Understanding Feng Shui in 4 Minutes

October 14, 2020
Wilfrid Chan

The traditional practice of feng shui originates from ancient China, by incorporating it into your life, it is said to harness the energy around you, putting things in harmony. Much of feng shui is akin to the Chinese art of interior design, it observes invisible forces within architecture and furnishings within a space that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, this is referred to as chi. While it can feel like an abstract idea, its ideologies are rooted in positivity. Feng shui directly translates to wind and water, both are associated as pillars of good health and therefore has come to represent good fortune and balance in life.

To this day, feng shui is used to orient buildings, homes, offices and other dwellings in an auspicious manner. To live in harmony requires us to understand the energy and environments that we reside in, which can manifest in both good and bad forms. By bringing feng shui into your home, you can enhance the right kind of energy, creating balance, inviting success, bolstering good health, happiness, and prosperity. You can use the Bagua energy map to help plan your home in a precise manner, but to start here are some feng shui ideas to orient your bedroom, office and more.

Feng Shui Is About Creating a Happy, Comfortable Home

Think of it as a living skill that brings equilibrium and tranquillity to your everyday life. The basic principles are easy to implement and can drastically transform the energy you feel from a space. Here are a handful of changes you can make today and some you can strive to implement in future.

Plants Make A House A Home

Having plants in the home seems like a no-brainer, not only do they make great decorations, but they inject a vibrant chi into a location. A touch of nature can feel invigorating as plants naturally help purify the air. Much like caring for pets, tending to plants also help to ground you and give you purpose. Ideal plants include the Peace Lily, Snake Plant, Money Tree, Fern, Peonies, Jade Plants and Bamboo. For the more creatively inclined, the art of ikebana can refresh a space.

Make Your Home More Functional

Before choosing furniture, consider how you use your living room. Is it primarily used for entertaining, relaxing, watching TV or eating? Or perhaps it embodies all those things?

Understanding the function of a particular room will indicate what type of furniture best serves your everyday. Basic principles of contemporary interior design can be applied here when considering the arrangement of each piece. Allow enough space for movement throughout the room, making sure nothing obstructs the natural flow you take when existing in any given room. For example, don’t place a side table along a route you frequently travel down, if it forces you to squeeze past it awkwardly. This will affect your energy negatively.

Take Care of Your Doors

Doors are critical within feng shui. They represent your voice, communication and the opportunities that can come into your life. For this very reason, the doors within your home should be kept in good condition. Make sure that all your doors can open up a full 90 degrees. Obstructions or clutter behind the entry signifies that you aren’t open to all the opportunities that come your way.

On top of that, check that all your doors function correctly. Things like squeaky hinges, difficulty with hardware or ease of opening and closing. These details are said to affect how the energy finds its way to you, therefore you want the process to be as smooth as possible.

Position Yourself For Success

A cornerstone principle in feng shui is the commanding position, layout is everything. How you organise your dwellings dictates how you position yourself in life, most of this should be intuitive to how a room should flow. Usually applied to significant pieces of furniture like the bed, desk, and stove.

Feng Shui for your bedroom is key, as your bed is a reflection of you. Ancient feng shui masters have said for centuries that it is best to sleep with your head pointed southward but more importantly make sure your room is uncluttered, your bed is opposite a doorway and your bed is not freestanding in the middle of a room. The desk within your office space represents your career, while the stove in the kitchen represents your wealth. Within a room, you want to be able to see the door without being directly in front of it. This is the commanding position, and by aligning yourself with it, you are in control of your life, thus allowing you to properly receive positive energy which flows through the door.

Invite Natural Light In

Light feeds our souls. Being in the sun is like a natural hit of endorphins, which makes us feel more positive. In any space, whether dark or bright, mirrors can help maximise on natural light. Not only that, but it can make a room feel bigger. Having light within every space you spend time in, is critical to your mental wellbeing.

Always be wary of where you place your mirrors, you want it to reflect a picturesque view if possible, something calming or idyllic. If not, place it opposite a source of light or an expansive part of the room. Never put it opposite clutter, as this reflects negative energy at you. Metal decor like mirrors are associated with bringing clarity into your life, as well as integrity, precision and simplicity. This makes metals an ideal addition to home offices, where these qualities are essential, and as all metals tend to catch light, it will softly diffuses natural light within the room.

Declutter Your Home Regularly

This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how incorporating this into your routine can rid you of stagnant energy. Too much clutter can create brain fog, weighing us down. Even if the clutter is hidden away, it can stagnate at the back of our minds. Think of Marie Kondo and her teachings; if it doesn’t spark joy, it has no place in your home anymore.

Implement an organisational system for all the moving parts in your life that can often result in a mess. A system for paying bills, a recycling bin schedule, a shelf that compartmentalises and a place to put your keys every day. This will give you peace and clarity.

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Cut Your Screen Time

In feng shui, it is said that electronic devices emit negative chi energy, and therefore, you should try to limit extended periods of exposure to technology. Your phone should be kept far from your bed when sleeping, TVs should be placed in cabinets with doors to prevent a direct eye line even when turned off and creating tech-free zones are encouraged.

Hoard Good Energy

If you can see your back door from your main entrance, chi may be shooting through the house too fast, meaning you’re missing out on all that good energy. Instead of having it come in one way and out the other in a hurry, you want it to travel around your home slowly, rippling out like a wave evenly. A carpet in your entryway, paintings along the wall or an entry table can help slow the flow. This interior design tip will also make your home feel more welcoming at first glance.

Find Balance

If feng shui is about harmony, decor and furnishings within a room should feel balanced. For example, a single material can overpower a room. Too much wood can be visually imposing. Feng shui encourages us to opt for a variety of texture, colours and finishings — all to create a cohesive feeling environment. For example, when picking colour schemes for lounges, even everything in a mild pastel tone would be considered off-balance, variety is after all, the spice of life.

Follow these basic tenets to feng shui your home, for a more in-depth look at the values of feng shui and good energy, continue reading on our Asian Design Glossary. Here you can ask us any lingering questions and find feng shui ornaments to serve you best.

All images via Pinterest
“Love your home and it will love you back. This is good feng shui” ― Rodika Tchi

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