Use the energy of Feng Shui to create a positive environment both inside and outside the home to help get it sold quickly.
An Eager Buyer
Feng Shui is all about being in harmony with the environment around you to create positive change in your life. For those wishing to sell their homes, positive change means an eager buyer, a closed Escrow and a happy move to a new home. Here are a few Feng Shui tips that can help make that home sell faster. Most of these tips can (and should) be applied to every home regardless of whether or not it is for sale. After all, everyone wants the opportunity for positive change and greater opportunities in their lives-right?
- Attract the Right Energy- Make sure the address is clearly marked and visible, both at the curb and on the house. The best position for the numbers on a house is in a horizontal arrangement straight across or slightly upward. Numbers going in a downward slope represents a downward drag in energy. If the home has a name placard or family crest, remove it. You want to extend the energy that the seller’s are releasing their ties with this property and are making this house available for the next homeowner to make it theirs.
- Show the Way- Make sure there is a clear path to the door, preferably not just from the driveway but also a path from the curb or sidewalk to the door. A slightly winding path is the most auspicious, wide enough to walk easily and without any trip hazards. Ensure there are no bushes or shrubs that are encroaching on the path that can snag at buyers as they approach the home. If a water feature is appropriate for the home and the location, the front yard can a perfect location for one. Just be sure it is in scale and in keeping with the rest of the home and yard, the water is fresh, and the sound is pleasant. Keep the porch clear, clean and well lit. A fresh welcome mat makes a perfect statement to all who come to see the home.
- Open Up Opportunities- Make sure that all windows are clean and that the shrubs and trees are not overgrown or otherwise obscuring the views from the windows. Windows represent the eyes of the home; having clear views allows one to see the opportunities that are available.
- Let Opportunities In- The front door should be perfectly clean and open completely. Check to be sure all hardware is in working condition, clean and polished. There should be nothing stored behind the door that would prevent it from opening freely. If the paint is chipped or peeling, paint it. The front door is the mouth of chi (energy) and you want this to be as clean and fresh as possible. If there is any question to strangers as to which door is actually the front door, be sure to solve that issue right away. Buyers need to be led to the front door and not feel confused as they approach the house. Either a well defined path to the correct door or the use of a screen at the second door will address this issue. A screen can be quickly created with landscaping, potted plants or a short fence.
- Create Positive Flow- The entry of the home should be bright and welcoming. As buyers enter a home, it is important that they immediately feel the positive energy in a space. The same thing goes for chi. When energy enters a space, it needs to be able to circulate and flow freely through all the areas of the home. If the entry is crowded, dark and dingy, there is not anywhere for the positive energy to go except right back out the door-along with the buyers. Free up the space in the entry, paint it if necessary, add lighting, check the floors to ensure they are in good repair and let the energy flow through to the rest of the home. If the entry is huge and overwhelming with soaring ceilings, cozy it up a bit. People are naturally more comfortable in rooms that “fit” human sizes.
- Release Stagnant Energy- Remove any and all clutter. Yes, any and all. Clutter is stagnant, stuck energy. If a seller wants to sell a home they need to get things moving. Moving is a great time to evaluate the things that have accumulated in a home and to decide what is ready to be let go of. It is important for everyone to remember that whenever you let go of things you no longer need, you are making room for new things to enter your life that fit you now. Releasing things in the home is often a great way to release any negative emotions that may have accumulated along with the things. Once the clutter is removed, the energy in the home will be fresh, clean, renewed and able to circulate freely.
- Keep the Energy Positive- Fix any broken things in the home. Not only will this make the home more attractive to buyers, but it also gives the energy a boost. Dripping faucets, leaky pipes, closet doors that do not work correctly, all of these are energy drainers as well as obvious turn-offs to buyers. Keep all drains closed when not in use. Fix these minor issues that leak energy and see a positive lift all around the home.
- Apply the Bagua- Once all is in good repair and everything is perfectly clean and clutter free, a great place to put the listing flyers and real estate agent’s business cards is in the helpful people area of the front room. This is the front right hand side of the room as you enter the front door. Make sure there is a designated spot for the flyers and cards and remember to use the intention that real estate agents are helpful people and that they are bringing the perfect buyer for the home. That helpful people box we talked about earlier comes in handy for sellers too! Check the other areas of the home and make sure there is balance in all of the elements and that there is not too much of any one thing pulling things off course. Sharpening up the skills and knowledge (front left as you enter the front door) area of the home can certainly help sellers make wise decisions when it comes time to looking at offers and going through the process of an Escrow.
