Use Feng Shui for Balance and Broader Appeal

The ancient philosophy of feng shui, which translates as “the wind and the water,” is the Chinese art of correct placement. In real estate, those who prescribe to feng shui believe that home sales can be better achieved by arranging furniture and décor to establish harmony and energy.

“In feng shui we evaluate a house and its property for sufficient qi (pronounced chee), the living energy of all beings, but also for the land and even a house,” says Werner Brandmaier, a consultant at the Institute of Feng Shui & Geopathology in Portland, Maine. “When there’s not enough qi, it means the whole land energy is low or depressed and that influences potential buyers.”

Feng shui promotes well-being by rearranging how qi (energy) flows through a home. Brandmaier recommends before placing your house on the market to find out more about its qi. Is there tension in the house and is the property cluttered? Do people feel exhausted in the house? Are the plants doing well? A careful assessment can make a big difference.

Feng shui begins with the Smith Mountain Lake homeseller, who must be at peace with the decision to place the home on the market. Likewise, feng shui is important for many prospective buyers, who seek a home with harmony and balance.

In feng shui, energy enters the house through the front door so it’s important that the entryway stands out with contrasting paint. Add decorative plants and a wind chime, but make sure this space is free from clutter. “The perfect entry is one that is clear of obstruction,” says Robin Andrews, a feng shui expert in Los Angeles. “This includes trimming back all hedges and making sure that the path to your door is clear, open and well defined.”

Bedrooms are considered sanctuaries for privacy and peace. Andrews suggests placing objects in pairs throughout the master bedroom as it’s thought to increase marital harmony and balance.

“You also want to place the bed in the position that has the most commanding view of the doorway, which is considered the gateway of the qi,” Andrews says. “We are in a vulnerable state while sleeping and it is important that this area affords our being safe and supported.”

In the kitchen, where energy is imparted in food, the chef’s station should always face the door for a clear view of those who enter.

Throughout the home, remove photos and other personal items so potential buyers can see the property as a clean, fresh start. And since earthy, pleasant aromas enhance feng shui, add cinnamon or pine scents to the home before potential homebuyers’ arrival.

One last thought: It’s also believed that “For Sale” signs are more effective when placed on the right side of the front door, since that is considered the yang, or energetic, side of the house.

Feng shui is all about drawing harmony and good health into your life and surroundings. With these simple steps you can bring your Smith Mountain Lake home into better balance and broader appeal.

Prudential Real Estate Joined Forces with “Designing Spaces”

Prudential Real Estate joined forces with “Designing Spaces,” the popular home-improvement show on Lifetime Television, to sponsor a special eight-part series called “Designing Spaces /Military Makeover.

The series documents home renovations for war veterans and highlights Prudential’s Military Advantage Program, which offers active members of the armed services and veterans special benefits and services when they buy or sell a home. Each show features a Prudential Real Estate professional offering advice on the real estate process.

The first show aired Sept. 8 and included curb appeal tips from Prudential Georgia Realty Agent Tom Hamberger. The next show will run Sept. 15 at 7:30 a.m. (Eastern) with tips from Agent Francesca Gilbert of Prudential Americana Group, REALTORS , Las Vegas. Subsequent shows will air on consecutive Thursdays through Oct. 27 at 7:30 a.m. (Eastern), and the entire series will repeat from Nov. 4-Dec. 23 on the same day and time slot.

Smith Mountain Lake Annual Antique & Classic Boat Show

Every boat tells a story. For Smith Mountain Lake resident Tony Cusumano, that story dates back 34 years, when he first purchased a 1962 Cruisers, Inc. runabout. The boat served Cusumano and his family well for 18 years, mostly for fishing and water skiing in Long Island Sound near their New York home.

But times change. The waters got more crowded and Cusumano found himself too busy at work as a project manager for Grumman Aerospace Corp. to use the boat. Rather than see it collect dust in the garage, he gave the boat to the son of a friend.

Fast-forward 11 years to 1997. Cusumano, having retired to Smith Mountain Lake with his wife Marilyn, was in need of help fixing a fishing rod. He headed to Big Ron’s Tackle Shop at Waterwheel Marina and when he got there, he couldn’t believe his eyes. There sat a boat identical to the 1962 model he had given up 11 years before. And it had a “For Sale” sign on it.

“I came home and said, “Marilyn, jeepers, I found our old boat.” said Cusumano of the white, 16-foot Model 202 Seafarer. “We went back down to look at it and she said, “OK, that will be your birthday present.”

