The More Creative Home Office
…by Suzanne Falter-Barnes
A few years back I wrote here about Kathryn Weber, whose beautiful
ezine, The Red Lotus Letter, is one of the top Feng Shui ezines out
there. (Feng Shui is the Chinese art of using interior decoration to
create an auspicious life.) It\’s a great mix of the practical and the
mysterious. To that end, Kathryn has shared with us some tips on how to
set up a more creative office, using Feng Shui concepts. (Fellow
skeptics, please stay open and read on. You may find some surprises
And, as someone who has RADICALLY overhauled my office, my files and my
systems lately, I can\’t urge you enough to dig in and clean up … it
feels amazing! And boy, ideas are flowing through me like mad.
Here are Katherine\’s thoughts:
On Setting Up Your Office
If someone wants to begin a home business, typically they have a
space to dedicate for that purpose. Maybe a spare bedroom, the dining
room that\’s not used. Sometimes their business doesn\’t take off because
they\’re trying to get something started on a card table and a folding
chair. This is not an inspiring environment; it doesn\’t get you started
in a fruitful way. Offices are really symbolic of the amount of success
If you can\’t get a query letter to pique interest, why? Take a look
around. Are there kid\’s toys and other crud in the corner? Is this
truly a dedicated work space? You need to really give your chosen space
over to your new endeavor. Then outfit it for success. You\’ll need
storage for pens, papers, Filing beyond milk crates, real working
office furniture, etc.. If you want your business to be a real success,
make it a real office.
Many people push their desk against a wall because that\’s where
plug is. Yet, then you\’re in a place of arrested development, because a
wall represents an obstacle. That puts you in a subordinate position;
for instance, policemen always say ‘turn and face the wall.\’
High level executives often turn their desk so it can face the door.
This is a command position, so you can look up and see who comes in the
door; it puts you in command of your career. Ideally, your desk needs
to be turned so there\’s a solid wall behind you, yet it still faces the
door. You won\’t feel supported unless it\’s solid behind you.
L-shaped desks can be a problem. People work at the small part, and
whole big desk is not used… so they confine themselves to small area.
The Chinese look at L-shaped desk as a hatchet or cleaver, so you\’re
getting cut in half. The 45 degree angle puts you at odds with your
Make your office a visually appealing space. Paint it a favorite
color, or one that\’s auspicious for you. The Kua Calculator is a
Chinese Feng Shui tool that helps you pick your auspicious color based
on the time of your birth, date of birth and your gender. That will
help you figure out which element is associated with you. Then you can
also decorate with whatever nourishes that element. If your element is
wood, water feeds trees, for instance. So watercolors, water-themed
visuals, pictures of turtles, lakes, and boats on lakes … these are
good for a ‘wood\’ element person.
Don\’t be shy
Hang up your accomplishments. Some will post their goals, but
they don\’t post accomplishments that show how far they\’ve come. Post
published articles, photos of significant moments or famous people
you\’ve met, awards or kudos, thank you letters or from happy customers,
anything significant. Frame them right on a South wall as inspiring
artwork; this is the wall of fame. I would not leave a blank area,
because that\’s a vacuum. Attention is always drawn to a negative … so
fill it up.
Display a symbolic mentor
Most of us would love to have a coach or mentor, but we may not
be able to make that happen. So display a picture in your office of
someone you\’d like to be like, or whom you\’d like to have as a mentor.
I have a picture of Oprah in my office because of her biz acumen, her
truth, and her caring for people. The way she goes about her business
is my model.
How to arrange your desktop
Arrange your desk according to Feng Shui. Water or coffee goes in
the north; a picture of your inspirational person or mentor is in the
northwest. In the northeast, put a book of inspiration. In the east, a
vase of flowers; southeast, a small green plant. To the south put a
lamp or something red, the southwest a crystal paperweight, and to the
west, electronic equipment such as computer or radio. That\’s a more
Want to know more? Kathryn\’s available to consult long distance via
phone, photograph, video, etc…Check out additional tips in her good