Fans of Coastal San Diego

This site is for the many fans of coastal San Diego, those who have lived here for years, as well as those new to the area. Here you can learn more about the different communities, the many things to do and places to visit in and around San Diego, share your experiences, and ask for advice and recommendations for restaurants, shopping, visitor activities, places to live, and more! Buyers thinking about moving here will find lots of information to help, too!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Feng Shui Basics (Part 1)

The value of Feng Shui centers around health and well-being and the opportunities that arise as a result of living within a supportive environment. In truth, some houses are just naturally better and more beneficial than others. The good news is, however, there are easy things that you can do to create a more supportive home (or listing) for the months/year ahead.

  • Keep it real: Open up your home every day and let the fresh air cleanse and revitalize the indoor energy. Studies show that the air contained within our homes can be more polluted than the outdoor air. Many houses rely on forced air/heating systems which don’t allow for proper ventilation. Consequently, these closed up environments suffer from humidity relating to climate, cooking, and even breathing, which can attract mold and mildew and lead to illness. Another solution (and selling point) is to have operable windows that enable you to manage air flow and circulation. You can also monitor your indoor air quality by purchasing an inexpensive test kit available through companies such as Envirologix.

    Feng Shui Staging Tip: Open up all the windows/doors within a listing prior to an Open House. (Keep the house open for a minimum of 30 minutes, ideally longer.) This will reinvigorate the energy within the house giving it a fresh, vital feeling.

  • Let there be light: Natural, unfiltered daylight and sunlight are healthy additions to any environment for a variety of reasons. First, natural exposure enables a person’s internal clock to monitor the variation of light and color throughout a given day (and throughout the seasons) which provides a direct connection to nature. Sunlight has also been proven to be good for the human psyche.

    Avoid harsh indoor lighting, whenever possible, because it can be depleting on your system. I’m a huge advocate of dimmer-switches which enable you to change and enhance lighting easily, depending upon the room and the function of the space, to go with the flow and cycle of nature. Have ample illumination indoors and outdoors—along stairways, hallways and around the perimeter of your home/property. If you have to go with florescent or incandescent lighting, choose a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb which uses 60-75% less energy and saves 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.

    Feng Shui Staging Tip: While you’re opening up all those windows and doors also open up the curtains and blinds to take advantage of natural sunlight. Windows, particularly those with views of lush landscaping and open space, are excellent selling features and serve as “living art work.” (More on this topic below.) Surprisingly, most of the listings I’ve seen while on a Caravan/preliminary walk-through have kept window treatments closed.

  • Keep the connection: Bring the outdoors in simply and naturally through windows and doors that feature beautiful views and colorful landscaping; open atriums; indoor/outdoor courtyards, even comfy window seats that allow you to read, watch nature and relax. Skylights offer natural light and help to cut down on energy use. Roof tops, balconies and high loft areas can serve as observation decks to view the phases of the moon, planets and stars.

Feng Shui Staging Tip: Stage your listings to suggest and reflect nature.

Other ways to create visual harmony includes the use of natural materials, colors, and organic shapes in your interior design. (Use “soft, curved, and flowing” as your inspiration rather than “straight, cramped or sharp.”) Flooring such as bamboo, cork, or natural fibers like sea grass or sisal is superior to and healthier than traditional carpeting. There exists a universal attraction to and appreciation for the beauty of nature—it connects all cultures. In terms of resale value, homes that incorporate natural elements throughout it are consistently more desirable and sought after and usually receive a higher asking price.

Stay tuned for more Feng Shui Basics.

Kathryn Holt, Feng Shui Resource, 858.492.8506

Please feel free to email me with any questions.

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