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  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • October 2018
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There’s a secret to successful interior design

As an interior designer back in the day, I always sensed there was a missing piece to the design puzzle. At age 10 with my 50-cent allowance, I bought the September 1960 House Beautiful magazine and paging through it felt that if you lived in a beautiful home, you were happy. I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to be an interior designer.

Fast forward ten years, I was in design school and upon graduation was hired as an assistant to one of Milwaukee’s top interior designers. My life felt wonderful and complete, but after some years passed working as an interior designer, I noted that some people who were “living my dream in a beautiful house” weren’t happy! Some hated their jobs; money was tight; relationships were strained, some had chronic health issues, and often times kids were suffering from attention disorders. Something important was missing, but I didn’t know what, and I left the field I loved.

Sometime later the Eastern art of feng shui arrived here in the Western world. I recall reading a magazine article titled, “Now There’s A Doctor FOR the House” and knew it was the missing piece! Here was a time-tested art and science behind the proper placement of furniture, color, shapes, etc. to enhance the health, wealth and happiness of the home’s inhabitants!

I credit destiny for my finding Terah Kathryn Collins* and the Western School of Feng Shui® that she founded. She has written the best definition to date of what she calls Essential Feng Shui®:

“Feng Shui, translated as ‘Wind and Water’ observes the relationship between the seen and unseen forces of nature. Like wind and water, you and your environment are two forces of nature. Your desires, goals, talents, attitudes, and feelings — like the unseen force of wind; and the home environment you live in — like the seen force of water; are constantly interacting and influencing each other. And as you and your home blend harmoniously, the effect is friendly, comfortable and positive. Life is replete with fair weather conditions such as abundant resources, good relations and a steady stream of opportunities. In such harmonious circumstances, your health, prosperity and happiness thrive.

“On the other hand, when you and your home clash in some way, extreme conditions prevail. Your life’s weather pattern may include a ‘stagnant’ job, a ‘stormy’ marriage, a ‘drought’ of resources or a ‘flood’ of health problems. The primary goal of Essential Feng Shui® is to bring you and your home into harmony, so that you are not just surviving one storm after another, but are thriving in a paradise of your own design.”

The pursuit of feng shui is happiness and contentment in all areas of one’s life. People turn to it for various reasons and often times after they’ve tried everything else. Because I’d always had a desire to help people live a better life, adding this skill to my arsenal was clearly my next step in making a significant contribution to the quality of my work.

Terah further explained: “When individuals open their feng shui eyes, they can no longer view their homes as just ‘things’ or their belongings as just inanimate ‘stuff.’ Their homes, and all the possessions within them, suddenly come alive and are intimately connected to their quality of life. They see that their difficulties are not separate from, but actually held in place by their homes. As they embrace their connection with their homes, feelings of isolation and disconnection transform into personal power and creativity… this brings the seen and the unseen forces into harmony, and as a result, life changes for the better.”

*Terah Kathryn Collins is the author of several books including the “Western Guide to Feng Shui” and is the founder of the Western School of Feng Shui®. Excerpts from used with permission.

Nancy Freier

Nancy Freier is an intuitive interior designer and Essential Feng Shui® consultant. Her passion is helping people live comfortably and joyously in their home, and work creatively and productively in their office environments. For more information, visit or call 920-727-0997.

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