Feng Shui was first used in China in the siting of graves. It was important to site the graves of ancestors in good places that would be unaffected by floods (water) and typhoons (wind). Feng Shui has now become a very popular and practical design element in the western world. Information about a specific site or room is gathered through sensing the balance of yin and yang, and by using a feng shui compass. Traditionally, yin is the dark, feminine, and receptive principle, and yang is the light, masculine, and active principle. Together the yin and yang flow endlessly into each other, and when balanced, can be appropriately applied to interior spaces. A feng shui compass has an inner ring that is comprised of eight trigrams (ba-gua). A trigram is a symbol made up of three stacked lines, a solid line representing yang Chi, and a broken line representing yin Chi. Creation of the eight trigrams is attributed to the legendary Chinese king Fu Xi. He devised the eight trigrams through Taoist observation of the natural world as seen on the patterns of a tortoises shell as the animal emerged from the Yellow River. The eight tortoise shell markings became the eight trigrams, which symbolize the natural world as Heaven, Earth, Fire, Water, Lake, Mountain, Wind and Thunder. Fu Xi laid out these eight symbols in an eight-sided map that became the ba-gua, similar to a tortoise shell in shape. Each side of the eight-sided map corresponds to one of the eight areas of life experience: career and journey, knowledge and self-awareness, helpful people and travel, family and health, children and creativity, wealth and prosperity, fame and reputation, and relationships and marriage. By using the compass, the location of each area of life experience can be determined.
Taoist cosmology is structured on five natural elements: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Everything on earth and in heaven is characterized by the constant interplay among the five elements, which are always moving, unstable, and changeable, like the yin and yang (Levitt, 21). In Feng Shui, the balanced blend of all five elements creates a harmonious environment. This is attained by applying the nurturing, controlling, and reducing principles of the five elements. In the nurturing cycle of the elements, fire nurtures earth because after fire burns it creates more earth crust. Earth nurtures metal because metal ores are mined from deep within the earth. Metal nurtures water because water is contained and carried in metal vessels. Water nurtures fire because adding wooden logs to a fire causes the fire to become bigger. Balance is also achieved by applying the controlling element, in which fire controls metal by melting it, and metal controls wood by cutting it. Wood, in the form of trees, penetrates the earth and exerts an influence with its roots. Earth controls the flow of water by blocking it with dikes and dams, and water extinguishes fire. In the reducing cycle of elements, fire burns wood, wood (trees roots) absorbs water, water corrodes metal, metal is extracted from the earth, and earth suffocates fire. These elements are allocated to different rooms in the home and to different objects in order to facilitate the flow of the Chi.
Another Feng Shui principle incorporates the Chinese compass of north, south, east and west, in which south is located on the top, and in the center of this compass is the Middle Kingdom. The direction of south (summer) corresponds with warmth, heat, and vitality, and its symbolic animal is the red phoenix, which represents beauty and goodness. From the north (winter) comes cold snow and darkness, and its symbolic animal is the black tortoise, which represents long life and endurance. The direction east (spring), which is located on the left side of the compass, corresponds to springtime, blue seas, and new growth. Its symbolic animal is the azure dragon, which represents majesty and magnificence. West (autumn) corresponds to snowy mountains, and its symbolic animal is the white tiger, which exemplifies bravery and strength. These elements are used for correct arrangement of furniture in rooms.
The essence of Feng Shui is to analyze the landscape, house office, garden, etc, and to determine where the most favorable flows of Chi are located, and then to work out how to produce new Chi of enhance existing Chi concentrations. Mirrors are the most common interior means by which Chi is enhanced and adverse sha is deflected. Mirrors should be positioned in areas where the flow of Chi comes to a dead end. Mirrors intended to enhance the flow of Chi should be placed at an angle, so that the path of the Chi is directed further along its way. Mirrors meant to counter sha should reflect it straight back out of the house. Sound is another way of deflecting sha. Wind chimes, running water, or any melodic, pleasing sound are all effective ways to deflect sha. The presence of anything living, such as birds, dogs, cats, and plants, helps to ward off sha. Sha travels is straight lines, so straight objects such as fishing rods, armrests of chairs, and bamboo poles can be positioned in a way to repel sha. Anything that moves in a breeze, such as flags, banners, mobiles, and wind chimes, activate and disperse lingering sha. The smoke for burning incense and gently flowing water also disperse sha. Objects that are beautiful and enhance a sense of stillness and serenity, such as a statue of Buddha, Kwan Yin (the Chinese goddess of compassion and mercy), the Madonna, or even a piece of driftwood or a particular stone, can reverse intrusive sha (Sharp, 76).
