A beginner’s guide to introducing and creating good energy into your home.
Feng shui may seem like the latest trend used by home makeover shows, but it’s been around for over four thousand years. So, what is it?
The literal translation means “the way of wind and water.” The philosophy of feng shui is a Chinese geomantic practice of arranging buildings, objects, and space to achieve harmony and balance between an individual and their environment. To boil it down, “how does the space make you feel?”
What makes the practice so versatile is that it can be applied to a variety of spaces. Everything from planning an entire neighborhood to building a custom home or even spaces as small as an entryway or a linen closet. Where and how you place items and the materials used can either bring balance or cause chaos. Now, how do you begin?
Declutter Your Space
This is the first important step before trying any feng-shuing. No matter how hard you will it, you can’t create balance and order in a cluttered space. Take the time to whittle things down to only what you need or things that you enjoy surrounding you in your home.
Helpful hint: Don’t forget to dust! Make sure to wipe down and clean your home and things within it during your decluttering process. This extra step helps bring on the good vibes.
Find the Flow
Ask yourself, “is it easy to move from one place to another?” If you find yourself dodging and maneuvering around furniture, it’s time to rearrange. The natural flow of traffic from one room to another should be open and unblocked.
For example, when you enter your bedroom, you shouldn’t be squeezing by a dresser to get to a closet or bathroom entrance.
Check Commanding Positions
The commanding position is one of the fundamental basics in feng shui. Essentially, it’s the placement of certain furniture pieces because they represent significant aspects of your life. Your bed represents you, your desk represents your career and path in life, and your stove represents your wealth and resources.
To place these items in command, find a location in the room where you’re able to see the door when using them. You shouldn’t be directly in line with the door, but you shouldn’t have your back to it either. The idea behind this position is that you have a good view of anyone or anything that could be coming in through the door, which helps you feel more at ease on a subconscious level.
It also means that you are more aware of potential opportunities that might be coming towards you. Your desk and bed are probably fairly easy to move into the command. You might not be able to change your stove’s position, but it is something to consider if you’re building or customizing a home.
Consider the Five Elements
The five elements of feng shui are earth, water, wood, metal, and fire. Each one is associated with certain qualities and colors, and shapes that can be used as design elements. In doing so, you can bring the qualities of that element into your home and life.
Earth makes us feel grounded and inner peace. It stands for support, stability, protection, and nourishment–crucial to our hectic and stressful lives these days. It’s expressed in beige, sandy, and taupe colors.
You can add this to your home with pottery, a solid rectangular desk, yellow pillows, or images of landscapes.
Water provides us with a sense of flow and renewal and is a symbol of abundance. It stands for deep wisdom and our connection to each other and the world around us. It’s expressed in black and dark blue colors and wavy shapes.
You can add this to your home with mirrors, fountains, images of water, and blue rugs.
Wood represents growth, healing, and vitality. It’s also an element of abundance, so it’s used to promote wealth and prosperity. It’s expressed in green, brown, and teal colors, as well as tall, columnar shapes.
Lush houseplants are an especially great way to bring this element into your home.
Metal brings structure and helps create a sense of calm, beauty, and precision. Use it to balance out places that may structure, but be careful not to overuse it and create a space that’s cold and unwelcoming. It’s expressed with white, grat, and metallic colors, as well as circular shapes.
The decor that adds this element to your space includes metal frames, metallic planters, or light fixtures.
Fire is the energy of the sun and represents passion, creativity, and love. It’s expressed with shades of red, bright yellow, orange, pink, purple, and magenta, and triangle shapes.
Light is connected to the fire element, so lamps and candles are a great way to add this element to your home.
Tips to Put into Practice
There’s so much more to feng shui than what’s been covered here. But these basic principles get you on the right path. Here are a few suggestions of things you can try now and see how they make you feel.
- Do not place a mirror directly across from your front door. The front door is where your home gets its energy, and a mirror will simply reflect that energy right back outside.
- Avoid televisions in bedrooms. These spaces are intended for rest, and TVs emit a significant amount of energy into the room.
- To get the best sleep possible, the foot of your bed should not face an open doorway, and no mirrors should be placed where they will reflect your image while you sleep.
Don’t try to overhaul your whole house with feng shui right at the beginning. Start small, expand your knowledge, and let the good vibes roll.