In the past few years, our homes have become more important to most of us than ever.
With more of us out of offices, we’ve revitalized our spaces, created “wellness rooms,” perfected our home work spaces, and delighted in gardening, cooking, and crafting. Considering this renaissance in the lifestyle and home decor spaces, it’s only natural to turn to one of the oldest home design approaches around — feng shui.
This ancient Chinese art may seem mystical and out of reach for some, especially considering it tends to have a lot of rules. Without any guidance, you may find yourself wondering whether you should have a mirror facing a bed, how to select feng shui items, or what a feng shui bedroom looks like.
Luckily, you don’t have to completely rearrange your entire home for it to be effective. Incorporating feng shui principles can catapult you into a new, exciting way of life or simply serve as inspiration and food for thought. Whether you go all in or cherry-pick a few ideas, feng shui can be a helpful and fun tool to experiment with.
Are you ready to bring positive energy into the home and make it a place you can’t wait to return to? Let’s get started!
What Is Feng Shui?
Feng shui is the art of creating spaces and arranging objects in a manner that facilitates peace, prosperity, love, health, and happiness. It translates to “the way of wind and water,” and is based on Taoist philosophy — one that views everything as “chi” or energy. Practitioners manipulate energy through color, texture, shape, materials, and design to achieve a desired effect, such as creating a sense of stability or relationship harmony.
Feng shui is a philosophy and a way of life. By viewing the home, or a space, as energy, we see the interconnectedness of all things. Every aspect of our lives — wealth, love, and health, for example — is fundamentally created from chi. However, chi must flow in order to be healthy. Stagnation creates blocks and disease. Plus, it needs to flow in the right way, with each type of chi harmonizing and balancing with other ones.
Feng Shui is a complex and nuanced art that practitioners have sworn by for centuries. Some even say that any issue in your life can be found mirrored in the layout of your home.
Feng Shui Tips for a Happy Home
Are you ready to start incorporating feng shui principles into your home? Start simply and experiment to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t get hung up on the details and instead consider the bigger picture. Your goal is to create a positive flow of energy so it radiates throughout every aspect of your life.
Create a Harmonious Entryway
If you consider that the home mirrors your personal life, it’s not hard to imagine why the entry to your home is one of the most important aspects of feng shui. Your front door is your entryway through which you allow all energies to enter your life. In feng shui, it’s called “the mouth of chi.” So, you want to have a clear path to the door, with nothing blocking the way, to ensure there’s nothing blocking your abundance.
Your door sets the atmosphere for the whole house, so it’s important to keep it in good condition. Ideally, you’ll have a thick wooden one as that creates a strong boundary between you and the outside world. Keep it clean and inspect it for cracks, scratches, or chips. If your door sticks or you have difficulty opening it, you’ll be hindering the flow of opportunity.
You’ll bring whatever reaction you have to your entry with you throughout the house, so make it inviting. This might mean a few beautiful plants in the entryway, a lovely fountain on the front porch, beautiful art upon entry, or ambient lights so you’re not walking into a dark house.
Decluttering has been all the rage ever since Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out. But feng shui practitioners have always known that clutter creates energetic discord within the home. You register physical chaos around you subconsciously, which can drain you and leave you feeling apathetic, tired, claustrophobic, and even depressed.
Minimize clutter with organizational tools that are aesthetically pleasing, like decorative storage baskets. Learn to have a home for every object, and spend ten minutes at the end of every day putting them there. Avoid hoarding items you never use, and be mindful about any purchases you make. This is also great for streamlining your life in general.
Facilitate the Flow Of Energy
Great shui in the home means the energy can flow easily without pooling up and getting blocked. This means you should not be filling up every last inch of space and instead, allow extra space in tight corners. If you’re in a small space, less is more. Allow for plenty of open space around your desk, for example, instead of stacking bookshelves, plants, and chairs all around it.
Sharp corners and edges such as angular furniture, protruding corners, and sharp wall corners are generally seen as emitting harsh and even harmful energy. They can be jarring on a subconscious level and are described as “poison arrows.”
Sometimes, you can avoid these, such as by using a round coffee table rather than an angular one. But that’s not always possible. You can soften any sharp turns or corners in the house using plants, trailing vines, curtains, or decorative items. You can also hang crystals or place a water fountain nearby to offset the harmful energy.
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Contain the Energy of the Bathroom
Many of us love to make our bathroom an oasis. Yet in traditional feng shui, this area of the home was seen as a less than desirable place to be, for obvious reasons. In modern times, we have better sanitation and the bathroom can be a place of rest, self-care, and beauty. Nevertheless, we can still heed many feng shui tips for this room.
