"Feng Shui teaches us how to create harmony and balance around us," says Stanley Bartlett, who uses the centuries-old art to design homes and businesses. The ideas date back at least 3,000 years, yet a growing number of architects and decorators are integrating feng shui ideas with contemporary building design.
Feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is an intuitive art. Designers and decorators claim that they can "feel" positive energy -- called ch"i. But architects who incorporate the Eastern philosophy are not guided by intuition alone. The ancient art prescribes lengthy and complex rules that may strike modern homeowners as quirky. For example, your home should not be built at the end of a dead-end road. Round pillars are better than square. Ceilings should be high and well-lit.
To further confuse the uninitiated, there are several different ways to practice feng shui:
Use a compass to establish the most beneficial placement of rooms
Draw on information from the Chinese horoscope
Examine the surrounding land forms, streets, streams and buildings
Use high-tech equipment to examine environmental health hazards, such as electromagnetic radiation and toxic materials
Use some variation of a tool called the Ba-Gua -- an octagonal chart outlining the most favorable placement for rooms
Yet even the most baffling practices have a basis in common sense. For example, feng shui principles warn that a kitchen door should not face the stove. The reason? A person working at the stove may instinctively want to glance back at the door. This creates a feeling of unease, which can lead to accidents.
"Everything is related to everything," says Bartlett. "If we pay attention to our environment, then we will find ways of creating different realities in our lives. When we move the bed, we also change our relationship with things around us in ways there aren"t words for."
Despite the numerous complicated rules, feng shui adapts to many architectural styles. Indeed, the clean, uncluttered appearance may be your only clue that a home or office building was designed according to feng shui principles.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is an ancient Chinese art whose name translates from the Chinese as “wind and water”. Feng Shui is a lyrical phrase that poetically evokes the heart of this ancient practice.
Wind and water are, first and foremost, natural elements (two of the five elements that comprise all of nature). Wind is the earth’s breath, and water is the invigorating lifeblood of everything that exists on our planet.
Both wind and water have tremendous energy that drives Feng Shui"s practices and techniques to fill your life with positive energies. Feng Shui, at its very core is a means of arranging the basic elements of life—and all the things that you surround yourself with on a daily basis— to create the optimal and harmonious flow of vital life energy, just like the flow of water and wind.