How to Feng Shui – A Beginner’s Guide
For most of us, Feng Shui conjures up vague notions of poorly aligned doors and windows and energy flow. But what does it really mean and how can it be incorporated into everyday living?
Feng means “wind” and shui means “water” and according to this ancient Chinese practice, wind and water are associated with good health and fortune and thus, the pursuit of good feng shui.
Firstly, Feng Shui design and Feng Shui decorating are different. Feng Shui design pertains to energy flow and thus, usually refers to the position and structural layout of a space. Feng Shui decorating, in turn, pertains to creating an environment that conveys the right energy for that space i.e. an office needs vibrant energy for success and productivity and a bedroom needs a soft, sensual energy.
Feng Shui Design
Feng shui design is something to consider when renovating or before building a home since optimal Feng Shui design is structural in nature. Here are 5 ways you can incorporate Feng Shui into the design of a place
- To prevent ‘chi’ or Feng Shui energy from escaping, do not align the front door with the back door. When good energy enters the front door, you want to encourage it to circulate through your home rather than leaving directly out the back door.
- Don’t put bedrooms above garages as they hold a lot of unsettled energy which is not good for harmonious relationships. Cars are coming and going and the garage is usually cluttered generating bad ‘chi’.
- Avoid having a staircase that faces the front door otherwise you risk having all the ‘chi’ escape upstairs leaving your downstairs ‘undernourished’.
- And do not put a stagnant, low energy bathroom above the front door! Given your front door is the welcome portal for all the good chi energy, you don’t want a lowly bathroom sapping the chi before it enriches your home with its goodness.
- And speaking of the front door, make sure it is the largest door in your home in order to ensure the maximum amount of good chi energy is welcomed into your home.
Feng Shui Decorating
For renters and many others, renovating for optimal Feng Shui or selecting a home based on these design principles is not in the cards. However, there are small ways you can decorate to ensure the presence of positive Feng Shui. Here are our top 5 recommendations for ensuring an abundance of chi in your life!
- Firstly and most importantly, channel the Japanese organizing consultant ‘de jour’, Marie Kondo, and declutter! Not only is it generally sage advice to simplify your life, it is also good Feng Shui. Keep only what is essential to your happiness. To borrow from Ms. Kondo, if an item doesn’t ‘spark joy’ in you, donate it or dispose of it. A clean, tidy space is key to ensuring ‘chi’ in your life.
- Ensure good light and good quality air in your space. Open windows regularly and introduce beautiful living, air-purifying plants. Natural light is optimal but not always available. Consider investing in full spectrum light bulbs for warm radiance when the natural kind is missing.
- Mirrors are considered to be Feng Shui workhorses. They activate, circulate and magnify energy so placing one in your front entryway amplifies all that good chi coming in your front door!
- Make your bedroom a sanctuary. The space should be soothing and harmonious to encourage restful sleep which is seen as a key to happy relationships. Banish unnecessary stimulation like TVs and electronics. Opt for warm earth tones for relaxation and accessorize with a touch of red or other deep colour for some passion i.e. red candles or aubergine throw pillows.
- Perhaps the easiest way to up your chi is keeping your bathroom door closed and the toilet seat down so no ‘shui’ is flushed away.
- Use colour effectively. It is a powerful way of shifting the energy of a room. In feng shui, each color is considered to be an expression of one of the 5 feng shui elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each of these 5 elements “governs” a specific area of your home.
5 Feng Shui Elements
- The Fire element is associated with the colour red and signifies passion and energy. It is best used sparingly in bedrooms, perhaps as an accent piece but vibrant colours are great for kitchens and family rooms.
- The Earth element is associated with soothing neutrals that offer nourishment, balance and stability. These are well-suited to bedrooms and living rooms
- The Metal element is associated with white and grey which represent sharpness, precision and efficiency – ideal for an office.
- The Water element brings calm, ease and purity and is best represented by blues and blacks.
- The Wood element is associated with vitality and health. Earthy browns and greens will ensure good health.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of Feng Shui practices here but hopefully it sets you on a path towards optimal Feng Shui for 2019.