- Support the Home- Check the rear of the property as well as the side yards and fences. There should be no hidden areas of trash, weeds or clutter. Fences should be straight and standing up. The property supports the house and those that live there.
- Let Go and Move On- Sellers should write positive affirmations about the sale of their home as though it is already complete. They can include the sales price they desire, a smooth close of Escrow, the close of Escrow of their new home, about the celebration in their new home or anything that feels appropriate to them. It should be powerful and meaningful to them individually. They should visualize that it has already happened and how life is now that it has sold. They can visualize how it feels living in their new home, how their life has changed for the better now that they have moved and even picture their next holiday get together in their new home. Once sellers release their attachment to their present home and emotionally move on to attracting their next home, their sale should be coming right up.
These fast Feng Shui fixes will help most sellers get things moving right along. Every home is different and the conditions around and within each home varies from every other home. Depending upon your seller’s situation, they may consider consulting a Feng Shui expert in their area to evaluate their home to help them get it sold.
Regenerating architecture: green building product innovations
(Green News) Sustainable design has evolved beyond robotics, and has tapped into the basics, using pre-historic methods: bacteria. Genius!
A Third Grade Teepee
Remembering back to third grade science class, about ten sticks bound together at the top with twine of some sort, and a little beansprout planted at the base of each pole, eventually became the coolest shelter this eight year old had ever seen. Seedlings wound their way up, tendril by tendril until their leaves reached just far enough to clasp and join, and create and fantastic teepee that was actually a food source, too! Talk about the ultimate in sustainability – but that was old school.
Making Something Out of Nothing
Enough about my blast from the past. I was seriously thrown into nostalgia when I thrust onto the path of this fantastic article by Gary Wollenhaupt earlier this week regarding some of the most inspirational green-building products I have heard about in quite sometime. It must have something to do with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Innovation Challenge and building products that seem to become something from nothing! Apparently these folks were up to the task!
So, maybe the little teepee which was representative of the sacred “three sisters” or corn, beans, and squash that the Native Americans utilized as their staple crops symbolized something else to me. The regeneration of soil, the regeneration of the land, and a regeneration of that happy little elementary school structure, covered in beans which became the perfect hiding spot.
Obviously, the teepee wasn’t innovative, but for this little kid, the shelter “appeared out of nowhere” once those leaves filled in. The Forbes article pulled together an arsenal of truly innovative products that are not only environmentally friendly, sustainably-minded products that will certainly turn many green-builders on their heads!
The Home that Regenerates Itself
Innovation comes in many different forms. Lots of great builders looking to build sustainable homes look towards energy efficiency in a hard-core way and building with products that take building to a new level; however, these innovators have gone and created building products that supposedly grow themselves, or are fire-retardant, or are -say what?- regenerating when they are broken? Oh, ok? This sounds like something out of the future, and we don’t even have our hoverboards yet!
Seriously though, it is amazing to think that there is a product made of a bacteria which will regenerate itself. Self-healing materials have been around for a while, but not necessarily for home building. Wollenhaupt noted that the”Bacteria engineered to thrive in dry climates is helping to create a concrete that can repair itself.
The bacteria are mixed into the concrete and release calcium carbonate, similar to limestone, as part of their waste process. The material fills in holes and cracks in the concrete, making it last longer and reducing maintenance costs.” As someone who is incredibly interested in developments like these, I am quite curious as to their durability and what the testing has been like for the products, but can’t wait to see what the future holds for green building products that bring us full circle! Fascinating, isn’t it?
Watch it Grow
It will be fascinating to see what happens when these homes are built out of these biologically and ecologically innovative building products, and if they will indeed withstand the test of time and do as they say they will. Take some time to view the entire roster of impressive applicants to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the California based non-profit who put on the event, check out their information, and applaud their achievements in green-building and design!
Now I want to go in the yard and build a little pole-bean teepee, and watch it grow. I don’t think my back yard is at the “coral-like” regenerating concrete bio-product level quite yet.
Superadobe: super sustainable building phenomenon
Taking something that already had the power to be awesome and making it, well, super-powered, that is what one bright-eyed architect did with an age-old building concept. Let’s take a mini-adventure into the world of Superadobe, where a blending of concepts which are thousands of years old with some new ideas has created yet another buzz in the stratosphere of sustainability and green building.
