When renovating a place we face perhaps the most difficult of all Feng Shui applications, although the difficulty often varies depending on the extent of the renovation.
Some renovations may be cosmetic– changing colors, perhaps flooring, adding some new furniture-- while other renovations are much more planned-out, restructured endeavors, sometimes involving adding the addition of an upper floor (full or partial), or a room extension and addition (especially for master bedrooms).
Here are 3 things to be mindful of when you are getting ready to start such a task:
1. The entire energy of the house can or cannot change based on the size of the remodeling.
The energy of a building was established at the original time of construction and it requires a significant structural renovation to change it. This often involves the full removal (or the majority) of the total roof, internal ceiling, and/or a portion of the building. This can be good news or bad news. For instance, if your building had bad energy (and you’d know this if you had lived there for a while), changing it could be a good thing. But if the building was good to you then you want to be careful before tearing everything apart because this drastic update can change the building’s essence. Unfortunately there is no cookie-cutter approach of how to anticipate the results other than having a Master Consultant do an analysis for you. So if you are set to take on a drastic renovation having a professional Feng Shui consultant advise on it would be your best bet and, in the long run, the most convenient one too.
Last week I consulted on a house built in 1943 in San Diego whose energy, albeit a bit old, was rather nice and supportive to the owners. The owners, who are currently renting, expressed a desire to eventually buy the place. They also shared how they intended to upgrade the place, which was indeed needed because it didn’t quite fit a modern 2011 lifestyle. However, after running an analysis we figured out that in changing the energy from 1943 to 2011 it would turn the house from one of being “good for health, relationships, and success,” to one of being “bad for health, relationships, and success.” This is an exception to how a “new house” wouldn’t necessarily mean a “better house.”
So what should the owner do? My suggestion was to work the upgrades into the house in such a way that it didn’t change the energy of the building, or, if it did, it would only be partial and in a limited number of secondary rooms related to the occupant’s life, like closets or bathrooms.
2. Colors, materials, and furniture layout improve a room’s energy, but do not change its core.
Let’s say that in the course of the Feng Shui consultation you have been advised to use certain colors, materials, or were advised to change the furniture layout of a space. In the course of the room’s renovation it is the perfect time to introduce such changes. Since you are not tearing up walls, this is basically a “low-impact renovation” and the best way to do an upgrade on the energy of the house. (But it wouldn’t change its essence like the example in #1 would.) If you haven’t had a Feng Shui consultation the effect of this type of renovation can still be positive to create a fresh look, although you may not have the advantage of knowing where your best “power areas” are or how to maximize them.
You may find my book, Feng Shui for Architecture, How to Design, Build, and Remodel to Create a Healthy and Serene Home, very useful for this, especially if you are doing it entirely on your own. (See Table of Contents)
3. Doing all your inspections ahead of time will save you money and any bad surprises.
If you are in the process of buying a new building that you intend to renovate it is especially important for you to run full (regular) inspections before you buy it, and having a Feng Shui inspection can be very useful too. If you are buying a building that will end up being a tear-down rather than a fixer-upper you may unexpectedly find yourself in case #1 above rather than in case #2, and being stuck in a situation that you could have avoided if you had done some prep work ahead of time. In today’s investment world this little investigation can save you a lot of money now and save you from some real bad Feng Shui later on.
I wish you the best of luck with all your renovating endeavors and please let me know if there is anything I can assist you with.
To have your property reviewed and evaluated by Dr. Mainini or one of our other qualified associates, click here or call (310) 860-8989.
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Simona F. Mainini, Dr. Arch., Feng Shui Master
FENG SHUI FOR ARCHITECTURE
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