The aim of Feng Shui is to promote chi, or good energy, in your environment. Feng Shui determines the best place to build a home or office building, and where to place furniture and other household items within the building. Feng Shui is believed to balance a range of different elements, like yin and yang (male and female) and the five elements of Taoism, which are said to make up the entire world; these are fire, wood, metal, earth, and water. When these elements are balanced, harmony will exist in your home.
Every single thing in the universe is comprised of energy, and every single thing operates on an energy map. You can manipulate these energy forces into negative energy, or positive energy. The concept of yin and yang is based on the philosophical balance of positive and negative forces in the universe. By introducing the elements of Feng Shui, this concept can now be applied to the field of interior design.
About Feng Shui
Feng Shui translates as ‘wind-water’. Also known as Chinese Geomancy, Feng Shui is a pseudo-scientific practice that originated in Ancient China, where wind and water were associated with good health. The belief is that Feng Shui uses energy forces to create a harmonious environment for individuals.
According to Feng Shui, wind and water can flow in free form, so Fung Shui elements are arranged in such a way that these natural elements freely flow though the living space of a home. Any good energy created by Feng Shui affects the vitality, temperament, and overall well-being of all those who live in the space.
Interesting Fact: Bank buildings in Hong Kong are built with Feng Shui in mind. Even Disneyland changed their designs to make sure their gates conformed to Feng Shui principles!
Principles of Interior Design
As an art form, interior design introduces light and colours to a house; it also adds comfort, personality, and good energy. The ideas behind interior design are typically based on purposes and various themes, and while some people prefer a complex , defined design plan, others look for a more functional yet minimalist plan. Regardless of which design plan you choose, your interior designer (perhaps you!) should always pay close attention to the flow of energy in the space.
Feng Shui In Your Home
Have you ever felt that, regardless of how hard you try to relax after a long day’s work, you never really feel relaxed. If the answer is yes, then it may be time to Feng Shui your home.
Unlike most other design styles where certain decorative boxes must be ticked and specific elements adhered to, Feng Shui is more about the philosophy of inspiring a sense of tranquillity and calm in your everyday life and creating a harmonious balance in your home. That doesn’t mean that certain themes and features can’t be used, so let’s move on and try to understand the powerful concept of Feng Shui in interior design.
Feng Shui In Interior Design
Feng Shui in interior design focuses on balancing the elements by positioning them in such a way as to optimize ‘chi’ (energy). This explains why Feng Shui in interior design focuses more on ridding the space of clutter and rearranging existing furniture pieces and other household items than it does to sticking to a certain décor style. Perhaps that’s why some people refer to Feng Shui as ‘the art of placement’.
Feng Shui, and why we think you’ll love it –
- You’ll experience an overall sense of balance and peace once your home has been feng shui-ed.
- You’ll develop a connection to nature.
- You’ll acknowledge the beauty of simplicity in your furniture and in your everyday life.
- Because Feng Shui is its own style, you’ll love not being restricted by trends and decorative rules.
How To Feng Shui Your Home
To begin, we suggest that the best way to Feng Shui your home is to learn about the five core elements of this ancient philosophy.
We know that Feng Shui focuses mainly on wind and water, but without the following five elements the philosophy wouldn’t be complete.
- Wood symbolises vitality and growth. Encourage personal growth by placing wooden items in your space. An easy way to add this element is with plants and wooden furniture.
- Metal symbolises logic and intelligence (knowledge) and supports mental sharpness. Use sculptures or metal frames to add this element to your space.
- Earth symbolises balance, grounding, and stability. Introduce this element to your home with crystals, rocks, and landscape imagery to feel more stable and grounded.
- Water symbolises serenity and wisdom and helps with relaxation and clarity. Fountains, reflective surfaces, and aquariums are ways to add this element to your space.
- Fire symbolises passion and energy in its purest form. Fire represents expansion, transformation, and volatility. This is why red objects and candles help celebrate transformation and are used to enhance a space with fire.
Minimalism is Key to a Feng Shui Home
One part of minimalism is getting rid of clutter, so we suggest doing this prior to moving your furniture. The philosophy of Feng Shui is about maintaining the flow of balance and good energy in your home, allowing the chi to freely move from room to room. Clutter gets in the way of this flow, changing the energy into negative energy. If your furniture contains heaps of superfluous belongings and other items, there’s no point in trying to rearrange your furniture. That’s why we suggest beginning the Feng Shui process by decluttering your home.
Decluttering doesn’t mean you have to empty out your room or house. It means being intentional with every item or piece of furniture you own. Each item must be functional, or meaningful – though we do suggest keeping meaningful items to a minimum.
Keep It Simple!
As stated above, Feng Shui is not about purchasing certain pieces to follow a specific style; it’s about rearranging your existing furniture items. That’s one of the reasons why furniture must be included in your decluttering process. But if you’re in the process of changing your current décor or starting to decorate a new house from scratch, all the better. We suggest you choose items with clean and simple lines, limiting the decorative elements. This will have the same effect as decluttering; it creates a visual flow without distractions and helps avoid the feeling of being cluttered.