Superadobe, I am Your Father
I believe it was Christopher Nolan who said “Batman and Superman are very different characters but they’re both iconic and elemental.” Either way you cut it, adobe is elemental, and adobe is nothing new; I make the comparison the Batman and Superman because they are both superheros, however different…
Adobe is also something nothing short of super. From the ancient Egyptians to the Anasazi Tribe, many cultures near and far have utilized the brilliant mixture of straw, soil, sand and water tamped together to create a sun-hardened earth house for shelter through the ages. These homes are sturdy, cool on the inside in the heat of the Sun, and warm on the inside during cool nights.
It is quite possibly some of the most amazing architecture that we can find when we look at the history of our progression of architecture, next to the great pyramids and cliff dwellings. Let’s face it, in many parts of the world, because of its magical simplicity, adobe is, after caves, how humans survived the elements.
Superadobe is Born Powerful
In the present, an Iranian born architect, Nader Khalili, has discovered, well- I say present, but it was some twenty plus years ago- how to perfect the concept of adobe and bring it forward into the new age. Through modification of the structural processing of the staging of the adobe, Khalili has managed to create a product and process that he has coined as Superadobe. Khalili has said that “Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” He has an interesting take on adobe and its re-emergence to the “new world” through his superadobe product.
Moon-dust or Sand. Take Your Pick – it is Still Super.
What this really means is that his process of taking long tube-like bags, usually made of sturdy polypropylene or sometimes straight-up burlap, and filling them with sand, or rice or any sort of fill, then creating a trench for the foundation, and forming the frame out of these tubes which are filled with the “fill of choice” and then tamped down, either by hand or with a pneumatic tamper. As the foundation is created, windows can be created by having voids not filled, or cut out after the fact. A huge part of superadobe, beyond the tubular filled bags of soil or the like is the barbed wire which reinforces the shape of the buildings, which are generally a coil of these reinforced tubes which ultimately form a beehive shape. There have been extensive experiments with the concept of superadobe, or the earthbag building concept, which Khalili first came up with after attending a symposium at NASA in 1984 where he was trying to figure out who to build structures on the moon! Imagine, bags full of moondust. That sort of sounds magical, or super! Doesn’t it. Just agree. It does.
From the Moon to Your Backyard it seems that not even Kryptonite will take this stuff down! Superadobe is one sturdy building concept. It is aerodynamic, just as its predecessor, just regular old adobe is. However; with the beehive and or rounded edges that it tends to take on, it can survive hurricane force gales. A superadobe home or building can be built by unskilled labors in a matter of days by the resources available on site, either of the sandbags, or of the specific tubing and barbed wire. The buildings are sturdy, sustainable, cost effective and can be built in nearly all elements. As a builder, one would look to superadobe from the cost effective standpoint for a client who is thinking about passive solar design; it tends to stay cooler during the day in those hot climates, and warm in the evenings in cold climates. The stuccoed exterior is incredibly low maintenance and provides the client for an exceptional opportunity for reduction in utility bills, or for even being off the grid, if they so desire. New offices looking for an interesting, cost effective and sustainable building concept, could certainly look at superadobe as an option. The unique building structure of the circular and hive-like shapes lend towards something new and different. If you want to stand out from the crowd, be sustainable, and possibly have a quick build, superadobe could be for you. It From the moon to Costa Rica and everything in between, superadobe is a sustainable building concept that has green building aficionados looking towards the sun. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No. It’s superadobe.
GreenSpur: sustainable construction, reclaimed materials
GreenSpur Unveils their first OneNest Project home built in Virginia, a sustainable construction project that could be duplicated across the world.
One of a kind sustainable construction project
This weekend was full of anticipation and completed, what could be called “full-circle-excitement come to fruition” for those who have been keeping tabs on the GreenSpur construction team. Not so long ago, I brought word to you about the incredible opportunity that Mark Turner and his concept team were working on regarding a fully sustainable, green-built home constructed of Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) and reclaimed materials.
This project is the first of its kind and is hopefully going to be one of many that will be replicated internationally as a model of sustainable construction that meets the needs of a true nest.
Flying into the Nest
Minimalism, with a true rustic elegance is what you find peering out at you as you make your way up the steep, curving drive to the Delaplane OneNest home set atop a perfect hill overlooking the foothills of the Shenandoah mountains. It is almost as if someone has called in the gentle fog to hover just at the top of the treeline for intrigue, mystery and sultry ambiance to pull you into the site. Recall those mystical tendrils of smoke that lure… that is what pulls you here…to something new and exciting.
