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Now is the perfect time to use Feng Shui in your home – here’s how to get started

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Let’s be clear, Feng Shui is not just a certain brand of oriental chic. You know the one, a joss stick here, perhaps a Buddha bust there, the odd printed light shade and throwing a kimono on for dinner.

Rather, it is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects to create balance. This can include placement of furniture in the home, colour schemes and choosing objects for what they symbolise. 

Of course, there will be those who are dismissive. But at the very least Feng Shui gives us a blueprint on how to reorganise our homes.

Secret of success: A bedroom painted in Dulux¿s Brave Ground - an earth tone. £12 for 2.5l (wilko.co.uk)

Secret of success: A bedroom painted in Dulux’s Brave Ground – an earth tone. £12 for 2.5l (wilko.co.uk)

‘This is the perfect time for people to connect with the space they live in so their homes can support them in their work, health, wellbeing and relationships,’ says Vicky Sweetlove, a Feng Shui consultant. And what a fitting name she has.

Conveniently The Feng Shui Society is hosting a conference in London and on Zoom tomorrow. So whether it’s creating a more positive environment, focusing on relationships or hoping for that promotion at work, Feng Shui has you covered. Here’s our guide on how to get started.

Tidy spaces

This is the first step in the process of Feng Shui, but it’s not the decluttering popularised by Netflix star Marie Kondo. Rather than getting rid of everything, the process is more about clearing space and seeing how the land lies.

‘Clearing the clutter in your home and letting go of past objects opens the energy,’ says Vicky. ‘The heaviness is lifted and people can start transforming their lives.’

Feng Shui is about balance and hurling out all of our belongings is more final an act than the Chinese tradition demands. 

The process is ongoing and small changes might be required each year. But space clearing is the place to start and ties in with the other features of this tradition.

Full spectrum

Brave Ground — a muted grey/brown — is the Dulux Colour of the Year for 2021 and while the shade is anything but bold, it does have strength in the world of Feng Shui as it’s an earth tone.

An Oliver Bonas Clementina Ceramic Vase, £24.50

An Oliver Bonas Clementina Ceramic Vase, £24.50

There are five elements in Feng Shui — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — and each brings with it different qualities. So a change in colour is an easy way to create a shift in energy.

For example greens are wood tones and connected to vitality, family and wealth. So perhaps Graham & Brown’s Ecuador Matt Emulsion (£42 per 2.5l) is the way to go. 

While Brave Ground will set you back just £12 for 2.5l.

Life areas 

Feng Shui is about the relationship between people and the space they live in. It’s personal and is supposed to benefit both parties; happy home, happy life essentially. 

Crucial to this is life areas (or the bagua) which generally are broken up into: career, relationships, health, wealth, good fortune, spiritual life, creativity, wisdom and fame.

According to Vicky, health, creativity and good fortune have been the most popular recently. While this used to be career, life journeys and fame. 

Life areas also correspond to parts of the house as well as colours and elements. Everything is linked. 

For example a boost to fame and reputation would mean skipping that Love Island audition and placing a red, orange or yellow object in the home’s south. The Oliver Bonas Clementina Ceramic Vase would work (£24.50).

While an improvement to career and life journey would mean turning to the north and buying something blue or black associated with water, for example the Eddie Eco Velvet two-seater sofa (£249, Dunelm).

A personal matter

As personal spaces, bedrooms are crucial to Feng Shui and what’s most important here is bed position. 

The ideal spot is known as the commanding position; this has a good view of the door while not being in line with it.

Vicky had a client who was sceptical about Feng Shui, but turned to the practice to help his struggling business. 

She found all the beds in his home were in the position of Total Loss. 

After improving the family’s sleeping direction her client reported his best month of the year.

Beds should also be located away from a wall so there’s space to get out on both sides. Under the bed storage is out; in particular for souvenirs, photos, shoes, electronics, books or general clutter.

The easiest way to proceed could be to look at the bedroom as a whole picture. 

Sharps design consultants, for example, will come to your home and give advice. This visit could even be timed with a Feng Shui consultant.

What your home really needs is a… console table 

A console table - such as B&M's £40 two-drawer Tromso - is a narrow piece, designed to stand against a wall

A console table – such as B&M’s £40 two-drawer Tromso – is a narrow piece, designed to stand against a wall

It pays to follow the adage that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’; this applies to hallways whether you’re selling a house or staying put.

If your hall requires a makeover, your home needs a console table, a narrow piece, designed to stand against a wall.

When storage is a must, B&M has the £40 two-drawer Tromso, while Dunelm offers the sturdy £207.20 four-drawer Sidmouth. 

But if you have banished clutter from the hall, Wayfair’s £54.99 Vaillancourt or Habitat’s £40 Loft Living console table should fit the bill.

Next’s swish graphite grey £120 Flynn is a console table designed also to serve as a desk. 

The mirrored Gatsby from Feather & Black, £550, combines utility and Art Deco glamour. 

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Homes near Elizabeth Line see asking prices double in a decade

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Asking prices for properties for sale near stations on London‘s new Elizabeth Line have more than doubled in a decade, new research has revealed.

Many areas near stations on the capital’s new high-speed line were previously less well connected to key commuter hubs, such as Liverpool Street or Paddington stations.

But they have seen a surge in property asking prices amid new interest from homebuyers and tenants due to the better transport links that the Elizabeth Line provides.

