Known as an ancient Chinese art, feng shui’ means “wind water”. At the core of feng shui decorating, the environment for which the design occupies must respect space and time to achieve a harmonious balance and vibrant feeling between energy and the intended purpose of a room. Contrary to popular belief, feng shui is not about designing a zen-type home, but rather fueling environments with energy to support specific activities, whether it be relaxing in a living room, sleeping in a bedroom or over achieving in an office.
Decluttering is the foundation for precise feng shui because clutter and good energy cannot co-exist. In other words, the importance of decluttering cannot be overstated, so the first step in feng shui should be to focus your efforts on clearing out old and unnecessary items in your home. An essential tip is for everything in a room to have its own place to add organization and structure.
Once you master these concepts get ready to explore the following 12 inspiring ideas to bring feng shui to the comfort of your home in the best way possible.
1. Put an Emphasis on Air and Light
There’s no wonder why feng shui design is rooted in the natural behaviors of the elements ‘wind and water’. The goal is to allow air to flow freely like the wind, and it’s hard to achieve, especially if your guilty of hoarding a lot of junk and unnecessary items. A great place to start is by cleaning the glass, windows and mirrors to create a refreshing and vibrant glow on the shiny objects.
Try to avoid placing items beneath furniture such as blankets or baskets so that air can easily move throughout your space. Feng shui recognizes the impact that lighting have on our mood. Double check that televisions are free from glare and that shadows cannot be cast upon reading areas.
2. Set the Mood with Soft Light
Feng shui welcomes the use of warm tone lighting that is achieved through incandescent bulbs and certain temperature LED’s. Try outfitting your bathroom with a soft, orange-hue that creates an inviting and relaxing environment. There is no right or wrong color of light when it comes to feng shui, as the preference is in the beholder of the occupant.
However, certain colors should be used to create mood such as pink shades which denote pleasure and calmness. Work purple shades of light into your bedroom to enhance a sense of passion and yellow tones in family spaces for a settled and relaxed vibe. Just because larger rooms need to be filled with more light does not mean you should choose brighter lights. Instead of using a single bright light in a room, try using multiple softer lights and work fabric or paper lamp shades on lights to create a quiet atmosphere.
3. Respect the Feng Shui 5 Element Color Theory
Did you know there are 5 colors in feng shui that are each represented by an element? The elements are fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Each room in your home should be governed by a color element as part of the feng shui bagua energy map. Outfit offices in a nourishing and stable beige or light yellow color as represented by the earth element. Other earth element colors are sandy, skin toned and earthy.
Try adding the feng shui element water in the form of refreshing, clean and calm blacks and blues. Black shower tiles, soap containers and window frames can be paired to promote a strong sense of purity. Embrace the feng shui wood element colors of brown and green in your kitchen to add energy of vibrant growth and health. The East and Southeast bagua areas of your home are represented by the wood element. Fire elements of red, orange, purple, pink and yellow can be balanced in bedrooms to generate a sexual energy as well as an inner warmth, making these color perfect for home offices.
4. Incorporate Height to Capture Attention
Have an abstract piece of artwork or a unique piece of lighting? A great way to feng shui out a room is to draw attention to an object by elevating it above everything else. Not only is this a quirky way to add personality to a room, but it draws the eye upward and automatically elevates the mood. Try hanging a plant hanger from the ceiling of an open kitchen area, or mount rows of soft light fixtures above your bed.
The key here is to not force random items to just float high above the space, and there’s a special alternative to achieve this trick without elevating anything! This elevating trick can be achieved by painting the ceiling of a room in a color that contrasts with the colors of the wall or ground.
5. Group Living Room Furniture in an Intimate Layout
Focus on the layout of your furniture to create spaces that promote conversation and bring company together. Feng shui doesn’t set strict rules as to the number of seats that belong around a table, but the key is to allocate a surface for each seat for people to rest a drink, book or food plate.
