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Learn how feng shui techniques can declutter your home and create positive space in your life.
Do you want to bring happiness, good fortune and wellness into your life this year? Turn to the positive energies of feng shui as your guide. The ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment can help spruce up your home and simultaneously create balance and joy.
Bridget Saraka, the Saskatoon-based owner of Feng Shui by Bridget, says the practice offers life-changing benefits. "Feng shui is about creating a space that's not only pleasing to your eye, but also pleasing to all your senses, so that your home supports and enriches your life," she says. "How we live has a profound impact on what our experiences will be. When you apply feng shui principles to your home, you can attract a great new year."
If your home is cluttered, dimly lit and has poorly arranged furniture, feng shui principles state that your life will be filled with obstacles and present few opportunities for growth. As a result, your job, relationships, finances and health can become stagnant. By making a few small changes, you can revitalize your space and your life. Here are six simple tips to get started:
1. Make your front door visible to receive blessings
In feng shui, a hard-to-read house number or a blocked walkway to a door will prevent positive energy from entering the home. "Have an address that's easy to see from the street and a path from your front door into your home that isn't cluttered with obstacles," says Saraka. "If the universe can't find you, how can fortunate blessings find you?"
2. Add colour for good health
Taupes and other neutral colours are popular in home decor, but they might contribute to low moods and energy levels during Canada's long, dark winters. "They're the wrong colour palate for Canadians because many of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder," says Saraka. From a feng shui perspective, these colours absorb the winter light, leaving Canadians feeling depressed and directionless.
To boost health and energy, start by painting your walls. "Choose a colour that's warm yet still reflects light – soft yellows, soft greens – colours that give a feeling of the sun and nature," says Saraka. "Green makes all colours pop, plus it's about life, vitality, growth and new vibrations." If you can't afford to paint, use colourful accessories—accent pillows, throws, live flowers, lighting in dark corners—to ignite powerful energy shifts in your home. "It's the easiest and most affordable way to do it," says Saraka.
3. Edit your belongings
Clear the bad vibes that accompany clutter. "Go through your home with a keen eye to what no longer serves you. If you haven't worn or used it within a year, donate it," says Saraka. "If it's broken and you're not going to repair it, remove it from the space. This editing practice opens up your home so you have room to experience a new chapter." Items that hold upsetting memories should be removed, too.
4. Let indoor plants and water bring prosperity
¨Want to attract wealth this year? Bring plants and a water fountain into your home. "Jade plants and fountains are symbols that represent wealth and finance in feng shui," says Saraka. Your health may also benefit from plants and flowers inside the home. "They purify the air," says Saraka, "And as you nurture the plant, you're nurturing yourself."
5. Position furniture for safety
If you don't feel safe and comfortable in your home, your furniture placement might be to blame. "Feng shui is first and foremost about comfort and safety," says Saraka. "Make sure that the largest piece of furniture in any room is in a position where you can see the door. If the sofa or head of the bed is against the same wall as the door, you can't see who is coming in. This creates a sense of vulnerability."
6. Use essential oils to attain happiness
Essential oils can help clear negative energy and add happy vibes to your home. "Put distilled water in a spritzer bottle, add three to six droplets of oil, and then spritz the air," says Saraka. If someone has been ill, Saraka recommends a blend of frankincense and cinnamon. ¨"To infuse a space with joy, use rose and orange essential oils. Rose is about love. Orange is about joy. So you're infusing joyful love into your space." Essential oils can be purchased from most health-food stores.
For more feng shui tips, check out how you can declutter your car.
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Stay Home Club manages to find whimsy and humour in the introverted prospect of hanging out at home—instead of socializing and going out.
If your weekend goals include hanging out in your comfiest sweats, spooning your kitties and watching Netflix, Stay Home Club (SHC) is right up your alley. With sayings like “stay home and watch Buffy” and “boring is best,” this clothing and accessory brand makes introverts feel less alone. Olivia Mew, the founder and artist behind many of SHC’s designs, knows this well. The recent popularity of not only lapel pins and patches, but also simple apparel with strong messaging—often with tongue firmly in cheek—has boded well for Mew, whose small business in Montreal (with shipping across North America) is thriving.
How did you come up with the name Stay Home Club?
“I started the business when I was 24 and felt like my friends and I had totally different ways of blowing off steam and spending our free time. They were working day jobs all week and partying all weekend and I wanted to be working on something I loved, alone at home. One of my earlier Etsy stores was named ‘Stay Home’ and added the ‘Club’ when I decided that SHC would be a collaborative brand with work by other artists as well as myself. It went on to feel like every customer got initiated into the ‘club,’ which I loved.”
Many of the SHC designs seem to tap into a certain malaise or apathy—how tongue-in-cheek is the brand?
“While we’re evolving away from being just a “negative slogan” brand, that’s definitely a core part of how we started, and we still continue to nod at it in new collections. We’re definitely tongue-in-cheek with lots of our designs, but we aren’t limited to malaise. Our “I will make it out of this alive” patch is our best-seller, and the opposite of apathetic!”
Stay Home Club X Alison Weiss Patch, $7, stayhomeclub.ca.
What trends are you currently interested in?
“Lapel pins are a great way to showcase different aspects of your personality or aesthetic without being as in-your-face as a slogan t-shirt. Plus, they’re inexpensive. I’m also equal parts mad and enamored with the fact that Gucci’s recent collections have been covered in incredible embroidery and patches—a sort of upscale version of what we do (someone hire me as your next creative director!). I studied fibers in university so I’m all about interesting surface design and fashion’s recent re-embracing of intricate floral embroidery has been huge for me.
What’s the biggest reward of being a small business owner in Canada?
“Canada celebrates its entrepreneurs and successes by feeling a certain sense of pride that I don’t think exists for businesses in more populated countries like the USA and even the UK. You see it with our pop-culture icons all the time—for example “Canada’s own Drake!.” People are excited to have that ownership over what they do.”
SHC T-Shirt, $28, stayhomeclub.ca.