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Subtle beauty added to Falls Church home

Feng Shui is nothing new. The Chinese practice is believed to be more than 3,000 years old. So what may seem like an American trend is actually an ancient Asian tradition. More recent is the application of Feng Shui to the real estate market. Like the rising trend of home staging, Feng Shui rearranges the interior and exterior of a seller's home to appeal to a potential buyer, only with additional subtleties intended to appeal to buyers subconsciously.

Feng Shui, which translates to "wind and water," is derived from the Chinese "Book of Burial," stating "The Qi disperses with the Wind and collects on the boundaries of Water." Qi, or chi, is spiritual energy. There is much more to the practice, such as balancing the five elements of water, wood, fire, metal and earth. Related to the rearrangement of homes, adding a fire-red piece of pottery designated as earth, theoretically provides balance to the room.

Cynicism is an oft-displayed Western trait; and mixing an ancient Chinese tradition, focused on peace and balance, to the cut-throat business of real estate seems destined for failure. A small home that sits quietly at 7215 Arthur Drive in Falls Church exemplifies otherwise. The intangible quality that gives this house a calm, comforting feeling is due largely to the efforts of Lynne Greene, a McLean-based certified practitioner for Feng Shui Eyes.

"My whole purpose is to draw people in but not know why," Greene said. "It's just a certain feeling you get, like these doormats, which are a representation of water."

Greene believes her job is done when the appeal of a home is ambiguous. Of course, the landscaping of the front and back yard, and the redecoration of the interior, from changes in wall color to basic clutter removal are immediately apparent. More subtle are the minor influences that add to the appeal of major changes.

The change of direction for the front-yard water fountain from an outward to inward flow is to draw positive chi to, rather than escape from, the home. The balance of color schemes within the home, whether it be the walls, the furniture, or random accessories, maintain a comfortable setting less tangible than the actual furnishings on any individual measurement.

"Feng Shui is about intention," Greene said. "It doesn't have to be about the obvious."

Certain touches from Greene can be found in this home only after she points them out. She explained that the living room in this home is considered the wealth corner before bringing attention to a string of Chinese coins, hanging from one of the windows. A small collection of amethyst stones placed at the front, virtually unrecognizable, absorb negative energy while stimulating wealth, according to Greene.

The kitchen and breakfast room, dark hardwood floors, and master bathroom all add to the attraction on their own merit, as well as some of the rented pieces from Brook Furniture Rental. But Feng Shui is not meant to compete with the existing beauties of a home, only accentuate them.


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