While Feng Shui has long been a bastion of many a home – and the occasional office space – a new eastern design philosophy, known as vaastu shastra, is proving a hit on the other side of the Atlantic.
The design framework comes from ancient Hindu scriptures and it centres around the philosophy that one’s environment is a physical extension of the body, and that the design of the home can have either a detrimental or positive effect on one’s health.
"Vaastu is a science, not an art, religion or philosophy," says Liz Jan, a home designer from San Francisco, tells the San Francisco Chronicle.
The position of rooms in relation to the sun is a key element of the movement, Anthony Lawlor, an architect at Polsky Perlstein Architects in Larkspur
"The idea behind vaastu is to orient rooms toward different positions of the sun at different times of the day, being mindful of the quality of the sunlight and not just the level of solar energy
"Ideally, the rooms would be like spokes of a wheel, so that you are harmonising your activities with the sun’s energy.
The quality of the materials used in a new build is also key to good vaastu shastra design.