Feng Shui Your Workspace For Dummies®


by Holly Ziegler and Jennifer Lawler




About the Authors

Holly Ziegler is passionate about Feng Shui and is a writer, consultant, and instructor on the subject. Since 1976, she is also a multimillion-dollar real estate broker on California’s Central Coast and recently authored Sell Your Home FASTER with Feng Shui (Dragon Chi Pub). Somewhere in the midst of this she finds time to fulfill numerous public speaking requests and teach Feng Shui at the college level. Holly lives in the delightful town of Arroyo Grande, California, and is the proud mother of two great kids.

Jennifer Lawler is a freelance writer and martial artist. Holly, using the principles of Feng Shui, has taught her that she would enjoy work more if her desk didn’t face the toilet. (And you thought Feng Shui was complicated!) Jennifer writes extensively about martial arts and personal empowerment and is the author of twenty published books, including Martial Arts For Dummies (Wiley Publishing, Inc.) and Dojo Wisdom (Penguin). She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her adorable daughter and two rambunctious dogs.



Holly dedicates this book to her mentor Denise Linn, who inspires and encourages her at every opportunity.

Jennifer dedicates this book to Vickie Anderson, who got her interested in Feng Shui in the first place.



The authors would like to thank Tracy Boggier, acquisitions editor extraordinaire, who has helped and supported them on this project from the very beginning. Tonya Cupp, our project editor, also deserves our thanks for never ever losing patience with us even when we deserved it. Our agent, Carol Susan Roth, has always been a treasure and a dream to work with, and we could not have put this book together without her help. We would also like to thank the technical editor Mark Skinner.

Holly gives a special thank you to Kerry Randall for his on-call continuing guidance and perception; Terry Berryhill and Jack Mallory, her two awesome real estate brokers for the laughter and support through the trying times; Jan Hayes, who makes her way smooth at every opportunity; and Arlene Winn who still keeps her silly and sane.

And, as usual, Jennifer extends her appreciation to her instructors at New Horizons Black Belt Academy of Tae Kwon Do, Mr. Donald Booth and Mrs. Susan Booth, without whom she would still be teaching English for a living.


Holly Ziegler and Jennifer Lawler


Publisher’s Acknowledgments

We’re proud of this book; please send us your comments through our Dummies online registration form located at www.dummies.com/register/.

Some of the people who helped bring this book to market include the following:

Acquisitions, Editorial, and Media Development

Project Editor: Tonya Maddox Cupp

Acquisitions Editor: Tracy Boggier

Copy Editors: Jennifer Bingham, Chad Sievers

Acquisitions Coordinator: Holly Gastineau Grimes

Technical Editor: Mark Skinner

Senior Permissions Editor: Carmen Krikorian

Editorial Manager: Christine Meloy Beck

Editorial Assistant: Melissa Bennett

Cover Photo: Getty Image

Cartoons: Rich Tennant, www.the5thwave.com


Project Coordinator: Maridee Ennis

Layout and Graphics: Carrie Foster, Joyce Haughey, LeAndra Johnson, Michael Kruzil, Kristin McMullan, Tiffany Muth, Julie Trippetti

Special Art: Illustrations by Kelly Pulley, Photographs by Dena Friesen, Jennifer Lawler, and Holly Ziegler

