Feng Shui Advice: Vaulted Ceilings, Apartment Hunting and Better Cooking

Hi Lynn, We are thinking of purchasing a home with a great room and vaulted ceiling. I am not only concerned about the consumption of energy required to heat and cool this empty space, but also how a vaulted ceiling plays into the feng shui of a room. — Asking

Dear Inquirer, Do it only if you really love it after several visits made at different times of day. I discourage people from having vaulted ceilings at home. In public foyers or reception type areas, that’s fine. An art gallery? Perfect.

Upon arrival as a visitor, imagine walking into a home with a vaulted ceiling at the entrance. Although most likely one or more persons will be in front of you with a smile of greeting, a handshake or hug, a disproportionate amount of energy is flowing upward where it is captured. Chi is being lodged in an overhanging vault.

For our health we need to occupy well-nourished areas where chi has been circulating in a coherent flow and allowed to pool and collect. Our daily lives are more supported when they are grounded with energy from the environment.

In the case of a vaulted entrance ceiling, all that energy swooshes upward. Back on ground level, the focus is diluted and fragmented. Activity may be accelerated, moving too fast for kids, speeding up their energy and making for chaotic behavior. An only slightly less intense situation is created in great rooms. Great rooms are made greater when they are smaller.

In the case of vaulted ceilings, a grounded presence in the area is needed to create a place to settle down, to relax or enjoy feeling the good qualities of the space. Use rugs and carpet to define and ground areas within the larger area. Try room dividers such as bookcases, floor plants, tall baskets grouped together, a table with a lamp on it — nothing more than waist high or they become blockages.

On the other hand, a vaulted ceiling in a public place, such as a high school, could be uplifting. Students, teachers and administrators bring in a lot of energy charge that could be diffused in a beneficial way with some ceiling apertures. Usually schools have long corridors without curves and the initial entry to the school can too quickly and abruptly hinge from open sky to long straight rows. As a passageway from outside the building to its interior, a glass vaulted entryway could be subliminally soothing so that sunlight and outdoor weather are a part of the transition upon entering rather than just running into a blunt overhead ceiling.

Inviting a cascade of light into a school could be uniquely helpful, providing a lighten-up instead of hunker down sensation that sets a positive tone and connects the outdoors to the classroom. Elevated ceilings unconsciously draw attention to what is above, cultivating a sense of possibility. Don’t get me wrong though; if you have a brilliant idea, it won’t be extinguished if it bumps into the ceiling.

Hi Lynn, We need to move from our rental condo in four months and find a new affordable space. Our ideal would be to find a house with a fenced-in yard for our dog. Can feng shui help us in finding or attracting our new ideal space?

Dear Doggie Parents,

Not directly.

Your “knowledge” quadrant is in the lower left front quadrant of your current home. Hang hollow, metal chimes there. Summon help with an open attitude.

Try to make peace with your current home. To the extent you can clear it, balance its defects, and freshen it up, it is advantageous to do so and minimize the chance that you will find and select a new home that has the same feng shui defects.

Strive for a completion expressed in your current environment to provide a fresh new opening for your next chapter of home.
 Eyeball everything as if you were to inhabit it in an ongoing way and remediate what you discover in the ways you are able to so you don’t carry those themes ahead.

Dear Feng Shui Column, I am new to feng shui but enjoy learning about it. Can feng shui help me with my cooking? That would be great! — Rose

Dear Rose,

It hasn’t helped mine.

That said you may benefit from creating all the good stuff a well feng shui’d kitchen might have! Best beginning and overall theme is to provide the person doing the cooking with an optimal space in which to do it. This affects the quality of food that’s being cooked, as does the energy of the person cooking it.

The stove represents your wealth and corresponds directly to your health. The food prepared sustains and rewards you with a more vibrant level of chi that is vital to optimal health. Try not to cook with your back to the door; you won’t be as relaxed or confident because a part of you will be on guard. Use lightweight portable screens to correct this if you need to.

Keep water and fire elements separate from each other, the sink and the stove for example. They bicker. Ideally they should not be directly next to each other or directly across from each other. If that’s impossible to manage, introduce an intervening element of wood. Wooden spoons, cutting board, plants, a little herb garden on the window sill above the sink, greens, a woven sisal rug under the area that is “dueling” — as both wood and horizontal (earth), the mat strengthens and weakens both these utilities usually found in the kitchen and makes them equals.

Leave no unsheathed knives displayed on the counters. Look around. Make your kitchen beautiful and functional so that you feel comfortable in the space. Can’t go wrong with that.

The late Lynn Taylor was a senior feng shui practitioner, teaching and consulting in the United States and Mexico for both business and home environments.