Is your home as harmonious as it could be?
Feng shui, the philosophical system centered on creating harmony between yourself and your surroundings, has been around since 4000 B.C. But it wasn’t until the 70s that it began to seep into American popular culture, where it took root and then rapidly grew in interior design.
Nowadays, there are millions of books promising to get your home feng-shui’d in no time, thousands of interior designers who specialize in feng shui arrangements, and even more home enthusiasts who have taken the matter of rearranging their homes into their own hands. The latter group is where I find myself.
The art of feng shui is so fascinating and beneficial, everyone should incorporate it into their home! But, with all the information out there, it can get confusing to remember where to place what and which colors promote which moods.
If you’re looking to bring harmony into your home, but don’t know where to start let these tips point you in the right direction:
The living room is the area in which you receive guests, decompress and spend quality time with your friends and family. Essentially, it’s the room where strong bonds with yourself and others are formed, which makes it one of the most important rooms in the house. Therefore, it’s essential to create a living room that is beautiful and practical, with strong, fresh energy flowing through it to encourage vitality of conversation and mutual bonding.
When rearranging your living room, the first thing you should strive to do is keep it free of clutter. As a matter of fact, one of the most basic principles of feng shui in your home is to keep every room as clean and de-cluttered as possible. This will encourage energy to flow through your house freely.
Here are other tips to keep in mind when arranging your living room:
- Create a seating arrangement that’s conducive to conversation. The best way to do this is by placing your largest sofa against the wall with a clear view of the front door, and your loveseat and chairs angled towards the sofa. When you receive guests and sit them in the living room, they will be facing each other and, therefore, be more inclined to engage in conversation.
- The best colors to paint your living room with are yellow (which is an uplifting and cheerful color), neutral colors such as beige (this color promotes stability, balance and calm), orange (which is considered a social color and is conducive to engaging, lively conversations), white (the color of purity and innocence), and blue (which symbolizes tranquility and peace).
- Keep your living room as light and airy as possible. Two questions you should answer when arranging your living room are: is there natural light coming in? And, is there enough fresh air circulating throughout the room? If your home doesn’t receive large amounts of natural light, create light by either layering your lighting or reflecting your windows off of mirrors. Layering your lighting means having different levels of lighting throughout your house, such as a ceiling lamp, floor lamp and table lamp. If fresh air isn’t circulating throughout your home, use an aromatherapy diffuser to circulate essential oils, thus balancing out the lack of fresh air.
- Be mindful of the shapes present in your living room. Generally, it’s best to avoid furniture or decor with sharp edges and instead opt for decor that is flowing, wavy, and as close to the Earth as possible. When decorating your living room, be conscious of what your decor looks like and the statement it will make to guests. With that said, if your favorite piece of decor or furniture is angular and bold, create balance by pairing it with softer pieces.
The kitchen, which is part of the feng shui trinity (bedroom, bathroom and kitchen) is where you eat, cook and, if you love hosting parties, socialize. Its importance is why it’s necessary to create a kitchen with good, flowing energy. As I stated before, all of the rooms in your home should have good, flowing energy. When arranging your kitchen, the two most important factors to keep in mind are: 1) the location of your appliances, and 2) the color of your kitchen.
In feng shui, there is a concept called bagua, which refers to the energy map of your home. The baguas of your home are the given space in which your bed, appliances, furniture, and decor reside. It’s crucial to know which direction they are facing in order to arrange them accordingly. Each direction (N, S, E, W) brings in differing energy that can assist in wealth, prosperity, romance, health, and creativity.
With this knowledge in hand, here are some tips to keep in mind when arranging and decorating your kitchen:
- Pastels are great for your kitchen, but the best color to paint and decorate your kitchen in is white. If you’re considering other colors, green is another good option as it nourishes the soul while also helping to decrease the appetite, and a soft yellow will help the digestion.
- Have a clear view of the entrance while you cook. If you can, position your stove to face the entrance of your home.