- Feng Shui: Purpose & Influence
- 10 ways Feng Shui is influencing you right now:
- What Is Feng Shui?
- The classical Chinese system for seeking harmony
- 9 simple tips to Feng Shui your home
- 1. Fix your squeaks!
- 2. Use your front door
- 3. Where to place that Feng Shui fountain
- 4. Plants above the kitchen cabinets
- 5. Keep that bathroom door closed
- 6. Where is your bed located?
- 7. Cover up the TV in your bedroom
- 8. Clean all windows
- 9. Do a space clearing
- An 8-Point Guide to a Feng Shui House
- First, clear the clutter.
- Then, add a lamp or a reflecting mirror.
- Hang feel good art.
- Get rid of anything broken.
- Space out your appliances.
- Toss old items from your pantry and fridge.
- Display fruit and flowers.
- Make sure your bed is facing the door.
- Focus on symmetry.
- Add a cozy rug.
- Banish electronics to another room.
- 7 steps to help you check the feng shui of your home.
- Step 1: A strong and healthy front door
- Step 2: A main entry with inviting, self contained energy
- Step 3: A happy, active and nourishing energy kitchen
- Step 4: The bedroom as the most loved room in the house
- Step 5: Clearly defined rhythms of activity and stillness
- Step 6: An abundance of alive and fresh energy
- Step 7: Well taken care of utilitarian places
- 7 Ways to Improve Your Small Space with Feng Shui
Feng Shui: Purpose & Influence
Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy about the relationship between humans and their environment. It’s the way your environment and you connect. Based on laws of nature, its theories offer us a way to understand.
Developed over 8,000 years ago as a system of how to survive and excel in harmony with nature, feng shui theories came from logical assumptions about natural causes and effects that endured through time. Passed down from generation to generation, only a select few understand the phenomenon of feng shui in its entirety. The complexity and correct application of feng shui takes many years to learn from a master. The ideas presented here offer some of the basic concepts that explain the principles of feng shui.
Feng shui is based on the Taoist philosophies of nature: these include the Yin-Yang Theory, Five Element Theory and the trigrams of the trigrams of the Yi-Jing. Everything is made of qi (pronounced chee) or energy, which is organized into five elements: metal, fire, water, wood and earth and associated to the trigrams. Do not think of the five elements as static physical elements but energies like frequencies, which have direction and a unique wavelength. The Five Element Theory explains how qi cycles in nature, constantly changing from phase to phase, since energy is neither created nor destroyed. Consequently, everything around us is connected and has the potential to affect our well-being. Today, feng shui is a multi-disciplinary study encompassing architecture, urban planning, geography, astrology, electromagnetism, landscape design, environmental psychology, and many others. (From Liu of feng shui.)
The method of feng shui affects your life every moment you live, whether you are aware of it or not. The best way to explain the way it works is with the three realms of feng shui. There is the heaven, earth, and human realm.
Heaven: Influences from climate atmosphere, and quality. It comes from the timing of your birth. To have good luck with the heaven realm you need proper timing of your endeavors.
Earth: This provides humans with materials needed to sustain life. Food, shelter, clothes, (the necessities) of life. According to feng shui beliefs humans position or how they orient themselves in their surroundings enormously impacts welfare and density of their lives.
Human: The human belief is about the people in your surroundings. The people in your surroundings affect your success.
There are also the five factors of success. This is another way to consider your equation for success. The concept of Chinese culture is That Contribute to Life Fortune.
