By Emily Merrell
Has spending time in your apartment during quarantine made you question your entire living situation? It sure has for me – what used to feel spacious and abundant now feels compact and overwhelming. Fortunately for us, there are magical humans out there like Nitu Patel, founder of NYC based feng shui practice Phoenix & Rose. Nitu has an energy that makes you feel like she can solve any of your problems. While she can’t solve everything, she can maximize your home for better flow and function, helping to boost the energy of the space through feng shui. Read on to learn how Nitu stepped into her gift and transformed not just spaces, but lives.
SDS: As the founder of Phoenix & Rose, you’re a NYC based feng shui and interior design expert — can you explain to us what feng shui is and how you got into it?
NITU PATEL: Absolutely! Simply put, feng shui is the ancient art of placement. I view it as a means of loving what you already have and making it work better for you. When I go into people’s homes, I move around their existing items for better flow and function; the process helps to boost the energy of the space.
Feng shui is a gift I was born with. It fully blossomed when I was 25 years old and working in real estate. At first, I had no idea that I was practicing intuitive feng shui. It wasn’t until I saw a reiki healer in Manhattan that I learned I had natural healing abilities in the home. She told me that my outlet for healing others was through feng shui and since then, my life has never been the same.
SDS: While we all spend more and more time inside during these crazy times, can you share some feng shui success stories and explain how tiny shifts can make all the difference?
NP: Last December I worked with a married couple who were unhappy in their space. The wife felt really frustrated and wanted to hire an interior designer so her husband reached out to me to book an appointment. In four hours, we moved around 15 pieces of furniture and I re-staged their artwork, plants and accessories to make the space feel loved and lived-in. A month after our session, my client (who was looking for a new job) was promoted and his wife didn’t feel the need to spend money on an interior designer because we were able to use what they already had in the home!
In my own home, I recently swapped out all my artwork and replaced it with images that represent friendship, sisterhood, celebration and happy community. I wanted to bring in more “people” and “yang” energy into my life and started with the images I was surrounding myself with. This small, yet extremely significant shift, really helped me feel less isolated and more motivated to build community and connect with like-minded people. It’s amazing what can happen to your life when you refresh the artwork in your space – your home starts to transform into a manifestation tool!
The best place to read more about my client success stories are through my Yelp and Google profiles. Clients that experience the greatest benefits are the ones that let me move their furniture around for better flow!
SDS: What are the biggest misconceptions of feng shui and how can we add a dash of it to our lives?
NP: Most people think that they have to follow specific rules when it comes to feng shui but I never follow any strict guidelines. I always encourage my clients to trust their own intuition and pick out furniture and accessories that they truly love. A lot of “traditional cures” like money toads, gold coins and tacky figurines don’t resonate with the modern city-dweller. When I work with clients, I customize each consultation so the client gets a space that inspires them and creates an environment that is conducive to entertaining and easy to keep clean.
The most valuable feng shui tip I can offer is to clean the four corners of every room. That’s where the energy concentrates and it’s the fastest way to clear negative energy from your home. Once the corners are clean, you can wipe them down with essential oils. Add plants or fresh flowers to attract money, love or new opportunities.
The other tip would be to examine all your artwork and make sure it aligns with your personal and professional goals. Avoid images of winter (which represents death) or lonely images of one if you are trying to meet more people or find love.
SDS: For those of us living in small apartments and staying inside during the quarantine, what rooms are the most important to feng shui for energy?
NP: The bedroom is the one space that we have to pay extra attention to during this crazy time! We are most sensitive to the energies in our bedrooms because when we are asleep, we are in a very vulnerable and passive state. Make sure to clear clutter, keep the corners clean and create a sleeping sanctuary in your bedroom. I’d also recommend removing items from under the bed – you want the energy to be free flowing beneath you during sleep.
SDS: If anyone is interested in learning more about feng shui do you have any resources you recommend starting with?
NP: One of my favorite books is “Feng Shui Made Easy” by William Spear. He takes a practical, hands on approach to feng shui and offers a lot of fun exercises for the reader! My website and Instagram also have a lot of useful tips and tricks for home and lifestyle.
SDS: What piece of advice do you wish you had received when you first started your business and do you have any mantras that you live by now?
NP: What a great question! I wish someone had told me to hire a business coach or advised me to join a group like Six Degrees Society in the beginning stages. I think I felt very lonely starting a business and needed guidance from others who had been through the process.
My mantras I live by today are “perseverance, not perfection is the key to success” and “create, don’t compete.” So much is possible when we turn inwards and take the time to express our individuality through creative channels and social media. I believe in taking actions (whether big or small) to slowly achieve what I’m ultimately trying to accomplish.