In her exhibit space, Rupal Mehta Turner felt that something was off, something was not in harmony and was in need of a red colored item to counteract the bad vibes. So Turner, a certified Feng Shui consultant, put a red piece of cloth under her throw rug for the duration of the Home & Design, show in Tysons Corner.
"I did this red to minimize a certain energy in this booth," Turner said, turning over the rug.
Turner is an expert in classical feng shui, an ancient Chinese art that deals with living in balance and harmony with the environment. Feng means wind, and shui is water, and they both carry chi, which is a life force. They work with the three types of luck in China: heaven, man and earth. Turner was trained in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AROUND THE home, feng shui is practiced by arranging the rooms in line with certain principals. In the bedroom, the bed placement is important as well as the placement of mirrors, windows and the door. The toilets and the stove, elsewhere in the house, are considered as well.
"The energy in the bedroom actually does affect us," said Turner in a feng shui lecture at the Home & Garden show at the Ritz-Carlton in Tysons Corner on Saturday, May 29.
"It's not good to have your bed under a window," Turner said. "When we're sleeping at night, the direction our head is pointing makes a difference."
In the kitchen, the stove placement is very important. It should not be in the northwest sector of the home, not seen from the front door, have no toilet above it and should not be next to water. Even the way a house is situated makes a difference. The left side should not be taller than the right, the house should not be facing a dead end or a garbage dump, Turner said.
Turner has a feng shui consulting business in Potomac, Md. where people can hire her to analyze their homes and businesses to increase their earnings or overcome problems. Turner had Realtors come to her when certain houses wouldn't sell and she would advise them on what steps to take to overcome this. In other cases, people would come to her after experiencing a series of bad events in their lives. One McLean physician had problems in his office.
"He had me come in and see his office," she said.
In another case, a woman was facing foreclosure and Turner helped her with aggressive feng shui. Turner will do a free assessment on the phone but the charge for home visits starts at $200.
Feng shui is very active in Hong Kong real estate. "If you haven't consulted a feng shui expert, [Hong Kong real estate agents] won't even touch it," Turner said.
Dave Meyers, at Long & Foster Realtors, has customers mention feng shui from time-to-time. He even had one potential buyer who thought that it was bad feng shui to be able to see from the front door right out the back door.
"They turned the house down because of that," Meyers said.
AT THE home show, actress Jane Seymour was even surprised at the feng shui in her paintings.
"This is a feng shui painting, the combination of colors. I love flowers. I love colors, children, I'm not restricted to anything," Seymour said.
Turner admitted that a house pointed in the wrong direction or a room with limited space cannot be changed easily, so other remedies must be employed. Relocating a tree in the yard might alleviate some bad luck factors, or adding a certain color can help, like the situation in her exhibit studio.
"You can bring in cures and enhancements," Turner said. "You have to work within their budget to minimize the negative and maximize the positive."