The Art of Feng Shui

February 2016, By Nicole Langelier

I had a bit of a Chinese moment back in New York in the mid 90’s. I used to rollerblade (yes, rollerblade) to Chinatown from my apartment at the Chelsea Hotel to do Tai Chi with the locals at 6 am most mornings. I frequented ‘Harmony Palace’ on Mott Street for super cheap dim sum (or yum cha as it’s known here in OZ), and I would follow up my pork buns and jasmine tea with a hearty 30 minute rub down by a non English speaking Chinese man in one of the many cigarette smoke filled massage parlours that dotted the sidewalks of Chinatown.

It was around that time that I discovered the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui – described as ‘a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (Chi).’ In my quest for inner peace and the meaning of life I rearranged my furniture, hung crystals on red cords around my apartment, put a mirrored splash back behind my kitchen burners, and of course hung a Bagua mirror over my door to protect from negative ‘Chi’.

It had been over a decade since I had considered it, but in recent years since moving to OZ the need for and relevance of Feng Shui has become more and more apparent as Chinese flock to Australia in search of property investments and the Australian Dream. Savvy Aussie property vendors are aware of the influx of Chinese buyers and are willing to go the extra mile to secure the extra bucks some Chinese are willing to spend for their slice of Australian property. The Chinese take Feng Shui very seriously and maybe there is really something to it – you can never really have too much harmony and balance in your life – so why wouldn’t you consider a little bit of a Zen makeover?

Since moving to Melbourne I have dusted off my Feng Shui books and tuned up my knowledge in order to incorporate the practices into my styling jobs. Below are a handful of simple practices  that anyone can apply to their interiors regardless of whether you’re selling the family home or not. You have nothing to lose by testing them out and everything to gain (wealth, love, peace, harmony, you name it!), all with the successful application of these simple techniques:

  • Clutter – a property stylists worst nightmare, and apparently a Feng Shui master’s as well, so clean the clutter up!
  • Put the seat down – Ladies, your prayers have been answered! Now you have an ancient Chinese philosophy to back up your bathroom demands – an open toilet seat is just asking the universe to flush away all your wealth and prosperity.
  • Light and life – Plant life and natural light are essential for good Chi (energy), so make sure to open all your blinds and bring in some beautiful live plants.
  • Water  -Feng Shui actually translates to ‘Wind and Water’, so that should be enough to tell you that water is a critical part of Feng Shui – flowing water attracts wealth, so make it rain baby! Bring water features into your house wherever possible.

As to not overwhelm you I will leave it at that for now, but hey, give it a whirl. With a little luck these few tips and pointers will make all your wildest dreams come true, and hopefully you will sell your house for a hefty profit too!