NOW Magazine - Toronto Living - - Front Page - By So­nia Byrne

So you’ve set up your home of­fice in the spare bed­room on the sec­ond floor of your house, or per­haps you’ve taken over the dining room. Maybe you’ve been rel­e­gated to a cor­ner of the living room or base­ment. How do you feel in your home of­fice en­vi­ron­ment? Are you en­er­gized, cre­ative and stim­u­lated, or do you have trou­ble get­ting in­spired to get down to busi­ness?

If you’re look­ing to cre­ate a home of­fice or to make some changes in your ex­ist­ing space, a look at feng shui is in or­der. This an­cient prac­tice lit­er­ally means “wind and wa­ter.” Feng shui seeks to pro­mote har­mony and im­prove the en­ergy flow or chi in your work or living space.

Your choice of lo­ca­tion for your workspace may be re­stricted by space or lay­out lim­i­ta­tions. A cou­ple with chil­dren in a three-bed­room house will have dif­fer­ent chal­lenges in cre­at­ing a home of­fice than a sin­gle per­son in a one-bed­room apart­ment. What­ever space you choose, it’s vi­tally im­por­tant that you feel com­fort­able there. Most peo­ple in­tu­itively place their fur­ni­ture and be­long­ings in a con­fig­u­ra­tion that pro­motes pos­i­tive en­ergy flow, so feng shui pro­vides an ad­di­tional op­por­tu­nity to fine-tune an area to make it feel right.

It’s best if your home of­fice is in a room of its own. If that’s not pos­si­ble, do your best to sec­tion off a part of the room so it feels like you have a space de­voted to your busi­ness. This can be achieved with a screen, room divider or book­case. A spare bed­room or a den is an ideal lo­ca­tion for an of­fice.

Your bed­room is your place of rest, so us­ing a sec­tion of your bed­room is not rec­om­mended. The pre­oc­cu­pa­tion with busi­ness and the mak­ing of money, along with the elec­tro­mag­netic en­ergy emit­ted by your com­puter, lap­top, scan­ner and printer can af­fect your abil­ity to re­lax and your qual­ity of sleep.

Avoid us­ing a base­ment as the day-to­day space for a home of­fice. Th­ese be­low­ground rooms are ideal for stor­ing prod­ucts or doc­u­ments. If you must put your of­fice in a base­ment, try to make it a tem­po­rary ar­range­ment or spend most of your time con­duct­ing busi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties on an­other floor.

Your desk is the most im­por­tant piece of fur­ni­ture in your home of­fice. It acts as the helm of the ship that is your busi­ness. Po­si­tion your desk so you’re able to see the door when seated. Don’t sit with your back to the door. Clear the clut­ter from your desk and from the of­fice in gen­eral. Or­ga­nize your workspace so that ev­ery­thing you need is within reach and all items have their place. This prac­tice achieves more than clean­li­ness; en­ergy will flow more eas­ily through your work en­vi­ron­ment. Make sure you’re able to move around with ease and that no sharp edges are cre­ated by your desk, fil­ing cab­i­nets or ta­bles.

Colour has both vis­ual and psy­cho­log­i­cal ef­fects. Your colour scheme should stim­u­late you but also be sooth­ing when you work long hours. Since this is your pri­mary place of busi­ness, it’s wise to choose a colour scheme that will pro­mote pros­per­ity and good for­tune. Avoid drab, washed-out colours. How­ever, if you would pre­fer soft colour in the room, paint one “fea­ture wall” in a stronger, more charged colour to stim­u­late you dur­ing long days.

Yel­low, aus­pi­cious as the colour of riches (gold), en­cour­ages com­mu­ni­ca­tion and achieve­ment. Green rep­re­sents na­ture and de­notes bal­ance, growth and heal­ing. Pur­ple pro­motes in­tu­ition and spir­i­tual growth. Blue, the colour as­so­ci­ated with wa­ter, in­spires in­ner peace, pa­tience and calm.

Red, of­ten as­so­ci­ated with the fire el­e­ment, is a colour of pas­sion and strength. Or­ange helps build con­fi­dence and a sense of com­mu­nity. White in­di­cates pu­rity but can be overly ster­ile, and black, although mys­te­ri­ous, should be kept to a min­i­mum to avoid de­pres­sion.

Colour is such an im­por­tant el­e­ment in your home of­fice and can dras­ti­cally af­fect the way you feel. It’s also one of the eas­i­est and least ex­pen­sive ways to make a rad­i­cal change to your space.

Whether you spend count­less hours in your home of­fice or just do your record­keep­ing there a few hours a week, you’ll want to make it your own.

Adding per­sonal items such as a plant on or near your desk will help off­set the neg­a­tive en­ergy cre­ated by the elec­tri­cal de­vices in that area.

A print or paint­ing that de­picts suc­cess to you can be placed within view of your desk to in­spire you to achieve your goals.

The next time you find your­self in a home or busi­ness of­fice, pay close at­ten­tion to how you feel in that space. Are you com­fort­able or un­com­fort­able?

Look around and see if you can spot what is caus­ing dishar­mony.

Colour is an ex­tremely im­por­tant el­e­ment that can dras­ti­cally af­fect the way you feel in any en­vi­ron­ment.

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