Show notes: S3. Ep. 6
Have you ever walked into a home or restaurant and had a uncomfortable feeling that you didn’t know what was wrong about it, but it just didn’t quite feel right, so you thought let’s leave? Have you ever walked into a home and felt immediately comfortable like it was drawing you inside and you just got that feeling?
A lot of home buyers are searching for that "feeling". They can’t place what it is, but they will know right away when they walk in. Well, what you are feeling is the energy of that space. And what if I told you it’s something you can control. Cool right? Well, that’s what we’re talking about on today’s episode. I’m super excited to have a special guest here Amy Stephens. She’s an interior designer, and Feng Shui specialist for the past 20 years and she’s also a yoga instructor and teaches others all about energy, how to harness it and use it to our advantage. So she’s going to walk us through the house and give us some quick tips on how you can transform the energy of your spaces so that they are inviting, welcoming and more comfortable for you and your family to live in.
Hi Amy! Welcome to the show! I’m so excited to have you hear today. I’m so curious to know more about how we can create more inviting spaces that promote positivity and peace in our homes. Can you explain a little bit about what Feng Shui is for those of us who don’t know much about it? I’d love to know who it is for? what it does and why we should care.
Feng Shui is “the study of how to arrange your environment to enhance the quality of your life.”
Think of Water and Wind – the seen (water) and the unseen (wind). We can see the water washing our hands and feel the wind on our face. So now you as an individual and the environment you place yourself in are another example of Seen and Unseen.
There are 2 Schools of Feng Shui – Form is about the shapes (or forms) around your space to maximize the flow (Chi) around you. This is more of a Fine Art versus a strict Science (called Compass School). For instance, it is very difficult to move your front door in order to do a Compass School style of an existing home. For me Form School, was so much easier to adapt into the spaces I worked with for homeowners and commercial projects. I am a 2004 graduate of the Western School of Feng Shui, but I have been incorporating these principles into interior design projects since 1996.
What it does & why we care – For me as an individual, I enjoy feeling comfortable in my physical surroundings, I enjoy having a sense of order and living harmoniously with my space. Creating a positive environment. Enjoy abundant resources, have happy relationships with friends and family and a steady stream of opportunities that can pay the bills and enjoy a healthy lifestyle.
Now if you feel like you are constantly “running into a wall” or are “broke” or have a “flood” of health issues. Your home is speaking to you. (give example of not being able to sell the house in ST. Charles until we opened all the doors and windows and let it breathe new life – it cared for my mom and it was time to move on).
Why do we want good energy in our homes?
My Teacher quoted once “when the wind of my clear intention sweeps across the water of my environment, change happens.”
Tips for each space in your home:
Front entry – Whenever you walk by or drive up to a home you have your “first impression”. This is also a lasting impression about who you are as an individual or family. It is also the main source of energy – like the lungs of your home. If your nose is congested it is hard to take that deep breath to gain access to the greatness of your lungs.
I am curious, how many of you listening actually use your front door on a daily basis? How often do you actually go out the door and walk around the front yard and come back in the front door? Or do you just “walk past” the overgrown mess that is cluttered with debris?
Think about “rolling out the red carpet” like a large event and caring for your front yard and front door area.
Most front areas in the USA are squared off and highly angled and a bit rigid. So think about curves and varying heights for the eye to travel and take in colors of the landscape and letting the eye have a moment to pause.
Most importantly – can you see where the front door is from the street and once you are inside does it draw you in or do you want to run away? Have a “greeter” inside the front door: a piece of artwork or a bouquet of flowers or a variety of items together to create a landscape inside that is super welcoming like a 5* hotel!
Lastly, remember – size matters! If it is a small entry, less is best! Keep it simple, artwork only that draws you into the space or a mirror that is positioned in a great spot and not having you wanting to run away.
Living/Family Room – now as you stand at the front door entry/foyer what is the next room you see …. Most times it is the Living or Family room which is to “receive to your guests” or to draw you in for socializing or relaxation. Is there space to “show your personality”?
What do you see as you look around inside and outside? If you are in a furnished home that the homeowner isn’t taking out too much – check in with the clutter around and if the furniture “bites” you. Ever walked into a space and left feeling “hurt” – sharp corners on table and chairs can be a deal breaker for any guest.
Again the big question … can you breathe and flow easily in the space?
Let’s talk color….. think of this space as an opportunity to be neutral and display things that have heart and soul to you. Make sure they are not “chatting away at you” but instead reminding you of the great time you had or the person who you were with. Keep the color to the pillows, art and easier things you can rotate out with the seasons.
Kitchen – a great kitchen is a space that feels open and ready to receive the nourishment of the meal preparation, the excitement and if you have the gloom and doom feel then it might be cluttered or not a great layout. If there is extra items out on the counters (meaning if you don’t use it daily – put it away) Or on the flip side – if you save EVERYTHING time to clean it out! Jelly jars, plastic containers … it is like they breed behind those closed doors.
What is your safety like in the space? Sharp corners or even sharp knives out? Anything hanging down in the space (pots/pans)?
Home Office – we all have one these days. It is important to be surrounded by things you love – a desk that fits you, not one that you try to fit into. We all work differently and the files and papers have a tendency to grow on the work surfaces and not put away in their handy spots. The best rule of thumb I can give you here, put your desk in a spot where you can see the door, float it in the middle of the room if you can and have storage behind you or off to the side, get some plants to help bring forth the growth of what it is you are doing in your career. If the idea of floating a desk in the middle of the room doesn’t work for the space, then get a mirror to put on the wall in front of you so you can easily see who might be walking in behind you. It also helps to brighten the space. However keep that work surface cleaned off so you don’t have the “increase of work” with all the papers on it – if you double your workload, show something that is relating to your achievements (money, new business contacts, etc.)
Bedrooms - The main purpose of the bedroom is to rest and also sensuality. Many times the home office is sharing a bedroom and that can be an issue – so how can you “close it off” from the sleeping space. You really don’t want to be working all the time and having your mind racing while you are trying to sleep. If you are in a relationship or want to be – make sure each side is balanced out. Bed, 2 nightstands, 2 lamps. Watch how much is “stored” on top of the bed (pillows, dolls, etc) Think of the bedroom as drawing you in to relax and unwind from your day. TV in bedroom – great ideas these days and how to Hide the tv, mentioned the TV artwork frame but then we have wardrobes and now there are furniture pieces that the “tv” rolls up from the cabinet like an old projector screen to give you viewing. Technology has come a long way.
Creating a meditation space in your bedroom is also a great way to bring more calm into your bedroom. Amy has a FREE guided meditation if you have trouble falling asleep.
Click here to listen to the full interview.
To reach Amy Stephens or to download her FREE Guided Meditation for relaxation and better sleep click here.
If you enjoyed this podcast episode, you might enjoy Chackras in the Home with yogi Jerah Payne