Fate (or destiny): This is the time of your birth, place, history, family type, body, and socioeconomic status. Fate comprises of about 70% of one’s life destiny.
Luck: The mysterious pattern of good or bad influences through the path of your life. This is not chance or random coincidence; luck is discernible.
Feng Shui: The positioning of you on earth. This is how you situate yourself in life. It impacts your life very strongly.
Charitable actions: This is you being positive toward others. This means serving others for good cause and without reward. The hope of not being recognized and doing the actions in well deeds makes you benefit also.
Self-improvement: This is tied in to the charitable actions. The self-improvement is simply improving one’s self for character and for moral fiber.
10 ways Feng Shui is influencing you right now:
- Your front door: This is an area receives subtle energy from your home. This influences your opportunities and amount of income you command.
- People who lived in your house previously: The people who lived in your home before probably left behind some vibes. The subtle traces of their feelings or experiences may hinder you for several years of living in the house.
- Stove placement: The placement of you stove influences cash flow and your physical health. For example a very dirty stove can affect financial status.
- Clutter in home or office: Junk in a space blocks vital energy. This leads to dozen of frustrations or subtle obstacles.
- Bathroom location: This can raise significant health issues or can result in leaking money.
- Position of bed: This influences your love to amazing degrees.
- Air and lighting levels: These can affect thinking patterns and endorphin levels. These in turn influence your attitude, performance, and results.
- Colors you see: Colors in your surroundings powerfully influence moods, energy levels and effectiveness.
- Desk Position: The position of you desk can either make or break your career. Position of your desk in Feng Shui is number one for success I your job.
- Seeing your front door from the street: Having and open view of your door makes opportunities open for you. If your door is hidden from plain view then opportunities aren’t going to be as prosperous.
What Is Feng Shui?
Updated February 28, 2017 | Infoplease Staff
The classical Chinese system for seeking harmony
by David Johnson
When to Feng Shui?
According to the website of the Way Geomancy Pte. LTD, a Singapore consulting firm, a feng shui master should be consulted whenever you:
- plan to move to a new home
- experience something unexpected
- face job instability
- have health problems
- quarrel with your spouse more than is usual
- have an accident at home
- fail to sleep well
- have a child doing poorly in school
- realize a family member does not feel comfortable at home
- have a negative premonition
- lose control of your temper frequently
- 13 Feng Shui Tips
- Interior Decoration
- Symbolic Meaning of Color
- Psychology of Color
- Meaning of Flowers
As Asian culture becomes more popular in the United States, the ancient Chinese method of creating a harmonious environment, feng shui, is also gaining ground.
Wind and Water
Pronounced “fung shway,” feng shui literally means “wind and water.” Its roots are 5,000 years old.
Feng shui seeks to promote prosperity, good health, and general well being by examining how energy, qi, pronounced “chee,” flows through a particular room, house, building, or garden.
Yin and Yang
Feng shui considers yin, feminine and passive energy, and yang, which is masculine and hot. It also looks at the five elements – water, fire, wood, metal, and earth, and the external environment.
The points on the compass, with eight separate directions – north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, and northwest – are also important.
A feng shui expert, known as a geomancer, will consult an individual’s Chinese horoscope to figure out what is best for that person and use complicated mathematical calculations from the ancient I Ching, (Book of Changes), to determine what aspects of the house are out balance.
Feng shui can be used to decide the location, construction, and architectural features of buildings, the placement and style of furniture, colors and decorating schemes, and the location of plantings, paths, and other outside features. By creating a more pleasing atmosphere, feng shui has been credited with improving family communication, restoring employee cooperation, and increasing a store’s sales.
The principles can be applied to any style of building or decorating, not just to Chinese or Asian modes.
A Royal Secret
When China was under imperial rule, feng shui was a secret, known only to a handful of astronomers and scientists commissioned with maintaining the health, wealth, and power of the court.
Imperial palaces and cities were planned according to feng shui, which became a principle of classical Chinese architecture. Beijing’s Forbidden City is an example. A spectacular complex of palaces, administrative buildings, and temples arranged around a series of courtyards, the Forbidden City was the capital of China during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Commercial Feng Shui
But today, feng shui is available to everyone. Banks, hotels, houses, and even several new communities in Hong Kong have been planned according to feng shui. Many Chinese use feng shui to improve business.
