"Once you have a clearer vision for the function of your office and understand what pieces of furniture you need, you can establish the arrangement of furniture," says Cerrano. She recommends starting with the desk position and building outward from there. "Essentially, you are looking for the best commanding position, which allows the occupant to literally, energetically, and metaphorically see and feel who and what opportunities are approaching their life. Positioning your desk inside any office could symbolize avoiding collaborations with unbeneficial business partners and signing contracts or agreements that are one-sided."
But when you follow this guide, you'll end up with colors that fit just right — they'll help your house work exactly as it should, and make you feel right at home. We tapped Laura Benko, holistic Feng Shui expert and author of The Holistic Home: Feng Shui Your Mind, Body, Spirit, Space, and New York-based interior designer Elena Frampton, who's been a Feng Shui hobbyist since she was a teen, for their most thoughtful advice on the subject. Consider this the color primer you've been waiting for — even if you don't think you're the Feng Shui "type."
"Prior to arranging any furniture, ask yourself, what is the function of my home office? Is the purpose of use for writing, marketing, web-design, or accounting? Or perhaps its geared toward the creative profession of fine arts or music production? This begins the processes of becoming decisive in piecing together a strong foundation within your office's energy field," explains Cerrano.
After you map out the sections, ask yourself which parts of your life and/or business are most important to you or perhaps need some more attention. If there is any specific section you want to focus on in your life, try putting items that promote that related section of the bagua map. For instance, if you want to focus on your family, add a photo of them or place a plant in the “Family & Community” section.
Since ancient times, the wise Chinese believed that amethyst, a purple crystal, can facilitate the professional relationships with the superiors, as well as with the field experts. It is recommended to place a tree made out of amethyst stones in the office, where it can balance the energies between colleagues and leaders, which, at the right time, will lead to a promotion.
There are three main schools of feng shui. Two are traditional (classical) Chinese feng shui schools, while the third is widely embraced by the Western culture, especially the United States. Regardless which feng shui you practice, you can take advantage of basic principles to enhance your career and make your office inviting to chi energy for greater success in business.
If you want your work to be noticed by the people who matter, fire up the South side of your desk with all things red! This is an ideal place to hang awards, accomplishments, or mementos of projects you are most proud of. (I hung a picture of my eBook’s cover here.) This serves as your font of power, building your confidence in the office will help you stand behind your proposals, and have the courage to propose them at all!
All shades of purple represent the fire element and at its most intense, its high vibrations create intense feelings of nobility, power and mystery. However, when the color is muted to lavender, it instead promotes an aura of calm as well as determination, clarity and imagination or creativity. This makes lavender an ideal color for media, technology or marketing firms. If the employees in your office are often tasked with developing new ideas, completing large projects, or doing any right-brain thinking, lavender can be a perfect color to help them maintain their composure, prioritize tasks, and have the focus to complete them in a timely manner.
"In a vase, place a few stalks of bamboos in fresh water," says Gordon. "Place five stalks in a vase for academic achievement and creativity (in your creativity area), place seven stalks in your health and family area, place eight stalks in your wealth area, and nine stalks for overall luck (you can place these anywhere, but it could also be in the center of your home). Don't forget to change the water frequently."
14. In keeping with the habit of feng shui strategies, be sure to keep your office organized and free of clutter. Clutter saps your energy and your motivation, while a clean and organized space increases your efficiency, enthusiasm, and overall work energy. The free flow of chi will be enhanced significantly without clutter (including electronics cords).
Once you have a full view of any incoming opportunities, it’s time to tackle the desk's surface. Chances are there’s a bit of clutter, which Cerrano defines as “anything unfinished, unresolved, tolerated, or disorganized.” Clear the clutter and organize things in a way that suits your work style and personal preferences. Cerrano suggests organizing by date or category, using colored binders if that appeals to you. Getting organized can boost productivity, while clearing clutter can provide a space that allows creativity to flow Time management for today’s workplace demands. Thomack, B. Matrix Absence Management, Phoenix, AZ. Workplace Health and Safety, 2012 May;60(5):201-3.
Imagine the desktop divided into a nine-part grid, as in the bagua map shown above. Choose several areas of your life that could use a little boost, and use the following tips to attract good energy to those areas. Each section is associated with a color, and you can use objects of that color if you have them. Just don’t go overboard—remember, clutter blocks creativity, so at least 50 percent of the desktop should be clear at all times. Don’t focus on all nine sections; instead, select two to three priorities.
Yin and yang represent feminine and masculine energies. Nourishing energy strikes a balance between the two extreme forces of yin and yang. Let’s say for example you worked in an overly yang environment with high ceilings, light colors, angular furniture and lots of natural light. You would need to balance this overly yang environment with some yin energy. You might add curved or flowing shapes, darker colors, soft furniture and some window coverings. Read more about yin and yang energy here.
Anjie Cho is the founder of Holistic Spaces and Anjie Cho Architect, integrating beauty, spirituality and green design. She creates and enhances balance and harmony by designing spaces with an understanding of sustainability and informed by the ancient practice of feng shui. Her focus is to create a nurturing and supportive environment for each of her clients. Anjie is a registered New York State Architect, Interior Designer, LEED Accredited Professional, and certified Feng Shui consultant. For over 14 years, she has been creating beautiful and nourishing environments. A graduate in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Anjie is a sought-after expert in the fields of feng shui and green design.
Feng shui philosophy tells us to position the desk so that you are in command of the room. Essentially, this means your back shouldn't be facing the door. Beyond the biological aspect of feeling less innately safe with our back to the door, there’s a lot of feng shui lore about this position allowing for things to happen at work "behind your back."