By David Wulff, AIA

After the smoke of the fires has cleared, I imagine many are cleaning (and cleaning) all that accumulated dust, etc. from inside. Before you put all the furniture back, let’s take a moment and think about the way everything in the home is arranged. Maybe a fresh approach is something that would help. That’s where Ch’i (pronounced “chee”) comes in.

Ch’i is directly related to feng shui. Feng shui is the practice of placing or arranging objects in a space so that they are pleasing to you and naturally support you within the context of that space. Architects and interior designers concern themselves with structure and visual impact, feng shui takes into consideration the conscious and unconscious associations you may have with a space and the placement of objects within it.

Without getting too overly technical, one cannot fully understand feng shui without a basic awareness of ch’i. In traditional Chinese thinking ch’i is the universal force or cosmic breath that all things are thought to have. Think of Ch’i as energy and it moves and flows much like water. Ch’i enters a room or structure and it can also be generated within a room by electric lights, a fireplace, or even an argument. But the primary entrance of Ch’i is through a doorway. It is therefore important that all objects within that room will relate to the flow of energy emanating from that source.

So, how does this relate to rearranging the furniture and objects? If Ch’i comes in through a door or opening, then you don’t want furniture to block its entrance. Don’t place desks or chairs, sofas, etc. with their back to the door. This subconsciously causes stress over time.

Now let’s consider the bed for example. You want the bed positioned so you have a vision of the door, however it is bad luck to have your feet directly facing the door as that position is associated with dying: the position in which the body is carried from the room. The position of the bed is also of equal importance. It should be centered in the room. If there is more room on one side than the other, then that signifies that one partner is more important than the other.

So, get a book on feng shui and have some fun rearranging your home. It can’t hurt and will give a fresh look after the fire.

DAVID H. WULFF, ARCHITECT welcomes the design challenges presented by new projects and is dedicated to developing innovative design solutions to meet every project requirement.

David H. Wulff, AIA, 167 Trails End, Lake Lure, NC 828-625-5537,