9 simple tips to Feng Shui your home
The flowers are blooming and spring is in the air! Since Spring is the time for spring cleaning, now is the time to rethink, reorganize and revitalize your house with a little Feng Shui. Here are 9 simple tips for bringing positivity into your home with Feng Shui design principles. Nine is the most auspicious number in Feng Shui, so if you can manage to do all nine of these, you will attract even more good energy!
1. Fix your squeaks!
Does your entry door squeak or whine when you open or close it? The entry door is the first and last thing you encounter when coming or going from your home. The sound is as if the door is crying and this can affect your mood and well-being. Many people have become so accustomed to the sound that they don’t even notice it. Oil that door hinge and create more positive energy when you enter and leave your house. It’s also helpful to oil any other door hinges throughout the home, but the entry door is the most important.
RELATED: 3 Houseplants to Help You Feng Shui Your Home
2. Use your front door
Many people live in homes where they drive up into the garage and use the back door to get in. While this is very convenient, from a Feng Shui perspective this may limit good energy and opportunities in your life because again, the entry door represents how chi enters your home and life. The easy Feng Shui fix? Start using the front door at least once week. The more often the better! Just open and close it when you go get the mail, or maybe to take walk. Write it into your regular routine.
3. Where to place that Feng Shui fountain
Water represents wealth in Feng Shui. A lot of people ask me where the best place to locate a fountain for Feng Shui is. According to Feng Shui principles it’s advantageous to place a water element such as a fountain near the entry of your home. It can be just inside or just outside, but the most important part is that the water should be flowing towards the center of your home. That means that the wealth has the opportunity to pour into your life!
4. Plants above the kitchen cabinets
Take a look at your kitchen cabinets and check to see if they are built up the ceiling or a soffit. It is good Feng Shui if there is no space above the kitchen upper cabinets. This space above the kitchen cabinets attracts dust and stagnant energy. The chi gets stuck there and encourages dead energy which may hold you back in your life. If there is a space, there’s a Feng Shui adjustment for you! Place some lighting, green plants (live or very realistic looking) or beautiful and loved objects in this location. These objects bring life to this area and transforms the energy.
5. Keep that bathroom door closed
Many people get concerned about the bathroom when it comes to Feng Shui. The idea is that the water goes out of the home here. Since water is related to wealth, we don’t want our money being flushed away. I have also been taught that water comes back in as it’s being drained, but to be safe, I recommend that you keep the toilet seat cover down and the bathroom door closed to reduce this effect.
6. Where is your bed located?
In Feng Shui, we use the “commanding position” to locate important furniture such as your bed. The bed is arguably the most important piece of furniture to put in the commanding position because you spend so many passive hours sleeping! To place your bed in the commanding position, you want to be facing the door while not in line with the door while lying in bed. Ideally you can be diagonally across the room from your bedroom door. However, I understand this is not always possible. In that case, find a mirror and place it so that you can see the door while lying in bed. I suggest freestanding mirrors, as they’re easier to move around and get just right.
7. Cover up the TV in your bedroom
Most of us have televisions in our bedroom. It happens. If you have trouble sleeping it or even if you don’t, it is a good idea to cover the television when not in use. The active energy of the television as well as the electronic aspect of it may be disruptive to the type of calming quiet energy more conducive to sleep and bedrooms. My suggestion, find a beautiful scarf or fabric and just toss it over the television!
8. Clean all windows
It’s time for spring cleaning, and a good place to start is the windows. The windows symbolize your eyes to the world. We want to be able to see and experience everything that the universe has to offer us. Find some old newspaper, grab a bottle of vinegar and water and clean away the grime. Open your eyes and brighten your space.