Proofreaders: John Tyler Connoley, Brian Walls,TECHBOOKS Production Services

Indexer: TECHBOOKS Production Services

Publishing and Editorial for Consumer Dummies

Diane Graves Steele, Vice President and Publisher, Consumer Dummies

Joyce Pepple, Acquisitions Director, Consumer Dummies

Kristin A. Cocks, Product Development Director, Consumer Dummies

Michael Spring, Vice President and Publisher, Travel

Brice Gosnell, Publishing Director, Travel

Suzanne Jannetta, Editorial Director, Travel

Publishing for Technology Dummies

Andy Cummings, Vice President and Publisher, Dummies Technology/General User

Composition Services

Gerry Fahey, Vice President of Production Services

Debbie Stailey, Director of Composition Services




About This Book

Conventions Used in This Book

Foolish Assumptions

How This Book Is Organized

Icons Used in This Book

Where to Go from Here

Part I : Reading Feng Shui’s Resume

Chapter 1: Figuring Out Feng Shui

Getting along Famously: Balance and Harmony

Showing What Feng Shui Can Do for You

Going to Design School

Getting in Touch with Your Masculine Side with Yin/Yang

Flowing Like Chi

High Five-ing Elements

Going with the Octagon

Chapter 2: Moving and Grooving with Chi

Opening Wide to See the Mouth of Chi

Constructing Fabulous Floor Plans

Taking the Ouch from Angles

Going with the Pathway’s Flow

Bustin’ Clutter to Break Chi Free

Chapter 3: Gathering People and Principles Together

Combining the Five Elements

Using a 9-to-5 Bagua

Juggling Chi, Yin/Yang, the Bagua, and the Five Elements

Putting in the P.S. with Intentions

Hold the Incense: Respecting Workspaces

Part II : Conceptualizing and Strategizing: Oddly at Peace with Peace

Chapter 4: Harmonizing with Light, Flowers, and Sound

Lighting Up Your Life — Or at Least Your Workspace

Sending the Very Best to Yourself: Flowers and Plants

Soothing the Savage Beast with Sound

Chapter 5: Brushing Up on Color and Texture

Pulling Out Your Crayons

Getting Next to Textures

Applying Color and Texture to Floors, Walls, and Windows

Avoiding Too Much of a Good Thing: Balancing Color and Texture

Heavy Metal: Correcting the Overuse of an Element

Chapter 6: Zoning In on Electronic Fixes

Getting the Buzz on Electronics

Designating Equipment-Free Zones

Part III : Energizing and Feng Shui-ing Your Work Area

Chapter 7: Building a Business the Feng Shui Way

Starting from Scratch

Curing Unfavorables

Designing Your Workspace the Feng Shui Way

Projecting Your Image

Planning a Specific Business

Chapter 8: Squaring Off with Cubicles

Loving Your Bland Burlap Walls

Feeling Like a Boob in Your Cube?

