In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it’s nice to come home to a place that is relaxing and calming, where we can take a few deep breaths and meditate or let our minds wander. Feng shui, a system of laws that focuses on the flow of energy in spatial arrangement and orientation, has been around for centuries keeping that very concept in mind. While many of us may not be able to incorporate all the laws of feng shui into our homes (there are many!), integrating some of the concepts will likely aid in our homes’ capacity for positive energy flow and influence of relaxation on the mind and soul.
While there are plenty of resources out there to guide you to extreme feng shui dedication, this article is not one of them. Rather, we’ve included 15 simple yet effective ideas for incorporating soothing feng shui décor into your home. And, when all is said and done, remember that, just as feng shui facilitates good design, good design also enhances feng shui elements.
1. Choose colors with care and delight.
If you’ve researched feng shui at all, you’ve likely discovered many sources that require certain colors be contained in certain parts of your home, whether north, south, east, or west. The truth is, the actual color you choose for each space is not nearly as critical to the positive chi as is how the color makes you feel. An old, tired, dingy painted wall of any color will feel just that way – old, tired, and dingy, whereas a freshly painted, clean wall of the exact same color will breathe life and energy into the entire space.
2. Keep furniture out of the flow of the space.
While this may sound fairly vague, it’s actually quite simple. Make sure that any furnishings are arranged so as to allow a positive flow around them – you shouldn’t run into the back of the sofa, for example, when you enter a living room. The same rings true for a dresser in the bedroom. A space is much more inviting when it’s arranged with the feng shui guidelines of keeping the flow inherent and real.
3. Incorporate a beloved piece up high.
A feng shui’d room (yes, it’s a verb now) will feel both safe and comfortable. A piece of artwork that’s hung fairly high, or an interesting piece of lighting that’s elevated above the rest of the space, draws the eye upward, which is believed to be a mood-elevating trick. If it doesn’t make sense in your space to hang artwork up high, try another eye-raising strategy, such as mounting window treatments near the ceiling or painting the ceiling a beautiful, soothing tone.
4. Arrange living room seating in intimate groupings.
While there is no hard and fast rule about a certain number of seated pieces in feng shui, the idea is to promote conversation and relationships by organized the furniture accordingly. In large rooms, grouping furniture in smaller clusters facilitates closer ties; in smaller living rooms, this arrangement just makes sense inherently. Don’t forget to include a surface for each seat on which inhabitants can place a book, a drink, a pair of glasses, or whatever they may need to set down.
5. Clear the clutter.
This is a simple concept but not always easy to accomplish. As our lives become busier, so, too, can our cluttered areas if we’re not vigilant about keeping them free and clear. “Breathing space,” you might say. In feng shui, this isn’t just a good idea – it’s imperative so as to remove old, tired energy from a space so fresh, positive vibes can enter…and remain.
6. Place your sofa against a solid wall.
Specifically, the wall furthest away from the entry is an ideal place for a living room sofa. This provides a clear view of the door for whoever may be seated there. Of course, a few inches of breathing room between the sofa and the wall itself is beneficial to promote positive energy flow.
7. Choose a coffee table with rounded edges.
While a blending of shapes and angles is always good, both in standard interior design and in feng shui, some objects promote positive chi best without sharp angles jutting out. The coffee table is one of these instances. Because furniture tends to be arranged around a coffee table, people will likely be walking around it and facing it while they’re seated; this means that the jarring effect of a coffee table’s corners will be amplified. Choose an oval or circle coffee table for best energy.
8. Use plants or other accessories to bounce energy back into a space.
If you have a large window, specifically one that is oriented opposite a door, feng shui teaches that energy from the door’s opening will be pushed right out the window. In order to maintain a soothing aura in the room, use objects that will keep the energy inside. Drapes or window blinds work well, of course, but if you like the view or the natural light from an open window, consider placing another object in front of the window that doesn’t block the entire thing – a potted plant, for example, is a lovely way to achieve this.
9. Light up the darker spaces.
No one likes a dark corner, and feng shui addresses that by recommending that all spaces have access to light. It makes sense, really, because light activates energy and sets it in motion; conversely, dark is energy stagnate. Have plenty of lamps around to activate energy in all the spaces.
10. Make the room’s décor match its purpose.
To promote joy and harmony in your home, and ultimately a feeling of joy upon entering and being there, you’ll want to consider the actual uses of a certain space and then decorate accordingly. In a home office, for example, you don’t necessarily have to install a waterfall and rock garden to have feng shui positively affect the space. You want the office décor to be active and vibrant…probably much unlike the bedroom’s décor, which will likely be more muted and serene.
11. Surround yourself with beautiful, meaningful pieces.
Following this rule will be different for everyone, of course, but the concept behind using feng shui to create a soothing place is the same. In order for you to feel at peace in your home, you should be surrounded by things you love, whether it’s artwork, pottery, textiles, books, or any other thing. Keep these items well-edited, though, to maintain a sense of order in the space.
12. Maintain proportion in all spaces.
If you’ve ever walked into a huge dining room with a tiny table, or had to suck in your stomach to walk around an enormous dining table in a shoebox-sized room, then you’ll understand the importance of proportion in a space’s comfort. Feng shui embraces the concept that, in order for spaces to feel restful, they should be proportionate. Leave plenty of space for people and positive energy to move about.
13. Use reflective surfaces, but balance them out with warmer materials.
Reflective pieces, such as mirrors, metallic anything, and windows, help to keep a space feeling energized and alive, which is a great feng shui component. However, too much décor bling can be distracting and overwhelming. Be sure to balance those gold sconces and brass chandeliers out with a wooden side table or driftwood.
14. Balance masculine and feminine components.
In feng shui, the goal is to have a space feel energized yet restful. Balance is key in accomplishing this. A large wooden piece, like a bed or armoire, tends to feel heavy and masculine; balancing those objects out with some plush, softer-than-soft bedding, for example, softens the harder edges and large silhouettes and brings harmony into the space. The same can be accomplished with window treatments in any room – sheers paired with classic plaid drapes, for example.
15. Leave space on both sides of the bed.
For children’s beds, this might not apply, but for an adult, feng shui would have you leave sufficient room on either side of the bed for a safe and comfortable exit. This is common sense for a master bed that sleeps two, but it applies to beds for single sleepers as well. Remember, we’re encouraging positive chi and flow, and you don’t want good energy being stopped dead in its tracks on a wall side of the bed!