Forget all the outdated notions of what you think feng shui is about—that isn’t what expert Thierry Chow practices. Under her company, TRE, this modern master blends ancient feng shui concepts in all aspects of design (including fashion) with the contemporary world. Along with her illustrator husband Peter (they met while studying fine arts in university in Toronto, Canada), she’s filled their home studio with beautiful artwork and objects that not only look good to the eye, but also work well together under the philosophy of feng shui.
Feng shui is all about balancing the five main elements—wood, fire, earth, metal and Water. While old school feng shui masters would advise clients to decorate their homes with things like copper coins, golden clocks, copper statues, and carpet, Thierry is all about bringing in these elements in a modern-looking way. For instance, she has filled their studio with lots of plants to bring out the “wood” element, which according to the ancient practice will boost productivity while working. The “water” element is represented by the cute little fish tank at the entrance. As for the “metal” element, Thierry found an old Chinese character metal store sign from a Chinese herb store that was closing down, and she managed to buy it from the owner for $20.
With her background in art and her love for fashion, Thierry’s carved out a successful business for herself incorporating art, fashion, and design into feng shui, modernizing this ancient Chinese practice for the millennial generation. “Most people think of feng shui as superstition or magic, which is the biggest misconception I think,” Thierry tells me, “To me it’s only a way to enhance your life by placing the right things around you.”
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Modern cozy.
Inspiration: Cool kids doing cool things.
Favorite Element: Colors.
Biggest Challenge: Keeping it tidy.
What Friends Say: They love the natural light and how cozy it is!
Biggest Embarrassment: Pulling out our pull-out couch when we watch TV.
Proudest DIY: Kitchen shelves with wine boxes.
Biggest Indulgence: The mezzanine bedroom and shelf that was designed by us and was then made in China.
Best Advice: Keep it real.
Dream Sources: Vintage store.
Carpet — Lane Crawford
Glass coffee table — A friend didn’t want it anymore
Chinese character metal store sign — Bought from a Chinese herb store that was closing down
Bean bags — Muji
Vintage Chinese work desk — Passed down by a uncle that worked in a Chinese medicine shop
Audrey Kawasaki print — Above second gallery (Hong Kong)
TRE feng shui neon sign — Designed by TRE (my design company)
Floral ottoman chair — Franc Franc
Handmade wooden dining table — Bought from a friend
Wine cabinet — Secondhand
Charles and Ray Eames chairs — Passed down by friends
Lion heads — Sham Shui Po Second hand store
Ceramic teapots — Passed down by Peter’s grandma