The Art of Placement
Being in alignment with my own surroundings has been a lifelong study. I’ve been designing interiors for many years, and my career began with Feng Shui. This ancient art and science is remarkably practical, integrates seamlessly with any style and is the most effective way to design spaces that connect on a personal level. Feng Shui literally means wind and water. Therefore, at its core, this practice encourages us to be like wind and water ourselves - in harmony with nature.
The Art of Placement quite simply means where things go; as a designer I think a lot about furniture arrangements; a large component of placement. There is so much to consider when laying out a room: scale, proportion, symmetry, color, light, purpose and so on. While many furniture plans may be viable for a particular space, what attracts me most is a plan that is connected to your core and goals in life. Because the Art of Placement is about you.
The important thing to keep in mind is that you are the primary consideration in furniture planning. Everything around you should serve its purpose in supporting your life. That said, a room must be appealing as well as practical. A successful furniture plan highlights architectural features and makes up for bad bones that for whatever reason cannot be altered…rental anyone? However, if you cannot move around easily, or you don’t feel good in the room, then something about the placement may be "off."
Placement is more than where you put the sofa. It’s about perspective. If you think about it, where you sit determines what you see. What you see influences how you feel and how you feel affects everything in your life. So, placement is vitally important because it affects your state of mind.
One thing I love about Feng Shui is its ability to direct energy toward your life goals. Let’s say you’d like a partner or are striving to reach a financial goal or have a health condition you’d like to clear, your space can be specifically arranged and designed to help you achieve these results.
The practice of Feng Shui also removes obstacles. One way to spot these blocks in your environment is simply to pay attention. Something that felt great a year ago may be an impediment today. Your space is a reflection of your internal landscape. A quick look at the 8 Point System can help locate the eight major areas of life in your space.
FRIENDS / TRAVEL
Feng Shui is more than just decorating with intention. It removes obstacles internally as well as externally, so rather than repeating you are evolving. When you fully examine your space and understand what it is reflecting within yourself, the obstacle as well as how to overcome it, becomes clear.
Since I began studying Feng Shui more than 20 years ago, I’ve continually used my own space as a lab. One of my latest experiments was with a vintage sofa found at auction. A few years ago I set up my own business and was in the midst of change. I wanted to hunker down, focus inward and create a cocoon in which to hatch new ideas. Feng Shui has taught me that when I am embarking on new roads in life, my environment needs to come along for the ride, so this large sectional caught my eye.
It was dirty with measly, flat cushions. Envisioning its potential I drew up a furniture plan. The sectional would be a little tight in the allotted space, but it fit so I bought it. It was sent directly to the upholsterer to be completely refurbished (often the case with vintage pieces). I love breathing new life into old things. I had an arm added and was looking forward to both stretching out and curling up in all its corners.
I’ve been enjoying this sofa for a few years now. It sits well in the space, offers good views out the window and provides significant seating. It has completely delivered on all its initial promises and I've loved it. The Olive green, silk velvet fabric is luscious and the sofa is quite comfortable. Ahhhh...but everything changes. It's only natural that your taste, style and needs change over time. I have found that change is only a problem if I resist it.
As my life expands and evolves, so too must my space transform. French Doors connect the living room to the foyer. The right arm of the sofa sits next to one of the doors which doesn’t allow the door to open fully. It hasn't been an issue, but recently I've noticed how I feel about it has changed. What began as a cocoon has become a block. My shift in feeling about the layout is a clear indication that it's time to move things around and rebalance. Here is the point – when your own focus and energy shifts your space needs to as well.
I don't see this as a failure or mistake. As a designer I love experimenting with spaces. Plus, it is not a failure to see that something no longer works for you…it’s acceptance. Every decision made is forward movement, and it's helpful to remember nothing lasts forever. Thank heavens!!! In with the new!! To be in the flow you must be able to let go of things when they are past "your" expiration date, whether it’s a pair of shoes, a seemingly perfect guy or the ideal sofa.
I spent some time revising my layout. And even just looking at it makes me feel like I can breathe more freely. Spaces are like people: they need to breathe and when they do, we do too.
FREE AT LAST!
It may come as no surprise that this sectional is now for sale. It has served me well and I would love for it to go to a great home. If you’re interested in details, please click here. I’ve purchased a “new” vintage sofa so stay tuned to see how this sparked an entire re-design that goes beyond my living room.
In closing, it makes no difference whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing one or just refreshing things: allowing your space to evolve in conjunction with your life is a foundation for healthy living and we are here to help. We hope you will stay connected while we explore the many facets of wellness through the lens of Feng Shui and design. Until next time!