By Morgan Miller
What do you think of when you hear the term “feng shui”? Conjuring images of trickling fountains, bamboo foliage and gently raked sand gardens, it may be easy to dismiss feng shui as something that only belongs in a Zen-savvy spa retreat. One walk through the thoughtfully designed Spice Warehouse loft, one of 12 residences in Tribeca that collectively served as a spice trade warehouse more than a century ago, proves that the ancient Chinese practice works just as well in a chic, modern setting.
“Feng shui is about incorporating the five elements — water, wood, earth, fire and metal — in all of the right places, to allow Chi, or positive energy, to flow freely in a space,” explains the project’s designer, Marie Burgos.
Chi flows best through a balance of yin (feminine) and yang (masculine) energies. By juxtaposing the yang — original iron pillars, brick wall and sharp-cornered windows, with the yin — a neutral pallet, overstuffed throw pillows and airy curtains, Burgos created a harmonious atmosphere instilled with a certain old world charm that connects the loft to its rustic roots.
Inspired by the desire to bring energetic balance to her designs, Burgos went on to study feng shui under Grand Master Lin Yu at Berkley after graduating with her degree in interior design from NYU. Today, she combines the techniques of feng shui with her eye for luxurious aesthetics, applying the principles to both residential and commercial projects in New York City and Paris via her firm, Marie Burgos Design. Since proper use of feng shui has been associated with health, wealth, happiness and wellbeing, Burgos seeks to invite all of these components into her clients’ lives by designing a space that feels just as good as it looks.
The Spice Warehouse project is just one of many of Burgos’ designs that prove feng shui will work anywhere. Decorating styles are inconsequential, so long as the layout is balanced according to feng shui principles and free of clutter. To see more of Burgos’ work, and learn more about feng shui, visit www.marieburgosdesign.com.