Credit: Marlyna Los

Feng shui helps a room achieve balance, light and harmony

Feng Shui, the art of orienting objects for optimal qi, has gained in popularity in recent years, particularly in BC. See how it can add a little zen in your home

It's no secret Vancouver's real estate boom is fuelled greatly by the emergence of a middle class in China that's eager to buy homes here. Savvy real estate agents are capitalizing on their penchant for properties that exhibit desirable feng shui qualities.

And so are interior designers. Classical feng shui master Marlyna Los advises clients on everything from where to move the couch, what colour to paint the room or what kind of lighting they should have to what kind of home to buy.

Los has studied feng shui for more than 18 years with four different masters all over the world including China, Australia and the United States. These are the tips she uses when advising both real estate agents and home buyers.

4 Factors of Classical Feng Shui

At its most basic level, classical feng shui can be broken down into four factors that, together, determine how desirable a location is for the client's needs.

1. Location

Look at the physical area itself. Los advises that 70% of a building's energy is determined by its location within a five mile radius. Traditionally positive traits include elevation and proximity to water. Elements that are typically avoided are bridges and fast-moving traffic. She knows of one Asian investor who bought property based solely from observations taken from a helicopter survey of the land.

2. Building

How is the building set within its location? "Some properties just don’t sell because of the direction they face," says Los. Traditionally, a south-facing home is desirable because the sun is thought to warm the house and foster strength and health for its inhabitants.

3. Occupants

In order to do an accurate consultation, Los always uses the Chinese zodiac charts to map out the "energy blueprint" of the occupants. Only then is she able to accurately choose the best location for her clients' needs, whether it’s for a personal home or a business operation.

4. Time

When was the building constructed? “Houses run in 20-year cycles," Los explains. For example, buildings that were made in 2004 will flourish and increase in value in 2024. Of course, there are smaller changes to a house's energy every year, but every 20 those seriously practicing more advanced feng shui will make adjustments such as painting their house or changing their front door.

Tips for Incorporating Feng Shui into Your Home

Regardless of where your home is and which way it faces, Los has some suggestions you can incorporate to improve your feng shui:

  • Declutter! This is especially important for the front door area, the bedroom and the stove area.
  • Front door. It should be attractive, bright and welcoming. It should also be free of clutter so as not to impede the qi.
  • Space. Qi needs space to flow freely. “If the qi is disturbed, then people are disturbed,” explains Marlyna. “If the qi is squeezed into a dark or confined space, then that changes the quality of the qi.
  • Light. This is important, which is another reason why south-facing properties are so desirable. Ensure your space has adequate lighting that reaches all the corners.
  • Balance. This is based on the yin-yang principle. Everything needs to be in balance in order to achieve harmony. Yes, you want light but not so much that it’s glaring. Warmth from the sun is great, but you don’t want to overheat. Create a space that is well balanced.

To hear more about Los' ideas on how feng shui affects real estate choices, join her at BUILDEX, where she'll present a seminar on Wednesday, February 8, from 1:00 pm to 2:30pm. BUILDEX is one of Canada’s largest tradeshows and conferences for those interested in design, construction and real estate management.