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The Chi of Home Staging

The Art of Feng Shui and Home Staging

by Carole Provenzale


Parading a seeming endless group of buyers through a home only to hear it “just isn’t for them” can be frustrating, to say the least. Words like “Home Staging”, “Curb Appeal” are the current new buzzwords for many of the Principles Feng Shui Practitioners have been using for years.

Feng Shui, literally translated to mean “Wind and Water” seeks to create an environment that is welcoming, inviting and balanced making the homeowners (or potential homeowners) feel enhanced in a space. We believe it’s the ENERGY of a space, not just the design or decorating although these play an important part as well.

Some of the very same concepts Realtors use to show a home we have been using for years but look at it in a different way. For example, Real Estate Agents always open the blinds and turn on the lights, making the space brighter and more open. A big principle in Feng Shui is “letting the outdoors IN” so that the energy flow is in balance. Additionally, agents may add plants or fresh flowers as eye deflections or to add color. We add these very things as well with the intention of adding Life Force into a space.

The hardest homes by far to sell are those that have been left empty. In that instance, the eye is deflected to every crack in the wall or imperfection in the home. Aside from some pretty decorations, filling up a space even a little changes it from a lifeless home into one with Energy and feeling.

The very first and one of the most important principles of Feng Shui is to declutter, something every home seller is asked to do. From our perspective, you can’t allow the new, fresh energy to enter until you have let go of clutter. Starting to see similarities here?

What is it, then, that a Feng Shui Practitioner might change or add in addition to the standard list already given to homeowners wishing to sell, sell fast and get the best possible price? First, we want to give them the very best first impression possible. Let nothing outside be overlooked from overgrown shrubbery to a clear pathway, color in the form of flowers, lights or decorative lawn objects. Small wind chimes look pretty if seen and sound lovely. To Feng Shui Consultants, the entrance to the home is the Mouth of Chi so it is important that everything leading to is cleaned and maintained and that the Front Door is clean and painted, open and inviting. “Grace your entryway” is a term often heard in Feng Shui.

Walking into a home should make you feel welcomed at once. A warm start and the proper flow of energy throughout the entire home is what appeals to the potential buyer. A key thought I had used to sell my previous home is not popular among many agents, but it worked for me.

I was having a gathering of people and asked my realtor to bring her most interested clients. She thought it best wait until no one was home but I was somewhat insistent. The buyers walked into light, laughter, music, nice aromas and, most importantly, good ENERGY. We got two offers the next morning.

So, what’s the checklist before showing a home?

*Cleaning it thoroughly. And when you think you’re done, clean it again. A home that looks well kept looks loved.

*De Clutter Sometimes the homeowner doesn’t even realize what they are living in. Cleaning up and cleaning out is the best advice you can give them from both a Home Staging AND Feng Shui Perspective.

*Depersonalize: A possible new occupant cannot imagine themselves in a new space when the homeowner’s energy and personal object are all around. Taking away collections, removing personal pictures and leaving some spaces open allows people to envision themselves in that space.

*Lighten up: Too much furniture or heavy furniture makes a room feel heavy. If the space is too crowded, energy can’t flow. Ask them to rent a temporary storage space if necessary and explain the reasons why to make them more receptive.

*Look at the Lighting: Sometimes just softening the lighting in a room can make a tremendous difference into creating the warmth in a space you are trying to achieve. See if you can find warm or even some different colored bulbs on occasion to give a new feeling to a room that needs some help.

*Decorate with Style. Setting the table or leaving a bowl of colorful fruits out adds positive energy.

*Window treatments are very important. Check to see if they help keep the room light and airy or have it feeling heavy and dark, even when opened. Home Stagers often work with a seamstress, can get fabric at wholesale and have a new look with very little expense.

*For homes that need more help, a fresh coat of paint or a new rug can do wonders for a room. Make sure your Stager has a good and inexpensive painter that they work with to help achieve getting the most for your money in redoing a room.

*Sometimes, investing in renting furniture can be a huge payoff. For homes that are left lifeless and sit on the market a long time, it could have been sold with even the more expensive methods of home staging for less then their very first price reduction.

Feng Shui items we use to keep the energy flowing and achieve the life force and five elements include the use of mirrors which can draw people into a space or intensify a lovely object. We use crystals that oftentimes can’t even be seen but help the chi to activate and the energy to flow. We often incorporate small water fountains for the use of sounds and a soothing feeling. We love plants and flowers as they are true life force and always add good energy to a space. Oftentimes we change the flow just by rearranging the furniture. We look at the home with both decorative and what we refer to as “Feng Shui Eyes.”

As a Feng Shui Consultant who frequently works with Realtors, I have heard the horror stories of a sale about to be made when a Feng Shui Consultant tells a new buyer that home won’t support them. I don’t practice Feng Shui using fear or negativity, I feel a home can always support a new occupant through the use of simple and inexpensive objects. Feng Shui was never intended to be the cause of fear or negativity, it is used to help and enhance everyone in their spaces in every area of their lives. Feng Shui can assist with a sale as well when the homeowners are told how the new home will support them.

People are much more in tune with Feng Shui and Energy then they were even just a few years ago. Being the Real Estate Agent with knowledge in this field gives you an edge over other Realtors in the fact that homeowners are much more interested and are often impressed with another way to look at things.

Please note that there are currently no standardized accreditations in place for either a Feng Shui Consultant or a Home Stager. Although some carry training that will give them the appearance of having the work “expert” or “accredited” after their names, the courses vary from two day online to several days. Look for someone who has been in business a number of years or someone who comes with good recommendations.

Costs for a complete evaluation of a home for Home Staging, Curb Appeal and Feng Shui Principles to get that home sold FAST should be under $200. They should incorporate all of the principles mentioned and be clear to both the Agent and the Homeowner on what to do to best optimize their chances to sell quickly for the best prices.

Carole Provenzale has been a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner since 1997 and is the founder of Feng Shui Long Island for Homes, Businesses, Offices, Renovations and New Construction for all of Long Island, New York City and Online for those at a distance. Please visit http://www.FengShuiLI.com


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