Try grouping furniture in larger rooms in smaller clusters to generate closer ties. For example, four upholstered arm chairs each positioned in a circle around a small table creates a community as occupants will sit across from each other or either side by side.
6. Choose Tables and Furniture with Rounded Edges
While square and rectangle tables work great for large dinner parties, hard edges or protruding angles are considered dangerous in feng shui. Round edge tables, no matter how big or small, promote continuity throughout the room. Instead of one large coffee table in your living room, try using two medium size round edge tables which can be moved about the space. A special trick for perfect feng shui are matching coffee tables of different heights.
If you have existing furniture that has sharp corners, try draping fabrics over them to transform them into softer edges, or rotate the furniture at a diagonal angle to reduce the harsh effect. Sharp edges are hard to avoid when it comes to corners in rooms formed by walls. Try filling in room corners with diagonal furniture, lamps, plants and baskets that round them out.
7. Rug Patterns and Shape Representations in Feng Shui
Square shape rugs, which represent the earth element are naturally accepted on the floor where our feet and toes connect to the ground. Place a natural fiber rug of earthy tan or cream on the ground for a great starting point, but be sure to balance square rugs with round objects such as circular foot rests or garden stools.
Bright and colorful rugs actively generate energy for creative spaces, and geometric patterns and zig zag lines of pink, yellow and orange are perfect in the South area of the bagua, the focal point of the fire element.
8. Hang Feng Shui Wall Pieces with Meaning and Purpose
Outfit your bedroom with artwork and pictures that you have a connection with and steer clear of sad or lonely art that gives off negative energy. As water cools fire, artwork with water or images that allude to it should be avoided. Remember that Feng shui aims to promote decorations and designs to serve the purpose of each room, but that doesn’t mean there’s no place for a splash of blue or indigo around the bed.
Popular choices for feng shui wall art are animal reliefs and carvings made of wood, metal and resins. Encouraging feng shui animal symbols are the frog, elephant, tiger, ox, phoenix and of course the Chinese dragon.
9. Focus on Function
Before buying furniture for your living room, make a list for how you imagine that you will most likely use the space. Which activities will be going down in the living room? Plenty of TV watching? Eating or board games? To get your feng shui on with furniture you must pair it accordingly to the purpose it will serve. Work with the placement of your furniture to give it function. Feng shui living rooms incorporate sofas and couches with a commanding position so you should position them so that occupants sitting down will always have a clear view of people entering at all times.
Place your main couch in a commanding position and then organize your clocks and television to accommodate it. Compared to the 90’s, the thin and lightweight televisions of today are perfect for wall mounting in a position of your choice, but a big no no in feng shui is to place a TV above the fireplace as it will interrupt the connection of conversation which is the core purpose of a cozy fire.
10. Add a Feng Shui Display of Luck
The best accent of luck for feng shui is when your living room is adorned with a family portrait enclosed in a golden frame. The foyer of your home is also a great place for a family portrait as it’s a high traffic area in your home that can act as a constant reminder of the importance of family and unity. Just because a golden frame activates the metal element of your home and pops nicely on contrasting colored walls, the symbol of luck is the picture. After all, feel free to choose a picture frame of your choice keeping in mind our rule #6 for the frame edges.
11. Focus on the Big Three
You will feel more grounded by starting your feng shui routine in the most important rooms of your home; the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom. These rooms capture the majority of our time, energy and memories but you don’t have to go at them all at once. The last thing you want to do is blame feng shui for the vibe not jiving in your home, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused when you take on too much.
12. Circulate Energy with Mirrors
What better way to enhance your feng shui than to see more of it? The power of reflection is a fabulous remedy for stale energy that you can achieve through the placement of various sizes of mirrors in your home. Not only do mirrors expand your chi, but they also cover up structural blemishes and give you control to reroute energy. Try adding a mirror to your entryway to add the impression of a more spacious environment. Remember that mirrors do not always belong on a wall. Get creative with free standing mirrors and decorative mirrors that can extend from ceilings and walls.