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  • Writer's pictureNicholas Sunderland


Today marks the official start of a new Chinese year (year 4714th within the Chinese calendar) the year of the Yang Fire Monkey, called Bing Shen and is a year of fire and metal in conflict, some good some bad, still with me?

Ok, Feng Shui is a roller coaster of popularity and most people know of it, some a little, and of course some of us a great deal. I started to learn the techniques in the late 1990s and trained with amongst other Raymond Lo, Joey Yap, Lillian Too Yap Cheng Hai and helped launch Feng Shui for Modern Living in 1998. This was a magazine that for the first time linked Feng Shui into Interior Design.

Many people saw it simply as where to place a sofa, and keep the toilet seat down, North was your career sector, South East wealth etc. This was of course a very simplistic view, called 8 House Feng Shui, each ‘House’ being a compass direction and carried out by many people, and it achieved good results. It would always include typical Chinese cures such as chimes, good in any case, dragons, lucky toads, and a multitude of Chinese symbols, not to everyone’s taste. But was it real Feng Shui, quite simply, No, it wasn’t.

For some years I focused on Interior Design Feng Shui travelling the World advising clients on the more comfortable way to design and live in their homes, but I used a more complex system I trained in commonly known as Flying Star Feng Shui or Xuan Kong. It relies on mathematical analysis of the home and the landscape around it to create harmony and balance in the energies for the occupants. Depending on the age of the property when you moved in, its in 20 year cycles, the direction the energy enters the building, not necessarily the main door, and what is around you, the calculations determine how to balance eth Feng Shui.

Confused, I bet you are, it’s not straight forward as you can imagine. To compare, in my house North in 8 House requires water, blue and black colours, no plants etc. to drain water. But in Xuan Kong my North because it’s a poor sector I need metal and definitely no mobile water. Similarly in the South east an area of wealth and growth, with plants moving water and green colours, I actually need Fire elements, red colours etc. See how different it is?

In my design process I calculate what is required for my clients and use this as a base for my design. I determine the elements and what is required and decorate and place furniture using the correct styles and finished. A dining table may need to be metal and glass not wood, chars in metallic colours of gold silver and bronze. Wall coverings are chosen in the same way and sometimes dramatic colours and patterns are needed to create an effect and balance.

I do this regardless of whether a client has asked for it as it creates a working foundation and a focus early on, and if a client doesn’t want a particular design in that location I can adapt and compensate.

With the limitless arrange of styles and finishes any home can benefit from Feng Shui, and you wouldn’t even know it. Each of these images here show a room that has been designed in this way, and not a chime or a dragon in sight!

So be it a home large or small, an office of a corporation, get in touch…

Nicholas Sunderland 01795 439 028

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