In my Seven Part Series of our YOU-Inspired Discovery Process, the value enhancers we’ve already introduced are Finances & Desires, and Ease & Comfort.
Now let’s explore Flow & Harmony!
First, I define Harmony in home design and the importance of how you FEEL in your home. Then, I Flow right into a discussion about feng shui. I debunk skepticism about this ancient philosophy and encourage you to find joyful living in a way you never thought possible!
Harmony is defined as “the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole.” Your home is a significant component of your whole life. We want your home to feel like an extension of YOU, such that your home is a true expression of the person you’ve created yourself to be.
You want to move through your home effortlessly as though
you are in a synchronized dance with the structure around you.
Harmony in home design can best be described as creating beauty and the FEELING OF HOME by using a combination of geometry, symmetry, proportion and scale. It takes into consideration elements you rarely notice, yet have a profound effect on your life.
Pay Attention to How You FEEL!
The important thing to pay attention to is how you FEEL inside your home! Your home should create a sense of joy, ease, comfort and support. You may be thinking “how can a house make me feel anything.” You’ve likely visited someone’s home that made you feel uncomfortable. This is a result of those rarely noticed elements that you can’t quite put your finger on.
Alternatively, you’ve likely visited a property that made you immediately feel welcomed and at home. At Pippin Home Designs, we SPECIALIZE in these life and energy altering elements.
By designing appropriately, we’re able to enhance
positive feelings and the living experience within your home.
Flow of Energy
The understanding of energetics is deeply engrained in nearly every culture across the world. From Egyptians to Hindus to Native Americans, indigenous people have always felt deeply connected to the energy emitted and received by natural elements. Even the Christian Bible and the Jewish Torah tell stories of God appearing as various forms of energy (wind and fire). Energetics is the foundation of martial arts and the practice of acupuncture. It is all around us and we can use it to live a more harmonious life.
Vastu Shastra from India translates to science of architecture and dates back 12,000-13,000 years. It’s the science of harmonious living by enhancing positive energy (prana, or life force) and eliminating negative energy. This is where the principles of feng shui originate.
Feng shui (literally meaning wind-water) is an ancient Chinese philosophy dating back to 4000 B.C. It is the art of balancing the opposing forces of positive (yang) energy and negative (yin) energy, otherwise known collectively as chi. Chi is sourced by five natural elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Each element possesses attributes that can be used to manipulate the direction and flow of chi.
Do not get confused, the positive and negative energy referred to here is NOT defined as good and bad. In fact, both are considered good and are, more specifically, referred to as shen chi.
Shen chi translates to upward moving energy and is used to harmonize people to their surroundings.
When chi is balanced throughout the home it lifts our spirits,
attracts wealth, and supports health and well-being!
The yang (+) and yin (-) energies have a push/pull effect on one another, much like the dipoles of a magnet.
Positive chi contains yang qualities; masculine in nature, active, creative, and energizes the space around it.
Negative chi contains yin qualities; feminine, calm, passive, and brings peace and relaxation.
Both yin and yang energies are required to work together to balance each other out. Too much yang chi results in feelings of chaos and destruction. Too much yin causes feelings of stagnation or resistance to progress.
Based simply on these characteristics of chi energy it’s easy to guess which areas of the home require slightly more positive or yang energy, like the home office and kitchen where all the work takes place. While other areas would do best with more yin energy, like the bedroom where it’s vital to create a place for rest and rejuvenation.
Energy is Always in Flux
The directional flow of chi follows the flow of nature. You want chi to flow in a nice smooth fashion through your home. Chi enters the home via doors and windows and the goal is to balance the flow of this energy such that every room receives the proper proportions. To help you visualize the direction of flow, think of chi as rushing water and then consider the layout of your home to see where there may be obstructions to the natural flow.
It’s important to acknowledge that there are bad energies that you want to avoid or remedy, referred to as si chi and sha chi.
