Increasing foreign investment into U.S. homes and shifting demographics has forced home builders to consider this untapped energy.
By Jessie Kim
Communities across the country are experiencing an influx of potential buyers that have a certain sixth-sense about an unseen energy. They’re not interested in square footage and upgrades. It’s about this energy. They will often walk in and immediately out of a model home – without saying a word – if this energy isn’t right. Basic model designs that had been popular for years are no longer top sellers. Large cul-de-sac or corner lots sometimes require a discount rather than fetching their normal premium. What is to blame for these recent trends? Foreign investments? Shifting demographics? Maybe Feng Shui is to blame.
Just what is Feng Shui, though? Literally translated, Feng Shui means wind-water. That says a lot about the 3,000 year old Asian practice of Feng Shui, even as it is used today in home layout and design in the United States.
Feng Shui is all about the flow of energy, much like how water flows and wind blows. When you open up the front door to a house, how would an incoming stream of water or a gust of wind flow around and blow through the house? Would it make its way through every room or would it stagnate and collect all in one area? We cannot survive without the energizing nature of water and air. As these are two of the main elements to the building blocks of our human existence, so too is a similar energy referred to inFeng Shui as Chi or Qi.
In Feng Shui, we see the front door of a home as the mouth of incoming energy. From there, an ideal flow of life-giving Chi would cycle through different areas of the home represented by important elements to our existence, starting with the front door: water, wood, fire, earth and metal.
Think of it this way: Chi that flows into your home starts by energizing water. Water, in turn, nourishes wood trees. Wood then fuels fire. Fire rejuvenates earth. Over time, earth and its processes create metal. To renew the cycle, metal gives water a path through which to flow.
This is what is called a creative cycle in Feng Shui and it should flow in a clockwise motion in a home’s layout, starting with the front door. A well-energized and free-flowing creative cycle will provide harmony and balance in the lives of its occupants. This is where the placement of doors, stairs and walls in the floor plan can be crucial for the energy flow.
Moreover, it is important to have items representing these elements in corresponding areas of the home. For instance, a stove or fireplace in the fire area is ideal. When staging a model home, small trees could be placed in the wood area. Metal picture frames could be placed on walls in the metal area.
When one element is overpowering the home, however, it could have disastrous effects. Too many items representing fire, for instance, causes Feng Shui energy to “burn up.” In turn, residents feel burned out and get hot-tempered. Arguments can flare up. Too many items representing water in the home, on the other hand, will give residents the feeling of drowning, which can be overwhelming. That feeling will eventually translate into a lack of motivation. Rarely will projects get started, let alone be seen through completion by residents of such a home.
In Feng Shui, it is all about creating balance. Creating a balanced energy in homes is important so that future residents living in the space can live healthy, harmonious and fruitful lives.
When potential buyers walk into a model home, they need to feel like it is a home where they can be creative, can be active, can be good at what they do, can get the recognition they deserve and can have happy and healthy relationships with their friends and loved ones. From site design to staging with proper Feng Shui in mind, a model home will make prospective buyers feel a positive and relaxing energy that is crucial to health and prosperity. It will be like a refreshing drink of water or a rejuvenating breath of cool air. Whether they believe in it or not, Feng Shui energy will invite buyers in to experience more of their future home – without saying a word.
Green Home Builder – Sept/Oct 2014