In urban cities, most of the homes consist of multi-family buildings filled with residential apartments.
Some mega buildings can house hundreds of apartment units.
And as property becomes more expensive, many people make do with smaller homes such as studio apartments, shoebox apartments, or small apartments with a floor space of less than 500 square feet.
These small homes that attempt to squeeze a living room, bedroom and kitchen into a floor plan can pose a lot of challenges to interior designers.
And when you put feng shui into the equation, many problems arise simply due to the limited space available for planning.
Here are some of the most common feng shui problems with small apartments.
1) The tension
The kitchen is an area of the house that is a significant concern for any feng shui practitioner.
It is a place with undoubted predominant fire energy. And the biggest source of that fire energy originate from the stove.
Having a stove that is out of sight from entering the main front door entrance is one of the various kitchen rules of feng shui.
Such design layouts can cause an inability to relax, leading to conflicts occurring in the house between residents.
A solution might be to setup dividers of earth material to hide the stove from view at the front door.
2) The clash
Due to space constraints, kitchen sinks are often built in close proximity to each other.
When they are opposite to each other, there is a clash of fire and water energy. It also clashes when they are situated side by side to each other.
This can lead to a lack of recognition and progression at work.
When the refrigerator is placed opposite the stove, it also results in a clash of the elements.
The harmonizing element of water and fire is wood.
3) The fork
One of the most well know feng shui ailments that a house can suffer from is being able to see “through” the house from the front door.
This can be cause by the front door being aligned with a back door, balcony, or windows.
Because of the straight line that energy can enter and immediately exit the house, it is like a fork piercing through the house.
To assess whether you studio apartment suffer from this ailment, stand at the front door and look into the house.
If you can see the other side, then you have this problem.
Even a favorable door color would be of little help.
A big reason why many small apartments have such configuration is again due to space limitations.
The main doors open right into the living room which have windows looking out to the other side of the house.
Install screens, cabinets, or walls to block the alignment of main door and exit point.
4) The saw
In lofts and apartments with a second storey, the steps of the stairs are often in plain sight from the living room.
This resembles the blade and teeth of a saw. Cutting up the house and slicing at residents.
Homeowner, landlords or tenants who don’t put feng shui into consideration can sometimes unknowingly position the sofa with the stairs as the backing, or right in front of the sofa as that is where the television set is located.
Household members would suffer from muscle aches, injuries, and fall sick.
Use decorative boards, laminates, or even wall papers to hide the sharp edges of the stairs.
5) The running nose
While some developers are thoughtful enough to build bedrooms on a second level to increase the living space including a luxurious high ceiling, this can pose another feng shui problem for residents.
Apartments with 2 levels usually have the living room and kitchen on level 1 while the bedroom on level 2.
Because of space limitations, the stairs that run up are often narrow and leads right up to the bedroom door.
When the staircase is aligned with the bedroom door, meaning the door opens right onto the downward stairs, it creates what we call the running nose effect.
Ideally, if doors open to stairs, an upward stairs represents reaching new heights in life and career. A downward stairs would mean a career going down hill.
Doors that are adjacent to the first steps of the staircase will not suffer from the running nose.
Remedy options are limited. One way to limit the negative effects is to place a red mat on the first step from the bedroom door.
6) The waterfall
In small spaces, there are only a few places where the placement of the air-conditioner unit makes practical sense.
And sometimes, there is no other way than to postition the sofa set or dining table right under the air-conditioner.
This effectively places a resident right underneath a “waterfall” whenever the sofa is being used and the aircon switched on.
It is best to find a new orientation for the sofa.
7) The double
Mirrors are often recommended by interior designers to increase the visual space of cramped areas.
This is why small apartment owners often use a lot of them to “expand” the space available at home.
When mirrors are used correctly, they can dissolve negative energy or even double up positive energy.
However, they can also double up negative energy or create feng shui ailments that were never there in the first place when applied wrongly.
An example is a mirror that reflects the stove. This can create the visual illusion that the stove is situated in the northwest sector of the house. And that is a feng shui affliction which can be disastrous.
If the lavish use of mirrors is in your plans, be careful with where you place them, how you place them, and what furniture and fittings are being reflected.
8) The snake
Again due to space constraints, and a builder overly excited to squeeze as much as possible into limited space, the snake can appear in any part of the house.
Most commonly the toilet, balcony, washing area, etc.
The snake refers to exposed piping or wiring that takes residence along the walls and ceilings of the house.
They disrupt the energy flowing around the house and should be covered up or artfully hidden by interior designers.
To cure, use false ceilings and false walls to hide them from sight.
If that’s not possible, then curtains can achieve the same defensive effect. Albeit a less effective one.
9) The end, gameover
Alright maybe gameover is too depressing a word to use here.
But this is the first word that came to my mind when I think about this unlucky scenario.
As we all know, the determination of the facing of an apartment is a tricky affair.
In certain circumstances, the facing of the building should be taken as the facing of the house even though it might seem counter-intuitive.
For example, if the building is u-shaped facing southeast 1 in the period of 8, then the below superimposition of the building’s birth chart can be applied.
In this case, an apartment on the right end of the building would have a the base star 4, and a mountain and water star combination of 5-3.
This is not a good star combination and the household is basically screwed.
While occupants of the unit can still feng shui the home based on a different facing, probably facing northeast or by the building’s natal chart onto the house, remember that the big picture trumps the small picture in feng shui.
Sort of like good land form feng shui can often bestow a house with good fortune even if the house by itself is not set up properly in terms of feng shui.
In this example, a bad sector of the building can hamper the energy of a house even if it is designed with feng shui in mind.
It must be said that the above listed common feng shui problems are not limited to apartments.
In fact, any house can encounter them.
But for small homes like studio apartments, they have a much higher likelihood to occur compared to regular landed houses.
On top of that, single family homes have more space to work with, and a lot more flexibility with renovations.
Thus, working remedies into the remodeling works can face lesser restrictions.
So before you purchase an apartment, especially a small one of less than 500 square feet, do keep an eye out for feng shui ailments and consider whether it is possible to effectively alleviate them.