Words by
Emma Kaho Richardson

Field notes: Feng Shui

Image: La Fábrica, a former cement factory reimagined by architect Ricardo Bofill

Field Notes

Field Notes is a snapshot of small moments, lessons and observations. Usually these come from our founder Jessie, but this week we have guest writer (and wondeful retail assistant at our Commercial Bay store) Emma Kaho Richardson, telling us about the myriad benefits of Feng Shui.

The importance of the perfect interior vibe cannot be understated. The perfect vibe, however, is notoriously elusive and impossible to specify. There are a million and one ways to arrange a room, but only a select few hit the sweet balance needed to achieve it. Enter feng shui (pronounced ‘fung shway’), the ancient Chinese practice concerning itself with the auspicious placement of objects and architecture.

We may not be able to make modular the rules for a perfect vibe, but five thousand years of meticulous development by the intelligentsia gets pretty close. Central to feng shui is the concept of qi (pronounced 'chee'), which translates to ‘life force’. It is perhaps better to think of it as a dynamic energy that connects everything circulating through our spaces and lives. An all-encapsulating vibe, if you will.

While these concepts cannot be separated from their unique spiritual - and at times political - contexts, they are also intended to exist as a science. While the guiding tenets of feng shui are simple, the suggestions on how to follow them are multitudinous. Here are some initial prompts to begin your enquiry into achieving an auspicious and balanced space:

Consider the entrance to your home - this is where the energy enters. What kind of energy is it inviting?

How do your spaces connect flow; do your high energy spots (living room, office) foster that energy and direct it onward to the rest of your home? What needs to be activated? Yes, this includes clearing out that drawer that hasn’t been touched for months.

Where can you add balance of the elements to your home? The core elements of feng shui are wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

Are there any physical symbols to represent what you want your energy to manifest in?

Last but not least, open your windows! The easiest way to keep the qi flowing through your house, inviting in positive and letting the negative go, is to open your home to the outside.

For further reading, I refer you to Thierry Chow (@thierrygolucky), my favourite feng shui expert who studied under renowned Master Chow Hon Ming.

Image: La Fábrica, a former cement factory reimagined by architect Ricardo Bofill