We’d like to welcome our monthly Guest Contributor, Debra Duneier, creator of the EcoChi System, a new design approach for living to help you: establish and materialize your goals, nurture your health and bring you greater harmony and prosperity.

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I am often asked “why did you create the EcoChi® system and how did you do it?” Looking back it seems to me that the system created itself…and somehow found me.

My journey toward the “EcoChi” began when I worked for several years as a real estate broker for the Corcoran Group. I focused on residential real estate in Manhattan and specialized in unusual properties. I spent a lot of time with their owners, and got to know the human story of each space… Every property had a unique history and as I discovered, they also had a unique energy that impacted their inhabitants and visitors.

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When I showed these properties to perspective buyers, I was always struck by their immediate physical and emotional reaction. You’ve all experienced this, whether you were looking at a potential place to live, or just walking into someone’s home, office or even a hotel room. There is a distinct feeling when we are in a space. Sometimes this energy would draw the buyers in…and other times it seemed to scare them away. I now know that we are influenced by our environments and that the air, lighting, rugs, plants, furniture, colors…. everything we see, smell, touch and hear in a space affects us in a profound way. Feng shui addresses the energy and flow of interiors and studying this intuitive art was the first step toward inventing “EcoChi.”

The second step of my EcoChi journey began when I purchased a small house on Long Island. The house had few creature comforts and had not been updated in 40 years! This little house was in the woods, surrounded by trees, birds and animals of all sizes and sits less than ¼ mile from the long island sound. I spent many hours considering why I was so happy in that tiny space. I realized that that no matter where you sit or where you look, you see trees and wildlife. I can hear the pitter patter of acorns hitting the ground, smell the rain and see the birds returning after a long, cold winter. The experience of being inside the house is in fact, exactly like being outdoors. The concept of bringing the outdoors indoors inspired me to create EcoChi.

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Debra Duneier is an accredited LEED® Green Associate, Certified Eco-Designer, Feng Shui Master Practitioner and Author of EcoChi: Designing The Human Experience. For more about EcoChi and Debra visit www.ecochi.com.

apartment photo credit: The New York Times