If possible, place your desk directly opposite the front door of your office. If you don’t have a private office, try to orient your desk to face the main door. Cerrano calls this a “commanding position.” If your boss isn’t willing to accept furniture rearrangement in the name of chi, Cerrano says that arranging a small mirror on your desk to reflect the office’s entrance is the next best thing. “According to the principles of feng shui, this arrangement offers protection and symbolizes you seeing opportunities as they come to you during your career,” Cerrano says. In other words, you have to be able to see opportunities in order to seize them.
Even if your dream color looked perfect in the store, and passed all the tests when it comes to your view, your goals, and so on, it can read the wrong way once you're at home. "Sample three colors — the one you love, than one warmer and one cooler. Get a test pot or small sample and paint a 12" square on your wall. Observe it at different times of day before you make your final decision."
Above all, tackling your storage needs and limiting visual clutter can do a lot to boost your productivity. "Understand the use of your office, and you'll know the type of storage that is needed," says Cerrano. "Do you need to have hard copies? If so, file cabinets and closets tend to offer great storage space. Perhaps a low-sitting bookcase is best or simple shelving along the wall. If you wish to connect more with the digital age, you could store files on your computer and on an external drive. When in doubt, keep what you need, and release what you don't need. This may sound elementary, and yet it's an extremely powerful habit to adopt that transcends your physical, mental, emotional, and energetic bodies."
If your working position (whether at home or in the office) is near or backed into a corner, place a small miniature plant in front of your table to bring positive energy to a stagnant area. You will be able to work better and this will boost your health and stamina. Avoid cactus or any plants with thorns or too many flowers (this could be more of a hindrance than a help). Make sure you use real plants as fake plants can attract negative energy or even lower your current mood and self-esteem.
And, of course, because feng shui is all about energy, there is certainly a lot of emphasis on the actual energy of the plants, starting with their specific look and feel to one of the most important factors - their overall health. Having a popular feng shui plant such as the lucky bamboo, for example, struggling to survive, will be quite bad feng shui as compared to another plant with absolutely no specific feng shui reputation but with a vibrant, alive and joyful energy.
In feng shui, lucky bamboo is ideal when it’s straight. Sometimes you see the curly or twisted versions, which actually represent the opposite of upright and positive growth, such as spinning and downward spiraling energy. I love using lucky bamboo for feng shui applications because they can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions, in water or in soil, and are easy to find.
As with one of the meanings of “earth” this element can help you stay grounded and stable. It also is said to create grounds for stable relationships as well as job stability. Designs with earthly tones (light browns, yellows, oranges and sandy colors) will help you especially when used in the center of the office. Paintings of landscapes can represent the earth element so can ceramic or clay decorations.
We already know that some plants have the ability to clean the air (literally). Self-purifying plants can filter the air of harmful chemicals, resulting in cleaner breathing air—but what if they could do more than that? We chatted with expert Marianne Gordon of Feng Shui With Me—who helps clients find true love, enhance fertility, and acquire wealth through feng shui courses and consultations—to find out what other hidden benefits plants might have in the feng shui of our homes and, most importantly, where to place them to maximize their positive effects.
Never ever sit with your back to the door. This is a big feng shui don't. The reason is you can't see what's coming up behind you. You could become the victim of office politics and backstabbing. If the configuration of your office is a cubicle and not something you can control, then place a mirror on your desk so it reflects what's directly behind you. This way you won't be startled or blindsighted by unexpected business turns.
Cerrano also reminds us to think of function above all when planning your home office space. "Remember to take into consideration the function of the office, and become decisive with the type and amount of furniture that is needed. This will save you time, money, and reduce stress," she says. "Invest in a supportive office chair, especially if you plan on sitting for several hours in a day. Experts say moving more during the workday and stretching is the best solution."
The "wealthy" plants in feng shui are not particularly air-cleaning, but they are gorgeous and great for anchoring your intention in a room. Some of the more wealth-symbolic plants are succulents, jade, and "lucky" bamboo. That being said, if a plant, tree, or anything symbolic chosen for "feng shui" reasons doesn’t inspire you, it’s not really worth getting. Let love rule your plant choices.