9. Do a space clearing
Last but not least, do a space clearing. Our homes and environments retain the energetic imprint of those that inhabit the spaces. It is always good to just take a little time and burn off the old energy to welcome fresh and new chi. My favorite methods of space clearing are the following: burn palo santo, smudge with white sage or spraying natural orange essential oil with water. Palo santo is light and great for everyday use. White sage is heavier for the heavy duty space clearing. And the orange oil is great if you also need something to uplift your mood. Whatever you use, make sure to imagine the space being filled with positive energy and your dreams for the future.
Anjie Cho is the founder of Holistic Spaces and Anjie Cho Architect, integrating beauty, spirituality and green design. She creates and enhances balance and harmony by designing spaces with an understanding of sustainability and informed by the ancient practice of feng shui. Her focus is to create a nurturing and supportive environment for each of her clients. Anjie is a registered New York State Architect, Interior Designer, LEED Accredited Professional, and certified Feng Shui consultant. For over 14 years, she has been creating beautiful and nourishing environments. A graduate in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley, Anjie is a sought-after expert in the fields of feng shui and green design.
You can also follow her on twitter @HolisticSpaces
The New Year brings with it an opportunity for a fresh start for you and your space. Everything in your home—the thoughtfully selected patterned rug, those cool pendant lamps—is a reflection of yourself, so it’s no wonder that a calm home reflects, and reinforces, a calm self. And who couldn’t use a bit more calm in the New Year? To that end, we put together a beginner’s guide to feng shui (pronounced fung shway) to help you head into 2016 with maximum harmony—and style—in the home.
1. CLEAR THE CLUTTERThe cardinal rule of feng shui is no clutter. Energy, or chi, must be able to flow freely throughout your space. Clutter disrupts the flow creating negative energy. Decluttering, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. Start by prioritizing the areas that bother you the most and devote a set time—as little as 10 to 15 minutes each day—to tossing out what you do not love or need.
2. OPEN THE DOOR TO POSITIVE ENERGYAn entranceway with proper feng shui will always feel welcoming: The front door will be clean, free of obstacles like packages or pairs of shoes, and open with ease. The first thing you see when you open the door sets the tone for the entire home. Place a beautiful piece of art, furniture, or any other object that feels pleasing to you at this all-important focal point and you’ll want to stick around.
3. PICK UP A PLANTPlants purify the air by absorbing toxins and electrical pollutants admitted by appliances. Smaller plants can feel like clutter, so bigger is better and fortunately some of the best options are also the lowest maintenance. The areca palm is pet-friendly, grows up to 7 feet tall, is famous for its air-purifying benefits—even receiving the NASA stamp of approval—and is also one of the easiest palm trees to grow indoors. Perfect for those who have been known to kill every plant to ever cross their doorstep.
Other air-purifying plants we love: The Peace Lily, the Rubber Plant, and the Dracaena.
4. TAKE COMMAND IN BEDA feng shui concept known as the Command Position suggests placing your bed where you will have a clear vision of the entryway. The headboard should be against a wall and the foot of the bed should never be in line with the door. (The sweet spot is often diagonally across from the door, or the furthest point away, depending on the space.) This strategic placement lends a sense of security as you avoid being startled when others enter the room.
5. IF IT’S BROKE, FIX ITDrawers that stick, drains that clog, and even clothes with holes are just a few examples of impediments to vitality in the home. They reflect a sense of “brokenness.” Try putting a red dot on everything that needs fixing as a way to represent the way you want your space to be. As objects are repaired and you peel the stickers off, it becomes symbolic of a positive change in energy.
6. DRAW OUTSIDE THE LINESHanging your art in a straight line creates what in feng shui is referred to as a “poison arrow.” These are sharp edges that shoot out aggressively and make the space feel uncomfortable. Opt for a gallery wall to soften the effect and create a natural flow of energy in a more visually appealing way.
7. LEAVE THE WATER RUNNINGFountains are a popular feng shui cure because water is associated with wealth and therefore a flowing fountain helps with the cash flow. Fountains are also natural ionizers, meaning they diffuse negative ions in the air when used indoors. Place your fountain facing the front door to signify wealth flowing in but avoid the bedroom where it will represent worry and sorrow.
