This spring, as the Yin season shifts to Yang season in the Solar calendar on February 4, 2023, favorable changes are to be expected on many different levels. In Feng Shui, there are nine twenty-year time cycles. A predominant energy affects each of those periods. We are nearing the end of cycle eight, which has been strong with male earth influences, and approaching the new cycle of period nine, which starts next year with many different influences, including feminine fire energies. It’s time to let go of the old and welcome new energies and opportunities into your spaces to enhance your environment and life. One of the most effective ways to clear out stagnant energies is cleaning, eliminating clutter, organizing, fixing any broken items or discarding them, and recycling and donating what no longer serves you or feels right. Find a home and meaning for the items you’re keeping and feel your space expanding and changing. Beneficial Feng Shui has a smooth flow of life force energy or Chi in any space, inside or out. For people it creates a feeling of balance, well being and harmony. Prosperity and unexpected opportunities start to show up in good energy flow. The […] Read more!
The most important things to do in Feng Shui for a house or business are cleaning, clutter elimination, organizing and repairing any broken items or parts of your space. Doing so will eliminate the stagnant energy and give room for new energies and opportunities to come into your space and your life, and now’s the time to do it. As we move into spring, in Feng Shui this year, Yang season starts in the solar calendar on February 5, 2022, as the Yin season comes to its end. Favorable Feng Shui in any space has a harmonious flow of chi or life-force energy (invisible but can be felt) that creates harmony, well-being and prosperity for its occupants. The five elements in Feng Shui are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal, which affect the healthy flow of chi. These elements can be enhanced or diminished if there is not enough or if there is too much of the particular energy present. Lo-Shu is a grid (Bagua) divided into nine squares, with one in the center and others to represent cardinal compass directions. Each direction and number is correlated to one of the five elements mentioned above. The Flying Stars method is […] Read more!
As people are considering renovating their home or parts of it, the spaces that get priority seem to be bathrooms and kitchens. I see a great increase in demand for making spaces safe and accessible, as people are thinking of their future. Many plan to stay in their current homes for as long as possible. The right kind of design can future-proof spaces like bathrooms for almost any situation. CAPS (Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist) is a designation recognizing a person who has studied, taken in-person classes and passed the tests for making spaces safe, accessible and more for anyone with limitations or challenges. Such needs may arise from an accident, progressive illness or simply natural aging. As a CAPS designer, my knowledge goes beyond ADA (American Disability Act) and Universal Design requirements. We focus on finding solutions for specific needs for each client to ease their maneuvering in their space safely. There’s not a one-solution-fits-all approach. Each person varies in size, proportion and their life situation. For instance, safety-bar heights and locations vary from person to person. There may be some limitations, such as budget or structural issues, for making a space completely accessible. However, we make the best effort to […] Read more!
Your first thought when contemplating a new design for an outdoor space probably isn’t “what will the pillows look like?” Especially if the idea of outdoor pillows seems impractical. But today’s weather-resistant fabrics, in vibrant colors and patterns, give us the tools to add perfect, comfortable accents to any outdoor living space. Take, for example, this poolside living area next to the Banana River on Florida’s east coast. The concept for this comfy outdoor setting and color scheme was derived from iridescent deep tones in the pool glass tile and the deep ocean color of the water. The soft and whimsical indoor/outdoor rug, with its many tones of blues, whites and lime greens, further inspired the selections of color and material choices for the outdoor cushions. The existing off-white cushion covers on the recliners and benches were recovered with bright solid blue Sunbrella material. Throw pillows were made in Tommy Bahama Home, Color Collection (also Sunbrella performance fabric), in a fun frond pattern in blues, whites and touch of lime green, completed with a coordinating brush fringe. Tommy Bahama Home collection fabrics and coordinating trims can be ordered through Finn Design. The barstools, meanwhile, received kidney pillows in the same […] Read more!
It’s that time of the year again in Feng Shui, when seasons and stars shift as Yin season ends and Yang season starts in the solar calendar, in the late evening of February 3, 2021. Hopefully, your spring cleaning, clutter elimination, organizing and repairing any malfunctioning parts of your space have been accomplished by now! And you are ready to welcome fresh energy and changes into your building and therefore into your life. Good Feng Shui in a building has a balanced flow of chi or life force, which creates harmony, well-being and prosperity for its occupants. In Feng Shui, there are five elements – Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal – which affect the healthy flow of chi. The elements can be enhanced if there is not enough of a particular energy present or diminished if there is too much of that energy. Lo-Shu is a grid divided into nine squares, one in the center and others to represent cardinal compass directions. Each direction and number is correlated to one of the five elements mentioned above. The Flying Stars method is used to follow the movement of stars, and for energies for positive and negative, as they change locations […] Read more!