Not long after, Cusumano came across a trailer identical to the one he used with his first boat and bought that, too. “I just think maybe it was meant to be.”

Swapping stories is just one reason why classic and antique boating enthusiasts gather this year at Mariners Landing, 1037 Whitetail Drive, Huddleston, VA 24104 for the Antique & Classic Boat Show. This year, more than 50 vessels are expected to be on display Sept. 16 – 17. The event is open to the public Sept. 17 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. While the event is free, donations will be accepted for this year’s featured charity.

The show, now in its 21st year, is presented by the Smith Mountain Lake Chapter of the Antique and Classic Boat Society. It includes cruisers, mahogany hulls, utilities, outboards, runabouts and canoes. Most are locally owned, but many boating enthusiasts make the trip to SML from surrounding states.

The group is hoping to organize some changes for this year’s event, Cusumano said. One idea is to have all the boats run their engines at the same time twice a day. The other is to have different boats run every 10 minutes so spectators can see them in action. Cusumano said both ideas would depend on the water level and weather conditions.

“We’re hoping to make it a little more interesting for the public,” he said.

The show will also include vendors with crafts and nautical items, food and drink, and activities for kids.

For more information on the boat show, contact SMLRCC at 540.721.1203 or visit

23rd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival

The 23rd Annual Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will be held September 24 and 25.  This year, 27 Virginia wineries will be participating as well as 85 juried craft and food vendors.  Three popular live bands will also be there to entertain festival-goers.  Saturday crowds will enjoy the band Super Hold. Sunday’s festivities feature the bands Barefoot West with Corey Hunley and The Worx. The Smith Mountain Lake Wine Festival will be held at LakeWatch Plantation in Moneta, directly off of Route 122, about 1 mile south of Hales Ford Bridge.  This venue allows for easy access to the site, an abundance of free parking and more space for festival-goers to enjoy the festivities.

SML Wine Festival Advance Discount Tickets are on sale now. Advance ticket prices are in effect through Friday, September 23 at 5 p.m. at all ticket outlets. Tickets are $18 for tasters and $22 at the gate.  Designated drivers will pay $12 in advance and $15 at the gate. Proceeds from the festival enable the SML Regional Chamber of Commerce to support many new and growing programs for area businesses. Call 540-721-1203 for more information.

Lake Effects Announces Local Screening as Westlake Cinema

The stars will be out October 7 at Smith Mountain Lake Virginia as the cast of “Lake Effects” returns to the area for the screening of Life Out Loud Films’ family film.  The film began principal photography one year ago and the Smith Mountain Lake community will be the first to screen the film.  The film’s stars include Scottie Thompson, Jane Seymour, Madeline Zima, Jeff Fahey, Eyal Podell, Ben Savage, Richard Moll, Ron Canada, Richard Riehle, Mary McDonough, Barry Papick, with Casper Van Dien, and Sean Patrick Flanery.

Life Out Loud Films will hold screenings of the film at The Willard Companies’ Westlake Cinema in Hardy.  There will be two showings on October 7th.  The first screening is a closed screening at 5:00 pm.  Reservations will be open to the general public for a second screening, taking place at 9:00 pm.  The event will include a red carpet, giveaways, and plenty of film surprises.  All who attend the Friday event will receive the red carpet treatment and a free movie poster.  Reservations for the community red carpet screening are a $20 donation.  Additional showings may be added upon demand.  There will be a party at Mango’s Bar & Grill at 7pm, featuring the local bands that have music in the film, with proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund in the memory of Lake Effects writer Scott Winters.

Due to high demand, there will also be screenings on Saturday October 8.  Each screening will include a Q  & A session with the director, producer & team following the film.  The Saturday show times are 4pm and 7 pm.  Reservations are a $15 donation.

Producers chose this date to coincide with the Smith Mountain Lake Charity Home Tour in an effort to further the company’s mission to help promote local economic development and tourism.  Life Out Loud Films hopes that visitors coming to the area for the premier will also support the home tour, and experience all that Smith Mountain Lake has to offer.

Reservations for the screenings are limited.  Reservations are CASH ONLY and will open to the general public on Thursday, September 8 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at The Westlake Cinema in Hardy.   Reservations will also be available at the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitor’s Bureau office in Roanoke on Wednesday, September 14 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.   There will be a priority line for those who volunteered and worked on the film.   Stay tuned to “Lake Effects Life Out Loud Films” on facebook or for seating availability and details.

Seating is limited.  All show times are subject to availability.


Chinah Jewell, Production Coordinator
Life Out Loud Films, LLC
Telephone (818) 509-0699