The interesting thing about feng shui and plants is that science tends to agree – plants are a wonderful choice for a home or office. They not only bring more oxygen into the room but some plants can even help filter out harmful toxins and purify the air. In fact, NASA undertook an entire study on this topic in 1989, with some very interesting findings.6
"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.
The color white is considered to be among the list of supreme colors from the ancient yogi tradition and is of the metal element. White vibrates with high intensity and represents purity, new possibilities, focus and cleanliness. Making an office entirely white is often too intense, causing occupants to become unsettled, hyper-focused and stressed. This is why it is best to use it as an accent color. For example, if you were to paint your walls terra cotta or light blue you could paint the doors and trim white to add just enough purity and crispness to the existing color scheme to simply enhance the other attributes of the primary color scheme. This makes white an ideal accent color for any type of office environment.
13. Add in an air-purifying plant or two. Offices are notorious for high EMF (electromagnetic field) devices, which sap energy and pollute the air. Air purifying plants will help to increase the oxygen available to your brain (a definite bonus while working, we can all agree) as well as refresh the space overall and keep positive energy levels high.
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.
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.
Feng shui isn’t a magic formula; rather, it provides a visual reminder of the areas of life that you value or are working to improve. Chin notes that feng shui is a “matter of perspective, a way of thinking or creating balance in our lives.” Start by following the guidelines above as a way to add positivity and balance to your desk—and to your life!
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.
Separating unfinished tasks from completed projects will help you gain control over workflow and improve your work focus and organization, and you can use different colored folders to classify files by date, status, or category. Once you’ve sorted out paperwork, put away the folders that can wait and concentrate on the files which need to be completed without delay.
As a rule of (green!) thumb, in feng shui we generally prefer plants with soft and rounded leaves. This shape offers a softer and gentler energy. Plants with sharp leaves, thorns, or spiky needles are best avoided for feng shui applications. That said, there are absolutely situations that they may be appropriate for. And if you already have such plants in your home this does not mean you need to remove them. For example, maybe you have a great attachment to a cactus that you received from your grandmother years ago. But in general if you want to add a plant into your home with a feng shui intention, go for something less prickly.
4. Bedroom. In addition to the eight cardinal directions, the type of rooms also matter. Many experts agree that plants are NOT suitable in the bedroom, and their reasons vary. Some say it harms the luck and health of the home’s breadwinner, while others say that plants bring strong energies of growth, which contradicts with the energy needed to get a good night’s sleep. Further, some reasoned that the carbon dioxide produced by the plants at night can negatively affect our sleep.
Lucky bamboo is considered one of the most fortuitous plants for bringing positive feng shui energies into your home or workspace. A symbol of good fortune, lucky bamboo balances all five elements. It is best when placed in the wealth corner of your home or workspace. The number of stalks the plant has will determine which aspects it brings the most luck to.
That said, spending hours working from your couch on weeknights or at your kitchen island on Sunday mornings might not be the most productive thing to do. Studies conducted by Alan Hedge, Ph.D. and CPE at Cornell University, found that a comfortable working environment can do more than make workers happy: It can improve productivity as well. Just like new workout clothes can motivate us to hit the gym more often, an office space with good feng shui can help us work more efficiently.
In today's era of open concept offices and cubicle farms, introducing some feng shui for the office desk concepts to the office will keep the energy flowing positively around you, so that your mind will be clear and you will have good fortune in your work. Feng shui for the office desk is the ancient Chinese art of harmony and energy flow and that affects you and your physical environment, so follow these tips and tricks to ensure the energy flows:
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."
There are a few feng shui principles you can follow to bring more energy into your space. "Make sure you have good air circulation," says Cerrano. "When the weather is good, feel free to open up the windows, and if you can't, consider looking into purchasing an air purifier (especially if your home office has no windows). Do your best to avoid locating your home office in the basement." Allowing natural light to penetrate into the office is proven to increase productivity, according to a study from Northwestern Medicine and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "On that note, if you are able to establish a commanding position that allows you to be supported by a solid wall, see the office doorway with no obstructions, and have a view of the outside, it's a triple win."
I often suggest clients place two lucky bamboo stalks in a single vase of water in the relationship area of their bedroom. To locate this area, stand at your bedroom door facing into the room. The far back corner to the right is the relationship area. The pair symbolizes a harmonious union between you and your current or future partner. Both stalks are best similar in size as they also represent a balanced and equal relationship that can grow together in accord.