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Feng Shui Is Still a Thing! Refresh Your Memory and Strengthen Your Home’s Chi

You've heard of feng shui, but do you really know what it is? Here's a rundown of the basic principles and how you can apply them in your own home.

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Feng Shui Basics Interior Design Blue Walls Living RoomPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

Remember the Five Elements in Each Room

The five elements are water, wood, fire, earth and metal. One of the basic tenets of feng shui is to include all five elements in each of your rooms. Of course, this doesn’t have to be the literal element. Elements can be represented by colors, paintings, pillows, etc. A small dish of pebbles or an unlit candle can accomplish a lot. Try to make sure there are living things, like a green plant, in each room as well.

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open path living roomPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

Keep Open Paths—Don’t Trap Space

You want to avoid disrupting the flow of chi throughout your home, which means all areas should be open, friendly and accessible both physically and to the eyes. This means avoiding high-backed furniture, rails, partitions and bulky furnishings, wherever possible. Eliminating unnecessary walls in your home can also really help improve feng shui.

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Green Walls Living RoomPhoto: Courtesy of Fujitsu

Position Seats Facing Open Areas


Seats should not face windows or be too close to walls. Instead, angle your seating so that it faces open areas. If you have a desk, try to put it beside a window or wall. This helps direct personal energy back into the house instead of letting it escape.

Photo: Courtesy of Fujitsu

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minimalist living room fireplacePhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

Clean Out the Clutter


Clutter is anathema to feng shui. Clean up the clutter on tables and floors so that it won’t sap energy and cause bad vibes. Instead of grouping all your knickknacks on a shelf or table, choose one that represents how you feel about the collection, and display just that one. You can switch out these focal points from time to time to keep things interesting and uncluttered.

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white living roomPhotographee.eu/Shutterstock

Watch Your Corners and Metal Bases


Furniture corners (like the kind a square coffee table has) and metal bases on lamps or fireplaces are seen as potentially unpleasant chi. You never want them facing directly at any seat or play area where people will be. Instead, set these pieces at off angles, so metallic bases and sharp corners face into the open, and their energy eventually escapes into walls or windows.

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shutterstock_658288036-attic-1200x1200 attic space living room exposed beamsPlusONE/Shutterstock

Mix Up Your Shapes


Feng shui does not favor any particular shape. Instead, it encourages you to keep a balance of shapes in your home so that no particular shape overcrowds another. That means, look for ways to use rectangles, rounded objects, freeform and organic shapes and even triangles or other alternative shapes. Consider this when selecting furniture and décor.

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tech green walls living roomPhoto: Courtesy Douwzer

Don’t Make Electronics a Focal Point


Electronics are okay in moderation, but feng shui experts usually frown on making them a central point, especially in more private, quiet areas. Keep TVs out of bedrooms and studies. In the living room, try to avoid placing any seating directly facing the TV screen. Seating should face other seating across the room to encourage conversation and the flow of energy.

Photo: Courtesy Douwzer

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brassaccents_02 home design decor entryway circular mirrorPhoto: Courtesy of Me and My Trend

Consider Mirrors to Open Up Spaces


Mirrors are one of the most useful “band-aids” for feng shui problems in any house. They open up closed spaces, help add new shapes to the room, scatter light and generally help the flow of chi. Put mirrors in tight spaces or closed areas to help the flow of energy. However, mirrors should not directly face windows or doors to the outside, since this can result in lost energy.

Photo: Courtesy of Me and My Trend

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Papasan chair w cushion stool bamboo blindsSvetlana Larina/Shutterstock

Provide Feng Shui Window Protection


As you may have noted, windows can sap energy. It’s okay to leave them open to brighten up rooms throughout the day, but when people move into a room, there should be a way to help partially or fully conceal the window. Light blinds and organic window treatments like bamboo shades can help out a lot, as can room dividers set up in front of your windows.

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radiator skylightalexandre zveiger/Shutterstock

Don’t Tolerate Dark Corners


If a corner of your home is perpetually dark, it’s a feng shui energy trap. Lighten up these spaces with hanging lamps, candles and/or well-positioned mirrors. You can also permanently fix a dark space by installing a skylight.

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eclectic dining roomPhoto: Courtesy of Bemz

Keep a Roomy Dining Room


Dining rooms should be neither too empty nor too crowded. Often, homeowners struggle with the latter: Your dining room should be roomy enough for people to easily make their way around the chairs and table without any squeezing. Reducing the size of your dining table is an easy way to fix this!

Photo: Courtesy of Bemz

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Match Wall Colors to Your Space


If you have small rooms, keep the walls white or off-white to help make the rooms feel more open and improve their energy. If you have large rooms, you may want to make at least one wall a darker, accent color to help focus energy and keep the room from feeling cold.

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Feng Shui BaguaMonika Wisniewska/Shutterstock

Consult the Feng Shui Bagua


The Bagua is a famous feng shui map that is used to divine the chi in a specific area. If you are really interesting in exploring further, you can use the Bagua to analyze your home. This can help you pick out specific décor and colors for any room in your house.