Updated: Apr 22, 2020
5 Feng Shui Tips I Used to Improve the Energy Flow In My Home Office(s)
I've been working from home now as an interior designer and home style consultant for over a year and what many of us are feeling in the height of our current global pandemic and subsequent Work From Home (WFH) phenomenon, I've waded haphazardly through already. I like structure so trying to find a sense of routine and normalcy that would get me out of my sweats to run a comb through my matted bedhead was all on the table for discussion.
After attempting a few different ways of working comfortably and productively, I've created two separate work stations serving two distinct purposes – one for the left side of my brain and right for the other. The image of me seated looking placidly out the window had to be the smartest move I've made, but it took working in several places, including local coffee shops and book stores, to finally discover it was literally right in my dining room.
Feng Shui Tip 1: Locate your desk near a window to improve the quality of light and Vitamin D uptake as both improves mood. Open the windows to also help move stagnant air and refresh your surroundings. If it's cool outside, just do it for nine auspicious minutes and then close them.
Feng Shui Tip 2: Position your desk to face the door, preferably with a wall behind you so you can always see who's coming. This is called the 'position of power' to ensure you aren't caught off guard. If your desk happens to face a wall, add a mirror so you can both reflect more light as well as still see who's coming.
If you're a ZOOMer who hosts virtual online meetings, discussions and even Friday night dinners with friends or family, you may find you're learning interesting things about the people you're talking with because "what to my wandering eyes might appear" – Bad lighting, pet litter boxes, bent window blinds and 'interesting' choices for wall art. I now use a spot on one end of my dining table to write social media posts, design blogs (like this one), and of course hosting any number of ZOOM sessions.
I also hold my CEO time here. I find I can switch into my left-brain zone more easily here when I need to work ON my business rather than working IN my business, if that makes sense? Design Tip: If you're able to position your desk so you can have an appealing backdrop behind you, it'll keep curious eyes from wandering and focused on you. My ZOOM background is a Korean Wall screen of misty mountains which subconsciously appears I'm in an elevated state of mind, not always true, of course, but the point is it'll look more professional.
Feng Shui Tip 3: Include empowering words and displaying inspiring imagery as well as photos of faces that inspire you - be it your kids, the Dalai Lama, or endearing pet can help you increase your mental state and sense of well-being. Additionally, add greenery from plants and flowers in your space to not only bring life but also to oxygenate the air and clear allergens. Without swinging from a jungle inside, including some well-placed Feng shui varieties including the peace lily, snake plant, jade plant, money tree, orchids and citrus trees.
My second work station area is what I'd actually call my creative work space. I repurposed my sunroom, which faces east to allow me to take advantage of the cheerful morning light and puts me in an inspiring mood to be creative. This is the area where I'm more physically active from pinning and moving samples all over the place. I'm also working on my desktop computer so lots of sketches, video storyboarding and scribbling notes and floor plans on graph paper. For this space, I utilize more design tools, more surface area for work-in-progress and reference materials. This area completely engages the creative right side of my brain. As an interior designer, I get LOTS of catalogs, magazine subscriptions and samples coming to the house, which means clutter is easy to build up and this bring me to our next helpful tip.
Feng Shui Tip 4: Declutter as you go. Otherwise, you'll be buried under stacks of paper and heaven knows what else and it's a slippery slope that can lead to an avalanche. I find the easiest way to do this is to create a system with containers like baskets, trays or boxes to drop in samples, magazines and other loose items 'til you're ready to sort through them. Do this once a week and you're good to go. I like to do weekly tear sheet sessions where I will go through magazines and catalogs and collect the pages and elements I want and recycle the rest.
My work desk is actually a large drafting table that stands at counter height so I can either sit at a tall seat or alternate and stand and work, which is great for helping increase circulation and loosen tense shoulders that can occur when working over a computer on projects and presentations, sometimes for many hours.
Feng Shui Tip 5: Avoid the Poison Arrow! Simply put, poison arrows attack the energy in the space and can deplete and weaken your energy. You want to prevent this by removing sharp angles and poking elements from the room or at least position the elements so they aren't aimed at you. The arches in this sunroom create a great curved element. *Also note the desk is facing the window to increase light and air.
I invite you to share your own journey on this WFH road that we're currently traveling. What steps or actions have you created to make this transition as smooth as possible and how is the transition going? If you need any suggestions on ways to improve your WFH surroundings, definitely let me me know in your comments and let's connect! - Will Brown
— Live your Most Beautiful and Fulfilling Life —
Feng Shui translates to Wind and Water in Chinese and is a practice that seeks to create balance and harmony in our surroundings to improve energy flow (also known as Chi) and has been shown to improve relationships, uplift mood and sense of well-being as well as invite prosperity and good fortune. Black Hat Feng Shui, although thousands of years old, has been adopted by western culture as its principles align well with how most Americans tend to live and function.