5 WAYS TO SHIFT THE ENERGY IN YOUR OFFICE

A recent article on creating Harmony in ones’ work place, has inspired today’s post.

Perhaps you’ve wondered how you might improve the energy in your workspace.

Whether or not your office is in your home, these simple design suggestions will give you something to think about.

By no means are these ideas limited to just your office – you can apply this to any place in your home.

 

Do Aim for Clean, Uncluttered Surfaces

We don’t always realize how important it is to have our work areas impeccably organized, with a designated place for everything to be stored.

The tendency is to have little piles on our desk, each one representing a portion of our To Do list for the next day.

Do you really tackle each of those little piles on a daily basis?

I know I don’t.

And yet, I’m fearful of storing things away, being very guilty of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

Here’s the thing, though:  according to Chinese Feng Shui, having too many things on your work surface can impede the flow of energy, or chi.

There is a lot of truth in this ancient wisdom, so take heed.

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5 WAYS TO SHIFT THE ENERGY IN YOUR OFFICE

A recent article on creating Harmony in ones’ work place, has inspired today’s musings.

If you’ve ever considered how you might improve the energy in your workspace – whether or not your office is in your home – these simple design suggestions will give you something to think about.

By no means are these ideas limited to just your office – you can apply this to any place in your home.

 

Do Aim for Clean, Uncluttered Surfaces

We don’t always realize how important it is to have our work areas impeccably organized, with a designated place for everything to be stored.

The tendency is to have little piles on our desk, each one representing a portion of our To Do list for the next day.

Do you really tackle each of those little piles on a daily basis?

I know I don’t.

And yet, I’m fearful of storing things away, being very guilty of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality.

Here’s the thing, though:  according to Chinese Feng Shui, having too many things on your work surface can impede the flow of energy, or chi.

There is a lot of truth in this ancient wisdom, so take heed.

Clear up your work surfaces, and find a home for all your knickknacks and unnecessary items.

Even better, be sure to extend the effort to every area of your home that tends to collect stuff – be it your kitchen, your favorite coffee table with stacks of magazines and clippings, or a bathroom counter.

Make it a habit to breathe new life into your living and work spaces, each and every day.

 

Don’t Turn Your Back on the Door

From a purely logical standpoint, it simply feels more comfortable to have a clear view of your office door, so you can see what is going on.

This one simple act can eliminate the sense of someone sneaking up on you from behind.

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SETTING THE STAGE

“All the world’s a stage”.  Shakespeare

 

Designing an interior is a lot like creating a stage set.  

A few weeks ago, I attended Pacific Northwest Ballet’s rendition of ‘Giselle’ – a truly lovely and engaging performance.

While gazing at the pastoral stage setting – meant to evoke a hot, summer’s day – I was struck by the similarities between stage designs versus home design.

The one is theatrical, strictly for show with the sole purpose of telling a story – with all its nuances and drama.

Yet our homes also tell a story.

The story our homes tell is about the people who live there.

These stories may not be as exciting or dramatic as theatre, yet there is still drama – just drama on another level.

With this in mind, please join me for a minute while we explore how our room settings are a little like a stage set.

The only real difference being they house REAL people, not characters in a play.

 

Scene 1:  Your Inner Stylist

When the curtain rises at the theatre, we are instantly clued in to the story that is about to unfold.

This is achieved through a number of devices, but the first thing we usually notice is the stage set, which – when truly successful – elicits a delighted gasp from the audience.

The setting for ‘Giselle’ was clearly traditional. I felt as if I’d been transported back to the 18th century, and landed in a pastoral scene straight out of a rococo painting.

Everything – from the set design, costumes and music – reinforced the traditional mood of the ballet.

Another performance might have resembled a gentleman’s study, with a multitude of books lining the shelves, a sturdy desk front and center, and perhaps a mini bar off to the side – well-stocked to accommodate any guests that might stop by.

Again somewhat traditional in feel, the message conveyed here is one of ease and comfort, in true gentlemanly fashion.

I’ve also been to ballets where the set design is extremely minimal, in order to convey a style that is sleek and modern. Sometimes there are no props whatsoever – just the dancers and the stage.

Of course, that might be a bit extreme for most of us.

Still, our homes invariably reflect the style that we are most drawn to – whether traditional, modern or somewhere in-between.

 

Scene 2:  Engaging Your Senses

This is where the Magic happens.

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LIGHTING, MOTION SICKNESS & ME

I have a confession to make.

I don’t have a single compact fluorescent light fixture (CFL) in my home.

Yet, in my design practice I promote Green design. I don’t hesitate to recommend energy efficient lighting for my clients. Does this mean I don’t practice what I preach?

Well, here’s the deal.

I have suffered all my life from motion sickness. It doesn’t take much to set me off, and CFL’s, as it turns out, have a barely perceptible flicker contained within that, well, literally makes me sick.

I can’t live with them in my home.

We found this out a year ago, when my husband and I attempted to install CFL’s in our master bath. It seemed harmless enough.

However, the following morning, within a hour of getting up, I was feeling sick. I had my suspicions as to what was the cause, but didn’t want to believe it.

Another hour went by. Finally, I had to tell my husband to please remove the new fixtures.

We decided to try these same 3 bulbs somewhere else in our home, but the result was the same. By mid-week, I knew they had to go.

You might be wondering, is this for real? Is it all in my head?

I can only tell you that I have since discussed my dilemma with my ophthalmologist, who wasn’t the least surprised. It wasn’t the first time he had heard of someone having an aversion to CFL bulbs.

Now, the chances of this being a problem for anyone reading this post is exceedingly slim. My condition is not common, but it does exist.

CFL’s still have a lot going for them. Although they cost more than a standard incandescent bulb, they are extremely long-lasting (up to ten times longer!), and therefore energy efficient.

Many consumers are concerned by the mercury content in CFL’s, and having to follow protocol for disposing of hazardous wastes. Check with your local electric company for proper disposal. Some local stores may even recycle them for free.

Or, consider other options.

Me, I’m holding out for LED’s – Light Emitting Diodes, an even more energy efficient alternative, although quite costly. However, instead of just looking at dollar signs, I always weigh the costs against the long-term benefits.

I do this with everything. Yes, knowing that LED’s may cost as much as $80 does make me gasp, but knowing that the bulb will last about 50,000 hours (five times that of a CFL) and that my energy savings will more than make up for the initial cost, I’m fine with that.

I mean, why not?

Here’s another example. The inexpensive sofa you purchase today, will likely need to be replaced a few years down the road. You could spend many years and thousands of dollars replacing an entire series of inexpensive sofas.

Or, you could splurge on that big-ticket item, focusing on comfort, quality construction, and of course style, and know that the sofa will last well beyond your lifetime, and maybe even those of your children.

We have only to look at beautiful, antique furniture from the 18th century, to know that this is true. Quality always withstands the test of time.

Still not convinced about which light bulb to purchase?

Then consider other options for energy savings, such as the following:

1 – Install a Programmable Thermostat

Manage your home’s energy usage by adjusting for different times of day – waking, bedtime, weekends versus weekdays.

2 – Use Dimmable Light Switches

Did you know that most homes, on average have only one dimmer – and it is almost always in the dining room – the least used room in the house? Yet there is no need to limit dimmers to just one room!

Dimmers save energy and extend the life of the bulb.

3 – Motion Sensors

Do you, or other members of your household, consistently forget to turn off the lights?

Then installing motion sensors are for you! Imagine having the lights go on and off automatically, whenever you enter or leave a room?

Technology is a good thing!