Designing With Purpose and Intent

Learn how to use Feng Shui as a design tool!


Meet Tori McBrien, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner and Principal/Owner of McBrien Interiors, LLC.

Powerful. Tranquil. Energizing. Entertaining. Productive. Soothing. For each of these adjectives, try to envision a place that makes you feel these emotions. Images of various spaces are sure to flash in your mind. The feeling that these built environments evoke convey a specific energy and we human beings pick up on that energy when we occupy the space. This is true in client’s homes as well. Each individual client should have a  home that is unique to them and what kind of energy or feeling they want each room to convey to themselves and others. As members of the building industry, it is our job to listen to our clients’ unique visions for their projects and then design and build with purpose and intent in order to bring those visions to life. One tool with which to design and build intentionally is Feng Shui.


Everyone already has energy, also known as chi, in their space and they already know how to shift that energy. Your clients may have consciously decorated their homes or maybe not, but their homes portray a specific feel. To explain this in a simple way, picture the holiday season. During Christmas (if you celebrate this holiday), adding a fresh cut tree, decorated from trunk to top with sparkling ornaments, glowing white lights and red and green trimming brings in a new festive energy to the home. Or putting fresh spring flowers, fine china and a crisp linen cloth on the table for a Passover or Easter meal, again, changes the way a space feels. This is also called “shifting the chi”. If we widen the lens to include construction updates made for our clients, you may be asked to add a front porch to enhance the historical character to a home or install a pool and pool house because the clients want to entertain friends and family more often. Again, you are adjusting the energy of a space to make your client feel a certain way. This is the essence of Feng Shui Design.


Many call the ancient art of Feng Shui the “Chinese art of placement”. This is one way of interpreting the practice. In today’s modern world, Feng Shui is being mindful of a space, reading the energy within it and intentionally shifting the energy to achieve a balanced space. By asking questions such as: how does the home make your client feel? Are they feeling unbalanced, uncomfortable or even just plain unhappy in the space? In many cases, builders or designers are brought in to update, enhance or correct these spaces but by adding the knowledge of a Feng Shui practitioner, you can add to the typical design and construction tools to satisfy your client. Feng Shui practitioners work in all types of environments, from children in a classroom, to accountants in an office, to clients in their home. Using Feng Shui principles enhances the design/build process to create a space that supports and nourishes the inhabitants and brings their energetic needs to fruition.

Feng Shui is all about balance. Take a look at the yin-yang symbol. One side has lots of black (yin energy) with a little white (yang energy) spot while the other side has lots of white with a little black spot. It’s  balanced. We need a little yin with our yang and vice versa. However, because human beings are diverse, everyone’s balance (or needs) are different. One client may want a playful yet productive atmosphere in a family room for their young family. Empty-nesters may want their family room to reflect the next stage in life which could include a new bar area and game table for entertaining friends. Everyone’s balanced needs look different and Feng Shui practitioners help discern what each client’s balance should look like based on what a client is explicitly and implicitly saying.


For the Feng Shui design practitioner, it is important to use intuition as well as active listening to discover what adjustments are needed, such as how the furniture arrangement can be updated to help the energy flow better. The addition of a color or shape to a space can help with the psychology and feel of a room. From a design perspective, adding artwork and plants, textures and patterns, historical character or clean modern lines in certain areas can help achieve the clients’ chosen feel. There are numerous ways in which to achieve a balanced home but the last and most important step to achieving this is to implement all suggestions
and adjustments with a specific energetic intention.

Interested in incorporating Feng Shui design into your new home or renovation? Please reach out to Tori McBrien of McBrien Interiors.



Phone: (914) 441-0450