The dining room in Feng Shui takes on the energy of social gatherings, connecting with family, friends, and your community. Over the years, Americans have drastically reduced the use of formal dining rooms, except for the occasional holiday or birthday celebration. But since the Covid-19 pandemic has emerged, the return of using the dining room has increased, more so as an extra in-home office but hopefully to also be utilized once again for family and social gatherings.
HOW CAN I ACCOMMODATE THE DINING ROOM TABLE FOR WORK AND LIFE USAGE?
The best recommendation is to make the transformation of the dining room into an in-home office space easy. This means beginning to inventory and/or looking for dining room furniture that provides storage options, so when work is done, you can easily clean up and put those work-related items away. Furniture storage ideas could include buffets, sideboards, drawers in the dining table, built-ins, hutches - and be sure the spatial dynamics of the dining room can properly accommodate a hutch.
WHAT IF I HAVE TO CONDUCT WORK ZOOM CALLS?
Designate an area within the dining room, perhaps a corner or certain wall, that is staged for easy ZOOM call setup. This means that the section of the dining room still looks great and fits in with the rest of the room’s decor, but it’s also easily accessible to conduct ZOOM sessions on the fly.
GREAT GO-TO FOUNDATIONAL HOME-OFFICE TIPS
- If you know you’ll need to multi-task the dining room as an in-home office, the type of table you work on is also worth considering. In general, a solid wood dining room table is at the top of the list.
- Establish yourself to be in a commanding position so you can see the dining room entrance. Ideally, it would be great to have a solid wall behind your back to energetically support you.
- Another approach to establishing a strong position is to face toward your best working direction according to your Kua number. If you can still have a solid wall behind you, paired with a clear vantage point of the dining room door, even better! To discover your Kua number you can Google “how to calculate my Kua number” and you’ll find various resources on how to do this.
- The general inclusion of a real plant or two within the dining room is a great way to symbolize and promote growth in your career.
- Open the blinds and pull back the curtains to let in natural light throughout the day while working.
- Be sure you have good lighting so as not to strain your eyes if you happen to be working at night.
- Playing soothing instrumental music in the background while working can aid in creating a different mood and mindset while working in this space.
- Be sure you have a comfortable chair that you're sitting on, ideally choosing one with arms.
- If there is something that you could display within the dining room that links this space back to the nature of your job, while still blending into the overall decor of the room, that can be a great addition as well.
QUICK TIPS TO TRANSFORM THE DINING ROOM BACK INTO A SOCIAL GATHERING SPACE
- Naturally, put all work-related items away.
- The use of placemats is a great way to welcome in yin (soft) energy and to help each person claim a spot at the table. And yes, take the time to set the table - each person receives their own cups, eating utensils, plates/bowls, or whatever it is that you need. It really does make a difference.
- In general, having a table centerpiece is also a great way to shift the energy to a more homely feel. Some general ideas include the display of a low-sitting plant, a bowl of fruit, or some decorative candles. Either option could do well on the table.
- To encourage the energy of social gatherings, even if beyond the dining room, be sure to have another area for seating (I.e. living room, den, back patio, front patio, having extra chairs on hand - could be foldable chairs).
- If you don’t feel comfortable having friends or family members visit you at your home due to covid, make a conscious effort to stay in connection with them. Connect over the phone, text, and/or zoom. Or, when the weather allows you could set a date to meet outside with friends and family.
The main takeaway is, to be flexible with how you utilized those areas of your home as nothing is set in stone. Feng Shui embraces change so here is the perfect opportunity to put these principles to practice. It’s not only transforming the environment in which you occupy but also training your mindset to be adaptable as well. It’s also important to remember to create space (within your home and heart) to nurture your social life. How you do that is your choice. I welcome you to take these ideas into consideration and see if you notice a shift in your established workspace and social well-being.