As I clean up and pack up I am discovering some things. One of them is that I really dislike American house designs. My current dwelling is far from a McMansion, which I despise. The room in square footage is more than adequate but the layout is a royal pain. I remember a friend’s house I spent a lot of time at. It was a split level, a very common common design in the U.S., which I never liked. That house and others like it I’ve been in always made me feel very uncomfortable, no right in a way I couldn’t explain until I learned feng shui. Part of the reason my friend’s house might have had bad energy was that she and her partner were at odds, but even when I was alone in the house it felt bad. Maybe their relationship was being worsened by the house. In the world of feng shui that is a definite consideration.
Most westerners are familiar with feng shui in it’s modern adaption. They know it means wind and water and that you have to use “remedies” and clear clutter. While excessive clutter can negatively impact the flow of qi, focusing on this level is what I refer to as “surface stuff”. It doesn’t address the heart of the problem. That problem is most often design.
Even back in 1948 when this house was built and the lust for volume had not overrun taste houses were designed to maximize builder profits with ostensibly “prestige” design features. I enjoy having a fireplace but the whole house footprint is only 900 sq ft and sticking it in the middle of the living room takes a big chunk out of the useable space. In my aunt’s little Cape Code in Connecticut the fireplace was set in an outside wall and this could have been done in mine. Instead, this was apparently designed to create a dining room on the opposite side. There once was a door from the kitchen to this space which has since been taken down. However, in order to create a place for a hot water heater, since there is no basement, a wall was built next to the door creating an ell in the kitchen and making the “dining room” useless. I couldn’t even fit my small kitchen table in there without moving the chairs every time I wanted to pass. Even the home appraiser commented on what a lousy arrangement it was. There is a tiny central hall from which you enter the bedrooms, bathroom and kitchen. Too small for even a hall table it is useless except for the cleaner, who earns more by spending time moping it.
So in thinking of a new home for myself and the cats I am seriously looking at a place I could tear up. It wouldn’t matter if I had millions, builders don’t speak my language. I worked for a big builder and developer for a couple of years and I know more than I want to about it because in my opinion it’s not a great picture. They always say to define your goals in positive terms but right now I am at the I don’t want stage. I don’t want a barren mass development house. I don’t want ugly design like “snout” houses and split levels. I don’t want a McMansion. I have no need to impress anyone and those impressed by material wealth are not even on my radar. I can’t wait to start talking to realtors from a feng shui perspective and then through in my engineering background when they try to impress me with “surface stuff”. You can see why this is taking more than one post and how when I start actively shopping it will probably make for some amusing reading in even more posts.