By Emily J. Weitz
When Candace Vorhaus walked in to my new home, she found boxes stacked high and furniture at temporary angles. That was the perfect way to begin a Feng Shui consultation: with a clean slate. As we walked from room to room, she explained the Feng Shui principles, and how they could be applied to each room and to the overall layout of the home to maximize health, wealth, and happiness.
Vorhaus was an interior designer in the city for many years, trained at Parsons School of Design and educated in Paris. But after she had children, she decided to take some time to devote herself to that. And in the great networking space of the nursery school parking lot, she met someone who would propel her in a different direction.
“Her husband was sick with prostate cancer,” recalls Vorhaus. “Still, he went to Hong Kong on business, and there he saw that every building uses Feng Shui. The expats who come in and don’t use Feng Shui principles, their businesses end up deteriorating.”
The man decided to give it a try, and he faxed the floor plans of his fabulous New York City apartment to a Feng Shui master.
“He told him his health was going right out of the apartment,” says Vorhaus. “They called in a Feng Shui master, made the changes, and six months later he was cancer free. It’s not that it’s a miracle cure. He was doing what the doctors said and going through treatment, but Feng Shui helps support you in your health.”
Vorhaus was intrigued, and she wanted to learn how to incorporate Feng Shui principles into her design business as she got back to work. She studied with Feng Shui master RD Chin and watched how he transformed both her husband’s midtown Manhattan office and her Sag Harbor home, and how their lives transformed in the process.
“It’s important to our lives that homes be set up in alignment with the energies of the earth and the universe to support our health and highest potentials,” says Vorhaus. “The missing link to people’s homes is the C3D: Color, Clutter, Chi, and Design. When you have those four elements working for you, you’re supported to move forward in a positive way.”
Vorhaus uses the Feng Shui Ba Gua as her guide to mapping out a home. So we stood at my front door, holding this octagonal image divided into the sections of Partnership, Children, Travel, Career, Knowledge, Family, Wealth, and Reputation. Each section correlates to a color. So if I’m feeling like I need to really nurture my relationship, I should look at where the master bedroom is located, what colors it incorporates, if it’s free of clutter, and how I can support that part of my life and my home.
Color is usually the first thing Vorhaus looks at. It’s an easy change to make in a room, she says, and can completely transform it.
“The colors should be alive,” says Vorhaus. “When you look at nature, look at the colors of the tomatoes, the corn, the green of spring grass. Each color has its own vibration. Picking colors like grays and beiges, these are colors of things that are dead in winter. Those colors are depleting to the health.”
Then Vorhaus turns to clutter.
“I worked with a family whose child had ADHD,” she says. “The knowledge area of their home (the front left corner), was filled with clutter. Once I made the mother aware of that, she was able to keep that area clear on a deeper level.”
Once the colors are set and the clutter is managed, then it’s time to look at the Chi. Chi is life energy.
“Energies come into the home like a wind, and then disperse,” says Vorhaus. “It’s a flow, and for your home you want to make sure those energies are able to flow smoothly.”
My staircase leads right to the front door, and Vorhaus said that this means the energy is going to flow right out of the house as we run down the stairs in the morning.
“Put a small mirror next to the door,” she suggests, “or hang a Feng Shui crystal to block the energy from flying out the door.”
Everything, she explains, is a metaphor. A headboard on the bed isn’t just a headboard. It bonds the two sides of the bed together, and keeps a marriage together. A front door is not just a front door.
“It’s the mouth of Chi,” she says. “What’s going on at your front door is a very important question.”
Then she tells me decisively, “Paint it red.”
Candace Vorhaus runs her Feng Shui consultation business, C3D, in Sag Harbor. Check her out at www.candacevorhaus.com.