The Home Office

Traditional Harmony

A working or study environment in the home can be difficult Feng Shui, as the energy from these areas can affect the entire house. But, if approached correctly and sensitively, beneficial rewards can be reaped. Surplus yang energy is more likely to gather in the home office than in the study or studio, as contact with the outside world is greater. So striking a balance is imperative when planning and utilizing this space.

The home office is best located in close proximity to the front entrance; ideally, it should be a place clients have access to via a separate door. The area will be most effective if it is positioned in your best direction and if the layout is designed to facilitate the auspicious flow of Qi.

While having your home office in a completely separate building on your plot of land is positive Feng Shui, stealing some space from the living room or bedroom is often closer to reality. In the latter instance, it's imperative to keep the working environment distinct from the rest of your life. Simply installing a clear division -a screen, bookshelves, cupboards or modular storage units - will do the trick.

An office in the bedroom provides a particular Feng Shui conundrum, as the room then has the opposing requirements of rest (yin) and yang (work). Covering a printer or computer with a yin - colored fabric at night will be effective here. Also, check that your desk is not placed directly underneath a window, as the Qi flow has the potential to disturb. Placing your desk in a secure corner, with your back against the wall and the doorway clearly visible, is a safer bet.

When two people are working in the same room, their desks should not face each other. Each desk should have a wall behind it to protect it, and both people should have supportive chairs. Visiting clients should be seated in what the Chinese call the "subordinate chair," with their back to the door. The owner's chair should always be backed by the wall facing the door.

The next task is to consider the contents of the desk, either using compass directions or symbolically. Finally, lighting should be diagonally opposite the writing hand to prevent shadows.

Modern Design

Make sure your home office is clutter free, and has appropriate filing, storage and shelving. Remain aware of positioning and height of furniture - storage that is too high can be oppressive, particularly if it's over the desk, such as shelves built into a wall above the desk. If a desk is close to a door, a plant on the edge of the desk will prevent unfavorable Qi.

Check anything that will detract from the entrance - weeds, dustbins, overhanging branches. A potted plant on either side of the entrance is good Feng Shui; alternatively, protect the entrance with two stone lions (fu dogs) - these help reduce the entry of negative Qi into the building. Putting a moving water feature at or near the main door will also welcome good Qi. Make sure the entrance is lit with up lights or similar artificial lighting, which will help enhance positive energy in and around the home office. Applying a Bagua mirror outside (but never inside!) the entrance will work to deflect any negative energy entering this potentially wealth - creating space.

If the office is part of another room, define the office area by a screen, a piece of furniture, even a rug. Definition, or boundaries, psychologically defines the space and its career - oriented activities. It also allows for concentration on the task at hand. Add a soft-leafed hanging plant over bookshelves. Any poison arrows should be hidden by using mirrors or screens. The great news is that laptops are good Feng Shui, as they can best hut down and tucked away. If you own a free-standing computer monitor, simply cover it with a yin - colored cloth when not in use. Place a plant close to any of your electrical equipment (such as printers and scanners) to further diffuse yang energy.

Aspirational images, good lighting and bright colors all make a psychological impact and evoke success. A traditional Chinese Feng Shui tradition is to tie three Chinese coins together with red thread or ribbon and place them in your accounts book for good luck. Also, try activating the prosperity sector by using water features, such as fish tanks. The very best fish for attracting prosperity are Arrowanas, known in the East as the "Feng Shui fish." Activate the fame sector by installing red furnishings or other representations of Fire, such as strong lighting.

A plant serves two purposes in this home office. Electrical devices, such as computers, printers and scanners, are very yang, so a yin plant helps diffuse the energy. Also, since this desk is positioned close to a door, a plant serves as a protector / barrier from unfavorable Qi. It is worth noting that laptops are good Feng Shui, as they can be shut down and tucked away.

Be careful with Feng Shui in the home office or study - this area's energy can affect the entire house. Appropriate filing, storage and shelving can make a big difference. Check the positioning and height of your storage - storage which is too high can be oppressive, particularly if it is over the desk.

Applying Feng Shui in the home office correctly and sensitively can also reap beneficial rewards. Here a plant and soft cushion add yin energy to a mainly yang space. Clutter has been removed. A red invoice book has been stored in the fame sector. Other options include red furnishings or representations of Fire such as strong lighting - but use a delicate touch.

Bad Feng Shui - Home Office
• The open shelves are facing the seats - this is bad Feng Shui
• The spiky plants do little to break down the negative flow of Qi
• It is bad Feng Shui for colleagues to face each other all day
• The square coffee table generates poison arrows
• The window has slatted blinds, which send negative Qi into the room
• The sofa is unsupported by the window, which will cause sitters to feel uncomfortable
• There is no distinction between work and discussion zones
• The room has a bad distribution of space

Good Feng Shui - Home Office
• The sofa is supported by a wall
• The office is divided into office and discussion areas, which appropriately balances the space
• The oval coffee table does not produce poison arrows
• The window is covered with soft, flowing curtains
• The clutter - free desk is possible owing to the storage provided by the closed - in shelves
• The person seated at the desk is supported by the wall behind and is able to see the front door
• The picture of a landscape symbolically supports the back of the chair
• Soft-leafed plants are good Feng Shui they eliminate excess yang energy
The Home Office