One of the key elements in feng shui is the understanding of the concept of space. Through the use of formulas, directions and charts, we can identify which areas of the home are suitable for each of us. However, to maximize the potential of these areas, we need to be able to create a ‘space’ which evokes a positive emotional response. How we feel, how we act and even how we live is directly attributed to what we see and experience in our environment.
THE OPEN PLAN
Through the Space Dimension of feng shui, we look into ways of creating spaces that help promote a sense of freedom and harmony. One of the key elements in the space dimension technique is the open space plan concept. Through an open plan concept, we are able to locate different areas (living, dining, entertainment or reading) of the home within a single space, thereby allowing each area to stand independently from one another, yet be held together by the overall space.
This enables the room to ‘grow’ exponentially, giving an illusion of a space that is larger than it actually is. This allows us to breathe more easily and to experience the true concept of abundance and growth. It helps promote family values and allows each individual family member to do their own thing yet be interconnected to one another, making any everyday task a social family event.
Another major advantage of an open plan is the ability for the energies of the home to flow from one corner to another freely and unobstructed. It is therefore important to identify which areas of the home are deemed auspicious based on the Flying Star natal chart. By organizing your open living right, auspicious star combinations can be magnified further, thus the household may reap maximum benefits from its potent energy. For example, look for sectors within the home that contain either the water or mountain star #8 and make these sectors the center of the open plan layout. This allows the energies of the #8 stars to overwhelm the other corners, thus strengthening its influence over the adjacent flying star combinations.
Another method in designing an open plan is to break the spaces up through the use of partition walls to highlight a sense of privacy from one room to another, yet leaving it open enough such that the seamless energy flow is maintained. In the example here, the living and dining areas are divided into their own zones with a feature cabinet, yet the window façade and floor patterns accentuates the open plan concept to link both areas together as one.
USING CEILING HEIGHT
If we are limited by the footprint we are given, another method is to play with the vertical element of the space. By designing your living area to accommodate for a double height volume, it allows you to experience an explosion of space through its volumetric effect. In this example, the upper sitting area provides a more private experience, while the lower living is more open and public. This energetic setting allows the family to interact at different floors of the home, yet allowing the architecture to create a visual barrier between private and public zones, all without the use of walls or partitions. This design method captivates the concept of a fluid energy flow, to resonate throughout the house, and spatial freedom.
BRINGING THE OUTDOORS INDOORS
Another way to expand your space is to borrow from the exterior landscape. In scenarios where we are limited by our physical space, we can consider enveloping the exterior views into the home through the use of floor to ceiling windows. This technique allows us to bring the exterior landscape indoors, thus giving the spatial experience we require without compromising on our physical footprint.
One thing to remember is that space is 3-dimensional. In homes that do not have the luxury of physical space or exterior views, we can always look up into the sky. By creating a powerful skylight effect, it allows our visual experience to be drawn up into the sky where the sky itself becomes our landscape palette. This not only allows us to bring in vibrant sun yang energy into the home but also creates an emotional experience of living where nature plays a vital role in setting our moods in the room.
5 ELEMENT OPEN PLAN LIVING
Another aspect of the space dimension to highlight is the balance of elements in the home. To create a balanced home, it is important to balance out the elements of the finishes within the living space. You do not want to have too much of one element that overwhelms any other, else it may create an unsettling effect. To adopt a 5-element design concept, we would need to introduce the element of Wood through plants and greenery. With Fire energy, the living space should have ample lighting to create vibrancy to its atmosphere. Earth energy, is represented through the flooring material to give a solid base and effect. Metal energy is introduced through the colour of walls with further accents added using the window and door finishes. Water energy is created through physical water, where the sounds and feel of water help create a soothing oasis for the space.
In designing your space, always look into the Space Dimension of Feng Shui to understand how space itself is a living entity and how it can help enhance our lives as well as the energies of our home. Look into the physical aspect of space and how you can use that to expand your home. Or capture the exterior views into the home to create the visual illusion of space and finally, understand how the elements we introduce the space can find balance in the energy of the home.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (March/April 2010)". To subscribe, please click here.