If you note that ‘Shui’ is pronounced ‘Sh way’ then the title of this article may start to make sense as you so read on.
Feng Shui is the 3,500 year old Chinese philosophy of harmonising the forces of wind and water with the environment which can include buildings, in fact Feng Shui literally means Wind-Water. It is said the often tortuous path followed by the Great Wall of China was determined by the old Feng Shui masters.
As a builder or architect or if you are just thinking about selling your home it’s not important whether or not you believe the principles of this philosophy but whether or not you wish to sell your home to people who do.
But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing … or tortuous.
With Chinese making up a growing number of buyers it’s something worth considering especially since it most likely won’t fundamentally change the building or increase the construction cost. You probably wouldn’t even realise a building was constructed according to the principles of Feng Shui unless it was pointed out to you in detail. That’s an important point to remember.
If you’re post modern, industrial style, 5 star rated steel and glass home gets the Feng Shui treatment is not going to end up looking like an igloo or something equally bizarre. You will still have a post modern, industrial style, 5 star rated steel and glass home but it won’t chase your Feng Shui loving buyers away because of some simple oversight.
Feng Shui in its simplest application can purely be involved with the alignment of buildings in relation to the path of the sun, the compass or it’s positioning near natural and man-made features or it can be involved with every facet of where you place your furniture and ornaments in a room. Some of the rules just make a lot of sense and are naturally followed by most thinking people whilst others get a bit cryptic.
To summarise the philosophy about as simplistically as possible it is all about controlling and channelling the flow of the life force called Qi (pronounced “chee”). The way and how this channelling occurs is treated like a science by its advocates.
It is quite possible to spend a lot of money on hiring a Feng Shui master to harmonise your home with expensive structural changes to the extent that I know of someone who did this only to find the cost prohibitive so they ‘decided’ to no longer believe it.
The cheapest way to approach the whole subject is to use the principles of Feng shui to select a new home or as a guide to building a new home but if you have to modify what you already have you could be throwing good money out to bad.
So contrary to the title of this article your excursion into Feng Shui does not have to be an all or nothing approach. There is some merit in cherry picking those parts that have universal appeal without getting bogged down with the ‘science’. Like the lady who decided not to believe when the price tag got too high. Certain elements do strike a chord with most people.
You might only need to consider a check list of things to avoid such as the following, which is a reasonable start on the subject;
- Don’t have a central uninterrupted corridor from the front to the back of a house that allows you to see right through it. This is said to allow the energy of a house to be lost. A simple bend in the corridor can fix that. This is easy to remedy in the design stage but more tricky if you already own a turn of last century villa.
- Don’t have doors facing directly into another door as this creates a distortion in the Qi. This is similar to the above point but extends to include every door within the house.
- A front door that leads directly up to a stair case allows most of the energy to go upstairs leaving very little for the downstairs. A 90 degree turn of the stair case near the front door will fix this and it might even become a great feature to an entry hall. Aussie homes usually have an entry that is too understated compared to styles in places like the US.
- Don’t position the kitchen sink directly opposite the oven because the forces of fire and water are incompatible.
- A high position for a house is always preferable. A street along the side of a hill can have a low side where the driveway goes down to the house and on the high side the driveway goes up to the house. And ideally a hill should be behind a house and in front the ocean. Water is synonymous with wealth. Most of us would sympathise with all of this especially those who live in Hallett Cove.
- An examination of the Feng Shui compatibility of a house, or a design of a house, can involve moving a person sized object through its corridors and corners to find what best promotes the ease of movement. Sounds too simple.
- A similar approach can be employed when positioning furniture to allow ease of movement and to create social areas for living without restricting the flow. You would not want the back of a sofa too close to the front door; not only does it become an obstacle but it will be visually awkward.
- A cul de sac accumulates energy by not allowing it to flow freely so buying a home here is a no-no.
- Windows that face directly onto bright street lights are bad so they must be shielded with curtains.
- Curved roads that face into windows give bad energy but can also be shielded with curtains and also outside mirrors.
- The corners of buildings facing into the home can also create bad energy that can be shielded by curtains. Drawn curtains sound like an easy fix for a number of problems but when selling real estate one of the key factors to consider when presenting a home for sale is bright open windows and no curtains. I would follow this principle long before getting tied up with Feng Shui.
- The bathroom should not face the front door as good energy escapes through a bathroom.
- Decluttering is a key Feng Shui principle. Clutter will restrict the flow of energy – any real estate agent will tell you that.
- The front door is called the mouth of Qi as it controls the flow of energy into the house. A good strong and attractive front door will attract good energy. Attractive entries and front doors are what are sadly lacking in so many homes and must be one of the last features of home design to be revisited.
- Leading on from the previous point never have a mirror in an entry hall that faces directly into the front door because it reflects the good energy back out.