Design How To: Feng Shui Your Office
Today I want to talk about Feng Shui. As a designer, I get asked about all different design styles and principals and Feng Shui, is something that comes up fairly often. While I won't pretend to be a Feng Shui expert, I do know a thing or two about the ideologies behind feng shui, and arranging your home in a way to allow positive flows of energy for optimal happiness and function in your home.
Today, let's talk about Feng Shui in an office (in my case, home office) setting. Since you last saw my office, I've done a bit of rearranging. I've moved my chair to another area of the house and switched up my layout. If I'm being honest, and since we're talking about Feng Shui today, my previous layout was not ideal in the principals of energy flow.
Before I get into too much detail on the specifics of how to arrange your office for optimal energy - let's first go over just a bit of "what is feng shui"? Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art and set of principals that are set in the belief that the earth is alive and has it's own "Chi" or energy, and that the way you place your surroundings can affect your fortune. Feng Shui can be applied to any are of your home, both inside or outside and the belief is that if you apply the principals of Feng Shui, you will be happier, healthier and wealthier in your home and in your life. What's not to love about that?
In the practice of Feng Shui there are two schools of thought. Within those ideologies, tools such as a bagua (energy map) and the Luo Pan (the compass) are used to specifically create a well thought out space for optimal energy and well being. Today I'm going to keep things pretty simple without getting into those tools as there are simple ways for someone to use a few basic principals to take into consideration when laying out your own office. so let's think of this as "Beginner Feng Shui" or "Office Feng Shui 101" Let's take a look at a few simple changes you can make in your own home or office that will encourage wealth, positive energy flow and productivity.
1. Place Your Desk In A Power Position
My desk was previously up against a wall with my back towards the door. This is definitely not a power position in feng shui. Ideally, your desk should be as far away from the door in the room and you should be facing that door. Being farther from the door eliminates distraction and it is believed that the most powerful and beneficial chi accumulates at the rear of the room. Now, in a perfect world, you would have your back to a solid wall, not a window like my office. For better "Chi", I could have placed my desk at an angle in the corner however for my personal tastes, I chose to have my back toward a window. In Feng Shui, having your back toward a window leaves you a bit more vulnerable to distraction or feelings of insecurity however if having your back to a solid wall isn't an option, placing a crystal on the windowsill (or hanging one from a red string 9" long in the middle of the window) will help to secure your energy. The most important rule to keep in mind when placing the desk is to have sightline to the door - placing you in a position of power and control. It is also believed especially if you work from home that business will symbolically come to you through your front door, so if you have your back turned to it, you will not be successful in winning new business.
2. Keep Greenery In Your Room
I'm already a huge fan of having lots of greenery everywhere in my house. In addition to looking fabulous as decor and adding a pop of color - it's also believed that plants carry good energy that will encourage positivity in your home. It is believed that plants with rounded leaves or flowers are the most effective which is why I love my succulents in my office. Also, an odd number of plants is believed to create a stronger and more effective positive energy than having an even number of plans in your room. This is why I have three natural plants in my office (in addition to the two faux plants I have as decor as well). Once a plant is dead or dying, it is to be removed so as not to encourage negative energy.
3. Bring Crystals Into Your Office
The basic principals of Feng Shui all lie in the power of energy. It is believed in Feng Shui (and in many other practices and beliefs as well) that crystals are paramount in protection from negative energy, and promoting positive energy. Every crystal has it's own beneficial properties and quite honestly, I could write a whole other blog post on that as I do personally use crystals in my day to day life but for now, let's focus on the use of crystals in an office environment. On my desk I have a bowl with several crystals that are believed to help with focus, wealth and creativity. What should be in your office crystal collection? Citrine (attracts wealth and encourages creativity), black tourmaline (protective stones from negative energy), ametrine (focus) and honey calcite (motivation).
To allow the free and uninterrupted flow of good chi keep your workspace clear of unnecessary clutter. Keep your cords organized and as out of the way as possible. Clutter is distracting and can interrupt the flow of good chi in your office. It is believed that in keeping a decluttered workspace you will be more likely to experienc emental clarity, focus and inspiration. Plus let's be honest, it's much easier working in a clean and clear environment anyways.
5. Balance and Positive Imagery
The last point I'll touch on today is in balance. Balancing the Yin and Yang (feminine and masculine) elements in your space is important in Feng Shui. As is incorporating elements of earth, wind, fire, water and metal. By this we mean, if you have all dark furniture pieces that are hard and angular, soften them with feminine or soft touches such as draperies, natural our round elements (such as my round table) to balance the room. As well, it is believed there should be a balance of colors and textures and materials in the space. For example in my own room I have a leather chair, wooden shelving, metal shelves, a marble table, upholstered bench....as you can see - a good mix of both hard and soft materials. It is also beneficial to have a water feature of some sort. Aquariums and fountains are highly beneficial in Feng Shui but if that's not realistic in your space (such as in mine), consider bringing in a diffuser. I use mine during the day while I work and use invigorating and energizing essential oils to keep me motivated.
There are many more principals of Feng Shui I haven't touched on today but these points above are a good starting point for creating a space that functions effectively and carries a high energy flow for productivity, energy and focus. I've listed my resources for some of the pieces in my office below but if there's anything I haven't listed or any other feng shui questions you may have, feel free to ask in the comments below!