REVEALED: The asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

REVEALED: The asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Elizabeth Line hotspots: This two-bed flat in London's Windmill lane is o.2 miles from Maryland station and is for sale for £395,000 via Filtons estate agents

Elizabeth Line hotspots: This two-bed flat in London’s Windmill lane is o.2 miles from Maryland station and is for sale for £395,000 via Filtons estate agents

The new figures from Rightmove revealed the extent to which asking prices have risen in local areas around Maryland, Abbey Wood and Stratford stations.

Maryland Station in Newham, which provides an additional option for those commuting near well-connected Stratford, has seen the biggest jump in asking prices.

They have more than doubled compared to ten years ago, rising 108 per cent from £233,480 to £486,235.

This compares to the London average increase over the past ten years of 55 per cent.

About half a mile from Abbey Wood station is this two-bed flat for sale for £235,000 via Your Move estate agents

About half a mile from Abbey Wood station is this two-bed flat for sale for £235,000 via Your Move estate agents

Rightmove has identified the asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Rightmove has identified the asking price hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Meanwhile, Rightmove revealed that total buyer demand has risen the most in western areas, while prices and competition has risen most in eastern areas.

Twyford, at the end of the western section of the line and the next stop along from Reading, has seen the biggest jump in the number of buyers contracting estate agents.

Numbers have more than tripled compared to 10 years ago, up 245 per cent.

Those looking to buy near Abbey Wood station, at the end of the South East section of the line, face the stiffest competition from other buyers.

Competition in that area has soared more than nine times and is up 869 per cent.

Rightmove has identified buyer demand hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

Rightmove has identified buyer demand hotspots around the new Elizabeth Line stations

The increase in buyer competition compared to ten years ago around the new Elizabeth Line has been revealed

The increase in buyer competition compared to ten years ago around the new Elizabeth Line has been revealed

Near Custom House station: This two-bed house is for rent for £1,700 a month via Outlook lettings agents

Near Custom House station: This two-bed house is for rent for £1,700 a month via Outlook lettings agents

The rental hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line station have been revealed

The rental hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line station have been revealed

It is a similar story along the Elizabeth line for tenants as many look to balance their commute into London with where they can afford to rent.

Average rents in London have reached a new record of £2,195 a month, up 14 per cent compared to this time last year.

Southall has seen the biggest increase in the number of tenants contacting letting agents compared to ten years ago, more than quadrupling, up 372 per cent.

However, asking rents near Southall station are lower than nearby Hanwell or Ealing.

Asking rents have increased the most in western stations Slough, up 44 per cent, and Burnham, up 43 per cent, while those looking to rent near Custom House station face the most competition from other tenants.

Slough is among the asking rent hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line stations, with the average asking rent up 44 per cent during the past ten years

Slough is among the asking rent hotspots along the new Elizabeth Line stations, with the average asking rent up 44 per cent during the past ten years

One of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line - Custom House - has seen competition increase 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago

One of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line – Custom House – has seen competition increase 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago

Custom House, one of the new stations built for the Elizabeth Line and benefitting from significantly lower travel times into Central London, has seen competition increase by a staggering 33 times, up 3270 per cent compared to ten years ago.

Tim Bannister, of Rightmove, said: ‘As the Elizabeth Line opens, it does so with a backdrop of record rents in London, a rising cost of living and a shortage of available homes.

‘Areas further out from central London that have lower asking prices or rents, but are now more easily commutable will be attractive to new buyers and tenants in search of somewhere affordable to live near the capital.

‘Not only this, but new working from home patterns since the pandemic started two years ago will have many people weighing up whether they are prepared to commute from further away if they need to do so less often.’

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National Maternity Hospital decision is a welcome sign of the Government’s backbone

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The Government’s decision to proceed with the building of the new National Maternity Hospital is a welcome sign that the Taoiseach and his Ministers are willing to face up to the Opposition, the social media mob and assorted objectors on an issue of major national importance.

One of the weaknesses of the Coalition since it took office in June 2020 has been a tendency to run scared in the face of contrived outrage, usually fomented by a combination of Opposition politicians and vested interests, often mistakenly portrayed as representing public opinion.

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URW rolls out Westfield brand to three new destinations

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Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) unveiled plans to rebrand three flagship centres, rolling out the Westfield brand to Parquesur in Madrid, Taby Centrum in Stockholm, and Galeria Mokotow in Warsaw this fall. The rebranding continues the expansion of the Westfield brand in Europe as the company drives new revenues through media advertising and brand experiences, turning its huge footfall of 550 million visits across its European assets into a qualified audience, while also leveraging the Westfield brand’s significant value to retailers, who see over 20%2 higher sales at URW’s centres even when compared to other A-category malls.

 

The flagship destinations share a number of characteristics in addition to being among the most important retail centres in their respective markets: they are set in excellent locations with unrivalled transport options, have distinctive architectural and design features and a best-in-class approach in terms of customer experience, community engagement, and sustainability practices. To celebrate the launch of the Westfield brand at these assets, each destination will host festive consumer events which will be announced later this year.

 

Caroline Puechoultres, Chief Customer Officer of URW, said: “The rebranding of these centres continues our strategy to expand Westfield to Flagship European destinations in the wealthiest cities and catchment areas. The significant opportunity afforded to both retailers and brands by this increasingly digitally linked network of destinations is unparalleled – through Westfield our partners can reach tens of millions of European consumers, driving new possibilities in advertising, brand marketing and retail.”

 

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