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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.