We've all heard of feng shui (pronounced fung-shway), but does anyone really have a grasp on how to give the ancient Chinese art a go? Unlocking the energy in your home may not be at the top of your to-do list, but many believe it can effect your love life, career, and overall sense of zen. And since we're all about all those things in 2013, R29 wrangled L.A.'s top classical Chinese feng shui expert, Anita Rosenberg, to give us some tips.
To show off her skills, Rosenberg (who counts Shepard Fairey and Virginia Madsen as fans) imparted her wisdom on the Hollywood bungalow of local PR golden child Jessica Trent. And as It turns out, you don't have to hire a moving squad or invest in gobs of kooky mirrors and Buddha sculptures to make it work. Just take a look at the major dos and don'ts of the practice — in practice — right here, and prepare to get lucky!
Photographed by Molly Cranna
About Our Expert, Anita Rosenberg:
Anita Rosenberg is the undisputed go-to girl for utilizing classical Chinese feng shui to improve all aspects of one's life. For fifteen years, she's globetrotted as far as India and Vietnam to put her skills to use, and also has a background in the arts and entertainment fields (her work has been featured at LACMA and MOCA!).
To get a customized vision of how you can truly implement the following tips, we suggest you start with a BaZi Astrology reading and home review, which correlates your personal chart's compass points with each "gua" — the areas in your home which are deemed positively or negatively charged. In the Cosmic Trinity of Chinese Metaphysics, the first area incorporates your "earth luck," which feng shui supports by creating a supportive environment; the second is your "man luck," the actions you take like incorporating crystals and magic candles; and lastly, "heaven luck," which is astrological. So, to get the full shebang, we highly recommend you schedule a meet with the metaphysical maven here
About Our Subject, Jessica Trent:
From promoting contemporary art and artists and producing fashion shows during NYFW to nurturing the careers of designers around the world, Ms. Trent
has irons in the fire of both the high-brow and
indie scenes. Some of her current and past projects and clients include Art Los Angeles Contemporary, The French Consulate's "Ceci n'est Pas" contemporary art series, Mick Rock, Dream Collective, Odilon, Mandy Coon, THVM, and special events with Jerome Rousseau and CFDA Fashion Fund finalists Ohne Titel. In her spare time, she pens for Diane Pernet's A Shaded View On Fashion
blog and The Huffington Post.
"DO have indoor plants. Good feng shui is about bringing nature inside. Indoor trees are super helpful for stirring up stale qi (pronounced chee) or energy get that’s stuck in corners. Plus, they add a life force and look amazing in a living or dining room."
"DON'T overdue any one shape in a room. Take a look at Jessica’s living room. She loves her square shapes. You can see them on the coffee table, magazines, books, paintings, and furniture. Squares represent the earth element, and too much earth in a space makes you procrastinate. We discussed her adding sprinkles of round or oval-shaped items (representing metal) and stripes or floral patterns (wood), wavy (water), and pointy (fire) shapes, as well. Balance is the key."
"DO activate a space by utilizing it as often as possible. The important rooms are the foyer, bedrooms, home office, and kitchen. In the kitchen, this means adding seating for socializing. Kitchens are the new living rooms! DO always have fresh fruit and flowers (flowers attract money), particularly if you are trying to sell or rent your home. In China, if you had food, it meant you had money, so the kitchen is the space most associated with health and wealth."
"Your bedroom is meant for two things: Recharging through sleep, and sex and romance. DO deliberately decorate in pairs (especially bedside tables), hang romantic art, and place rose quartz beneath your bed, since it vibrates your heart chakra. This is a super-secret single-girl tip! Rhodonite, the soulmate crystal, is helpful, too. If you're single, DON'T have any photographs of people in the space at all. If you're coupled up, the only photos here should be of the two of you together.
Furthermore, the bed should be the king or queen of the room. For best placement, DO have it on a solid interior wall. If you can't do that, either place it beside a doorway or window. DON'T ever have it beneath a window. DON'T have anything beneath your bed, even storage. The qi should be free to move in and around and beneath, otherwise your dreams will be stifled and future goals will get stuck.
DO have a wooden headboard because metal vibrates your nervous system. DON'T have red bedding. It vibrates too actively. Red tones for pillows or throws can be sexy, though. Blankets and sheets should be flesh tones like a mother’s warm embrace, warm and cozy."
"Mirrors are very powerful in feng shui. We want to be careful where we place them. DON'T put mirrors in a bedroom because they bring too much yang energy and will keep you awake all night. Bedrooms are yin, calm spaces. If you have a mirror in your bedroom on a vanity or closet, cover it at night to calm the spiritual flow. Try it to see if you sleep better. Another tip: Mirrors should never be hung across from each other because they will continually bounce energy back and forth. This is not the type of serene energy that makes for a happy home.
DO have extra seating. If you can extend the bed with a chaise or club chairs, like in hotel rooms, that is optimal. DON'T keep books in your bedroom — especially if you're trying to get pregnant! It's energetically too active, and like sleeping with every character in each tome! DON'T have any electronics in your bedroom, which means computers, TV's, and I even shy my clients away from ceiling fans. They emit harmful and unhealthy EMF's, and your bedroom is about healing."
"DO designate a section in your home that honors family. They are your support team, and photos of them bring goodwill. They should be placed with purpose. Framed photo displays in the living or dining room like Jessica did is very thoughtful and special. Hanging larger photos in a hallway helps stir up stuck qi, plus creates a wonderful family wall of fame."
"DON'T scatter all of your shelf space with vignettes and tchotchkes, they should be isolated in clustered areas. Fifty-percent of shelf space should always be free, so the qi can move about."
"DON'T have anything that blocks a door from opening fully, especially your front door. It is the opening for all opportunities. Your front door should also always be solid, any glass windows should be covered by a decorative curtain or opaque blind."
"DON'T leave your entryway without proper welcoming items. The qi has to hang out for a minute and circulate — it can't just spew into your living room uncomfortably. If you don't have a foyer, you'll need to create one. Just as in life, you must direct where energy goes, and this is the starting point. This area is known as your 'bright hall' and it should have fresh flowers, a Buddha, or some 'greeter.'"
"When buying furniture, DO search for solid items like wood. Glass desks or coffee tables are not recommended, since they should be as supportive as possible, not riddled with the possibility of shattering. Also, you should always search for rounded corners. Sharp, pointed edges are called 'poison arrows.'"
"There is so much negativity in the world right now that the secret weapon of the crystal kingdom is black tourmaline. To discharge negative energy, DO place them in a dish filled with salt. When you feel you're ready, empty the salt and start afresh."
"In your closet, DO face your shoes out to the world. It channels progress."
"In your dining room, DO make sure there is no queen or king seating at the heads of tables. All chairs can be unique and individual, but the days of ruling the dining room are over. Everyone is equal."
"DON'T over-clutter your exterior front entrance. All you need is a nice welcome mat and two nice greeters, like dual plants or chairs. Your address needs to be easily visible so opportunities and guests can find you. Keep the entry fresh and clean so qi can find you and welcome you home!"