Basic tips on buying a new home. Important points to look for:
- plenty of natural light with an important part of the home facing north (living room or family room, or at least a sun room), or north-east;
- choose a street where many of the houses have been renovated, so you know the area has good wealth potential;
- choose a house on the higher side of the road, avoiding homes below the level of the road whenever possible,
- what’s the name of the street? Choose a positive one.
- avoid proximity of power lines (<3 km away);
- avoid steep slopes or make sure the house has its outline linked to the ground with brick or stone walls all around;
- avoid main roads;
- avoid houses on corners;
- avoid homes with ‘circular’ walk ways in the centre of the house, as they cause stress (merry-go-around problem), especially when they include the kitchen;
- some modern features, such as kitchen in the centre of the room, glass-wall ensuite bathrooms, walk-in wardrobe behind the bed, walk-in wardrobe with no ventilation, wireless surround sound, may not be suitable for a stress free and healthy life;
- choose a home with a nice green backyard or space to create one, essential for relaxation;
- choose a home matching the main breadwinner’s orientation (either west or east orientation, depending on year of birth and gender);
- choose a home with a front door facing an auspicious direction (again in relation to main breadwinner) and with auspicious stars (Flying Star chart needs to be calculated).
In Feng Shui we use the San Cai principle: Heaven, Earth and Humanity. How these three interact determines the quality of life force or Sheng Qi (Chi) in a determined area or dwelling. It is important to have flow (Feng) and it is important to have containment (Shui).
As Qi appears in a more obvious way in the material world we look at the Form or gross Qi: what is there apparent to the eye, the mountains, rivers, forests, shape or design of dwelling. However, also important is the unseen or Formless Qi: Heaven Qi, which is determined by the Compass: how time and directions combine to determine the hidden potentials of a property.
Human Qi is both form and formless and sits there between Heaven and Earth, interacting with both. Human Qi in its material form is our body, while in formless nature is represented by our thoughts, emotions and our karma.
Although all three, Time, Shape and People, will affect the Feng Shui of a place, we tend to take the Form or Shape first.
In an ideal situation, after careful choice of location (gathering positive Earth energies), the whole design of a home (Form or Shape) would be created under the knowledge of the Time-based Luck of the Place (Formless) for a powerful coupling of Heaven and Earth energies that will fully support the Human element.
Heaven (Formless) Luck is determined using a Lo Pan Compass. There are two useful Feng Shui Formulas or processes that I personally like using. The first is the Eight Mansion Formula, and the second is the Flying Star Formula. The first is totally depending on the location and directions, while the latter is more complex and uses time, location and directions for its calculation.
Although learning the formulas is not that difficult for anyone with good mathematics skill, learning how to interpret them is an art that takes years of practice to perfect.
One of my passions is to help clients with their renovation plans, so they make the most of it, creating an environment that supports health, wealth and relationships equally.
Although in most cases in Sydney I will be working with an already constructed home, there is still room for improvement when we have the scope of possibilities offered by a home renovation.
From the basic steps of avoiding doors facing each other, or designing a bedroom with a protected position for the bed, to selecting an auspicious area for the master bedroom and the kitchen, there is a lot we can do.
I am a truly believer that once people live in a home with a good Feng Shui design, where both Form and Formless Qi combine beautifully, the human element progresses both physically and spiritually. And from that we create a better society and a better world.
Have you ever felt that nothing really interesting has been happening in your life for a while? Everything is fine, but somehow you are always meeting the same people again and again, eating at the same cafes or restaurants, and at work, oh well, it’s just the way it has always been?
Your home represents your life, if your home has been the same for a while, guess what? Your life continues on the same path. Hopefully it is a very comfortable path, however sometimes sitting in your comfort zone is not that comfortable anymore. You feel ready for change! You would love to meet new people, have different opportunities at work, go to new places, read inspiring books that change your perception of the world, or just feel more alive!
Your living room is always a great place to start. Just by moving your furniture around you can get rid of stagnant energies that are locked into that area and bring some fresh energy into your relationships. Arrange the furniture in a ‘friendly’ way, with the main lounge against a solid wall, and two other seats that can ‘converse’ with it, semi-circle style. Push the TV to the corner, so it is no longer the centre of attention. WOW that feels heaps better already: with only a few moves you already expressing that YES you do have time for others in your life. To finish it off, add some new cushions with nice colours, a couple of plants (peace lilies are lovely and easy to keep) and… Voilà! You are experiencing the fresh new energy there.