Sizing Up Your Desk

Chapter 9: Grasping the Open Concept Office

You Weren’t Raised in a Barn but You Work in One

Applying the Principles

Calling Ed Asner: Desks Together Newsroom Style

Chapter 10: Tackling the Traditional Office

Kicking It in the Corner Office

Getting Plans Down on Paper

Chapter 11: Jamming in Your PJs: Working from Home

Placing Your Workspace

Investing in Yourself: Swanky Equipment and Furnishings

Ensuring Success While Wearing Your Robe

Chapter 12: Nestling into Nontraditional Workspaces

Working Outside the Cube

Packing a Portable Feng Shui Kit

Chapter 13: Breaking Into Rooms: Waiting, Storage, and Bath

Making a Plan and Working It

Have a Seat: Reception Areas

Making a Chi Break for Copy, Mail, and Storage Rooms

Calling a Meeting: Conference and Board Rooms

Treating the Water Closet with a Little Respect

Part IV : Interacting with Others: Implementing for Success

Chapter 14: Personal Power and Successful Work Relationships

Voting for Best Couple: Feng Shui and Relationships

Spotlighting the Relationship and Helpful People Sectors

Chapter 15: Making Your To-Do List: Meeting Goals

Choosing Control: You Have More Power Than You Think

Being Upbeat Before You Beat Someone Up: Positivity at Work

Establishing Your Professional Goals and Setting Career Intentions

Dressing for Success

Part V : The Part of Tens

Chapter 16: Ten Top Feng Shui Helpers

Clearing the Floor, Clearing Your Mind

Placing Cures with Intention

Bringing in the Bagua

Color Me Beautiful

Mixing in Some Music

Using Your Schnoz

Working Around Water

Crystallizing Your Thoughts

Reflecting and Deflecting Chi: Mirrors

Planting Your Intentions

Chapter 17: Ten Ways to Increase Your Wealth

Knowing What You Want

Giving the Wealth Sector a Nod

Pushing the Envelope

Cashing In on Desk Placement

Welcoming Chi

Dishing Up Some Coins

Planting Your Money Tree

Lighting Your Wealth Life

“Wetting” Your Appetite

Enhancing Chi with Crystals

Honoring Your Helpful People

Chapter 18: Ten Ways to Create Harmony with Co-Workers

Having Honorable Intentions

Finding the Bagua’s Co-worker Sector

Enhancing Elemental Essentials

Sticking in Shapely Elements

Combining the Elements

Picturing Your Work Place

Coloring Your Space

Raising Chi with Cures

Creating Comfortable Positions

Understanding the Animal in Us All

Chapter 19: Ten Ways to Get Yourself into a Power Position

Facing It: Your Best Direction, That Is

Seeing the Door

Pointing Your Desk In the Right Direction

Having Your Back Against a Wall Is Good

Sitting in the Big Kids’ Chair

Your Office from 10,000 Feet

Going to the Head of the Class

First in Line, First in Mind

Slipping into Some Strength

Stating Your Intentions

Appendix: Your Workspace Sketch Pad


S ay you’re at your desk at work. Take a look around. What do you see? If what you see makes you shudder, then this book is for you. Even if it doesn’t make you shudder, this book is for you. (We’ve covered all the angles.)

You’ve maybe heard something about Feng Shui making an environment more comfortable, but have no idea how it might help you with the plain, drab, utilitarian office you inhabit for so many of your waking hours. Feng Shui (pronounced fung-schway ) is an ancient Chinese philosophy of design that can be applied to any room, building, or desktop. It’s mainly about how your space makes you feel — often on a subtle, energetic level.

It’s not magical except in the way it changes your relationship to your environment. It doesn’t require esoteric beliefs. (You don’t even have to believe in it for it to work.) Feng Shui is simply a way of looking at the world around you, and rearranging it in a more pleasing pattern . . . one that makes you feel good.

About This Book

You’ve got a workspace (or you wouldn’t have picked this book up in the first place) and it needs some help (or you wouldn’t have picked this book up in the first place). Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place.

This book gives you tried-and-true methods for fixing the challenges in your workspace (including difficult co-workers!). We cover the basic principles of Feng Shui and show you how to use those principles in a variety of environments. We give you tips on curing imbalances, blocked energy, and other problems (like difficult co-workers). You can discover how to spot problems that contribute to workplace tensions and find out how to solve them.

Conventions Used in This Book

We sometimes use foreign words and terms you may not have encountered before. When this happens, we italicize the term the first time we use it, and then give you a definition.

Whenever we talk about a subject we’ve covered more thoroughly elsewhere, we tell you where by naming the chapter (“See Chapter 9 for more information”). This helps keep us from repeating our-selves over and over again. Trust us, you’ll be glad we did it this way. We direct you to photographs and drawings in a similar way. See Figure 1-2 means to look at the second illustration in Chapter 1 for an example of what we’re talking about. The illustration mentioned is labeled Figure 1-2.

Foolish Assumptions

We assumed some things about you as we wrote this book:

bullet You have a job.

bullet You want to do well in your career.

bullet You think your surroundings could be more attractive.

How This Book Is Organized

Yes, there is a method to our madness. We’ve organized this book in such a way as to make the information easy to find and easy to use (at least we think it’s easy to find and easy to use and we hope you agree).

Part I: Reading Feng Shui’s Resume

In Part I we discuss the basic principles of Feng Shui. We define key terms such as chi, Bagua, yin-yang and the Five Elements. We also give background information on the various schools of Feng Shui, including Tibetan Black Sect, which is the school of thought this book follows (as does its companion text, Feng Shui For Dummies [Wiley Publishing, Inc.]).

