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Feng Shui Interiors
by Dr. Oneida Cramer

Feng shui translates literally into ?wind and water,? according to interior designer, Jami Lin, who specializes in feng shui. While in Dallas attending the Dallas Super Market held in June at the Dallas Market Center, Lin spoke about feng shui as the ancient Chinese art of placement to promote prosperity, harmony, and vitality.

?But feng shui is more,? said Lin. Feng shui is a style of living and state of consciousness that effects everything you do--the way you get up in the morning, the way you respond to people, the way you get aggravated when you sit in traffic?what ever the case may be?of knowing that everything is in perfect time, perfect order. And when everything is in harmony with your nature, you can harness the precious energy, called ?Chi,? which is so beneficial to your life.

Feng shui is based in the theory called ?Trinity of Luck,? according to And Trinity of Luck is made up of three components: (1) Heaven Luck, which represents the fate we are born with, (2) Man Luck, which is the luck we achieve through hard work, education, and our deeds, and (3) Earth Luck, which is feng shui, the art of aligning the environment to enhance the positive aspects of our lives and minimize the negative influences.

Feng shui has been a part of Chinese life for thousands of years; Chinese children grow up living in this tradition. But for other cultures, the many rules in feng shui may seem confusing. Still, the practice has spread into Europe, Canada, Israel, and is now coming to the US, according to Pranee of Pranee?s at 5541 W. Lovers Land. And its popularity is boosted by the success of famous practitioners such as Donald Trump, who uses feng shui consultants in his home.

Businesses, too, use feng shui in their offices, according to Lin. But, Lin recommends home consultations for her business clients because it doesn?t matter how good the office feng shui is if the home has problems in it. More importantly, Lin has found that homes and offices tend to have the same problems.

For starters, use this feng shui tip--just because an object is Chinese doesn?t mean it is a feng shui item, according to Lin. On the other hand, every item in your house should have a story.

?Anything that doesn?t have a story, you should get rid of it because it might be affecting you in a negative way,? Lin said. Symbolism is very important. So Lin recommends that you walk around and look at the stories all your accessories evoke and see if they are beneficial or not.

Ideally, a home decorated in feng shui will provide a balanced arrangement of the five basic elements, fire, earth, metal, water, and wood, in every vista. Which elements are accentuated depends upon the date of your birth as calculated from formulas based in ?I-Ching,? on the goals you wish to accomplish in your life, and on an east/west compass (known as the bagua) superimposed on the blueprint of your home. The bagua can also be applied to each room in the house.

The bagua assigns nine different geographical areas to the floor plan according to a standard compass that points due south on top, due north on the bottom, and east on the left, west on the right?opposite to the western compass. Each of the areas corresponds to a particular aspect of life; for instance, the south area of the home is designated for reputation; southeast is for wealth; east is for family; northeast is for self cultivation; north is for career; northwest is for helpful people; west is for children; and southwest is for marriage. In the center is health, represented by the color yellow.

When designing a home to conform to the bagua, the homeowner might want to put the children?s rooms on the western side of the home, for instance. But suppose the child?s room is already located in another part of the house. In feng shui, you can create a solution that symbolically corrects the situation through the placement of objects that represent the five basic elements.

The five elements provide a continuum of energy that flows through nature; for instance, fire consumes wood turning it back to earth, from which metal comes and also water to nourish and bring forth new wood growth, according to Pranee.

Water puts out fire in nature, said Lin. Likewise, in interior design, balancing the fire elements can be accomplished with water elements, which include using the color black or blue, or adding glass, mirrors, and crystal. Earth also puts out fire, said Lin. In addition, earth symbols tend to represent stability, and you may want to add some stability to your life. Wood represents the regeneration of life. When designed in the home, perhaps in the form of flowers, a tree, or floral wallpaper, wood exemplifies the desire for new beginnings in your life. Suppose you want to have children or a growing family. In this case, you may want to place a potted plant on the west side of the room.

Wealth is represented by a number of different symbols. For instance moving water may indicate moving money. Often the Chinese try to situate their homes near a body of water, or else they add a water fountain or aquarium to the home. Metal is also symbolic of wealth because it alludes to the pocket full of gold coins.

?But money can?t buy you love,? goes the Beatles? song, says Lin. ?When you think about the metal element, you might also think about all the abundances, about the abundance of relationships, career opportunities, fame, and the most important rich of all?and that?s the fact that we have friends. Without friends, it doesn?t matter how much money you have. Certainly, money doesn?t buy happiness.?

Often described in feng shui is the marriage corner, which is found in the southwest area of the home. The marriage corner can apply to everybody who wants to bring love into his/her life, not just to married people. Homeowners often plan to put the bedroom in the southwest part of the home or place the bed in the southwest part of the room. But if the bedroom is already in another part of the house, a homeowner may want to add symbols for love, such as the color pink in the form of pink flowers or pairs of things like lovebirds, to the southwest sector.

The Chinese avoid sharp corners and large barriers at their entrances because these structures are thought to block the flow of Chi. But if your home already has a large wall at the front door, you can add a mirror or fresh flowers to correct the situation.

Because of the many rules and different approaches in feng shui, novices would do well to read about the subject and consult with experts, such as Pranee or Lin at before they begin to use it in their homes.

-by Dr. Oneida Cramer
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