sure the entry is clean, uncluttered, and bright. If you need to, add some lighting, or a brighter light bulb. Make sure the outside of your door is clean, and your house number is clear and easy to see. 

The entry is super important to career. It’s how the world finds and sees you. 

For your boyfriend, he would like some growth in his business, so I would recommend a green plant in the Recognition area of your home, which is in the living room where the table is. Near the table by the window would be a perfect spot for a new healthy green plant or tree. I’ve been loving fig trees lately like this one. The leaves are so lush and soft. The wood element can support and enhance the fame and recognition he needs to see growth.

If you want to have some more clarity and direction, keep your windows clean and clear. Even if they’re clean right now, clean them again! The windows symbolize the eyes of the inhabitants of the home. Keep your eyes open and clear so you can start to see what’s the best direction for you. So you can begin to notice the messages from the universe to direct you towards your life path.

Finally, the both of you can attract more helpful people and benefactors, which is in that entry area. Besides the suggestions above, you can also ring a bell like these to activate the benefactors area. The sound and vibrations will spread out so that helpful people will come to your support. It’s even more powerful if you can do this every day between 11am and 1pm for 27 days in a row! 

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.


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!

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How to Choose Your Bathroom Vanity Lighting

featured this month on Houzz by Yanic Simard

The bathroom vanity is a special part of the home, but one that can sometimes get overlooked. In a primary bathroom, it can be the central hub for many important parts of our self-care and the true workhorse for much of our daily routines. For this reason, bathroom vanities need carefully selected lighting to live up to their full potential. There are many options to choose from, all of which work in different scenarios and can be used together to get the best of both worlds. Read on to find out how to pick the right bathroom vanity lighting.

Use a Single Sconce Above the Mirror If:

  • You don’t have room on one or both sides of the mirror to fit a pair of sconces.
  • You have a very wide mirror with no breaks in between.
  • You have a tall space and want to dramatically accentuate the height by adding a focal point up high.

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