8 Open Concept Layout Mistakes We Should All Stop Making

featured on Apartment Therapy by Caroline Biggs

image credit: Jessica Isaac via  Apartment Therapy

image credit: Jessica Isaac via Apartment Therapy

For as spacious as the layout may be, designing an open concept home can be tricky. Along with figuring out the right way to arrange your furniture, you’re often stuck with the daunting task of forging distinct areas inside a lofty, wall-less space.

Thankfully, we know a few space-savvy designer friends to call upon for help. We reached out to eight interior design aficionados for advice on what not to do when you’re laying out your open concept living area. Here’s what they had they had to say.

3. Being Too Open

“With open concept living spaces, I find that there’s the paradox of wanting to have lots of openness, but also wanting smaller intimate spaces for connection. It’s helpful to keep certain areas open for larger gatherings, but also create intimate nooks, like a reading corner or small workspace, so you have spots you can hang out alone in too.” — Anjie Cho

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If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Dive deeper into feng shui to transform your life!

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Create sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com

Q&A Sunday: Feng Shui in Any Environment

You to Planet

How does one live a feng shui lifestyle if the environment is not "good feng shui?" Steps are being made towards a feng shui inspired environment, but how do I create good feng shui without changing/renovating the physical architectural elements. Thanks for your help!

Charlene R., Pacifica, CA

Although I am a professional architect and incorporate feng shui principles into my architecture and design, we always still work with existing environments that cannot be changed. Beyond the actual built architecture of your home or office, there’s also the natural environment, the street, the city, the country, etc. See the image above. We are all influenced by these concentric circles, or degrees, of the environment that we can’t just go and change. I own an apartment in New York City. The bathroom and kitchen have to stay where they are, as does the front door, the relationship to the street, etc. You can do your best to pick the most advantageous location, but nothing is perfect.

Luckily, I practice BTB Feng Shui. This school of feng shui is influenced greatly by intention and offers many solutions that can work with your existing environment. Most feng shui is remedial, and we work with what you have.

If we go back to the concentric circles, you see the green center area is YOU. Start with changing your energy and your personal feng shui. Then work outward. I think the steps you're taking and even intention to start making shifts are great first steps. From here, work on changing the feng shui of your bedroom. Put your bed in the commanding position, which means either moving the bed or placing a mirror so that you can see the door.

Take a look at my other tips, and take it step by step! And by starting with yourself, you’re already creating a good feng shui environment. 

by Anjie Cho


Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!

12 Feng Shui Tips to Create the Bedroom of Your Dreams

image credit: Getty Images via  Elle Decor

image credit: Getty Images via Elle Decor

One of the most important spaces in a home is the bedroom. It's where you decompress from the day and enjoy a good night's sleep. But if you've been longing for pointers on how to make your bedroom a more inviting space that promotes tranquility, consider relying on the principles of Feng Shui.

The ancient Chinese tradition is rooted in incorporating a sense of balance, organization, and healthy practices into your home, which can ultimately help to improve your daily lifestyle

For practical tips on how to feng shui your bedroom, we checked in with Anjie Cho, an interior architect, feng shui expert, and author of Holistic Spaces. Read on for her top feng shui bedroom ideas.

Aim for a Serene Environment

Regardless of your decorating style, your goal should be to craft a serene bedroom. "The important thing about feng shui is how a space makes you feel," says Cho. "A bedroom that has good feng shui feels comfortable, nurturing, supportive, and like home. Your environment has so much of an effect on your prosperity, your livelihood, wellbeing, and health."

…read full article


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I launched our program in September 2018. To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Dive deeper into feng shui to transform your life!

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Create sacred spaces that support, and nourish.

Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com

Q&A Sunday: A Blocked Entry

A Blocked Entry.jpg

I have a small tree, or bush, right in front of my entry door. What does this mean feng shui wise and how can I remedy the situation?

Helena A., New York, NY

From a feng shui perspective, your entry door represents the face of your home and your face to the world. This is why it's so important to ensure that you keep a clean, uncluttered entry to your home so that positive energy and opportunities can easily find their way into your life.

A small bush or tree blocking your entry door may be problematic, as it may block the flow of energy and/or new opportunities into your home. Whether or not this is acceptable really depends on your personal preferences and circumstances. If you’re retired, maybe you do not want to be easily seen and you don’t need opportunities coming to you. But if you’re looking for work, for clients or for even a romantic partner, then a small tree or bush in front of your door may block the chi from coming in.

So what you can do to feng shui-wise to remedy this situation?

I would hate to advise cutting down a tree or bush. Instead, try making the object an attractive feature that will draw energy towards your home. For example, hang lights on the tree and transform it into something that attracts energy. Lights can invite positive energy and opportunities to your home.

Another option to treat the tree blocking the door is to clearly identify and differentiate the path to your front door. Even if the tree or bush is blocking the door directly, try adding natural stones, wood blocks or other elements of nature on each side of the walkway leading to your door. This will make your entry stand out, despite the tree. 

The feng shui goal is to create a welcoming doorway for positive energy, opportunities and good fortune to find its way to you. If you are faced with a naturally growing obstacle in front of your entry door, do take my above tips, if possible, to improve the entrance to your home. Always remember, much of feng shui is based on intention, so take care to establish an optimistic, welcoming intention for your entry.

by Anjie Cho


Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our a unique training program takes an holistic approach to learning the art of feng shui design. Mindful design is about becoming aware, and attentive, to the energy around you: both inner and outer qi. It is about promoting a better way of living and creating sacred spaces that support, and nourish. Visit us at mindfuldesignschool.com.


Thanks for reading our "Q&A Sunday".  We will be answering questions submitted by our readers. Click here to submit any Feng Shui or Green Design questions!