Even small changes like these to your living room are able to support you in making new friends, freshening up your relationship with family and loved ones and feeling more energised.
I have a client who decided to leave her five-bedroom house interstate and moved with her family to Sydney Northern Beaches. Because they wanted to keep two homes, they first rented a small apartment, and the kids had to share a bedroom for the first time since they were very young. When I met her in the in Sydney, in the relatively small apartment, she said that the kids were getting on much better than before. And they both had to do their homework on the dining table, which brought the whole family closer together. Her conclusion was that she would never move back to a large home again!
From the Classical Feng Shui point of view, people are one of the main sources of chi or life force in the home. If the house is too large for the number of people, there will be not enough human chi to fill the place up. If the house is too small, the stress levels can rise.
If you are planning on building a new house or renovating yours, here are some ideas.
These represent an ideal Form for a house. However it is worth reminding you that Feng Shui always has simple remedies for your existing home.
When you are planning a new home it is important to focus on the common areas. Common areas that are attractive, with plenty of natural light, North-facing (in the Southern Hemisphere) and designed to contain the chi (instead of walking-through spaces) are ideal. They can even be positioned in the centre of the home: the place where we sit together, the Tai Chi of the home, the confluence of yin and yang, where all the energies flow to and become one.
The bedrooms, kitchen and other rooms can then become an extension from that centre, like clusters around it.
The home design from bio-architect Michael Rice in Figure 1 below, called the Triple Octa, is a very good example.
Figure 1 – The Triple Octa has a large living area in the centre of the house with kitchen, bedrooms and other rooms around it.
We live in a society that has increased the size of bedrooms to make each family member more independent and self-contained.
My concern here is that this has the potential to create separation in the home.
If each person arrives home and retreats to his/her room, the amount of time the family spends together in the living areas, the heart of the home, decreases.
Energetically, if most human chi is spread out into bedrooms instead into the common areas, this will be highly detrimental to the energy of the home, as it becomes fragmented, without flow.
Spiritually, when family members are not communing, the idea of I, the false self or ego, is reinforced, supporting the illusion of separatedness and creating isolation.
My advice is to have bedrooms that are comfortable, but not necessarily so large that they become independent units inside the home.
Most new homes or newly renovated homes in Sydney are adding a double garage, not only attached to the house, but under the same roof as the house. Because garages are such large areas they deserve special attention in Feng Shui. My advice is to build a separate garage block or, even better, to simplify and build a carport instead.
Garages have a very different energy to homes and energetically works best if they are separate buildings. Garages are service areas that contain fumes, and often oil on the floor, and for health reasons, are best away from the house.
Also, when a double garage is attached to the house (i.e. under the same roof) the energy of the house is ‘diluted’ to include the large car ‘room’. The centre of the house is dislocated towards that area and the house becomes out of balance. And more often than not, garages become dumping grounds and have little or no natural light. So to avoid bringing the energy of the home down, it is best to keep the garage independent from the house.
Spiritually our cars are utilities, and although it is important (and good Feng Shui!) to treat our cars well, it is best not to equal our utilities to our offspring by giving the largest room in the house to the cars! This implies that subconsciously we are giving too much energy to our material possessions- energy that is best spent with our loved ones.
Garden and backyard
One more important point about the home is how the house connects with the outside environment.
If you look at Figure 1 again, you will notice how Michael did not finish his design at the front door, but placed importance in how the house is blending with the grounds around it. Although it makes the house look great, the implications are far greater from the energetic point of view.
The same way that it is good for the life force of the home to have bedrooms that communicate well and are a true part of the home, it is also important that the home communicates well with the outside world.
A home that opens up to a beautiful garden and backyard represents a family that socialises and is open and unafraid to connect with others. Also at a deeper level such house represents an understanding that we cannot live an isolated life, focusing solely on our own family (inwards). It is important to connect with homes around us, and with the larger community. It is important to realize we are all one large family!
Remember that a bigger home is not necessarily better than a small one. The important thing is to keep your relationships with loved ones in mind when planning a new home or renovating an existing one, focusing on creating inspiring communal areas: places that bring family and friends together to celebrate life’s beauty at each moment.