Power of Balance: Here’s What Happened at the Latest Webinar by BluPrint and Scavolini
Once again, BluPrint has welcomed an esteemed panel of industry experts in this much-awaited webinar in partnership with Scavolini. Held at their showroom located in Shops 9 to 11, The Peninsula Manila, Makati Avenue, Makati City, this conversation between Ar. Manolet Garcia, Ar. Ed Calma, IDr. Cynthia and IDr. Ivy Almario, Feng Shui Master Daryl Huang, and Modularity Home General Manager Brian Hontiveros presented a variety of Feng Shui practices that not everyone has heard of. Our guest speakers were also free to share their own personal experiences wherein Feng Shui was injected in past projects with different clients, all while bouncing off of one another as they casually discussed with glasses of wine in hand.
Before the webinar officially began, host Ar. Manolet Garcia introduced a multi-hyphenate woman who paved the way for the new perspective of BluPrint: the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Ar. Geewel Fuster. She welcomed everyone by explaining that the event was created as a means to share how at times, Feng Shui is connected to the build and design of one’s home. She also added that the panel discussion is also the magazine’s first on-site event since the pandemic started, so it was apt that some positive energy be shared through the topic.
Core principles of Feng Shui
Ar. Manolet quickly informed everyone about who will be joining the roundtable discussion before finally introducing Feng Shui Master Daryl Huang to give a brief background on Feng Shui, as well as a run through of the core principles of the Chinese practice. He mentioned that in Feng Shui, “We utilize the magnetic field and astronomical data to determine the alignment [and] the directions of a certain area.” He even highlighted the popular philosophical concept of Yin and Yang, and explained how it means there are two sides to everything, which is represented by its design where there is black in white, and white in black—the perfect balance. He also explained the five elements that everyone is familiar with: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Daryl Huang shared, “[They are] the fundamental elements of everything in the universe,” and added that these elements are used to determine the interactions and relationships in all matters.
Modern-day Feng Shui practices in design
During the roundtable discussion featuring the event’s industry experts, Feng Shui Master, and Modularity Home General Manager, Ar. Manolet Garcia stated modern-day Feng Shui practices that homeowners usually take note of when designing their homes. In case you missed the Power of Balance: Understanding Feng Shui in Contemporary Designs, here are some of the topics discussed.
Kitchens must not be located in the center of the property
When this was brought up, Ar. Manolet asked Daryl Huang why it’s even a Feng Shui practice in the first place. The Feng Shui Master explained that the center of the property is the heart, similar to that of a human’s, which is why one does not want to have too much activity going on in the center. “You do not want to stress the heart, [because] when you do that, it triggers heart conditions… [It’s] a definite no-no.”
Ar. Ed Calma shared that in his professional experience, he was never instructed that the kitchen be placed in the center of the home. “The center’s always reserved for the main space, which is the living room. The kitchen’s always on the side, and Feng Shui would determine which side it is [going to be in],” adding that while he never had a client ask him to insert the kitchen at the center, he has come across a practice wherein the spaces in a home would be divided between elements. He stated, “You would put the kitchen on the fire side, and put the pool and water supply on the water side.”
Meanwhile, Modularity Home General Manager Brian Hontiveros shared, “We mostly work with architects and interior designers, so we follow where they situate certain rooms.” With that, he even gave an example wherein however a home is divided into, the main kitchen will almost always be on the side, while the dirty kitchen is hidden behind it.
A stove needs a solid concrete wall as backing for support
Sharing his take on it, Brian mentioned he believes this practice means that a stove should be situated on the side, and not on top of an island in the middle of the kitchen or even have a window behind it. However, he added that with this actual practice in mind, it’s something worth considering or taking note of even more. Ar. Ed also added that it simply makes sense to have some kind of wall for the stove, specifying that, “When you cook, the smoke rises and you have a backing that will guide the smoke to the vent. Not like an open kitchen [where] the smoke goes everywhere.”
While what seems to be something that just makes sense, Ar. Manolet mentioned it doesn’t mean it has to look boring, which is why he asked Interior Designers Cynthia and Ivy Almario for their professional opinions on this matter. IDr. Cynthia excitedly shared that incorporating a gun metal lacquer finish to the backing of a stove adds to the effect that it actually looks metal instead of just being a coating. It simply adds more personality to the room. Meanwhile, IDr. Ivy said, “I would imagine it’s always a toss-up between solid surface [and] stone,” when asked about tips and trends on backsplashes.
The stove and oven must not face the sink
Out of curiosity, Brian asked Daryl the reasoning behind this. While the former brought up that he jokes to his clients that it’s to make sure the husband and wife won’t fight, the latter replied by saying, “The stove is a fire element, the sink is a fire element. These two elements clash, and [when they do], then it creates a lot of unwanted energy that affects the occupants.”
An industry expert’s belief
Towards the end of the discussion, host Ar. Manolet asked everyone in attendance to share and explain what their key takeaways were from one another, as well as how Feng Shui is evident in their day-to-day responsibilities in their own fields of work.
“[Following some Feng Shui practices in design] became a natural approach to me now,” said Ar. Ed, adding that because he designs for clients who believe in Feng Shui, it’s as if following this practice is human nature for him. He even mentioned how he would sometimes design a home unknowingly incorporating some practices to his clients who don’t believe in Feng Shui. Meanwhile, for IDr. Cynthia, her personal experience of having been told by a Feng Shui Master to adjust the design of her kitchen because the oven and sink were facing each other solidified her belief in the traditional Chinese practice. And for the other Almario sister, IDr. Ivy left some nuggets of wisdom for everyone: “We’re in the business where we’re all collaborative creatives. Engage your Feng Shui master as early as possible.”
There was definitely more that was discussed about Feng Shui in this special BluPrint webinar with Scavolini. Discover what else the entire group of panelists had to say about Feng Shui practices in design in the Power of Balance by heading over to BluPrint’s Facebook and YouTube pages.
Photography KIERAN PUNAY