Si chi is the opposite of shen chi (the good chi we discussed). It is death or decaying energy and is created by clutter, messes, or repressed negative emotions. Long term exposure to this energy will result in disease and depression.
Sha chi is killing energy, referred to as “poison arrows.” It’s created by hard, sharp lines and protrusions in and around the home. Lines of a neighboring building that point directly into your bedroom window can affect your ability to sleep restfully and causes marital issues. This “poison arrow” energy results in struggle, illness and stress.
Remedies for Bad Energy
Proper use of feng shui in home design can remedy these bad energies and enhance the smooth flow of good energies.
Jenny's remedy for sha chi: I pay very close attention to the homesite! I take into consideration the layout of neighboring buildings making sure there are no “poison arrows” directed towards bedroom windows. I also consider the proximity and direction of trees and other natural features. All of the homes I design are created to coexist WITH the environment, assuring that as much of the good shen chi from these natural elements are able to enter the home, while minimizing as much of the bad sha chi as possible.
Jenny's remedy for si chi: Organization, cleanliness, and functionality are paramount in my designs. I make sure that there are plenty of easily accessible and convenient storage areas so clutter will never be an issue. I also suggest using natural sustainable materials that are durable and easy to clean.
Feng Shui Basics in Home Design
The following are some guiding principles of feng shui in home design, though it should be noted that there IS flexibility when applying these principles to your home. You could spend a lifetime researching and applying all the different feng shui principles. Many people have made entire careers out of feng shui.
The most important factor to pay attention to is how you FEEL in your home. If a particular feng shui principle doesn’t resonate with you or you simply aren’t able to apply it, don’t worry. We work with you to find exactly what works best for YOU, in your YOU-Inspired Home!
These are a few examples of what we include in our designs, if my client so chooses. There are many more ways to encourage flow of shen chi (good energy) through your home. If you’re interested, we can dive further into these details during your YOU-Inspired Discovery Process conversation with me.
Still Skeptical of Ancient Wisdom?
It may be challenging to believe an ancient Chinese philosophy that describes a force that cannot be seen. There are many skeptics when it comes to feng shui and that is perfectly understandable. However, I challenge you to consider some everyday situations that you may not realize are governed by this same chi energy.
Have you ever walked into a room where people have just been arguing? They smile at you as soon as you enter and try to pretend like everything is ok, yet you can sense that something is off. Is this because you suddenly developed ESP and can read their minds? Or perhaps, ex-ray vision and you were able to see them fighting through the walls?
No, in fact, we humans are all capable of sensing the energy around us. Some are more receptive than others, and we as a species are all capable of this perceived superpower (and so are our pets).
Have you ever spent time in nature and felt more calm, clearheaded and happy? This is the powerful effects of shen chi.
Whether you choose to believe in the energetics of feng shui or not, a home designed with these principles in mind will result in a more beautiful and harmonious structure.
Homeowners around the world have hired feng shui consultants as part of their Team to make sure their home achieves the highest degree of healthy and beneficial energetics. My knowledge, implementation, and daily use of feng shui principles are an added bonus to all my clients in the creation of your YOU-Inspired masterpiece.
When your home is designed to be an extension of you, with a focus on Flow and Harmony, every room becomes a representation of you, your dreams, desires, and self-expression. Your home makes you FEEL authentically you; unique, loved, supported, and nurtured. The positive energy in your home encourages the forward momentum in your pursuit of life fulfillment.
A YOU-Inspired life goes hand-in-hand with a YOU-Inspired home,
and both are required to achieve joyful living.
I intend you find flow and harmony in your everyday life.
Inspired by YOU,
Jenny Pippin, CPBD, FAIBD, CGP
Pippin Home Designs
I am Jenny Pippin, founder of Pippin Home Designs and creator of my own inspired living. I grew up as an ordinary southern girl, working in the fields of my family’s tobacco farm. It didn’t take me long to realize I had greater gifts and so I chose to step into my power and create my own path in life, inspired by my heart’s true passion. (More on my personal story in future posts.Stay tuned!)