House to Home: Your Perfect Workspace

featured on telegram.com by Debbie Travis

Dear Debbie: When is working at home a bad idea? I find it a real struggle to put aside home tasks and unrelated phone calls and get down to concentrating on my paying job as an accountant. Should I rent office space? — Anna

Dear Anna: For many people, working at home solves myriad challenges, including time lost traveling and food expenses. Also, cutting down on sick days is easier when you don’t have to venture out. Having a home office can be ideal with today’s computer connections, but it also depends on your career choice. Many accountants work from home, so consider how you can better situate yourself so that you can close out home distractions and concentrate on your clients.

In her recent book “Holistic Spaces, 108 Ways to Create a Mindful and Peaceful Home,” the author, interior architect Anjie Cho, lays out how to create holistic spaces using many disciplines. She thinks of feng shui as the original “green” design and looks at how the environment affects us on an energetic level, as well as how we affect the environment.

The philosophy of where to situate furniture in relation to doors and windows, what should or should not be in a room and how we can benefit by following these rules is an ancient one, and not often thought about in western societies. Because so many of Cho’s rules and so much of her guidance is backed by a combination of common sense and tested theories, it is a valuable companion, especially if you are struggling with home anxieties.

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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. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for a Small Office with Windows

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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.

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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!


Mindful Design Feng Shui: Improve Productivity with Desk Feng Shui

Check out our feng shui show & tell series! We should you how we have set up our own workspaces and desks.


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: 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!


Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui for an Office with No Windows

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What are some feng shui considerations for a psychotherapist’s office with no windows?

Erin H., Mountainview, CA

Hi Erin, 

Thank you for your question: what some feng shui considerations are for your office, since it has no windows. I think the answer for this question may be helpful to many people in windowless offices. 

It's ideal to have at least one window in any space, as having natural light and fresh air is vital to human beings. Everything living grows towards the light. When I work with my private architecture and feng shui clients, one of the main desires across the board is maximizing light. Light is so important, and without it, we can feel claustrophobic, suffer from health issues and even become depressed. As an architect, for any habitable space, there are actually light and air requirements. We need air circulation and light, and it's difficult if we don't have them both.

In feng shui, the windows represent the eyes of the inhabitants and can symbolize how we see the world around us. If it's not possible to change offices, I recommend including some artwork that feels like a window. This doesn't mean finding pictures of windows. Instead, look for images of landscapes or other settings where you're bringing the outdoors in. Hanging this kind of art on the wall can give the impression of having a window, even when there isn't physically one there. 

There are also seasonal affective disorder lamps, which simulate natural daylight, that may help. These can be used in any space, especially one without sufficient natural light, to counteract the negative effects of lack of sunlight. They are often recommended by therapists during the colder, darker seasons. In fact, as a psychotherapist, you may already be familiar with them!

Finally, you could also bring nature into your space with fresh flowers or green plants. It's true that most plants need natural sunlight to grow, but you can opt for a low-light plant or even add a fake plant to your space. If possible, aim for a real plant, as this can help out with indoor air quality as well. Fresh flowers are also an incredible way to bring in nature energy and connect you with the outdoors. Take a look at some of our posts on flowers for ideas on which blooms to select for your space!

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!