For example, keep the bathroom door closed and the toilet seat down at all times. This prevents energy exchange between the bathroom and the rest of the house. This has to do with more than freshness or pleasantness. Since water is associated with wealth, drains are seen as having the potential to drain wealth away. Keeping the toilet seat closed prevents this from happening, as does closing the door through which the positive energy in the house could potentially enter.
Create Safety and Stability in the Bedroom
Our bedroom is where we’re at our most vulnerable, so we want to make it as energetically conducive to security as possible. One important way to do this is through the bed.
First, put it in the commanding position. In feng shui, practitioners say that you should be able to see the doorway from your bed, but ideally, it won’t be directly in front of you. The best position is diagonally in front of you.
Just think about it. On some level, how will you ever feel safe in bed if you can’t see where an intruder might come in? Likewise, don’t put your bed next to or under a window. Again, there’s a lack of security there that you might not feel consciously, but will on a subconscious level.
It’s also important to have a headboard for the bed, as that will make you feel more relaxed.. Lastly, create balance and harmony in the room with matching nightstands on each side of the bed. Be sure to avoid sharp edges on them!
Balance the Five Elements
Feng shui aligns with other principles in Chinese philosophy, such as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). These principles are all about balance. According to TCM and feng shui, there are five main elements in the world — wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Everything is made of these elements, including all matter. That’s why TCM requires a balancing of our body’s elements. Likewise, feng shui requires a balancing of our home’s elements.
So how does this break down into practical terms? Let’s take a look at associations and examples for all elements:
Qualities: Transformational, purifying
Emotional Tone: Inspiring, motivating
Colors: Red and orange colors
Objects: Fire, candles, and electronics
Qualities: Flowing, circulating
Emotional Tone: Wise, peaceful, intuitive
Shapes: Swirls, wavy, shapeless
Colors: Black and dark blue
Objects: Water, glass, mirror, crystal
Qualities: Exacting, precise, focused
Emotional Tone: Clarity, integrity, joy
Colors: Metallic colors, pastels
Objects: Metals, hard shiny surfaces
Qualities: Stable, unmoving
Emotional Tone: Centering, nurturing
Colors: Brown, yellow
Objects: Ceramics, pottery, stones
Qualities: Movement, growth
Emotional Tone: Vitality, hope
Colors: Green, Turquoise
Objects: Trees, plants, nature imagery, flowers
So, when optimizing your home, keep a balance of the elements in mind. What elements are already present in your house? Which ones are missing? Try to balance them better and then see how it affects you.
Don’t make it too complicated. Sometimes small changes can have a big effect, so work with what you have. For example, try adding a small fountain if you’re lacking water, add in a plant if you’re missing wood, or incorporate more brown and yellow to bring more peace and centering to a room.
Foster Community in the Living Room
Many feng shui tips are as psychological as they are energetic. The set-up of a room can affect us in both conscious and subconscious ways.
In the living room, you’ll want to set things up to support connection and goodwill as much as possible. For example, make sure there is a seat for everyone who lives in the home. Otherwise, you’re creating a sense of tension and competition. Hang up pictures of family, friends, and happy memories. This is a no-brainer for creating a sense of love and joy in your home.
Plants are also great for this area as they encourage liveliness, growth, and connection. Pick colors that suit the mood you want to create — maybe earth tones for a supportive, nurturing atmosphere or pastels for the metal element, which brings positivity and joy. Place a rug in the center of the room to draw everything (and everyone) together.
Create Wealth from Your Kitchen
Your kitchen is where you nourish yourself, and if you think of health as wealth, it’s also the foundation of your abundance. The way you feed yourself literally and metaphorically will affect how you present in the world, including how able you are to manifest material abundance. Therefore, the kitchen has to do with both wellness and prosperity.
In particular, the stove represents your resources, wealth, and career. So, try to use the stove every day, even if it’s just to boil water. This keeps its energy active. Also, the more burners you have, the better. If you’re not looking for a new stove, you can place a mirror above it to create the illusion of more burners.
You should also try and rotate which burners you use. It’s common for people to have a preferred burner, but this leads to tunnel vision and missed opportunities. Feng shui practitioners believe that if you rotate burners, you’ll train yourself to be more open to opportunities. This translates to seeing career and wealth opportunities you normally wouldn’t.
You Can Harmonize Your Home
Feng shui is a fun, enlightening practice that’s been around for centuries — and for good reason. Done right, it helps you manipulate the energy of your home to be most beneficial to you. When you shift the energy of your home, you shift the energy of your life. It’s worth taking the time to make the foundation of your life beautiful and harmonious, and by incorporating even a few feng shui tips, you may just notice a positive boost of energy.
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