We show you how to develop Feng Shui eyes (and we explain why you should). We show you how to understand the movement of chi, and how to keep from blocking it, and we give you a basic strategy for dealing with design challenges, starting with busting clutter and rearranging the furniture.

We also show how all of the principles of Feng Shui work together and how you can apply them to your specific workspace. We solve some of your design problems by explaining how to cure common Feng Shui challenges. And we finish up by revealing the power of intention.

Part II: Conceptualizing and Strategizing: Oddly at Peace with Peace

We show how to apply the principles of Feng Shui to any workspace — in other words, this could be called “Feng Shui in Action.” We include basic techniques and give information on lighting, plants, and flowers. We also give you tools to counteract oppressive elements like overhead beams and too much metal. We explain the importance of color and texture in Feng Shui. We also cover the challenges of electronic equipment in designing a comfortable, welcoming workspace.

Part III: Energizing and Feng Shui-ing Your Work Area

We get down to brass tacks here, giving you the low-down on handling specific workspaces, whether you work out of a traditional office or the floor of a machine shop. Here, you’ll find the information you need to know to

bullet Build a Feng Shui-friendly building from the get-go

bullet Make your cubicle/open concept office/home office/car/ countertop comfortable

bullet Bring Feng Shui with you when you’re on the go

bullet Spruce up those rooms that get ignored in every office building

Part IV: Interacting with Others: Implementing for Success

Feng Shui can enhance your career success. In this part we show you how to do so and show the connection between Helpful People and Wealth. Feng Shui can help you take control in your work and meet your goals, no matter what they are; we help you do that, too.

Part V: The Part of Tens

In this part, we give you four top-ten lists for quick reference. We show you how to fix common workplace problems the Feng Shui way, we give you the low-down on increasing your wealth using Feng Shui tactics, and we give you pointers on improving your relationships with your co-workers (techniques you can also use with your boss and clients). And take a look at the Appendix, because we’ve created some blank workspace forms, so that you can sketch your workspace with ease.

Icons Used in This Book

In the margins of the book, we use several different icons to identify material that you can use to better understand and apply the principles of Feng Shui:


This icon warns you that a certain strategy, placement or approach is not good Feng Shui and should be avoided as unfavorable. This icon also alerts you to potential health or safety troubles. Pay attention.


This icon is used to indicate important Feng Shui principles, especially how to apply them to your particular situation. If you know nothing else, try to recall this stuff.


This icon highlights suggestions that make your workspace the best, most comfortable it can be.


This icon points out stuff that’s interesting, but definitely not crucial to using Feng Shui. Skip it if you want, dive right in if you prefer.

Where to Go from Here

You don’t have to read front to back in this book. So where to go?

bullet If you’re a Feng Shui novice, turn to Chapter 1, “Figuring Out Feng Shui” for information on the basics.

bullet If you want to brush up on the basics but aren’t a beginner, turn to Chapter 2, “Moving and Grooving with Chi.”

bullet If you’re trying to find a solution to your electronic equipment troubles, find Chapter 6, “Zoning In on Electronic Equipment.”

bullet If you have a Feng Shui background and want to get right to solving the design challenges, turn to Part 3 and choose the chapter that applies to your workspace. For example, Chapter 10 is for corner-office-dwellers, whereas Chapter 11 is for home office workers.

Part I

Reading Feng Shui’s Resume

In this part . . .

F eng Shui teaches you to see your environment in a new light and clear your mind — along with all that clutter!

In this part, we introduce you to some basic concepts of Feng Shui that we use throughout the book. We also give you some background on where Feng Shui came from and how it developed.

We overview the basic principles behind Feng Shui, help you apply those principles to your workspace, and take a look at how the different principles interact with and support each other. You can also find out about the power of intention.