Feng Shui Basics

I’ve been saying it for years and it’s more important than ever! We all need a haven to come home to, an indoor and/or an outdoor space to unwind, re-energize and rejuvenate. When you enter your private

space or sanctuary and have the feeling of being greeted with a big hug, it can do wonders for your overall well being.

The trend to create home sanctuaries began years ago when the master bathroom was turned into an adult oasis. Luxurious towels, fragrant candles, oils, and comfy furnishings helped soothe away the stress of the day. This trend moved on to the master bedroom where it, too, became a retreat from the outside world.

The personal sanctuary took another step, adding calming of the spirit as well as stress reduction. More and more people want to create a space in the home where they can find tranquility and get away from the fast pace of the outside world. This results in a place to do yoga, meditate, read, have alone time and be away from other distractions. A personal sanctuary can be in a designated area of the home or garden, or it can be the entire house.

The focal point of an interior sanctuary might be a fireplace, an armoire, a grouping of furniture, an altar or a piece of art. Outside, a beautiful tree, a fountain, a statue, a pool or a flower garden can be the focus.

A person’s favorite things can help center and support the effort to turn a room or an entire house or garden into a sanctuary. In some cases, it can be a matter of marrying good design with items that evoke pleasant feelings or memories, whether it is a piece of Asian art or a shelf filled with mementos.

In creating one’s own personal sanctuary, use an important object evoking a peaceful, calming response, be it a bronze Buddha, a painting or tapestry, or a beautifully decorated screen. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money. Many items can be found at home centers and import stores. Using fabric, screens, or a cabinet to hide computer equipment, a home-office can double as a sanctuary.

To design a personal sanctuary, use the key elements drawn from the Asian art of arranging furniture, Feng Shui water, wood, fire, earth and metal.

  • Bamboo mats, natural greenery planted in terracotta pots, lacquered wooden nesting tables; these provide the different elevations needed to create a balanced space.
  • Soft Lighting. Scented candles (representing fire), a filtered lantern or filtered natural lighting from a window during the day, are good choices. When having a space do double duty, install a dimmer to control the amount and softness of the light.
  • A Bronze Buddha, metal bowls, metal sculptures, or a gong are good choices for the metal element.

The appropriate color schemes for a sanctuary should be reflective of nature and exhibit softness. The goal is subdued and quiet, using colors such as soft whites, creams, and muted greens, as it’s part of the sensuality of the sanctuary.

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