At least 2x a month, Suzy Brockmann of La Lyra inspires all of us in the shop, with her approach to Feng Shui and “home healing.” Also considered merchandising, we just stand agog at how she not only makes the space look better, but feel better. Unbound to shoulds or shouldnts, or even what she's done in the past, Suzy’s prowess lays in her truly being in the flow of chi. If you’ve been to the shop, you know what we’re talking about.
Below, Suzy shares some simple approaches that can bring shifts to the foundation of our lives, our home— the place where we cook, sleep, and share intimacy and hopefully feel energized, nurtured, and, well, at home in the world.
In Feng Shui, you always look at your environment as yourself. Your dwelling is a reflection of you. View the energy within your space as water flowing effortlessly and gracefully, like a meandering stream. Let your furniture and objects of desire be organic and curvy in nature, not chemically made or placed in a way that feels awkward or confrontational. Living in what is essentially a box with plenty of walls and right angles requires us to bring in all elements of nature so that it is inviting and allows us to build upon interpersonal relationships — with ourselves and those that we welcome into our space.
In Feng Shui, everything has a purpose and a place so that energy flows freely and efficiently. Below, Suzy shares ways to begin an intuitive relationship with home using the foundational principals of Feng Shui, so it may becomes a direct reflection of us and the energy we desire to bring into our own lives.
The front door to every home is called the mouth of chi (chi meaning energy) and is the most important because it’s where you and others are constantly entering and exiting. The energy of the entrance is very active, therefore you want it to be as welcoming and inviting as possible, surrounded by lush plants, soft grasses, and an abundance of flowers— healthy landscaping that’s well-pruned.
Keep a clear, well lit walkway that is safe – nothing sharp, pointy or protruding. People should feel as though they are entering a safe haven where they feel both welcome and secure.
THE LIVING ROOM
This gathering place of the home supports interpersonal relationships and is usually where most social occasions take place, so make sure that furniture placement is conducive to this. Ideally, seating is placed in a circular fashion where everyone sits at eye level and feels comfortable and stable. Couches should face towards the window and natural light — it’s not ideal to sit with your back turned away from any windows.
Area rugs also help to ground the energy of the space, supporting communication and the feeling of being secure. For any social gatherings or guests that you host, be sure to slide any floating seating on to the area rug so that they feel connected and included in conversation.
Due to its social, active nature, the living room should generally be yang in nature — so bring in plenty of plant varieties, let natural light flood in, and display pictures and artwork that are also yang in nature.
Bedrooms should act as our sanctuaries — an oasis of calm and peace, and nurturing of love and romance. Lighting should be dim and soft, and colors should be warm in nature — shying towards flesh and earth tones and away from greens and blues as these colors are a bit too cool (however, this rule doesn't exactly apply to the Feng Shui for children's rooms). Limit the amount of metal items in the bedroom, as metal impedes energy flow and conducts too much electricity.
Bed placement should be in the empowered position, which is in view of the doorway, but not in total alignment. Wooden bed frames are ideal (again, elements of nature wherever possible) and you want to make sure that your head is against a solid wall and that the wall does not house any known plumbing. Very important to keep under the bed empty, as clutter under there can create stagnant, blocked energy!
Mirrors are activators and therefore usually too active to be placed in the bedroom, however accent and decorative mirrors can sometimes work. If you do have a large mirror in your bedroom, try to move it in your closet or position it in a way so that it is at least out of sight while you are lying in bed.
Do not allow clutter to creep into your oasis of calm! Remove items that belong to other parts of your house, especially work-related items. A huge Feng Shui splinter is to have a desk in the same room as your bedroom. There are ways around it if it needs to be that way, but ideally the work space should be completely separate from the bedroom because it will symbolize that there is always going to be "work" in your romantic life and this will affect your relationships. Limit the amount of electrical devices and absolutely remove the TV. Do not sleep with your cell phones, but rather use a real alarm clock instead and keep your phones out of the room. Yes, we said it.
PRO TIP: Elements that support a peaceful, intimate, and relaxing bedroom include La Lyra Mood Mists (made by Suzy, herself!), Silk Eye Pillows by Willow Knows, and a good book. We suggest this meditation on Wabi Sabi: Further Thoughts by Leonard Koren
The bathroom is dominated by the water element because it is where two, sometimes three large moving water sources are (sink, toilet, tub), so we must balance this by grounding with earth elements. A potted plant is a wonderful way to satisfy this need, however if there is no light source then earth elements can be brought in through the shower curtain, rug, towels, wall colors, and art.
Since the bathroom is where you usually begin and end your day, be sure that it is practical, yet spa-like. It doesn't need to take much in order to make your bathroom feel luxurious. Add some candles, a plush rug, throw out your stained and old towels and update to towels that are simple, beautiful, and luxe.
Be very selective about what you keep out on the bathroom counter, and remember that concealed storage is always going to be your ally, especially if your bathroom is small. Make sure you can clearly see yourself in the mirror (and that it’s clean and clear — not cracked or cloudy!) and that the lighting is well lit.
Most importantly, be sure to keep leaks at bay. Water is associated with wealth, career, and cash flow so a leaking water is quite literally viewed as money going down the drain.
The kitchen symbolizes your health and wellbeing, as it’s the location where you and your loved ones are nourished. It should be welcoming, and a place to feel relaxed. The layout should be designed based on how to empower the cook — a cooktop positioned on an island is ideal, but if the range is against a wall, then be sure to add a mirror or some sort of reflective surface to offer the cook a view of what is behind.
The placement of appliances, countertops, and storage should cater to the daily tasks of preparing and cooking foods by having excellent flow, allowing kitchen duties to carry out smoothly. Only keep appliances that are used everyday on the counter; everything else should be neatly stored. Kitchen cupboards should be clean and well organized (get a flashlight and you might just find a petrified block of garlic powder that has rolled to the deep dark shadows of the back of your cabinet..a true story from a client!)
Update your pantry items, making sure they are all relevant to you and are foods that will nourish you — and then do the same with cookbooks, pots and pans, utensils, mugs. That dreaded junk drawer...keep everything as organized as possible! Giving your kitchen a thorough cleanse and clearing will remove stagnancy and tremendously improve the energy flow of the space, especially since this space is connected to your health and wellbeing. Countertop surfaces should be cleaned regularly, including the stovetop and the inside of your fridge.
PRO TIP: Keep purified water in large glass containers with Binchotan Charcoal Sticks, Ceramic vessels for storing salt, and keeping an organized pantry filled with your favorite Boketto staples including: olive oil, ghee, coconut butter, spices, teas, and grains.