Feng Shui in the house: 5 tips from an expert from TikTok

Architect Cliff Tan is helping to make Chinese philosophy more understandable thanks to a video in TikTok.

Фэншуй в доме: 5 советов от эксперта из TikTok

Architect Cliff Tan in his house.Photo: courtesy of Cliff Tan

TikTok is often associated with chaos: wild dancing, screaming teenagers and controversial live broadcasts. Remembering the application, it is unlikely that we will think about its productive and serene side, but there is also useful content there. More and more experts are joining the popular application, who strive to make the lives of others better with the help of tips in the format of short videos.

These include Cliff Tan, known on social media as @dearmodern. The London architect publishes clear short videos on TikTok about feng shui, the Taoist practice of symbolic space exploration. According to Cliff, feng shui is based on the idea that our future depends on luck, effort and inner state, or on the natural and artificial environment. The point of practice is to optimize this environment for other areas of our life. This can be achieved if we critically comprehend how the spaces of our home interact.

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Cliff’s videos contain simple feng shui tips that can be easily applied in life. He often answers the requests of his curious audience, for example, how to solve a problem with a problematic house layout. For him, the long-standing principles of feng shui are a practical tool for improving the quality of life, “a set of theories that will help you build something in the best way,” according to him. Cliff’s advice is not limited to floor plans of spacious houses or luxury apartments. With equal enthusiasm, he will help both a student with a dorm room and a family with their country cottage.

Фэншуй в доме: 5 советов от эксперта из TikTok

Feng Shui repair: house in Melburnechit

This unbiased and at the same time practical approach attracted a large number of subscribers — to be precise, 1.5 million in TikTok — and a contract with Bloomsbury for the publication of the book “Feng Shui Modern” in February this year. The book details the concepts he explores in TikTok. Cliff encourages his readers to delve into the essence and “take a moment to truly understand the principles”” The book also explores the concept of feng shui itself, as well as touches on the historical context and conceptual design.

As an architect with more than 15 years of experience, Cliff has the necessary knowledge and competencies in this field. Moreover, he is not the first generation of feng shui experts: his grandfather also studied and applied Chinese practice. But the popularity in TikTok even came as a surprise to him. “It changed my whole life dramatically,” he says. “I was an ordinary architect, and then I started sharing my knowledge, and it just shot!”

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Cliff’s popularity led him to offer private consultations for a small fee, where clients can work with him to solve specific tasks in their spaces. Such consultations often turn into deeper conversations from “what” to “why”. For him, this experience shows the beauty of everyday design, but at the same time the gap between designers and people who need design outside the context of luxury. ”I realized that people need help with their space, and that they know how to appreciate good design,” says Cliff. “The world is full of people who don’t have access to designers and the knowledge that designers have. It’s like we’re in parallel universes””

Фэншуй в доме: 5 советов от эксперта из TikTok

Moscow apartment with an interior according to the principles of Feng Shui, 110 m2, it’s hard to guess, but the bright modern interior designed by Olga Solnyshkova is made according to ancient Taoist canons.Read

Cliff believes that feng shui is relevant for any space, but often people misunderstand it, mainly due to the fact that they do not fully immerse themselves in the practice of feng shui or choose unsuitable objects for their space. ”I think feng shui is something somewhat unknown for many people- it’s a bit like horoscopes,” Cliff explains. “Usually people turn to such things because they have exhausted all the answers and they need additional help. Even in China, many still consider feng shui a superstition. But if we trace the history of its development from the very beginning, then it is about architecture and the creation of things in the most practical way. There is always logic behind it. It’s all about energy, insight, where the resources are.”

Фэншуй в доме: 5 советов от эксперта из TikTok

Apartment “with Chinese philosophy” in Moscow, 110 m2.

Cliff highlighted the key principles of practice that beginners in feng shui can try at home. 

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Combine practice with your own culture

Cliff recommends practicing feng shui with an individual approach: making choices that relate primarily to personal experience and culture. For him, cultural sensitivity consists in choosing subjects that a person fully understands and enjoys, establishing a connection with them. “The best thing to do is to bring your own culture”” he says.

Do not use items without special meaning

”In China, they hang these scrolls with Chinese characters, where they describe successful events and things,” Cliff explains“ “Those who speak Chinese understand them, and it brings something good. Those who don’t understand hieroglyphs just hang up this meaningless thing for them, and therefore it won’t work. The idea of feng shui is to strengthen what is on your mind””

Be in the moment

“The best way to test and experience these principles is to be clearly aware of your surroundings. When you’re in a restaurant or cafe, take a moment and think about where you want to sit and why, or if you’re at the airport waiting for the next flight, ask yourself [the same thing],” advises Cliff. “By analyzing the environment around you and constantly making informed decisions, you will begin to perceive your surroundings more sensitively””

Don’t follow the rules of feng shui just “because”

”Don’t take feng shui advice at face value,” Cliff says. “Always ask the question “Why?”and rationalize the logic of any feng shui recommendation””

Trust your intuition

“Feng Shui is a feeling of security and comfort in space. It’s not only looking good, but also feeling right”” he says“ “The best way to learn how to use feng shui is to put down the book and try it yourself. Feel the space around you using these principles””

First published in Architectural Digest US. 

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