8. PUT DOWN THE SEATThe feng shui philosophy is flush with perils relating to the toilet. Literally. Each time you flush, water, and therefore energy, escapes. Keep drains covered and lids shut to minimize the loss of both energy and prosperity. In other words, don’t flush your money down the toilet.
An 8-Point Guide to a Feng Shui House
Stand inside your home with your back to the front door.* Look forward. The part of your home in the far left corner is the money sector. The far right corner is the relationship zone. Got it? You work the magic by placing certain items in certain zones; some have symbolic power, others a literal connection to the area. The eight-point system is intricate and layered; feng shui expert Catherine Brophy shares her best feng shui tips for making every room in your house feel calm and happy.
Money: Place fresh flowers or a jade plant here. This is also a good spot in which to keep cash or a valuable treasure.
Reputation: The place to display awards, accolades, and good-luck symbols, like four-leaf clovers.
Relationships: Bring in pairs (especially potent are lovebirds, butterflies, and cranes) or an image of two trees intertwined. If your living room is in this area, place a love seat, a pair of pillows, or two matching chairs here.
Children and creativity: Ideal for a bulletin board or a craft or sewing zone. If you don’t have kids, use this spot to indulge your inner child with bold wallpaper or chalkboard paint.
Friends and travel: Nice for funny, playful photos, artwork made by pals, or a map that reminds you of a favorite trip (or a journey that you hope to take).
Career: This area should be as well lit as possible. If it falls around your entry, hang a bright pendant or chandelier. Put something here that relates to your passion and/or your job. A scientist might want a quotation from Einstein. If you play music, keep your instrument here.
Knowledge: Create a reading nook or an intimate spot for conversation. If you meditate, this is a great place for it.
Family and health: It’s really important to keep this area clean. (You know, if you don’t have your health…) And it’s the perfect spot for a family-photo wall.
*This map applies not only to each floor of your home but also to each room. Stand in the doorway to orient yourself and get a handle on which corner is which. If your room has more than one doorway, use its main entrance.
We’re all searching for balance, right? What if the key to finding it was as simple as rearranging your furniture or cleaning out your pantry? According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui, it kind of is. Of course it’s a lot more complicated than that but, at its simplest, the practice aims to balance the flow of energy in a space, which translates into harmony in all aspects of life, from relationships to wealth to general happiness. How? It all stems from the idea that our home is a mirror of what’s going on inside us. A balanced home is a balanced life.
To learn more about how to feng shui your home and attract all the good vibes, we turned to expert Laura Cerrano of Feng Shui Manhattan for her guidance. As you dip your toes in, she recommends first focusing your efforts on the three most important rooms in the home: the entryway, kitchen, and master bedroom. What’s so special about those areas? The entry is where you welcome good energy into the home, the kitchen is where you create health and wealth for your family, and the bedroom is where you nourish and recharge your body, mind, and romantic relationship.
In the Entryway…
First, clear the clutter.
In Western feng shui, the front door is known as the mouth of the home. It’s where all energy, or chi, enters. (Chi brings good health, wealth, and luck!) To keep things flowing freely, Cerrano advises making your entry a cutter-free zone. “Never block the front entrance from the outside or inside. Let there be a clear path,” she advises. “A cluttered space disrupts the home’s flow, creating negative energy.”
Then, add a lamp or a reflecting mirror.
A bright, cheerful entryway also plays a role in the flow of good chi by creating a welcoming landing space for good energy. If yours needs a little brightening, bring in a lamp or hang a mirror to help bounce the light around. (Just make sure it’s not facing the front door or you risk pushing away the good energy trying to enter your house, advises Cerrano.)
Hang feel good art.
While it’s important to consider all art that comes into your home, you want to be especially mindful of what you choose to hang in the entryway. “Observe what you see as soon as you come into the front door. Is the artwork uplifting? Is it bringing joy?” says Cerrano. “What you see when you walk in directly impacts your emotional state and sets the tone for the entire home.” Bottom line? Move melancholy art or images of deceased loved ones to another room.
In the Kitchen…
Get rid of anything broken.
