What Color Is Your Future?

A local master painter-turned-feng shui master has come up with a line of paints that let you "color with intention."

Nevin’s firm painted this kitchen using a color from the Dui (Children and Future Prospects) palette to replace the bright red its previous owner painted it. “It was too much for the new owners, they had different personalities,” Nevin said. “No one is wrong, just different.” | Photos: Nancy Nevin

Have you ever noticed how colors affect your mood? How bright red makes your blood boil, while a soft, cool blue calms you down?

See all »

It turns out that the right paint scheme could change your life as well.

That is, it could if you plan your interior painting in accordance with the principles of feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of controlling the flow of energy through a space in order to achieve optimum life balance.

Philadelphia-based artist-turned-painting contractor Nancy Nevin will be happy to both sell you the paint and guide you through the process of determining how and where to apply it.

The founder-owner of Nevin Painting has launched an offshoot, Feng Shui Paint & Decor, that manufactures a line of paints designed to work with the bagua — the grid a feng shui master uses to reorder space. Their purpose: “Color with intention,” as Nevin puts it.

“Feng shui is the art of creating an environment that promotes our well-being and happiness,” Nevin says.

Nevin’s paint system is designed so that the do-it-yourselfer can at least take the first steps towards creating such environments. It starts with overlaying the nine-square bagua onto your home’s floor plan. The location of your front door determines where you should align the grid’s origin. From there, the nine subdivisions cover different aspects of your life: wealth and prosperity, family and new beginnings, knowledge and skills, fame and recognition, health and well-being, career and social life, love and relationships, children and future plans, and travel and helpful people.

Nancy Nevin

“We walk into spaces and say, ‘There’s something wrong here. What’s wrong with this space?'” she says. “Then there are rooms where you walk in and say, ‘This is exactly right. Everything feels good about it.’ Painting can be one of the easiest and most effective ways to change your environment and give it a positive feel.”

The Feng Shui Paint color palettes are designed to help you meet your goals in each of the nine areas. This is what Nevin means when she speaks of “coloring with intention.”

“The bagua and the colors associated with it are not my design,” she says. “They’re thousands of years old. You use these in association with your goals and the actions and intentions you have to achieve those goals.”

Each of the palettes offers both soft and intense colors, and Nevin says it’s not necessary to paint entire rooms in a given color to achieve the desired effect. “A lot of these colors are very bold, and I tell people they make great accent walls.”

The paints are also 100 percent acrylic, with no volatile organic compounds, which means they improve your environment from the moment you apply them.

Feng Shui Paint represents the latest step in Nevin’s own journey to a better life state. An accomplished artist whose work has been displayed in galleries throughout the Americas and in Italy, Nevin founded the commercial painting company that bears her name 26 years ago. Since then, Nevin Painting has done high-quality work for individual, commercial and institutional clients throughout the United States.

Her interest in feng shui is of more recent origin. “The idea came over me about seven years ago,” she said. After taking a three-year feng shui course in New York, she became certified as a feng shui master two years ago. Artistry, she says, is the common thread running through all of her pursuits.

While she does not collect testimonials out of respect for the privacy of her clients, Nevin did mention a feng shui consultation she performed for a client who wanted to achieve more financially. After following her guidance, the client received a 30 percent raise from their employer. A divorce soon followed, providing proof that not even feng shui principles can overcome the Law of Unintended Consequences. (Or maybe the divorce was a form of liberation, another positive outcome.)

It’s possible to have Nevin perform a full feng shui consultation via her painting firm’s website. Feng Shui Paint, however, is also aimed at those who may not be ready to take the entire thousand-mile journey but are willing to take the first step. If the colors in the feng shui palettes don’t quite match your intentions, Nevin’s company will work with you to come up with a color match that does.

You can learn more about the paints, the principles animating the colors and Nevin’s work this weekend and next at the Philadelphia Home Show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Nevin’s “Introduction to Feng Shui Paint” presentation will take place on Sunday, January 14th, at 2 p.m.