Now that the new normal is keeping more people at home for most of the time, you might be thinking about changing a few things about your living space. For instance, you might not have noticed it before, but now that you’re spending most of your time indoors, your space may feel cramped or cluttered or noisy.
If you’re looking for a way to achieve comfort and balance, why not take a page out of Chinese culture’s Feng Shui? Adding Feng Shui to your lifestyle at home can greatly help balance your home’s vibe.
What Is “Feng Shui”?
Feng Shui translates to feng (“wind”) and shui (“water”), which stems from an ancient Chinese poem about how human life is connected with the flow of their surrounding environment. In other words, the way you decorate or arrange your home can affect its balance and how you feel in that room.
Rooms arranged with Feng Shui in mind are believed to bring good health, luck, and balance. Those that aren’t can make you feel uncomfortable, cramped, and unsynchronized.
This is because Feng Shui believes that everything in your life has a form of energy or “qi.” This can be positive, neutral, or negative energy. Feng Shui means creating a perfect energy balance between all the energies while still clearing up your living space for more breathing room.
Five Elements of Feng Shui
Feng Shui consists of five elements that need to be present in the room for a perfect balance. These are:
- Wood: Represents growth and creativity – wooden floorboards, wooden furniture, small wooden accessories or trinkets
- Fire: Represents passion and energy – candles, fireplaces, fairy lights, triangles, or the colors red and orange;
- Earth: Represents stability and balance – plants, succulents, rocks, clay, furniture, decor, and trinkets with neutral earthy tones, clay items;
- Metal: Represents logic, intelligence, and financial stability – real or faux metal decoration;
- Water: Represents wisdom and serenity – mirrors, aquariums, small indoor fountains, light-blue decor, and furniture.
A room must have these elements to balance each other out and bring in luck, happiness, and blessings. It also depends on factors like where these items are placed in the room in order to bring harmony and balance.
The Commanding Position
The commanding position is the spot farthest from the door not directly in line with it. This usually means its diagonal to the door, and there should be a clear line of sight from that area to the door.
The commanding position should be where you spend most of the time in the room. For example, if you’re decorating a bedroom, your bed should ideally be in the commanding position. If you’re decorating an office your desk and chair should be in the commanding position. And if it’s a living room, your couches should be in the commanding position.
Feng Shui lifestyle experts say this isn’t necessary for every house in the room. But it’s critical for your bedroom, your office, and your kitchen. These three rooms represent the three parts of your life, and the commanding position must be reserved for the things that you’re likely to use most: the bed in your bedroom represents you, your desk represents your career, and the stove represents your health and wealth.
Feng Shui Tips for Beginners
Although it helps to take advice from Feng Shui experts, beginners do not need a deep understanding of the Feng Shui principles to apply it to their own home. If you believe in the importance of universal energy flowing smoothly into your own home, Feng Shui can be a great way to design a simple or modern room without making a room feel cluttered.
Buying or Building the House
Those looking to buy their own home or have it built should be aware that the construction of a house can have an overall negative effect on the Feng Shui of the house. So, if you can, avoid choosing a house with these features present.
- Front door directly aligned with the back door: This design allows good energy to enter and exit easily. If you must have a house with this feature, use furniture and plants to block the easy flow from the front door to the back door.
- Staircase in front of the door: It leads the energy to flow from the front door to the stairs, leaving the main floor lacking of qi.
- Bathroom door facing the front door: Bathrooms are where water is drained, so energy can enter from the front door and exit from the bathrooms.
- Staircase in the center of the home: Destabilizes the energy in the heart of the home.
- Bathroom in the center of the home: Creates bad Feng Shui as the energy in the heart of the home is drained.
- Master bedroom on top of the garage: Garages can be cluttered and have a lot of “in and out” motion energy, which can disrupt the calming energy of the bedroom.
- Long narrow hallways: Makes the energy stagnant. Can be fixed by adding natural light, mirrors, and wall decorations.
Always keep the bathroom door closed and the toilet seat lid down when not in use. And keeping your plumbing free of leaks and water damage has both practical and Feng Shui benefits.
Ancient Chinese beliefs link water and wealth together. By leaving your door and toilet seat open, it’s like you are flushing or draining money away. Adding some of the Feng Shui elements mentioned above can offset the negative energy in the bathroom.
As mentioned earlier, keep your desk and chair in the commanding position of the room. Do not have your back to the door, as it symbolizes you turning your back from the fortune that enters your room.
Avoid placing your kitchen close to the front door. If you can’t, make sure your oven cannot be seen from the front door. Stoves and ovens represent your health and nourishment, and the flow of energy from the main entrance to your kitchen can disrupt the balance of your home.
As much as possible, your kitchen should not be close to your bathroom (or, at least, the bathroom door should not be facing the kitchen). Aside from the practical reason of how the scent of your bathroom can move to your kitchen, kitchens represent fire while bathrooms represent water. Your bathroom’s energy can douse the flames of your kitchen’s energy.
Less is more, so avoid cluttering your living room (as well as the rest of your home) with items you no longer need. Not only is it an eyesore, but it can prevent us from thinking clearly and weighing us down emotionally by tying us to physical objects.
Feng Shui is a great way to keep the energy of your home flowing and making it feel more comfortable to live in. It might take practice and a bit of elbow grease to re-align your home, but for those who want to balance out the energy of their home, Feng Shui may be worth it.
For those who want to get serious about their home’s Feng Shui and turn it into a lifestyle, you might want to consult an expert in your area. Your home is different from others, so what could work for other houses may not work for you.
But for Feng Shui beginners who want to practice the basics of the Feng Shui lifestyle, it’s as simple as decluttering, getting rid of what doesn’t bring positive energy in your life, and keeping your home balanced.