Have a stove burner that doesn’t work or an ice maker you’ve been meaning to fix? It’s time to make those repairs! Poorly functioning appliances and tools deplete energy, warms Cerrano. And in feng shui, since the state of your kitchen is directly tied to your health and ability to attract money, she recommends repairing or removing non-working appliances as soon as possible.
Space out your appliances.
One of the most common feng shui kitchen recommendations Cerrano gives her clients is to make sure opposing elements, like fire (stove) and water (sink) are not placed directly next to or across from each other, which can be disruptive. “It’s ideal to have the stove and sink diagonal to each other,” says Cerrano. “If you must position appliances next to each other, make sure there’s a bit of counter space between them so they aren’t directly touching, that way they can breathe.”
Toss old items from your pantry and fridge.
Do you tend to let food spoil before getting rid of it? Or hold on to canned goods you know you’ll never cook? It’s time to change your ways! “If it’s not providing nutrients in the literal sense, then it’s not providing nutrients on an energetic sense,” says Cerrano.
Display fruit and flowers.
Once you’ve cleared the clutter and created a space to welcome good energy, you can bring in things that will further foster that positivity. (Clearing before you add is one of the basic principles of feng shui and can be applied to any area of the home.) To attract lively, healthy energy into the space, Cerrano recommends displaying bowls of fresh fruit and/or fresh cut flowers. (Just make sure to eat the fruit and flowers before they spoil to avoid canceling out the good vibes!)
In the Bedroom…
Make sure your bed is facing the door.
To foster good chi and create a protective energy around your sleeping area, you want to position your bed in what is known in feng shui as a “commanding position.” An ideal layout would be against a solid wall with a clear vantage point of the bedroom door. (You don’t want to be on the same wall as the doorway.) This allows you to see and feel—literally, energetically, and metaphorically—the people and possibilities approaching your life, says Cerrano.
Focus on symmetry.
Remember: a balanced layout equals balanced energy. When setting up your bedroom, make sure there’s equal access to the bed from both sides. This symbolizes creating equal space for both you and your partner (or future partner), says Cerrano. She also suggests flanking the bed with side tables and lamps. They don’t have to match, but they should be similar in size and shape.
Add a cozy rug.
To ground the room’s energy and promote better sleep—especially if you have hard floors—Cerrano suggests bringing in more soft textures, like a large area rug placed under the bed. This sort of balance between yin (soft rug) and yang (hard floors) is a common feng shui goal.
Banish electronics to another room.
In general, you want to keep televisions, computers and other electric appliances out of the bedroom due to the “yang” energy and electromagnetic field (EMF) they produce. (Yin energy is softer and calmer while yang tends to be more lively, which is not ideal for a place of rest.) Cerrano suggests charging your phone in another room and using a battery powered alarm clock. If possible, you should also avoid placing your bed on walls that have electrical appliances on the other side, like a kitchen or office.
For more ways to live your best life plus all things Oprah, sign up for our newsletter!
7 steps to help you check the feng shui of your home.
In a way, it is quite easy to know if your house has good feng shui. Answering just one simple question – Do you feel happy in your home? – will already give a good indication of its energy, as well as how well you and your home are “matched”.
Apart from a house being a good feng shui house, there are also specific house features that are good for some people and not so good for others, all based on their personal energy. For some, their houses are a match made in the feng shui heaven, and for some, the harmony is not there.
However, before going into this more advanced level of designing a good feng shui house for your personal energy, let’s first look at some basic tips to know if your house has good feng shui. Here are 7 tips to help you understand the feng shui of your house.
Step 1: A strong and healthy front door
In feng shui, houses are absorbing most of the needed energy nourishment via the front door, so the stronger your front door, the more good feng shui energy it can absorb. And the more good feng shui energy your door can absorb, the better energy is there to support you!Having a strong feng shui front door It is a bit like having a clear, strong voice and speaking up for yourself/letting yourself and your needs be known. Houses need to have a clear voice, too.
What makes a strong feng shui front door? A door that is proportionate to the size of the house, that opens easily and freely, enjoys beautiful paint in the right feng shui color and has good door hardware. A door that is well-lit, has a good pathway leading to it, as well as opens up into an inviting main entry. In other words, a door that invites both respect and admiration, a door that looks good and feels good.
