Feng Shui for the Home

Project: Manhattan Remodel and Cape Cod Affordable, Episode 17, Part 4

At the Mashpee, Massachusetts homes, general contractor Wes Lohr is adding finishing details like the Permex shutters from J&L Shutters. Developer Joe Valle reviews Massachusetts' Act 40B affordable housing law and John Livermore looks at how homes become Energy Star-certified. He also shows Bob energy-saving products for any home. Homeowners Kelli and Scott Jacobson tell how a first-time homebuyers seminar at the local housing assistance corporation helped them discover programs designed to help working families purchase their first homes. Bob talks with them about the open floor plan of their Cape Cod-style home, the Vermont Castings electric fireplace that will tie their design together, and the Kenmore stainless-steel appliances Kelli selected for the kitchen. Bob also meets homeowner Kim Brown, who selected Maple beadboard cupboards and black finishes for her Kenmore kitchen appliances. Kim's ranch-style home, open layout, and Whirlpool high-efficiency, large-capacity laundry system are perfect for a young family. Emma and Jacob Josselyn welcome Bob to their Cape Cod-style home with a look at their new Vermont Castings cast-iron electric stove. Designer Katherine Kaess joins them to review the design principles of feng shui and make suggestions for encouraging the flow of life-force energy or chi throughout the home.
Part 1: Installing Permex Shutters, Viewing the Open Floor Plan, and Meeting the Affordable Home Buyers
Part 2: Reviewing the Kitchen and Layout of the Ranch-Style Home
Part 3: Installing Wall-to-Wall Carpet, Building an Energy Star Certified Home, and Saving Electricity and Protecting Electronics in the Home
Part 4: Feng Shui for the Home
Bob visits Emma and Jacob Josselyn in their Cape Cod-style home to see the new Vermont Castings Addison cast-iron electric stove that will warm the corner of their dining room. They also discuss ideas for design with feng shui expert Katherine Kaess of Soulspaces International. Kaess explains that feng shui is the ancient study of working with space to enhance how we live and feel in our homes. She explains that the goal of feng shui is to welcome the chi, or life force energy, and allow it to flow freely throughout the home. Soft edges, open space, smooth and rounded surfaces all encourage the flow of chi. Kaess also shows Bob the bagua or layout of the nine domains of the home that pertain to the nine areas of our lives, such as prosperity, children, career, and travel. Placing objects that relate to each of these areas in their designated zones increases well-being and encourages success in each life aspect. Kaess visits the kitchen and comments on how well balanced it is. Elements like fire and water, the stove, sink, and refrigerator, are separated. There is a nice balance between wood, metal, light, and water, and the layout is open and light-filled. Kaess also tells Bob the trick of placing a mirror behind the stove to visually double the space and increase prosperity within the home.
This project deals with two very different notions of home. Bob begins on New York City's Upper West Side, where an 1890s Brownstone is revitalized through high-quality craftsmanship and sensitive design. New York's past meets its present, as the entire floor is recaptured and refurbished to create a spacious urban apartment on the doorstep of Central Park.

At the same time, Bob works with a Cape Cod developer to apply Massachusetts land use statute 40B to create affordable housing, and a neighborhood of homes in Mashpee, MA. These Energy Star certified homes show how quality building practices and reasonable asking prices can work together to provide livable, affordable homes and neighborhoods to those who work in our communities.