Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”), is a term composed of two Chinese characters: feng (wind) and shui (water). Wind and water are the two natural elements that flow, move, and circulate everywhere on Earth. They are also the most basic elements required for human survival. Wind — or air — is the breath of life, and water, the liquid of life; without these two elements, we would quickly die. The combined qualities of wind and water determine the climate, which historically has determined our food supply and in turn affects our lifestyle, health, energy, and mood. These two fundamental and flowing elements have always profoundly yet subtly influenced human individuals and societies. In fact early human survival was often largely attributed to finding suitable shelter on the high ground for protection from predators, with solar orientation for warmth and light and near a safe water supply. Fung shui seeks to take these fundamental tenets of human shelter and put them into a formula for the ideal orientation and layout of your home.
Perhaps the best way to illustrate how your living environment affects your feelings would be to consider how you might feel if you were to move the home you live in to a new location? A woman in a rural part of the United States did actually relocate her home to a new position on her property and reported that she felt like a different person after the relocation.
She wondered how the same home could feel so different when facing a new direction. She found that in the prior placement her home faced west. The sun came up entering into her dining area moving around the home setting in the kitchen area. As the home sits now her kitchen is fully lit in the early morning hours, the sun moves around the front of the home and sets in the living room area. She now has a fully lit living room for a good part of the day, which in the previous location did not receive sunlight at all. The home takes advantage of the sun in a whole new way.
The home has lots of windows but it had felt dark inside and didn’t take advantage of the natural sunlight that now enters her home. She reported that she had lacked energy, but now her overall happiness and attitude was more upbeat and positive. She had no idea that moving her home would change her life. Most people are not able to move their existing home but it is a proven fact that how a building is situated on a property can affect how a person will feel.
Taking the opportunity to plan your home with Feng Shui principles and solar orientation in mind from the outset will create a naturally warmer, lighter, and more comfortable home. Often without even being aware of it, owners and guests will feel more comfortable and happier in the home and will describe the house as having an exceptionally nice feel, and being a place they like to spend time.
As initial concept designs come about so quickly at the start of a new project, making sure that your design team understands and is sympathetic to the principles of solar orientation and Feng Shui are critical to the feel of the completed property.