10 Ways to Reinvent Your Living Space on a Budget

By Erica Sofrina
8/2/2012 9:20:02 AM

Rearranging and reinventing our living space is one of the most powerful ways to free up creative energies and get our lives moving again. By mixing up the chi in our outer space, we revitalized the chi in our inner space. In doing so we can often now see the forest for the trees and solutions to our most daunting problems become clear. As a result, our lives begin to flow and marvelous synchronicities begin to appear!

One of my most favorite things to do is to help a client reinvent their living space using little or no money. I call this Feng Shui Redesign, because it combines my Feng Shui and Interior Design expertise.

I am like a kid in a candy store and practically nothing on the earth makes me happier than helping someone see the possibilities that are already there waiting to be uncovered. I love it when we pore through drawers and linen closets to find hidden treasures. It is as if the space talks to me and I just intuit what needs to be done to make it all work. I might say "we need something red here," and viola! The perfect red object emerges from some forgotten corner. I love watching my clients get energized and inspired. The deeper lesson being that they actually do have everything they need, they just needed the eyes to see it.

I realize this is a talent that doesn't come naturally to everyone. So for those who feel spatially impaired or just stuck when it comes to their own home, I thought I would share some tried and true solutions for reinventing you space that I use in my own Feng Shui Redesign Practice.

1. First clutter clear and clean the room you are starting with. You need to start with a clean palette so that you can see the possibilities.

2. Take down all artwork and put it together in one section of the room. Dust the wall where the pictures were and thoroughly clean each picture, including the glass.

3. Gather all the bits of things, such as loose photos, letters, cards, bits of mementos from outings, used candles, scraggly plants, and put them all in a box. Now gather all of the treasures (i.e. things you truly love) thoroughly clean each one and put them in another area of the room. Now go on a treasure hunt and find all of the beloved items that are stored away in drawers and closets and add them to the treasure trove items. Surrounding ourselves with objects we love will bring vibrant chi into the room. Take out the treasures you keep behind glass and use them on a daily basis. In doing so you are affirming that you deserve to have beautiful things. The universe picks up this message and you start attracting like energies. (See my article: Your Home is Attracting your Future)

4. Observe with a fresh eye what you have in the room. Make a list of what seems to work and what doesn't. If something doesn't work it is often because of one, or a combination of the following things:

If you have a lot of jewelry, display it on a wall and make it an interesting art piece.

-Some or all of your furniture is the wrong scale for the room. Large furniture is in vogue but I often find it in smaller scale homes. If you want the over-sized sofa to stay, the over-sized matching ottoman needs to go to another room. Find a smaller table or chest and substitute this for the ottoman/coffee table. Any small table or chest will work, even an unused piano bench. If it is not in great shape, cover with an attractive runner or mat and now you have a coffee table. Often people have too much furniture in each room; a good rule of thumb is to eliminate one or two pieces per room and feel it breathe again.

-You have a large piece of furniture with a loud and/or dominant pattern, and you have been working around it ever since. If you have one loud piece, the rugs, curtains and pillows have to be solid colors or contain more neutral patterns. Find solid and neutral-colored throws and pillows from other rooms and drape over the dominating print to calm it down. The general rule is to buy neutral furniture for the big pieces and jazz them up with vibrant rugs, pillows and throws. [See my top picture.] If you want to make the room work, purchase an inexpensive slip cover in a neutral shade. Change the pillows seasonally and you have an inexpensive way to keep the room looking fresh.

-Your main pieces of furniture are too far away from each other. If your furniture is lined up along the wall, chances are no one gravitates to this room. This is because after 5 1/2 feet you no longer have an intimate conversation area, making it difficult for people to connect. If you have a large room, you need to divide it into two separate areas in order to make it work. Create one conversation area with the sofa, two end table on either side, two chairs opposite the sofa, and a coffee table with a rug underneath. The second might be the two other chairs angled towards each other in another section of the room, a small table between, and a floor lamp. On the occasions that you need additional seating, temporarily move the other two chairs back to the larger seating area.

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