Before you get to the site, strategically placed communal fire pits with site-found logs are hissing, popping and generating that delightful campfire smell and then there is that house. With the elevation of a classic barn marrying a contemporary sanctuary, OneNest sits there among newly planted native river-birch trees, nestled in yet peeking out. The patina of the tin a deliberate match to the brick-red rust of the seamed and painted hardi-plank that covers the SIPS.
The standing seam metal roof line is a delicate yet masculine balance to the reclaimed history that is woven into this home through the use of wood paneling straight from past cabin quarters of the John Marshall property. The facade wouldn’t be complete without the mirror image of floor to ceiling windows flanking a steeple like fireplace that is masoned in stone harvested directly from the site. Usable porches galore. Panoramic views of the fog rolling on and on across the pits and valleys of the foothills while the cows come home. A matching barn is just beyond the main house that has an awning wide enough for a classic riding tractor. Classic is right. This is just the exterior.
Getting Cozy on the inside
Delivering more inside, OneNest’s vaulted ceilings are welcoming and open, leaving one to be baffled by the thought that this space is one-thousand square feet. It could be thousands more; the trompe l’oeil affect of the grande windows to the view beyond pulls the eye out and into the distance. The living room has very functional usable built-ins and is open to the stunning kitchen with a wonderful amount of storage. The fantastic use of counterbalanced Connecticut-style pull down lanterns is just one more ‘trick of the eye’ and fun for the gorgeous space and means to draw the eye up to the loft space above which is the master suite.
Past the kitchen, a full bath, well appointed and glowing is to the left, and storage to the right. Beyond that, windows, again floor to ceiling brighten the space and pull in the outdoors while highlighting the spiral staircases to go up and up into the nest. Before heading up, a nosy poke into the crawl space reveals some more smart design, wine-cellar in the crawl built from galvanized metal buckets and wine-racks; a good use of space in an otherwise unusable crawl!
The second floor is home to the lofted main bedroom, which has a lovely view of the great wide yonder and can be conveniently enclosed with thoughtful curtains; wrapped around the far right of the bedroom is a little nook- great for reading, a dog-friend or maybe some lovely indoor plants for creating a nice indoor air quality. The master spa-bath is impeccable with an egg-shaped soaker tub, walk-in shower complete with rain head and well, it is simple, yet stunning. Plus, there is a fireplace above the bath. Nice… I
n the central stairwell, up once again, the next level houses the guest room with incredibly functional use of space, reclaimed wood and a sumptuous bathroom which is just incredibly well done. This OneNest space is an unbelievable four stories of beautiful, reclaimed, green living space built to help the owner truly nest in, living in what they need.
Nesting as a Trend
Why OneNest? Business partner, Arian Lewis, stated “this is something that can be replicated in any country across the world. I’m currently talking with contacts in Malaysia to see about using our concept houses there.”
Lewis is the partner based out of the Oxford England team, who has been working on outreach to developing nations. These homes can be built anywhere. They are sustainable and don’t have to take up a lot of space or resources. Minimal or luxury finishes can be put into them and the product can be built an a relatively small amount of time.
Mark Turner, the brainchild behind GreenSpur and the OneNest project, said when asked what the biggest take away should be for the project, “Well, this was absolutely a labor of love and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wanted to do something different that other builders weren’t doing and that would change the way things were being built in the construction industry.” He has proved it once before when he built a net-zero house on Capitol Hill, now he has done it again with the OneNest project’s first completed home, built in 100 days in Delaplane, VA.
Turner reminds us all that “OneNest is the context of everything in one world- a natural resting place.” Mark has also been quoted, “When I think about designing and building PLACE, I am inspired by Stegner’s quote, ‘There it was, there it is, the PLACE where during the best of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.’ This 1000 SF OneNest Project is our team’s best attempt to capture this spirit. We are using radical approaches in design, materials and building science to capture that simple notion that we all universally yearn for: ‘happiness its headquarters.'” I love this about this team, they are so grounded in their since of duty to balance and harmony with nature, life and the elements.
What is Next for OneNest
Looking at their mission, Delaplane was a lovely place to select for the first part of this project’s journey. Just off of John Marshall Highway in historic wine country, this may be an idealistic “happiness headquarters.” The first OneNest will be open for extended stays as well as events for the next six months to continue to the conversation within the community and beyond about this intriguing and passionate design and building concept.
Where do you think we’ll see more of these beautiful, sustainable creations across the States and internationally? Start the conversation by making the visit.
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