Feng shui: an ancient practice
"Feng shui is a method to improve the quality of life by making simple changes in your environment," says Deborah Kagan, feng shui expert and founder of Los Angeles-based Sacred Interiors, a full-service feng shui business specializing in holistic living.
"The practice dates back 3,000-plus years from China and was used as a way to support health and vitality. It was a way to make sure ancestors were placed in auspicious spots so individuals
in the present could have support," she explains.
Kagan adds, "Experts analyze the environment to assess challenges and strengths. Since everything is energy, and we are constantly shifting energy, it is like acupuncture for
Understanding the three pillars of feng shui
The three pillars of feng shui -- the front door, stove and bedroom -- are the three areas in the home that are believed to affect your entire life.
The front door
Look at your front door and see if everything works. If there is something wrong with the lock or if anything sticks, you may have difficulting creating health. Also, Kagan says that water by the
door enhances vital energy to attract movement.
Eric C. Jirgens, owner of Eric Charles Designs in Birmingham, Michigan, agrees. "A proper entrance is one that is positive and uncomplicated, [one] that can bring health and prosperity to all
who enter," he says.
According to Kagan, the stove is the energy generator of your life. "The stove takes fuel and continues to keep it pumping. The kitchen is a nurturing place where food is prepared," she
explains. Kagan encourages use of all the burners and to make sure all the burners work to optimally experience the full flow of life.
The kitchen is an area that is closest to people and has the greatest effect on life. Kagan recommends getting rid of clutter in the bedroom and taking out all distractions. She reasons,
"Your bedroom is like a sanctuary for rest, romance and rejuvenation."
Feng shui applied
For interior designers, feng shui is an important element for the design and creation of a client's home. Eric C. Jirgens and his team use feng shui upon request, although some elements of
the art are automatically included. "Naturally, as part of our design process for existing homes or committed floor plans, we always address balance, proper lighting and good feeling while
not necessarily calling it feng shui," the interior designer explains.
Jirgens focuses on chi, or energy, of a house, using a variety of elements to improve an individual's health and home. Some of the feng shui techniques he uses include: a mirror for positive
reflection; a soft-leaf plant with no sharp edges; and proper lighting through lamps and chandeliers.
investigate the possibilities
If you are unfamiliar with feng shui, consult with a feng shui expert. Also, check out books and websites on feng shui so you can learn more about it before making any major alterations in your
Feng shui often involves many home environment changes -- some complex, some simplistic -- to act as catalysts for changes within yourself and your way of living. As with anything that enables
change and improvement, you must start slowly so you can maintain and embrace all the positive energy that this ancient art will bring to your home and life.
More on feng shui
The feng shui kitchen
Feng shui your bedrooms
Easy feng shui for romance