As so many of us work at home right now because of the unfortunate circumstances, a dedicated home working space is important. It can be a specific home office room, combination of guest room and home office, or a dedicated space in another room. Either way, now is the time to give some thought to how to make that space support the person who works there. There are many aspects to consider when taking the steps to start making the best use of the space. Some steps are common sense, yet also associated with Feng Shui disciplines. As we have heard so many times, literally clean the space and clear the clutter. Eliminate items that are no longer needed, are broken and cannot be fixed, or are no longer purposeful or bring joy in your life. These can be old papers, books, accessories, clothing — anything that we keep in our spaces. A stuffed and unorganized office will clutter the mind and distract from focusing and productivity. Clearing the space will make room and welcome new ideas and opportunities. If the work space is a separate room, try closing the door to cut down on distractions from the rest of the […] Read more!
Home has never been more important to us than it is right now. It’s the center of our lives, a safe haven, even a remote workplace. It’s what we need to sustain us through dark times and help us flourish in the better times to come. You might be thinking now about ways to make your home better – safer, smarter, more beautiful. Finn Design can work remotely to help you think through your ideas and create a design plan. Riitta Ylonen is a state-licensed interior designer, Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and certified Feng Shui consultant. She has expertise in virtually all aspects of interior design. She will discuss the work with you and take a design from the space planning stage to completion of the project. She prepares scaled floor plans, elevations, electrical plans, and cabinetry drawings. This planning stage is crucial for renovation, new construction and any commercial projects. If you’re looking for a smaller-scale transformation, she also designs and makes custom furniture, bedding, window treatments, window shades and upholstered pieces, such as sofas and ottomans. Check out our shop for examples. Her husband, Juha, a master woodworker and cabinetmaker, builds pieces remotely before installation. In other words, there’s […] Read more!
What were the clients looking for in this outdoor patio project? The new addition to the house was to expand the small, existing screened-in patio. This space was more for the man of the house, who enjoys grilling and relaxing outdoors. The previous space wasn’t adequate for comfortably entertaining and, most importantly, for grilling! The new space is complete with a full kitchen, including prep, cooking and cleaning areas, along with living space. However, we always design for everyone by bringing in feminine and masculine features to create balance to please both homeowners. The outcome ended up being a delightful surprise for the husband, who trusted his wife and the designer team to do the planning and selections and monitor the work progress. How is designing for outdoors different from designing for indoors? For designing outdoors, the materials and finishes must endure climate effects from moisture and humidity to sun exposure. The cabinetry, fabrics, furniture and cushions are specifically designed for outdoor use. How did you ensure the outdoor kitchen was functional and safe? As a specialist in safety, that is always on my mind. The floor is covered with non-slip pavers. There are easy-to-clean granite countertops and a recycled […] Read more!
I was writing in my journal this morning on the quiet beach, accompanied only by the waves crashing on the shore and a lonely dolphin circling sluggishly next to the bridge-like reflection the sun created on the water. I reflected back to the past few months, filled with many interesting and diverse projects, from creative designing and planning, weekend job site visits, meetings, installations and a challenging but gratifying faux finish project, to studying, taking classes and becoming a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) in the midst of it all. I find it surprising that CAPS and Aging-in-Place are not widely recognized by many people I have met at different events, even though it’s an inevitable and important issue. There’s nothing more evident than change in all levels of our lives, all around us. There’s no stopping of time moving on. We are all part of this cycle, admit it or not. AIP, or aging-in-place, affects all of us, regardless of age. Many of us dream of owning a home or a house at one point of our lives. It is usually the biggest monetary investment of a lifetime. First it may be a smaller starter home. Then perhaps a bigger […] Read more!
I haven’t been very active in writing the blog for a while. However, as a Feng Shui practitioner, I feel that it is important to address at least some issues relevant to the changes occurring starting February 4, 2018, the end of Yin and start of Yang season in the solar calendar. A good, thorough spring cleaning and clutter elimination should be completed by now. (I scrubbed my floors already in December of last year.) One of the most important Feng Shui locations is the entrance to a home or a business. That is where the Chi, energy or life force enters the premises. The front door needs to be in a good repair and operate smoothly. The entrance, inside and out, needs to be clean, easily accessible and clutter-free to allow and welcome the new energies and opportunities to arrive. In my example, the front entrance is facing North. Starting on February 4, 2017, it was fine to activate and energize the North section (associated with water, career and opportunities) with moving water such as a fountain, images of water, fish, sea beans, shells, dark colored accessories and other items associated with and supporting the water element as shown […] Read more!