Decorate With Intention: A Crash Course in Feng Shui

Whether you are hoping to employ a few feng shui methods to improve the flow of your home, or are considering hiring a feng shui consultant to give your home a complete energy makeover, learning more about this ancient art is sure to improve your life at home. Join us and discover a few of the fundamentals at work behind feng shui, together with answers to common design problems that may be affecting your life.

In its heart, feng shui is about the idea of chi — a life force or energy flow — in your home. Just as in Traditional Chinese Medicine chi is thought to flow throughout the entire body, in feng shui chi is thought to flow through our houses. The nuances of feng shui practice derive from the way we form the energy that goes in and around our home and rooms. There are several distinct schools of feng shui, but for now we will be focusing mainly on some shared foundational concepts.

KUBE architecture

Don’t send creative energy from the window. It may seem like a lovely idea to set your desk facing a window with a view — but before you sit in, think about the feng shui concept of “controlling position” By putting your desk in a commanding position — that is, a place where you can see most of the room (including the door), you are likely to feel more secure and in charge of your space. Also, don’t forget your room — is its key purpose to unwind or daydream? If this is so, putting your desk directly in front of a window may be perfect; however if your purpose is to work effectively, another layout may work better for you.

Still wish to make the most of this opinion? Try placing your desk using the window to one side, so that you can look out the window if you need a rest.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Balance your bedroom at a better relationship. Apply the identical principle of “commanding position” to a bedroom by placing it so you have a fantastic view of the door from your bed. Placing the bed directly across from the door is deemed unfortunate, though, so try to keep it off-center.

If you are in a relationship, it’s also important to have bedside tables and lamps of equal dimensions, as this suggests equality in the relationship.

Cathy Schwabe Architecture

Aim to incorporate the five elements in every single room. Whenever it’s not vital to literally include the five elements (water, wood, fire, earth and metal), try to bring something that represents the elements into your space. For instance, glass or a mirror may stand in for water, a candle or lamp for fire, and ceramics for earth. A room with five elements present will feel much more comfortable and nicely balanced.

Koch Architects, Inc.. Joanne Koch

Clear clutter for health and energy. One of the simplest (though perhaps not the easiest) ways to get started aligning your home with the fundamentals of feng shui is to clear the mess. Clutter saps our energy, both physically (by getting in our way) and subconsciously (by reminding us of unfinished jobs). A clean, uncluttered home, on the other hand, signifies health and vibrant energy — something many people could certainly use more of!

Richard Bubnowski Design LLC

Learn about the bagua and find the symbolism of each room. If you want to delve somewhat deeper to feng shui, you will need to familiarize yourself with the bagua. The bagua map is an octagon, with each of the eight sides corresponding to another area of life: reputation, relationships, children, helpful people, career/path in existence, self-knowledge, fresh beginnings/family and prosperity. The center represents health.

By positioning the bagua map above a floor plan of your home or a particular room, you can decide in which the areas of the bagua are in your space.

Arcanum Architecture

Give the front of your own house a feng shui makeover. The way energy flows out of the road in your home is extremely important in feng shui. The objective is to protect your home from the active energy of this road, while at the same time graciously welcoming traffic.

If you’ve too much busy road energy in front of the house, try planting trees or shrubs near the sidewalk, including a porch or covering on your front steps, or putting heavy sculptures or big potted plants near the front walk. Pathways should be gently curving into the front door, rather than in an extended straight line.

If you want to welcome more traffic, use light to draw the attention in, broader steps to a front door and big, clear house numbers.

John Maniscalco Architecture

Familiarize yourself with common feng shui “cures.” As soon as you start taking a look at your home in the feng shui perspective, you come to see that the fundamentals have a whole lot to do with symbolism: Sharp corners suggest danger, dying crops are a indication of terrible health and so forth. What is your home telling you?

As soon as you have the feeling for this, you can play around with implementing your feng shui cures. Frequent cures that can be beneficial in many situations include mirrors, octagonal shapes, crystals (particularly hung from the ceiling), fresh green crops and water (running water for vitality, heavy, water for contemplation).

Michael Knowles, Architect

Problem: Door opening into a wall.

Feng Structure solution: If your front entrance door opens into a wall just a few feet off, this may create a “obstructed” feeling upon entering your property. Try hanging art to draw the attention in. A mirror, while used a great deal in feng shui cures, would in this situation reflect the energy back in the road … not great, as you need visitors to stay.


Problem: Heavy items overhead.

Feng shui solution: Even if this giant light fixture or thick mirror is firmly attached, then it can cause you to feel worried. The only thing to do in this instance is either to move the item or reposition the furniture below. In this case, you could just move the bed a little to the left.

Problem: Slanted ceiling.

Feng shui solution: Slanted ceilings are believed to create create uncomfortable energy for people sitting or working under them. Try putting an upward-facing mild or a healthy plant in the lower corner to balance the energy.

Still interested? You could always hire a feng shui consultant (try looking for “feng shui” or “feng shui consultant” one of the professionals) to give your home a complete feng shui makeover.

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