One of the many reasons why Feng Shui principles have become very popular among Western homeowners is the practice’s focus on achieving harmony, unity, and balance in the home’s indoor and outdoor space and living arrangement. If you come home to a house that promotes relaxation, peace of mind, solitude and simple but elegant beauty, you will immediately feel relaxed and at ease the moment you walk through those doors. On the other hand, if your house does not have any unifying element and looks like a collage of ideas and colours with no real connection, the result is a convoluted and confusing space.

Here are some basic Feng Shui principles that beginners can give a try..

Clutter-free centre. A healthy, harmonious house will be free of clutter and unnecessary stuff that limit activity or make the space look hectic and disorganized. The centre of your home must be open and clean because this is where the rest of your living space will draw energy from.

Fresh air. Keep the air fresh and flowing by opening windows or using air purifiers. Oxygen and fresh air also benefits the prep106inhabitants’ health and well-being. For larger areas such as hallways or living room, fresh plants may be used to add to the good air quality.

Happy, positive, encouraging images. Look for wall art or images that promote positive messages and happiness. Photographs of your family with big smiles and fun memories are best for display. For home staging purposes, choose art or pictures that promote encouragement and long-lasting moments.

Feng Shui colours. Different colours pertain to various elements of Feng Shui. Green is for good health, blue supports career and professional success, yellow denotes good times with family and friends, and white is the perfect background for creativity. The different colours can be applied to appropriate rooms or areas inside or outside the home.

Unity in variety. If you only use one colour, texture, style, or size in your home décor and fixtures, this creates a bland space that can seem constricting to the viewer. Even different elements can have one unifying characteristic that ties them all together in harmony, so don’t be afraid to branch out a little bit and experiment with different patterns and textures.

Energy purifiers. Scented candles, essential oils, and other purifiers help to maintain calm, soothing balance within your home. Use them appropriately, and keep safety precautions in mind (for instance, candles should be kept away from flammable materials).

Recent studies of the marriage and family structure in Canada have shown that divorce rates across the country are on the decline. Still, separation and divorce are parts of life that many of us will continue to deal with. About 40% of marriages end in divorce before the 30th year. This is a reality for many homeowners, and the effects of divorce extend beyond the emotional adjustment to both the physical and financial transitions as well.

The legal proceedings for divorce would involve a decision on which of the couple would get the home. In many cases, newly-divorced homeowners would find that revamping the space, doing major renovations and upgrades, or even moving to a completely new home would assist in one’s healing process, transitioning to a new life and adjusting to life post-marriage. Many elements of your current home could remind you of difficult or challenging memories from the relationship that just ended, and selling your home or a home makeover could be therapeutic and also be the much-needed breath of fresh air that your home needs after years of the same look and feel.

Take your time

After the divorce, you may be very eager to just throw everything out, buy new furniture altogether, and transform the entire home. Before you spend exorbitant amounts of money on things, however, you should also pause and make sure that you are thinking clearly and planning correctly for the future. Emotions could be running high and you might end up selling your home or making purchases based only on impulsive feelings but without a clear direction or purpose for the entire effort.

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Ease the family in

If you have children and they are living with you after the marriage ends, you also have to keep them in mind as you change up the home design and décor. In this difficult period, children are able to adjust better if there are elements of home that remain constant and familiar to them. If you are planning to move to a new house, try to bring some of the old furniture pieces with you, especially from their bedroom space. You can try to include your children in the planning and designing of their new bedroom as much as possible, so they also have a sense of control and security especially after the divorce, when feelings of overwhelming change and insecurity could be prevalent.

Express yourself

Treat this time of home refurbishing and upgrades as a way for you to regain control over decisions or choices you may not have had when you were still married. Those mementos from your childhood that your spouse did not want displayed? Now you can fish them out of the attic or storage and perhaps add them to your wall décor. Remember to also move forward and make your home a reminder to yourself that this is your step towards finding yourself and being whole again.

The question of darker wood versus painted cabinets is a common one these days. If your kitchen cabinets are solid but dated and dark, a fresh coat of paint can go a long way toward transforming the space without draining your bank account. However, depending on the overall design of your kitchen and the style of your home, the degree of popularity for painting wood kitchen cabinets ranges quite a bit. Here are a few things to ponder to help you along with your decision:

1. Cabinet Style –wood can be beautiful, but consider the style of your wood kitchen cabinets and if they complement the kitchen design, as well as the overall aesthetic of your home. Painting them may bring about a more cohesive design throughout the whole space, which would be more appealing to you and better in the long run especially if you plan on selling your home in the future.

2. Budget – if you move forward with painting the wood kitchen cabinets, will you be doing this yourself or will you hire a professional? If you really want to paint, you need to make sure the cabinets end up looking as good or better than the current cabinets.  It’s a lot of work to do them yourself, so make sure you’re ready for it. If not, consider your budget for hiring a professional so the job is done right.

3. Consult a realtor – in many parts of the country, wood cabinets are a selling point in homes. Look at listings of similar homes in your area and see how the kitchen description is worded. You can also reach out to a local realtor to get their

4. Choose color carefully – as important it is to have the cabinets painted properly, you want to make sure you choose the right color. There are literally hundreds of “white” paint options. Remember, lighting plays a strong role in how paint will look in the final space. Perhaps you should consider taping a paint swatch on the front of each cabinet and live with it for a couple of days.

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While all of these points should be taken into consideration, the most important question to ask really is “What is the kitchen’s role in your family’s life?”  Is it truly the heart of your home? Do you use this space to entertain? Are you one who cooks often? If you’re the one that will be spending a lot of time in this space, you should love it.