The point of feng shui is to have a clutter free environment and get rid of all the kitschy things you’ve collected over the years. As delightful as all the floral printed cats are, they just mix up the calm you’re trying to achieve, and let’s face it, there’s a fine line between keeping sentimental items and hoarding rubbish, so here’s a simple guide to help you get started on catching the right mood and keeping it in your home.
Feng shui is all about positive energy and the flow it has throughout our rooms. So the first thing to think about is the layout of your rooms using a ‘bagua’ energy map, which is basically a grid. Split a rough map of your home into a grid with nine sections – each section refers to a different part of the bagua. If you find that your living room lies mostly in one of these areas then you should focus on the elements that help the room, in that area, prosper. Here is a basic version of the bagua to get you started:
This is also helpful if your living space has to accommodate more than one function – a lounge, office and dining room can be easily split up so that you get the best qualities for each individual purpose in each section of the room. And, once you’re confident on the shape and space of your room the map also helps to determine the best colour schemes and furnishing materials that will best support your feng shui elements.
The arrangement of furniture in a room is important in feng shui. Imagine a chain of energy flowing throughout your home, from windows, through doors and joining all the rooms. In order to keep the chi energy flowing properly, position your furniture along the edges of the room so nothing obstructs the flow. Low furniture, such as a coffee table or foot stool can be overlooked in this regard.
To enhance the feeling of spiritual security, place the sofas and chairs against the walls; bear in mind the seats should not have their backs to doors or windows, as that makes the occupants feel vulnerable. This goes also for any sharp edges created by your furniture or even shelves. You can cover them with trailing plants, or set your ornaments and/or books to sit just over the edge. This deflects the ‘poison arrow’ that encourages negative energy and hostility.
When considering a colour palette, strong colours should be balanced out by more neutral based tones. Bold colours splashed around the room in rugs, cushions and pictures work very effectively in giving the room more life and light but you should avoid giving yourself a colour overload. The brighter the colours, the more rapidly the chi energy will flow – what you are essentially working for is the yin and yang effect of colours and energy.
And finally, think about what makes you feel positive and alive: bright, rich colours, natural influences and lively artwork as opposed to darker scenes for example. Light plays an important part in the directing of positive energy flow so bear in mind that natural light can make you feel a little chirpier in the morning but softer tones in the evening can help when you want to relax.