This blog post was written by Danielle Winston, in collaboration with Julie Schuster, for Brentwood Home and published on Jul. 6, 2020.
You might say, it’s not your eyes but your home that offers a true window into your soul. Everything about where you live is dedicated to you. Close the doors and experience solitude. Open them and let the sun beam through. Like rooms in your psyche, when your home is out of order, it manifests physically. Likewise, when your home is in balance, you experience a sense of inner calm. According to Julie Schuster, Wellness Interior Designer of Julie Schuster Design Studio, visually appealing environments that are comforting, help manifest positive energy while they nurture your wellbeing. And since energy is in perpetual motion, as you evolve, it wouldn't make sense to keep your surroundings stagnant.
Take a look at your home with a view toward change...
Schuster says, if you apply Feng Shui, “to interior design, it starts with the conscious arrangement of furniture in order to harness and manipulate the energy.” So, what does this mean on a practical level? According to Julie, since the universe is made of energy, this prana is illustrated as one of the five elements: fire, earth, metal, water or wood. So... how can you keep Feng Shui in mind when decorating? According to Schuster, the most important thing you can do to unblock energy is declutter. Why? Because “Clutter is the enemy of the auspicious flow of chi,” says Schuster.
According to Schuster, it’s helpful to imagine standing in the back of a particular room; the view of your entrance ought to be visible without having to physically turn around. For instance, Schuster says, in the bedroom “it has to do with allowing for restful, rejuvenating sleep; unencumbered by concerns.” And in your kitchen, “allowing the cook to not have stress (again that subliminal concern about blocked vision of the entrance) that can get cooked into the family's food. In the home office, it has to do with allowing the businessperson to see opportunity and advantage coming into the entrance of the office for their business,” says Schuster.
Ceiling cracks and dusty picture frames, being in the same space day after day, makes it easy to overlook certain objects and areas. Instead of noticing small things, there tends to be an overall view. So consciously reacquaint yourself with each wall, window, and floor. Take a walking meditation of your home: draw awareness to your breath. Bring yourself into a highly relaxed state. As slowly as possible, move through each room, and allow your gaze to settle in different directions. Stay focused for a minimum of several breaths as you simply notice without judgement. When you discover places you were unaware of, linger for a longer length of time. Visualize different ways the area might change. With your mind's eye, imagine a wash of color, and rearrangement of objects. Notice how the space makes you feel. Then if you like, try something different, even if it's something subtle, like the absence of an object, or an uncluttered corner. As if trying out paint swatches with your imagination, get as creative as possible. Afterward, contemplate the changes and decide which ones you’d like to try.
Abstract? Surrealism? Impressionism? What sort of art and photography do you gravitate towards? You needn't visit a gallery to find original works worth displaying. If you don't already have photos on your phone that you love, start a new project. Explore places where you find beauty, curiosity, tranquility. Do you find solace in cloud formations, joy in flowers, or comfort in the faces of friends? Decide if you'd like a single picture or series. Then dedicate spaces for your images to hang. You can have photos printed and framed, made into posters, placed on foamcore, or made into wood-backed canvases.
Another option is to create framed prints from books and magazines, by glazing them directly onto canvas. Considering how simple the process is, the results are surprisingly lovely.
If your front door is a bland neutral shade, consider scarlet, turquoise or goldenrod. Another way to reinvent your entrance with an entirely new one. Vintage doors can be exquisite works of art and come in an array of styles and designs. Try carved Victorian, mid-century modern, or go eclectic with up-cycled chrome. Alternatively, you can distress a modern door for an aged look, even paint it with crackle glaze for a poetic facade.
Just the way a new haircut can transform your look, a revamped window can make a bold statement. It can also blend into the walls and provide the illusion of more space. How is your window dressed? Blinds? Simple curtains? Are your drapes fighting against the walls and floors? Keep in mind the color palette of your room and decide where you want to draw the eye. If most of the tones of your room are muted, bright toned or patterned drapes will become the focal point.
Another alternative is to fabricate the appearance of a window for a more spacious vibe. Atop a large square or rectangular mirror with a curtain rod and sheer billowy curtains and convert a cramped room into a dreamy living space.
Changing your home is fun when it becomes a gradual evolution. Let it be intuitive. Explore what excites you. Seek out found objects and vintage pieces to offset conventional ones. And experiment with bringing the five elements of Feng Shui into your home.
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Julie and her team have a passion for creating beautiful, engaging and functional spaces, focusing on both the physical as well as the emotional well being of your environment. Click on the links below for package details:
A design collaboration done between client and designer done entirely online. Purchase the package below, submit photos of the space and existing furnishings you like to see incorporated in the design and a sketch of the space with measurements.
Need some assistance in selecting paint finishes for your home? A design collaboration done between client and designer done entirely online. Purchase the package below, submit photos of the space and and fabrics.
Whether it is directing the flow of chi through the arrangement of furnishings, design or colors; Julie and her team can help you to create the spaces that support your vision of a balanced life, rich in the areas that matter to you.
There is no second chance to make a good first impression. When the time comes to sell or rent your home, ease the transition and maximize return by helping your home look its very best.