I write this post at a time when many of us are cautiously coming out of the lockdown. It has been a trying and anxious time. Our houses, apartments and rooms have been an important place to be in the last few weeks and it resonates with my belief in creating Interior Harmony.

How To Start Your Feng Shui Journey

It was over 20 years ago when a friend convinced me to attend a Feng Shui class. She owned a kitchen business which is a key room in Feng Shui practice and had read lots of books. I went along and was hooked. After attending the course, I was fascinated to learn about placement, balance and other aspects. However, it was the Compass school and I started to get confused. Friends know that I get lost in a building, so using a compass isn’t even in my mindset! I let it go and just used the basics.

We moved a few years later to Penang, Malaysia and in the only English bookshop, I fell upon a book – Feng Shui Demystified by Clear Englebert. I had found my Feng Shui path. Clear follows the newer Form school which resonates with my pragmatic interior design knowledge. I promptly contacted him and he has been my mentor ever since. From two Penang apartments, a Swiss apartment, French 18th century townhouse, NY 25th floor chic shoebox, classical and avant garde German apartments and now our South of France apartment, he has coached me to seek inner harmony within my living space.

Recently, I have started to consult and am really honoured to help friends and clients to achieve a sense of space. Often, we can’t deal with the outside world but we can create a space to shut the door and find balance. You don’t need any real tools except paper and pencils. If you are tech savvy, you could superimpose the Bagua map over your floor plan. If you have a proper floor plan, print several off as they are great to use for practice.

Eight basic rules that start any Feng Shui consultation.

  1. Draw your floor plan and match it to the Bagua square. Don’t panic if parts are missing, this is often the case. Look at the colours and matching Elements in each sector (Wood, Fire, Water, Earth, Metal). If you have a red entrance in your Career sector, you are adding Fire to a Water sector and basically putting out the energy as water douses out fire. Consider repainting the entrance in black or a deep petrol blue.
  1. Check where the bathroom(s), kitchen and main bedroom are placed and include the home office if you have one. These three rooms are the main areas that we use and therefore; have the most energy moving through them. Check out your kitchen and how you have balanced the stove, fridge and sink – the elements of fire and water.
  1. Mark where the main door is as this is the mouth of the house. I often stumble over coats and shoes when I enter a house. Look to keep this clear and watch for the ‘corridor affect’ where the energy goes straight through and out a back door or a window. There is an easy solution as can be seen in my other posts on my blog.
  1. Remember your energy, your Chi, is the same force that walks through your living areas. Get a friend to walk through with you to check what they see and where the doors and windows are located. They may see a block or a strange area that you hadn’t considered or even validate what you were thinking.
  1. De-clutter – get rid of what you don’t use, get a friend who is willing to ask why you have five black dresses that look the same. Let go, donate, it is very liberating and I often rediscover lovely clothes and items I have.
  1. Start with the bathroom. The originators of Feng Shui, the Chinese, had terrible outhouse toilets and they were seen as draining any good energy through the water elements in that room. This practice still holds however; in the Form school we review where the bathroom is placed and look for some solutions. It may just be that you need ceramics and stone to ‘ground’ the water. And leave the ‘seaside’ look for another area!
  1. The kitchen needs more care as we are mixing fire and water here. Check out my posts on this area to see how to balance this – there are practical reasons for having the stove separate from the sink as you are mixing electricity with water!
  1. Our bedrooms are key for relationships and sleep. I recently saw a chain of hotels adding a mini gym inside their rooms. Unless you are in a studio, move out the TV, gym equipment and office as these all add too much energy to this space.

Feng Shui Common Sense

A friend in Switzerland – where we were living, had broken up with her boyfriend. She asked me how she could resolve this part of her life as it was important to her. Having an interest in Feng Shui, she invited me to her apartment. Of course, the first room we entered was the relationship corner. This happened to be her spare bedroom – it had a single mattress propped against the wall and she was using the room as her ironing and laundry space. It didn’t need much discussion to figure out what she needed to do! She gave away the old mattress and moved her bed in to the relationship corner.

She also unpacked two lovely lamps she had had for some time. We added bed linen that was rich in colour giving the room a sensual feel. No, she didn’t instantly get a new boyfriend but after we moved, I heard that she was finally in a stable relationship.

Often, Feng Shui is just common sense but you need another pair of eyes to view your place. When I am asked to assist with some Feng Shui, I always ask two questions; the first being, what area in your life are you wanting to activate or change? The second is – what areas in your space seem to feel odd, don’t work well, you constantly try to decorate or you shut off? Don’t panic, there is always something to work on or alter!

Recently, I wanted to activate our wealth sector for a purchase. I added a lovely plant called Gold Dust and placed it in an expensive ornate ceramic pot. The pot symbolises the Earth element and the plant represents Wood. I added a small water fountain. Nothing happened except I liked the area more. I then pulled out a lovely ceramic bowl that has rich flowers painted on. It doesn’t exactly match my colour scheme but I was prepared to give it a try. The next day we got our purchase approved. The outcome of Feng Shui doesn’t always happen immediately and if it reverses, change the area quickly. Don’t forget Feng Shui translates as ‘wind and water’, essential life forces which affect our Chi – our energy. Your space matches your own Chi.

Here are some basic ideas around Feng Shui. I have even worked with friends and we have pulled the whole room out and re-organised it. It can be overwhelming but do it in steps. Sometimes it is a simple task of repainting or moving decor around.

Tips & Tricks for Common Sense Feng Shui

  1. Declutter – yep, if you read my blog, you will see this in most of my posts. You will find it gives you a sense of calm and being organised. The process of three piles helps, one to keep, one to donate or sell and one to throw away.
  2. Use the Bagua map and solve all missing sectors and wall extensions.
  3. Check the colours out of each Bagua section and balance them. A note; if the section says red this doesn’t mean you go crazy!
  4. Then look at the Element in each sector – for example, the career sector is deep blue and black and the element is Water. Yet again, don’t go overboard especially if it is a bathroom. Our bathroom is in this area so I have used grey but in the tiles.
  5. Then determine what you need to change and do it in stages.


Sometimes you need to balance the elements and colours. We have a lot of wooden windows and are surrounded by trees which symbolises growth and energy. It can be too much so we counterbalance with earth elements (ceramics and stone) to ‘ground’ the energy and we have reduced the amount of water to avoid encouraging further ‘growth’. A touch of red here and there for fire and metal, allows the balance of all five Elements to created inner harmony.

What Next?

There are various next steps in creating your interior harmony including the front door, your living space centre, how to manage poison arrows, use mirrors and other key remedies.  My posts feature articles on the different Bagua sectors, how to use colour, small spaces, how to use the different elements – all with a common sense approach. However; remember the focus is to create a special place for you that instantly makes you and anyone in the home feel at peace to establish Interior Harmony.

About Catherine Wright of Interior Harmony.

Catherine Wright Interior Harmony Feng Shui Consultant Belgium Germany Antibes South of France

Catherine Wright is a global nomad having lived and breathed different cultures, spaces, interior design and lifestyles.

She has decorated and lived in several clichés!

  1. Tropical Asian high rise
  2. Restored a French 18th century townhouse
  3. New York 25th floor shoebox
  4. German classic Wohnung

Catherine now lives in a Berlin avant-garde apartment and is decorating a small South of France place!

She believes our interior surroundings match our inner perceptions and life choices. We live in a busy world with constant demands on our psyche and emotions. We need to stop and take a breath and create a space that balances the outside world demands with our personal needs. Catherine has found that blending Feng Shui with interior design can create a sanctuary against what we can’t control and when we need to rebalance. When we do balance our interior space we find Interior Harmony.