Welcome to Elemental Home Decor Week at HAP! We’re so excited to have Fashion Feng Shui expert, Catherine Sheppard, from The Life Styled! guest blogging with us!
This week Catherine will take a look at each of our homes and help us find ways to determine and bring out our Fashion Feng Shui elemental essence in our home decor styling. Read more about Catherine (and her home!):
Hi Catherine! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Northfield, MN (with Katie), and moved to New York for college at NYU, where I majored in communications. I’m a small town Minnesota girl at heart though. I worked in entertainment marketing and events for awhile, but then I moved to Los Angeles with my husband Ian right when the economy tanked a year ago. The lack of job opportunities led me to reevaluate my life and start a career in something I’m passionate about. Here I am a year later, thisclose to launching my fashion styling business!
So a lot of people have heard of Feng Shui, but what is Fashion Feng Shui and how did you get started doing it?
Fashion Feng Shui® takes some of the principles of Feng Shui; the elemental energies, and applies them to our clothing. Through the five elements – water, wood, earth, fire, and metal, we can dress to honor our authentic selves (our essence) and what we want to bring into our lives (our intentions). It’s a way to weed through all the trends that are wrong for you and those clothes in your closet that you never wear to figure out exactly what works for you.
Ooh, tell us more about these elements.
Each element has an archetype – Water is the Philosopher, Wood is the Pioneer, Earth is the Peacemaker, Fire is the Pleasure Seeker, and Metal is the Perfectionist. Each one of us has an essence that can be represented by one of these. That’s the lens through which you view the world around you and the core of Fashion Feng Shui. You can dress your essence by always having the clothes associated with that element present in your wardrobe. However, we often bring in the other elements as well to honor our appearance (what flatters us), intentions (our goals) and our lifestyle (daily activities/environment).
Can you be more than one element? What element(s) are you?
Kind of, but not really. Some people debate between a few before they settle on their one essential element, but in most cases, there is one left standing that really drives you. However, most of us have an underlying essence that supports our primary essence. I am a close call between Fire and Metal, but Fire is what really must be there in order for me to feel comfortable. So, Metal is my underlying – by a hair. Some people are a lot more clear cut though – my mom is the poster child for Earths.
So what’s an easy way for someone to figure out their own elemental essence and intention?
It takes a little self exploration. You have to think realistically about yourself and not just who you think you should be or what your life demanded you become. It’s about what drives you at the core. There is a brief quiz you can take and you can also read more about it on my blog, thelifestyled.blogspot.com.
You work mostly with fashion styling but how could someone apply these same ideas to styling their home?
Your home should always reflect the elements of your personality, but you also want to have balance. Certain rooms need different energies. For example, the kitchen should have Earth energy since that’s where we eat home cooked food and do our best nurturing and any room that you have parties in should have a little Fire.
Any favorite home styling tricks you’re willing to divulge to us?
The best way to bring great style into your home is in the small decorative, seemingly frivolous things. They really make all the difference. A ruffly lamp shade, an interesting piece of artwork in the hallway, a Bristish flag pillow… All those things are small, but they are the key pieces your home is remembered by. I recently bought a big spool of pink vintage yarn. I thought, “What am I going to do with this?” but now it’s the heart of my office. Also, I learned from my mom that bringing a plant or some flowers into a room really brings it to life – literally.
What are three items you couldn’t live without in your home?
The giant French memo board my mom and I made for over my desk, Russell and Hazel office accessories and the iron/mosaic orange bistro table that Ian and I snagged from the dumpster of a nearby café.
Find YOUR essence:
Curious about your essence? These helpful posts on Catherine’s blog put the elements into everyday terms and make for a really fun distraction!