How to make the most of a spacious Greenwich Village apartment with windows on only one side

featured on Brick Underground

image credit: Douglas Elliman via  Brick Underground

image credit: Douglas Elliman via Brick Underground

Architect and Feng Shui expert Anjie Cho loves the high ceilings in this Greenwich Village fixer-upper, 808 Broadway, #4H, which, she says, make the already spacious apartment look even larger than it is. Other pros include its location and the fact that it was designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., who also designed nearby Grace Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Her beef with the unit, which is listed for $875,000, is that there are windows only at one end of the apartment, meaning that despite having “quite a bit of square footage, you can only have one legal bedroom in the space,” she says.

In this week’s Reno Ready, Cho explains what she’d do to update this apartment, including leveling the floors, gutting the bathroom, and integrating the kitchen into the living space.

Level the flooring in the living room

Floor: Cho can’t exactly tell what’s going on with the flooring from the photos, but she assumes it’s in bad shape like the rest of the unit. She’d replace it with herringbone- or chevron-patterned floors in a light-colored white oak, which will make the unit appear brighter.

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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: Using Colors in Your Space

Using+Colors+in+Your+Space+-+2019.jpg

Hi Anjie, Love your podcasts and I am in need of your guidance again :) I am aware that using certain colors may affect the energy of the room...for example, we should avoid using colors that are too fiery/energetic for the bedroom. What about the color blue? As it's also a water element, would it have a negative impact if I use too much of it in my home? We are thinking of pale blue walls for our kitchen and bedroom.

Samantha C., Malaysia

Hi again, Samantha!

First thing, you need not necessarily avoid fiery/energetic colors in the bedroom. For instance, if a couple needs to spice things up, it may be helpful to use red or fire colors to invoke more passion. It may counteract that “I’m too tired, let’s go to bed” feeling. Also, someone who’s very depressed and lethargic may benefit from energetic colors like red or brighter greens and blues if they need an energy boost. It’s not always good to sleep your way through life, right?

But in general, the bedroom is a place for rest and regeneration, so blues and greens are great healing colors for the bedroom. It’s all about the shade, though. I think that pale blue is perfect for a bedroom. and also fine for a kitchen, especially if you want to lose weight. Images of the ocean are relaxing and are the water element, however light blue is not water in BTB feng shui. Water is black and dark blue

One other thing to watch out for with the water images: water can also be depressing, dark and sinking, energetically. So if you or your partner has the tendency towards that, it would be best to have other sorts of images in the bedroom.

Too much water isn’t necessarily bad. For instance, I have a weak yin wood daymaster in my four pillars chart, so actually water really nourishes me. I live on the East River, and I love to vacation around water. And I’ve only lived in California and New York, on the coast near water. I absolutely love images of water and they really make me happy!

Taking care to use certain colors in your space can definitely be beneficial! Just be sure you also take into account the needs of people in your life who will be using each room. Different colors can cause different effects, but it always depends upon the person, just like feng shui!

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!

Holistic Spaces Podcast, Episode 063: 9 Simple Tweaks to Feng Shui Your Home

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How to spruce up a Sheepshead Bay co-op with a peach-tiled bath and plain kitchen

featured this month on Brick Underground by Leah Hochbaum Rosner

image credit:  Brick Underground

image credit: Brick Underground

This Sheepshead Bay one bedroom, 2711 Ave., X, #6D is asking $225,000 and has a lot going for it, according to architect and Feng Shui expert Anjie Cho, including a “workable” floor plan, a private balcony, and decent-looking floors.

Still, there are lots of things that could be improved, such as the prodigiously peach bathroom, which she believes needs to be gutted immediately. “The wallpaper. That vanity. That gray tub. Oh my God,” she says.

She also hates the tiny, makeshift sunroom between the living room and terrace—which accounts for the second layer of windows visible behind the original windows—as well as two terrace doors. It takes precious square footage away from the terrace and makes the back wall in the living room look too busy. It’s also fairly shabby-looking, she says, noting the exposed wiring and “dingy” doors. “It’s the first thing you see when you walk in. It doesn’t make a very good impression.”

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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


The Truth About Compostable Plastics

The Truth About Compostable Plastics.jpg

We’re in a time when people are finally starting to care a little more about our environment, and we’re taking steps to ensure that it sticks around for a while. That said, some of these steps aren’t quite as helpful as they may seem, especially when all the information isn’t provided. Case in point: compostable plastic ware.

First things first, there is a misunderstanding that the words “biodegradable” and “compostable” are interchangeable. They aren’t. For an object to be biodegradable, it merely has to have the capability to be broken down organically. If something is compostable, the American Society for Testing and Materials specifies that it can be broken down according to a specific process that ultimately leads to the production of humus. What does this mean? It means compostable plastic ware isn’t dealt with in the same manner as biodegradable plastic ware, especially since the two ultimately have different uses. Since compostable plastics are eventually returned to the soil from which we derive our food and water, their decomp must produce carbon dioxide and water, leave no distinguishable difference from other compost, and produce no toxic substance, otherwise we end up eating and drinking toxicity.

So what does that have to do with the purchase and use of compostable plastic ware? First of all, purchase of compostable plastic ware, for actual composting, requires more awareness and dedication to ensuring the substantial makeup of the product. If you’re buying these to ultimately throw in landfills (I hope you’re not), the difference between biodegradable and compostable isn’t terribly important. However, if you’re buying compostable plastic ware with the intent to actually do your part and compost it, it’s important to make sure it can actually be composted and not just degraded.

Secondly, us regular environmentally aware people can’t compost compostable plastic on our own. Because of the composition of plastic ware, the processes used in a professional composting facility are extremely important to the assurance that these utensils properly degrade in order to leave no toxic substance in our soil. No matter how awesome your compost pile at home is, we can’t produce the heat necessary to compost this plastic ware in a reasonable amount of time. So if you’re going to buy compostable plastic ware, know where the closest composting facility is and whether you have access to it, as these sorts of businesses often only cater to larger companies.

Here’s the other thing: production of compostable plastic ware requires massive amounts of certain crops, including corn and potatoes, which are often grown using a system called monocropping. In short, when a farmer monocrops, he uses the exact same land over and over again to grow the exact same crop. Get it? Mono. Crop? The issue with this process is that growing in this style rapidly depletes the earth used to grow these crops, not only wearing out the soil faster, but making crops harder to grow. Lots of times this results in farmers turning to chemicals to promote growth in dilapidated fields. Is this all coming together yet? As much as many of us want to do our parts to contribute to rebuilding our planet, it seems that compostable plastic ware may not be the best route. Make sure you know what you’re buying into when you pick up that box of forks.  

by Anjie Cho


If you’d like to learn more about feng shui check out the Mindful Design Feng Shui certification program. Laura Morris and I are launching our program in September 2018. We have a free webinar “Five Feng Shui Tools Revealed: Must-Do Business Boosters for Soulpreneurs and Wellness Practitioners” coming up, too! To get on the list about it, sign up at: www.mindfuldesignschool.com.

Mindful Design is a new way to learn feng shui. Our 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.