A Feng Shui Colour Palette
To develop a colour palette, consider the five elements of Feng Shui design style –
- The greens and browns of wood
- The whites and greys of metal
- Earthy tones like orange, yellow, and beige
- Shades of water like blue and light blue
- The flaming red of fire.
These are simply suggestions and note that you don’t need to include all these colours in every room. We suggest choosing neutral tones for both your primary and secondary colours, with one or two brighter accents in each room. This should create a feeling of harmony and peace in your home.
In addition to incorporating the element of wood into your colour palette, it’s important that you also bring this element to life with some real plants. Plants add to our sense of balance by purifying the air – they give us oxygen and they absorb toxins, as well as electrical pollution created by appliances.
Don’t add too many plants, though, because they could create clutter in your home and that’s the last thing you want with this design style. The solution is to select fewer plants, but bigger ones.
Embrace the Light
You may feel that windows are a problem because they involve contrasting aspects of the Feng Shui design, including stopping energy from leaving the house and relying on and celebrating natural light as much as possible. So, what’s the answer? The answer is to use sheer curtains that keep energy in your home while letting in plenty of light. Windows should open outwards and be kept clean.
Using The Right Shapes
You should, as much as possible, prioritise shapes with clean lines, like rectangles and squares, or pebble shapes and other imperfect natural shapes. Our suggestion is that you avoid too many circles and triangles unless you’re going for a specific feel. An example might be a round coffee table to facilitate conversation, ensuring you and your guests feel connected when spending time together.
Use Reflective and Natural Materials
Again, promoting balance using the five elements of Feng Shui, we suggest focusing as much as possible on natural materials. Wooden furniture and other decorative pieces are a must-have! Other suggested Feng Shui materials include –
- Rugs in natural fibres, like jute and sisal
- Mirrored surfaces.
Feng Shui Rules for Specific Rooms
The following are suggestions on how to implement Feng Shui design into your interior –
Front Entrance: The front entrance to your home is the gateway for Feng Shui and the portal for your chi, making it the most important part of this design style. Your entrance must be clean and it must be free from obstacles or clutter, like shoes on the floor. Also keep in mind that the first thing you see when entering your home sets the tone for the rest of your space, so it must be meaningful and memorable, like a great piece of artwork or a gorgeous plant. Keep this space decluttered and clean and replace any dead plants or blown lights.
Dining Room: The communal element of dining together should be emphasised in your dining room. Add some freshly cut flowers to make your table more attractive.
Living Room: When creating your living room, start with the largest piece of furniture, usually a sofa. It must face an opening or a door, and must be placed against a wall, typically the furthest wall from the entrance. Extra seating, like lounge chairs, should be placed in a position conducive for conversation, without cramping the space. Keep energy flow in mind at all times. Avoid harsh angles when choosing a coffee table. Allow light into the room and prevent energy from escaping with sheer window coverings. To invigorate and energize the room try adding red elements.
Bedroom: Place your bed as far away from the doorway as possible, but make sure it’s not directly opposite it. Avoid having electrical components near your sleeping area. Ideally, you won’t have a television in your bedroom because it will inevitably become the focal point of the room and take away from the calming energy. Ensure both parties are represented with feminine and masculine details, thus creating a good balance. Choose soft-coloured linens if you have a wooden or metal bed frame. Promote a calming, restful energy by filling your bedroom with cosy materials. Hues in blue and green can help to create this feeling. Help energy flow by clearing out whatever is underneath your bed.
Home Office: Our key decorating tip for your home office is to declutter. Your desk should be at least 50% clear, and this includes all those cords. Your desk should face the door, which is the position of power, therefore vital for your productivity. Decorate with some personal objects and incorporate greenery; the energy from the plants will keep you focused. Add red details to invigorate the area. The suggested colour palette for this room is gentle greens and yellows to keep you calm and centred. Earth tones will add stability to your home office.
Toilet: With Feng Shui, the toilet seat should be closed whenever it’s not being used. This prevents chi from escaping or being compromised.
Signature Feng Shui Elements of A Home
We hope this post has clarified the Feng Shui principles of interior design in your home. As you can see, Feng Shui is not a certain style; it’s actually a way of rearranging your existing furniture items and meaningful belongings. Of course there are other elements that will give your home a Feng Shui boost and create positive energy in your home. These include –
- Open plan rooms
- Sliding panels or open doors
- Water features
- Large plants
- Meaningful welcome mat
- Essential oil diffusers
- Spiritual reminders, such as a Buddha statue, if relevant.
One of the most important principles of Feng Shui is the commanding position. Basically, this means the positioning of important furniture pieces: the bed because it represents you, the desk because it represents your career, and the stove because it represents your wealth. There’s probably not much you can do about your stove, but hopefully you can get your bed and desk in good positions. The idea is that you can see the door when you’re in bed or at your desk, and while you shouldn’t be in a direct line with the door, you should never have your back to it. This is what it takes to receive optimal positive energy.
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