- Keep your counters as clean as possible. If there are appliances you don’t use on a daily basis, store them in a cupboard to keep your kitchen as de-cluttered as possible.
- Have fresh flowers or a bowl of vibrant, fresh fruit on the counter to encourage lively energy. Both of these will uplift your spirits which is what feng shui is all about!
Now we come to part two of the feng shui trinity: the bedroom. The bedroom is where magic happens and no, we’re not talking that kind of magic. We’re talking the magic that takes place while you sleep: your body is resting and repairing itself, and your brain is sweeping out the toxins of the day, preparing you for another beautiful day ahead. Although, with that said, the bedroom is where romance takes place so it’s important to keep both of these things in mind when arranging your home. In regards to color and arrangement, the bedroom should be passionate and vibrant. It should be a place where you’re able to relax and decompress, as well as get revved up if need be.
Here are tips to keep in mind when arranging your bedroom according to feng shui principles:
- First things first, there should be absolutely NO TV, exercise equipment or computer in your bedroom. Instead of helping to create a nourishing and sensual environment in your home, these appliances only work to bring in the stress you’ve accumulated from the day or work. They’re also a distraction to your well-being, so therefore have no place in the bedroom.
- Keep fresh air circulating throughout your bedroom. If your bedroom does not have a window, purchase an air purifier or essential oil diffuser. You may have plants in your bedroom as a source of oxygen, but be sure to keep them as far away from your bed as possible.
- When it comes to where to arrange your bed it should be against a wall, facing the door to your room. In addition to these guidelines, it should also be easily approachable from both sides as well as be anchored by two nightstands, one on either side. This ensures equality between yourself and your significant other. If one partner has a nightstand or easy access to the bed and the other doesn’t, the relationship will be unequal.
- In regards to feng shui colors, you can go in two wildly-opposite directions: you can choose skin colors (colors that range from from fair to chocolate brown) or varying shades of red. Red promotes passion and sensuality, while skin tones promote restoration and healing.
- Avoid dark, sad and lonely images, instead opting for bright, romantic, social images that feature relationships and/or nature. Art has the power to set the tone of your bedroom, or any room, for that matter, so choose wisely.
- Avoid furniture with sharp, harsh corners as this will dictate the atmosphere of your bedroom. And, as we know, your bedroom should be anything but harsh.
Last, but not least, we have the bathroom — the 4th room in which the majority of your time is spent. While we all know that we use the bathroom to shower and, well, use the bathroom, some of us also use it as a space in which to get ready. If this is the case for you, it’s especially important that you create a bathroom with good feng shui and great energy. While this may seem difficult, especially since bathrooms have notoriously bad feng shui, a couple of rearrangements here and there will change the mood in no time.
How do you do this? Below are some tips to get you started in the right direction:
- Keep your toilet lid down at all times. Why? Because 1) no one wants to look inside a toilet and 2) this allows chi to flow out of your home. The reason why bathrooms have bad feng shui is because chi, which is akin to water, is flowing out through your toilet and pipes. Plugging your drains and keeping your toilet lid shut will reduce the amount of chi flowing out, thus increasing the amount of good energy in your bathroom!
- Use earth tones in your bathroom. You may either do this through decor or paint. If painting your bathroom an earth tone, stick to taupes, light golds, or deep browns. If you will be using decor to incorporate the earth element, bring in wooden pieces or earthenware. This will create balance between the earth and water elements.
- Hang a feng shui crystal from the ceiling to draw energy upwards rather than down and out the drains. In feng shui, crystals can be used in any room you feel is out of balance.
And there you have it! Basic feng shui tips that will bring harmony, clarity, light, and love into your home for the New Year.
Pin the feng shui cheat sheet below to refer back to later!
Looking to get your home clutter-free and organized? Don’t miss the best home organization tips we learned in 2015.
Originally posted on December 19, 2015 @ 7:00 AM