I say this to my Feng Shui clients: The best kind of home is one that expresses who you are and what you love. And as a bonus, when you personalize the decoration of your home, you raise your Chi – whether you are Feng Shui-ing your home or not.
“I see it every day: People trying to create a home that somebody else tells them they should have….if it doesn’t represent you, you’re not going to be happy. Take a beat and say ’Is this something I want to live with, or am I just buying it because I saw it on a TV show?’ ” – Nate Berkus, interior designer, television host and author.
“… your home should not be a presentation to your friends. Surroundings should relate to who you are, what you love, and to what you deem important in life.” – George Lois , mass media expert and advertising provocateur – just don’t say he is the original Don Draper of Mad Men.
Is your home decorated or staged? Feng Shui uses home decoration/interior design as a vehicle to enhance and balance Chi. But if you are looking for inspiration to create a home with warmth on television, in magazines or online you will be challenged. Two clients I worked with recently were using what they saw in the media, unedited, as the template for the decoration of their living rooms. One followed a theme décor right down to the objects on her coffee table. It was beautiful, but none of it expressed who she was. Another client was inspired by a photo to have deep teal walls. It was beautiful in the photo, but would not work with the rug she wanted to use in her living room. Both clients were open to my suggestions: one to personalize her space and the second about why the teal wall worked in the photo but not in her living room, and what alternative she could use to compliment her rug and get a similar effect as in the photo.
What you see in the media are staged rooms. Not rooms for people to live in. Take time to look at the entire photo and see what elements are working together. Then figure out if it will work for you:
- Does the room that inspires you have higher ceilings than yours?
- How big are the windows in relation to the size of the room?
- Do the colors work with the colors of your rug or sofa (unless you will be getting new everything)?
- Be aware that a bold color on the screen or the page will look and feel very different when room-size.
- Where can you place or display your personal treasures? Will they work with the photo décor?
- Is the lighting adequate for how you want to use the space?
- Could you really live in the space in the picture or does it represent a dream lifestyle that is not yours?
Trust your instincts and take the inspirations you see and adapt them to make them your own.
When I work with a client, I like to use their personal treasures as Feng Shui cures whenever possible. When I see a photo, painting, or memento I ask them “Please, tell me about this.” When I see their face light up as they describe where they got it, who gave it to them or who or what it reminds them of, then I am literally seeing their personal Chi rise. This response indicates that this object is a very powerful cure. I then collaborate with them about where is the best place to put this cure, relating to the theme of the picture or the emotional association of the object.
Sometimes I work with a client who has few or no personal treasures in their home. Sometimes they will say that a piece of art is a “place saver.” Life is too short to surround yourself with anonymous art. If you don’t have an emotional connection to something, at least have something that makes you catch your breath when you first see it – that you love for the sheer beauty of it. (This sudden inhale is also a sign of rising personal Chi.)
This rise in personal Chi occurs even if you are not consciously seeing or connecting with this memento of the people, places and events that have positive and nourishing meaning to your life.
Have you decorated your home according to someone else’s idea of “good taste” or the “latest trend”? If so, it is not your home, it is their home. Express yourself through your treasures. Re-claim your home.
If you doubt your taste or instincts remember: If you are happy with your home, your guests will be happy. Personalize your space.
What have you displayed in your home to help you remember the people, places and events that warm your heart? I would love to hear from you. Share them as a comment, below.