In this era of COVID-19, when many of us are spending most of our time at home, it’s become more important than ever to create a living space that fits your needs. And with cold weather returning, the change in seasons is a perfect opportunity to refresh and reset your space to prepare for the winter months ahead.
One tool to consider for creating your own indoor oasis? The practice of feng shui.
“The premise is that say your home, your office, wherever you are, the energy is a reflection of you and your life. So, you mirror your space and your space mirrors you,” said Peg Donahue, owner of the Silver Lake-based Feng Shui Connections. “I like to say it’s the practice of arranging your environment to enhance your life.”
Donahue has been practicing and teaching the concept of feng shui for nearly 20 years and holds certifications from the Western School of Feng Shui and The New England School of Feng Shui. Through her business, she offers feng shui consultations, life coaching and other energy-focused services.
She works with clients to help them align their spaces with their goals and intentions. For example, a client may share with her that they are looking for a new job. As a result, Donohue would focus on the areas of the home that correlate with new opportunities on the symbolic map-of-life issues that she works with. This area is in the front center of a house and each of its rooms, she said.
But applying the concept of feng shui to your home doesn’t require an expensive remodel. According to Donahue, simple changes, such as switching out fabrics and accessories and decluttering your space, can make a big difference.
The first step to refreshing your space for the fall is to do a thorough deep cleaning by washing windows, lights, lampshades, hanging pictures and any other area that doesn’t receive as much attention during routine cleaning. Then, when arranging a space, Donahue says there are four main ideas to keep in mind: only keep things in your home that you truly use and love; make sure the space is safe and comfortable; bring your personality into the environment; and make sure there’s a place for everything.
“Autumn is an earth season — it’s the season of the harvest, of gathering, of all the fruit and the labor from the summer. Earth attributes are really about comfort in nature,” Donahue said. “So what you’re doing as you come inside, you give your house a good deep cleaning, and then focus on making it comfortable, making it nurturing, because we want to cozy up for the fall as we head into winter.”
Donahue suggests incorporating fall colors such as oranges, golds and cranberries using comforters or blankets, pillows, drapes and table settings. She notes that it’s also important that everyone living in the household has some space just for them, whether it be just a corner or a whole room, especially as many are working and learning from home.
And feng shui isn’t limited to the indoors. According to Donohue, the entrance to your home is also a good area to spruce up, perhaps with a fresh coat of paint on the door, a few flowers or some autumn decor such as a pumpkin or wreath.
“Call some attention to your front door, because this happens to be really the most important part of your house … this is how energy or chi comes to you, and you want to have your front door be attractive,” Donahue said. “The whole front of your house, think of it as a smile. So, you want your front door to call attention, to attract good, beneficial chi.”
Donahue writes a monthly newsletter with tips and information about applying the concepts of feng shui. She said sometimes having an independent consultant like herself evaluate a space can be helpful because people often become desensitized to their surroundings and may not even notice areas that aren’t working or could be better aligned to their needs.
“It’s about identifying patterns for people,” Donahue said, “and then giving them choices and options of things that they can do — reasonable things that they can do.”
For more information, visit fengshuiconnections.com.