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Interior Alignment & Optimization: The Different Between Interior Styling, Design and Feng Shui

When it comes to creating peaceful and pleasurable spaces there are various disciplines and approaches that can help transform your homes and offices. Three of the most popular approaches include:

  • Interior Design

  • Interior Styling

  • Feng Shui

While each of these focus on enhancing your living environments, they differ significantly in their creative principles and goals. In this blog, we'll explore the key distinctions between them, helping you discover which one might be the best fit for your needs.

First, What makes a Great Space?

An ideal space, whether it's a home or an office, typically possesses several key qualities that contribute to its overall appeal and experience.

  1. Functionality: An ideal space is designed to fulfill its intended purpose effectively. In a home, this might mean having designated areas for relaxation, work, and socializing, while in an office, it could involve providing separate spaces for individual work, collaboration, and meetings.

  2. Comfort: Comfort is essential for both homes and offices. This includes factors such as comfortable seating, adequate lighting, appropriate temperature control, and good indoor air quality. Comfortable spaces promote well-being and productivity.

  3. Aesthetic appeal: An ideal space is visually pleasing and reflects the preferences and personality of its occupants. This involves elements such as color schemes, decor, and furnishings that create a cohesive and inviting atmosphere.

  4. Efficiency: Efficiency is crucial for both homes and offices. In a home, this might involve optimizing storage solutions and minimizing clutter to create a sense of spaciousness. In an office, efficiency could mean having an organized layout that facilitates productivity and minimizes distractions.

  5. Flexibility: Ideal spaces are adaptable to the changing needs of their occupants. This could involve versatile furniture arrangements, modular design elements, or multi-functional spaces that can serve different purposes as required.

  6. Security: Safety is paramount in any space. Ideal homes and offices have features such as secure locks, adequate lighting, and clear emergency exits to ensure the well-being of their occupants.

  7. Calming: Incorporating natural elements such as natural light, views of nature, indoor plants, and natural materials can enhance the quality of a space by promoting relaxation, reducing stress, and improving overall mood and well-being.

  8. Convenience: In modern spaces, integrating technology seamlessly can improve convenience and functionality. This might include features such as smart lighting, temperature control systems, and integrated multimedia solutions.

  9. Accessibility: An ideal space is accessible to all individuals, regardless of age or ability. This involves considerations such as barrier-free design, wide doorways and hallways, and accommodations for individuals with mobility challenges.

  10. Personalization: Finally, an ideal space allows for personalization and customization to suit the preferences and needs of its occupants. Whether it's displaying cherished belongings in a home or incorporating branding elements in an office, personalized touches can make a space feel truly unique and welcoming.

Note: In general, interior design emphasizes aesthetics and ambiance while interior architecture encompasses a broader range of considerations. Designers usually start from scratch, creating something from nothing where stylists use existing infrastructure and components. While there may be some overlap in skills and knowledge between the fields, they are all distinct professions with different focuses and scopes of work.

Interior Design: Function meets Ambiance

Interior design focuses on ambiance and layout to create a space that is both visually appealing and practical. Here are some key aspects:

  1. Aesthetics: enhancing the visual appeal through decorative elements of color, texture, material, lighting, fixtures and furnishings that complement one another.

  2. Architecture: spatial planning that honors building codes, safety regulations, and structural considerations to optimize the use of space and ensure that interior layouts meet both aesthetic and functional requirement

  3. Atmosphere: create a space that reflects a specific personal style and preferences

  4. Functionality: optimizing the layout and features of a room to ensure it serves its intended purpose efficiently, considering factors like traffic flow, lighting direction and furniture placement.

Interior Styling: Adding the Finishing Touches

Interior styling, sometimes known as interior decorating, takes place after the interior design phase. It focuses on adding the final intricate details that give a space character and personality.

  1. Decor Selection: selecting and arranging accessories like artwork, rugs, cushions, lighting, window coverings and other decor items to enhance the overall look and feel of a room.

  2. Cohesion & Consistency: ensuring that the styling elements create a cohesive and appealing ambiance while aligning with the established design scheme.

  3. Personalization: infusing personality into the space by incorporating personal items and mementos.

Feng Shui: The Ancient Art of Energy

Feng Shui is a traditional Chinese practice that dates back thousands of years. It revolves around the concept of "Qi" (pronounced "chi"), which is the vital universalenergy that flows through everything in the world, including your home.

Professional feng shui consultants can help ensure that the energy of a space circulates smoothly, which promotes a sense of overall peace and prosperity. This offers several advantages over traditional interior design or decorating:

  1. Energy Flow: analyzing the flow of energy within a space, identifying areas of blockage and imbalance, optimizing the positive energy and minimizing any negative energy using various tools and techniques

  2. Balance and Harmony: Balancing the opposing forces of yin and yang, ensuring that your home is elementally balanced and in harmony with the natural world.

  3. Mind-Body Connection: Feng shui recognizes the connection between our physical surroundings and our mental and emotional well-being, creating a space that supports relaxation, focus, and overall mental clarity.

  4. Personalized Approach: considering how your space influences your personal energy, which impacts various aspects of your life, including health, relationships, and career. Unlike traditional interior design, feng shui takes into account the specific needs, preferences and goals of the individual or family living in the space to create a customized environment that supports the occupants' physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

The best part? Feng shui has a rich history and cultural significance, particularly in Chinese culture. By incorporating feng shui principles into your space, you can connect with this ancient wisdom and tap into its positive influence, adding depth and meaning to your home or office.

Further, while interior design and decorating often focus on aesthetics and short-term trends, feng shui takes a more holistic and long-term approach. By optimizing the flow of energy and creating a balanced and harmonious environment aligned with your specific intentions and desires, feng shui can have lasting benefits and support your future goals. By creating spaces that resonate with positive energy, Feng Shui can enhance your ability to attract new relationships and opportunities and manifest your dreams and desires.

Which is right for you?

Each of these disciplines has its unique benefits, and you can even combine them to create a space that is uniquely yours- beautiful, harmonious and functional. The choice of approach ultimately depends on your goals, preferences and the current state of your living space.

  • If you're looking for an overall interior makeover, interior design is the way to go.

  • If your space is already well-designed and you want to give it a unique and updated character, interior styling is probably a good fit.

But If you're seeking an energetic shift in your home AND life, Or if you're someone who FEELS things deeply and want to create a greater connection and alignment to your space, Feng Shui is the way to go.

Creating harmonious and balanced environments is not merely about arranging furniture or choosing colors; it's about cultivating spaces that resonate with your unique personal energy.

Interior Geography is the term I coined to summarize how humans relate to their interior environments. It is both an art and science - incorporating the ancient principles of feng shui, as well as modern energy clearing and home organization. As an experienced home energy consultant I specialize in helping energy-sensitive souls nurture mind, body, and spirit through their spaces.

Ready to embark on a transformative journey in your own living or workspace? Contact me today to schedule your consultation.


Erin is a certified feng shui consultant, energy healer, wellness coach, and holistic growth strategist.

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