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Basement Suites & Apartments-Feng Shui Tips to Elevate Your Space

Today, in most cities and towns there is a shortage of affordable and available homes for people. Many of my clients who are homeowners are adding apartments and suites to their basements to rent out. Basements have been known to be dark and dingy in the past. With proper ventilation, advanced lighting techniques and new building codes to prevent mould, basements are becoming a suitable choice for many, especially for students, seniors and multigenerational families.

 In Feng shui, basements with low ceilings or poor air quality were considered to have "Yin" energy. Too much Yin energy causes lethargy and depression. In Feng Shui, living in a space below the ground is considered very challenging as people living there may feel ‘stuck’ as they are surrounded by large amounts of the Earth elements as basements are built into the ground below the main floors. Lower ceilings create a feeling of oppression as the energy is denser.

 Lower-level apartments may have a ‘walkout’ with doors and windows to an outside area. These are more auspicious because they are open to the air and bring in the Yang sunlight. The lower level walkouts are usually built on a side of a property often called “side splits’ or a ‘back split’ home. One section of the basement is above ground level and the other portion may be under the ground.

If you live in a basement space that is completely underground with no access to the outside area such as a garden, here are Feng Shui methods to help you balance the Chi to give you an improved feeling of well-being:

1. Improve lighting due to lack of natural light by installing full-spectrum lighting. Add good lighting to the ceilings, walls and table lamps. I recommend "up-lighting" in corners and dark spaces to draw the Chi upwards.

  2. Colour is an excellent way to bring more Yang energy into a space. Decorate your space with bright, warm colours that represent elements of fire and wood. Reds, oranges, yellows and warm earth tones. The Wood element is also an asset in a basement space as it brings in nature and growth energy. This can be achieved by adding large and small plants to your space. Fresh flowers are also excellent for raising the vibration in a space. Use vibrant colours of nature such as greens and blues. White is a good choice as it makes a space appear larger and is especially recommended for low ceilings. Do not paint rooms in dark colours as this will add moody Yin energy that is not beneficial in a basement space.

 3. Mirrors are also an excellent method to expand the energy of a space and place it in an area that will reflect the light.

4. Check the air quality, use an air purifier and make sure to have regular duct cleaning to keep dust and mould at bay. Choose essential oils such as citrus to uplift the Chi.

 5. When weather permits open all the windows frequently to bring in fresh air when possible.

6. If you have steep stairways you can add uplifting artwork on the

wall adjacent to the stairs to simulate active Yang energy such as birds or butterflies.

 7. Declutter- Keep the basement apartment organized and tidy as Yin and stagnant energy will accumulate in cluttered areas. Clutter harms our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Clutter can lead to depression.

8. Feng Shui in all the rooms and spaces of your basement apartment. Pets are fabulous to bring in the active Chi energy too, even a small fishbowl with a few goldfish can bring Yang energy into a space.

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