As a Feng Shui practitioner, I have long been intrigued by the controversy surrounding cul-de-sacs. Some urban planners and city managers oppose them and some cities have even banned them, but some home buyers love them and often pay a premium for a home on a cul-de-sac. Residents like cul-de-sacs because of the lack of drive-through traffic, but planners worry this promotes isolation and reliance on cars. Some Feng Shui practitioners advise against buying houses on a cul-de-sac because they believe these houses receive energy that is chaotic or stagnant. The good news is that in most cases, you can make Feng Shui adjustments to lessen any negative effects from a cul-de-sac.
As I have researched opinions about cul-de-sacs, I was struck by this description of living on a cul-de-sac from Jeff Speck at the National Endowment for the Arts. "Behold the American dream, circa 1960," he wrote, surveying a typical suburban Maryland neighborhood. "One, two, three, four, five houses surrounding a circular drive. Each house looks inward at the donut hole of plants in the middle. Each house is very carefully designed with windows on the front and back and not on the sides, so they don't really see each other."
Add to this controversy the belief of some Feng Shui practitioners that the chi, or energy, in a cul-de-sac goes around the curve like a "sling-shot" and may not reach the individual homes, making residents feel cold and isolated. And cul-de-sacs can be seen as dead-end streets, which cause stagnant chi.
However, Feng Shui can come to your rescue. Here are the four most important improvements to make if your home is located on a cul-de-sac.
Landscaping. Creating a curved pathway rather than a straight path to the entrance of the house will attract better energy than a house with a straight path. If you already have a straight path, symbolically cure it by planting bushes and flowers along the sides. In back of the house, plant a row of evergreens to help retain the chi that enters your home.
Water Feature. Adding any kind of water feature in front of the house will help keep the energy flowing. This can be an ambitious waterfall, a fountain, or even a birdbath. The most important aspect of a water feature is to make sure the water is flowing toward the home rather than away from it.
Motion. Generating motion in front of your home, by displaying a flag or whirligig, or by adding a moving sculpture or garden ornament, will attract positive chi and direct it to your front door.
Landscaped Center Island. Whenever possible, neighbors living on a cul-de-sac can get together and landscape the center island at the heart of the cul-de-sac with evergreen shrubs and seasonal flowers. This serves to slow the energy and keep it from speeding around the circle and out of the street without reaching any of the homes.
It takes a little more effort to attract positive chi to a home located on a cul-de-sac, but with some good Feng Shui planning, it can be achieved.
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