What’s in a door swing? What do doors mean in our lives and how can it affect us?

Here’s a story.

In 2013, my client had purchased her Greenwich Village duplex apartment with great anticipation to have a place in New York City. Her new home had two floors. The first floor was mainly the living room and kitchen while the second floor had a master bedroom and a guest bedroom. 

First floor common area
First floor common area.
Second floor guest bedroom turned office.
Second floor guest bedroom turned office.

A year later, I was called upon for a Feng Shui and interior design project for this apartment. She had been planning to renovate her apartment because they simply couldn’t get comfortable in the space and felt a fresh decor would help. So I conducted a complete Feng Shui analysis to find some solutions and interior design ideas that she could include in her new home.

It was a beautiful home. The previous owner had made some nice designs and custom installments, but I found out that they also led to some unforeseen consequences.

The Challenges She Encountered

Her business was struggling. While doing the Feng Shui Consultation, I found out that her business was struggling during that time. It was a yoga studio, and she was having trouble running it remotely and couldn’t get good help to keep it healthy. She over-works almost daily just to maintain it.

She also had trouble concentrating on work. She used the guest bedroom as her new home office, and she could never settle into it. She found that in order to concentrate, she had to move downstairs to the dining table in order to get comfortable to get her work done.

So she had two dilemmas: a home office she couldn’t use, and the chore of constantly having to move her work throughout the house, both of which may had led to her struggling business. Additionally, she simply couldn’t “see” how to change any of that in her office space.

The Feng Shui Problem of Her Home Office’s Door

The dilemma actually began before my client owned the home. The prior owner had installed beautiful, dramatic teak paneling, and custom doors on the upstairs landing that led into the home office.

When my client bought the apartment, she installed a custom, built-in desk for the office, where she intended to run her yoga studio remotely.

But that was the problem. The desk was in a position where the door would swing right into. The door blocked the view of the landing and the stairs up to it, as illustrated in the floor plan below.

New York Greenwich Village duplex Floor Plan

If you know a little feng shui, you probably know where the desk should be placed, how it should be faced, and how the different placements affect you. In her case, however, the desk was custom-installed into the wall, and there was little room for adjustments.

When a door swings in such a manner as to block the view of what is entering the room, it blocks good Chi from entering and affecting what happens in that space as well. In other words, that door was blocking her ability to “see” new business opportunities that were coming her way. It was cutting her off from the rest of her life and blocking the flow of energy.

The Feng Shui Solution and Implementation

I suggested that we change the direction of how the door opened to her home office/guest bedroom. It was a simple redesign with the purpose of clearing some of the blockages in her professional life. Who knew that one change would become such a challenge? Sometimes the most rewarding solutions are the hardest to accomplish.

When I made this simple suggestion during the course of our consultation, my client immediately jumped with enthusiasm. She loved the idea!

Then, of course, I had to make it happen.

The contractor renovating the duplex was completely flummoxed by the custom paneling and door hardware, so he refused to do the job (Designer’s Note: Contractors can’t do everything. Sometimes you need a specialist). Thankfully, I was having custom built-in cabinetry done in the home as part of the project, so eventually the cabinet maker, Scott Hohl of Hohl Home Furnishings, came to our rescue and tackled the project.

After four hours of work, he and his assistant finally changed the door swing, opened up the home office, and greatly changed the energy in the room.

At the same time, we also changed the flooring on that level to suggest flowing water through the undulating river stone flooring.

The flooring of the second level to suggest flowing water through undulating river.
The flooring of the second level to suggest flowing water through undulating river.

We ended up virtually gutting the apartment and giving it an entirely fresh look.

The Result: Successful Business Transformation

My client had since made major changes in her business, and their business was no longer just a yoga studio. Their new business is now a holistic therapy treatment spa, offering dry salt therapy for all types of sinus conditions and illnesses.

And the last time I checked, they already have six locations! Talk about a change of luck!


If the Feng Shui improvement on the office door was never made, it is possible that she would still be struggling with her yoga studio. She probably wouldn’t have “seen” the opportunity in a therapy treatment spa, and she probably would’ve been stuck doing the same thing because the troubles of work concentration could have consumed all of her time and energy.

Instead, a change in a door swing had significantly changed her business (and income) for the better!

I LOVE MY JOB!

 

This blog post originally appeared on Julie Schuster’s blog and was edited by Victor Cheung and republished with permission.

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Leave a Reply

  1. Lim Imm

    Oh oh its interesting but i only know that 3 doors should not be parellel else all the wealth enter will go out leaving nothing. I m in the process of finding a tub to store water in the bathroom as it was a belief u keep water means u keep money…oops granite tub cost RM 400.00 expensive. Still contemplating n toying with the idea…any insights on this!

    1. Julie

      It doesn’t have to be a large tub. How about a small water feature to sit on the counter of that room?

  2. Feng Shui Nexus

    Thanks for the contribution Julie!

  3. Wenkai

    Hi Julie, thank you for sharing this article and it really helped me rethink on my new office quite a fair bit, we are currently searching for a new office and just wanted to get your views on this.
    The unit comes with a old-school looking wooden main door that we cannot take down, but if we intend to build up a glass door behind the wooden main door, at leaving the wooden door open at all times, does this mean that the glass door is now my main entrance and i can play around with it in terms of the facing and direction?