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10 Strategic Renovation Ideas (Part 1)
CREATIVE REMODELLING WILL REFRESH THE ENERGY OF YOUR HOME
These days there is plenty of talk about high oil prices, higher cost of living and how everyone should tighten their belts and feel miserable. Let us give you an alternative solution to effectively fight the doom and gloom.
Beat the blues by improving the energy around you. Do something dramatic to improve your home energy. Each of us lives in homes that need something done to it. You may be feeling cramped, your space may be too confined, too dark, too dated or poorly laid out, and maybe that is why you are succumbing to the fear factor colouring the environment. If you live in homes more than 20 years old, you could well be feeling the effects of feng shui stagnation. So this is a good time to counter the negative vibes of the world by transforming the energy that’s immediately around you.
Do something clever with your living space! No more bits and pieces of plaster that fix things here and there. Instead think strategically about really improving your home and throw in a few feng shui suggestions. Think of remodeling your home so you make REAL improvements. The mere acts of revitalizing your roof, your floor and changing your door are sure to bring in refreshed energy that will guarantee you participate in the recovery phase of the economic cycle. Here are 10 strategies to get you started…
1. CONSIDER THE BIG PICTURE
First, look at the whole house and decide on the scale of your renovation. What do you want changed and which rooms need making over the most? Which rooms do you wish to expand and which do you want to get rid of? Which walls do you want to tear down?
Pour over your layout plans and play with ideas. Consider your future needs. Remember that the more you change, the better will be the result. First, decide all the things you want to get done before bringing in the BUDGET. You can then decide how you want to work within your budget. It is only when you know ALL the things you wish to get done that you are in a good position to decide what ideas you can safely throw out.
Here are some ideas to think about at this stage:
- Decide the scale of your remodeling program – how big a job will it be?
- Do you want to reposition certain rooms or change usage of other rooms? For instance, do you need to reposition kitchens and bathrooms to improve the overall feng shui?
- Do you want to make your living room larger to capture good flying star numbers?
- Do you want to subdivide extra large spaces or open up store rooms? (For instance if there is a store room or toilet in the SW or NW you may want to relocate them to another part of the house.)
- Do you want to change your door direction and location for feng shui reasons?
- Do you want to build a home office to work at home?
In this renovation project, a master bedroom and a kitchen renovation was undertaken together to reconfigure the floor space utilization. The result was an expanded bedroom and a more efficient usage of space. Here the staircase direction was reversed to bring more light from the window.
2. IMPROVE THE FLOW OF CHI
Few people realize just how important the flow of energy within a home can be. Even seasoned interior decorators can sometimes get carried away by their decorating ideas and then they forget about how the chi is moving inside the home. From a feng shui perspective, energy should always flow in a meandering and slow fashion. So three doorways in a straight line for instance should always be avoided and furniture arrangements should never be confrontational. So take a good look at how the energy moves inside your home.
• Are there pieces of furniture blocking your way?
• Do the rooms look cramped and tight?
• Is there a definite flow of energy form room to room?
• Are passageways awkward and difficult to move around?
It is so important to determine the public and private areas of your home so that the flow of chi does not lead everyone straight into the private part of your home, or straight into the toilet or straight upstairs! If there are walkways and corridors the space should be wide and feel spacious and generous. This is what determines how much abundance and good fortune can come into your home and accumulate within!
If you have long corridors, they should be wide enough so residents do not feel the length of the corridor. Let entrances into different parts of the home meander and avoid straight invisible pathways. These conduct negative killing energies. Better to create an ambience of benevolent chi rather than have killing energies dominate. And should you have dark, narrow corridors, try to do something to lighten the mood. Add light, create a window or place some kind of interior feature. The idea is to bring in the light so that the conduits of chi do not look cheap and dingy! Just for this alone it is worthwhile to undertake a remodeling job. Corridors are the arteries of the home. When the chi moves smoothly the health of residents too will be strong and vigorous.
3. ADD & SUBTRACT
Always start with the premise that it is perfectly OK to add new rooms or remove certain rooms. Wrongly positioned add ons, garages, sheds and bay windows that have somehow added age to the home or that make it look old and dated could perhaps be removed to make room for new space to be added to existing rooms that you wish to expand.
Sometimes enlarging windows, removing balconies and replacing entire sections of the house can make a world of difference to the energy of the home. In this connection, do learn up about flying star feng shui and see if you can “capture” good numbers inside your important rooms. Sometimes you may need to open up whole walls to bring fresh perspective to your house.
This house had a lovely backyard that overlooked a sensational view but a badly conceived store room had been built there before and this closed the view to residents. By tearing down this hardly used room and adding a deck with a stairway down to the garden below, the energy of the home was considerably improved. Residents could now enjoy the view of the back of
the house from the new deck. New glass windows that matched the style of the house were added to offer magnificent views
and did much to instantly improve the feng shui of the home. The rest of the house also got a much needed face lift from a
good and inexpensive paint job.
4. TAKE A SECOND LOOK AT YOUR STAIRCASE
In many old houses, the staircase either stops at the wrong place, faces the main door or has holes between the steps. Take a good look at your staircase and see if you need to reposition it, reverse its direction or close up the “holes” between the steps. The staircase of the home conducts chi to the private areas of the home and in feng shui terms are important. Staircases should be wide, they should look solid and feel safe.
Staircases are best when gently curved (NOT spiral) and not in any way hazardous to residents. Staircases that are unsafe for children are bad feng shui! Staircases that do not waste space are also a good idea, so see if you can get better square footage out of relocating it. This would be a big job, but might be worth it as it can change the energy of your home
The staircase should ideally be quite centrally positioned so it serves the whole house, although it should not be dead center. You can add drama by making it more attractive and allowing it to become a decorative feature. Be creative and let the staircase be a good conduit of chi. It should never be cramped or confined or appear unimportant. In the 2 examples here, the lagrer pictureshows that with the bottom part of the stairs located in the middle of the room and not by the side of the wall, it “opens” up the room and makes the area feel more spacious.5. BRING IN MORE OUTDOOR LIGHT
Nothing is as effective for improving the feng shui energy of a home as directly bringing precious yang chi into the house. You can do this by maximizing the input of natural light so endeavor to bring in more daylight as part of any remodeling work done on your house. An abundance of indirect sunlight is certain to visually increase the size of rooms, and more importantly, make residents feel much better. Natural light lifts the spirit and reduces the need for artificial light.
- What are the different ways of doing this?Widen all your windows. In any renovation work, you will vastly improve the cosmetics of your home if you upgrade and update the look of your windows. This is also an excellent way of giving your home a dramatic makeover.
- Add additional windows high up next to the ceiling. Or simply raise your window heights. This simple adjustment will have great impact as the higher the windows, the deeper the light reaches into the house. How much light actually goes in of course depends on trees, overhanging roofs as well as reflective surfaces within the house, but daylight is sure to penetrate more deeply inside. These high windows need not have to open, so you can place permanent glass to cover the windows. The idea is to bring in the light only.
- Create stairwells or skylights that bring in light. This is very auspicious for the home.
- Make sure walls opposite windows are white. Or at least a light color. Dark walls absorb light while white walls have a reflective effect and can bounce light evenly around a room.
- A light coloured floor will also bounce off light. While carpets absorb light, wood surfaces reflect light. The lighter the color of the wood, the better. Light colored stone floors are also excellent. All this spreading of daylight inside the home is really excellent in creating good energy for the home.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (July/August 2008)"
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