This is the reprint of an article that originally appeared on the Orange County Register in June 30th 2001
Q: My husband and I have been looking to make some changes around the house recently, and I remember hearing about a form of Chinese home-design that really interested me at the time. I don’t remember the name of the design, but I was wondering if you might have heard of it and who to contact for more information.
A: You are most probably referring an ancient Chinese discipline called Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway). I recently had the opportunity to meet Simona Mainini, a Feng Shui consultant from Feng Shui for Architecture in Beverly Hills, and we chatted about the concept of Feng Shui and how it applies to homeowners.
Mainini told me that “Ancient Chinese traditions are aware that the environment around us affects our well being. The Chinese developed Acupuncture hundreds of years ago. Feng Shui studies how the energy of buildings affects people. So in that respect, Feng Shui can be considered as a form of Acupuncture for buildings.
“Feng Shui consultants have discovered that, among other things, when a building is built it seals inside the qualities of the earth’s magnetic field. These qualities become somehow the ‘energetic DNA’ of the building and it affects the inhabitants as long as the building stands. If the building has positive characteristics, the people living will cruise trough life in a much happier and easier way than those who live in a building where the energy is not as good.”
The Traditional Feng Shui consultant undergoes years of strict training to learn the theories and principles of how ‘Chi” works. “Chi’ is the Chinese name for ‘life force energy’, or’ breath of life’, contained in everything existing in nature. The study of where it comes from and how it is distributed in the environment; how it affects human beings; and most importantly, how to ‘manipulate it’ so that it has positive effects is the typical job of a Feng Shui specialist.
“It can be applied to existing buildings, remodeling and new projects as well,” continues Mainini. The style of the building can be traditional or modern — it doesn’t really matter. Feng Shui is not a design trend, but an holistic approach to increasing one’s well-being and can be combined with every architectural style. It is applied both to residential (for personal and family harmony) and commercial units (for productivity and financial prosperity).”
With the help of a geomancer compass, the traditional consultant will run trough an in-depth analysis of your property in order to find out where changes and upgrades are necessary. The standard evaluation involves analysis of the site layout and landscape, internal room layout and furniture location, the calculation of the Chi “energy values” in each room and the compatibility between the people and the building.
Importantly, the main concern of the consultant will be to harmonize your living space with you and your needs. Feng Shui assumes that if a balance of energies can be maintained with architectural, landscape and interior design, then your overall productivity and happiness will improve.
“It sounds complex, but what happens is that the consultant literally looks at all aspects where ‘negative’ influences may be hiding. Then, based on their finding, he or she recommends the corrections. The analysis is very accurate and the correction very effective, yet still simple and appropriate. For new projects, most cases can be easily solved by modifying a part of the design when still on paper.”
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