Author – Mario Najm
The home I share with my wife, Marie-Paule, son, Marlon, and family pet, Smokie, is innovative in its décor – at least that’s what everyone who has come to visit us claims. And the greatest part of this achievement is due to the meticulous and dedicated efforts of Feng Shui Master, Henry Fong.
The unit’s novelty is evident from the second you step out of the elevator and glimpse its beautifully carved wooden mahogany entrance.
Superb and harmonious Chinese-like lighting and ornaments complemented by stonework surround the main door’s frame to overcome what was once a boring, empty space with off-white walls.
After an intense study and 100s of e-mail going back and forth between Master Fong and me, we found the perfect formula to turn a mundane unit into a fully-fledged Feng Shui-compliant residence.
For many who have hired the services of a Feng Shui consultant, this is a very commonplace procedure.
Isn’t that how all Feng Shui experts work? Well, not really.
Master Fong resides in Malaysia and I in Lebanon. It’s no joke, we’re talking halfway across the globe here – different time zones, cultures and geography, etc. What a challenge it was for Master Fong, especially since he had to rely on only satellite images, pictures, and architectural floor plans!
So, what recommendations did Master Fong put forth to transform an ordinary-looking apartment into an extraordinary living space?
I’ll tell you, but first, let me acquaint you with the unit’s location.
Nestled in Rabweh on the outskirts of Beirut and surrounded by an expansive forest of pine trees, the apartment offers a breathtaking view of the entire city and the glistening Mediterranean Sea.
That in itself is a work of art.
Now, let’s take a guided tour of the unit.
Starting with the somewhat small corridor leading into the rest of the unit, you can’t miss the beautiful hand-crafted metal works that adorn the walls on all sides. Subtle lighting adds warmth to the entrance.
The trick here was to keep the floor empty to make the space appear larger, so everything was hung on the walls, leaving enough room for easy moving and cleaning. The colour green dominates the walls to both re-define the area and add depth.
This colour scheme (green) runs across all the common areas of the home to give it a consistent aesthetic – kitchen, living and dining room, guest bedroom and bathroom. The colours were chosen according to Feng Shui recommendations and adhere to our birth dates and the overall energies in the unit.
The kitchen, as opposed to the entrance, is very spacious, practical, and well designed. From the stove and sink to the washing machine, dryer and dishwasher, everything has its place.
The kitchen took some time to perfect, because Master Fong asked us to switch the locations of the stove and wash hand basin to tap into the best energies for that sector. In short, nothing in the kitchen clashes with Feng Shui principles – nothing! Which is quite a feat.
All the appliances are placed on either side of the walls to leave ample room for moving around. There is also room for a practical and extendable wooden breakfast counter that also cleverly conceals the building’s service shaft.
To avoid cluster, the cooking gas (two 30-kilogram bottles) and cleaning gear are housed in two separate floor-to-ceiling cupboards on either side of the kitchen’s small balcony, which is curtain-glassed to prevent rain from flooding the area.
The living and dining rooms are the crowning jewels of the unit. Under the illumination of contemporary crystal chandeliers, a large and handcrafted bar fills what was once a vacant, monotonous wall and is complemented by a truly unique fireplace jotting out of the feature wall, which also dominates the midpoint of the room.
Again, all the elements are positioned in harmony to one another. A small Chinese fountain in the corner of the living room energizes the area and salt crystal lamps balance the flow.
A round, eight-seater dining table with its large overhanging mirror serves to make the dining room area appear larger and takes up just the right amount of space.
Wonderful and novel decorative pieces play their roles to perfection in every corner of the living area. The lighting throughout this sector of the unit is cleverly formulated and relies on dimmers to help set any type of mood we wish to experience.
The cherry on the cake in this part of the unit is the breathtaking view of the city and the sea we talked about earlier. Both the living room and balcony offer excellent views.
The exceptionally large curtain-glassed balcony is reached via the living room. Stunning stonework on the walls, including a large mosaic of the sun, gives the once unexciting balcony a certain magnetism. Green plants and an inviting bamboo seating arrangement with bamboo curtains to match add to the charm. Here, the bamboo and plants complement the energies.
The bedrooms all have a feature wall with different colors. The large master bedroom and its adjoining bathroom are dominated by the color blue. This room promises night after night of coziness and relaxation.
One of the rooms has been converted into a red-colored study. I’m a writer, you see, and Master Fong wanted to find the best room in which my creative juices could flow throughout the year.
The third room, or the “green” room as we now refer to it, was meant to serve as the guest bedroom, but my son took it over. Nevertheless, I can tell you this, its well-matched colors and décor beckons anyone to spend a restful night.
Our goal was to create a truly unique yet simple home that was within our budget. We started each project on a blank sheet of paper. Master Fong (who had to bear the bulk of the headache), my wife and I worked together to design and decorate every aspect of our home (dimensions, colors, tiles, fireplace, bar, etc) – right down to the smallest detail.
There you have it, if you have an ordinary-looking unit, I recommend that you get in touch with Master Fong and work with him to make it extraordinary.
As a friend of mine once stated: “Your home is a dictionary filled with definitions of good taste.”
About the contributor
Mario Najm is a well-respected English-language author and gifted writer. Backed by years of writing experience, he has previously held senior positions in both the advertising and magazine industries. Silver, his first novel, caused a stir. He is currently working on his second hard-hitting and controversial book. Najm’s talented writing skills have been greatly sought after by many prestigious companies and individuals for a variety of writing jobs. He can be contacted via e-mail: email@example.com