Read: Choose Best Feng Shui Colors for Your Front Door
Step 2: A main entry with inviting, self contained energy
The main entry is very important in feng shui as this is the space that has to have the ability to draw in and further invite/direct the incoming energy into your home. It has to have a quality of energy that is welcoming, as well as self-contained, so that the energy can settle in. There should be no doors or windows directly facing the front door. When you have any door facing the front door – be it a bathroom door or a back door – the energy easily escapes without being able to nourish the house. The same scenario can be created by a big window facing the front door as this will promote a leakage of incoming energy.
Step 3: A happy, active and nourishing energy kitchen
The kitchen is considered the heart of the home in many cultures for obvious reasons. In feng shui, the kitchen is also connected to the health and wealth energy, so it is very important to take good care of your kitchen.From best feng shui colors for your specific kitchen to creating and maintaining fresh and nourishing energy, any and all details matter in creating a good feng shui kitchen. There can be no good feng shui home if the energy in the kitchen is unhappy, stagnant or cold.
Read: Find Best Feng Shui Colors for Your Kitchen
Step 4: The bedroom as the most loved room in the house
You must have heard me many times saying that the bedroom is the most important room in the house. That is, in a good feng shui house, of course! Instead of focusing most of our attention on grand living rooms and expensive dining to impress others, it would do the house (and us) so much good to create a good feng shui home by keeping our attention on the bedroom. Understand all the guidelines and basics that make a good feng shui bedroom, and then continue to bring lots of love energy into your bedroom.
Love it (and yourself!) with beautiful beddings, colors, art, fresh air infused with healing essential oils, soothing lighting and anything else that makes your heart feel loved and taken care of.
Read: What Makes A Good Feng Shui Bedroom
Step 5: Clearly defined rhythms of activity and stillness
In order to create and keep good feng shui energy in your home, it is important to have natural rhythms expressed visually in your decor. It is the energy of inhaling and exhaling, the energy of night and day, summer and winter, yin and yang. What that means on a practical level is that your house has areas that are busy and bursting with bright colors, images and textures, and then it also has areas of visual rest, stillness or repose. A house that is all stillness or all activity (as expressed in its decorating choice) is not a good feng shui house.
Read: Understand Feng Shui Decorating
Step 6: An abundance of alive and fresh energy
Good feng shui is all about good energy, and good energy is alive and moving. This means that for a house to have good feng shui energy, it has to have a constant flow of fresh energy, plenty of natural light, alive items such as plants or flowers, vibrant art, good sounds. Good feng shui also means you know how to take care of the energy in your home as needed – be it with smudging or any other space clearing techniques.
Read: The Healing Power of Smudging
Step 7: Well taken care of utilitarian places
In a good feng shui house all the areas that are usually not paid much attention to are still loved and well taken care of. From the bathroom to the laundry room, from your closets to the basement and the garage — all these spaces need care as they are still part of your house. You cannot really hide anything or neglect it in your house – it is like neglecting a specific part of your body. For good feng shui, the house as a whole needs order and proper care, as well as a basic loving treatment. Know that there is there no hiding of any spaces in a good feng shui house! Every part of your home is connected to every other part (again, just like in the physical body).
Is there more to a good feng shui house? Yes, of course, there is always more! These 7 steps, however, should serve as a good foundation to help understand the basics of a good feng shui house. Later on, you can proceed to a deeper exploration on how to create a good feng shui house for your specific feng shui birth element. Till then, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask them in our Life Changing Feng Shui community or subscribe to our weekly feng shui newsletter.
Photo source decorologyblog.com
Rodika Tchi is a feng shui expert, writer, and published author. Her company, Tchi Consulting, provides feng shui services internationally. Rodika’s book “The Healing Power of Smudging: Cleansing Rituals To Purify Your Home” is published by Ulysses Press and available in all major bookstores.
7 Ways to Improve Your Small Space with Feng Shui
An NPR story last week told the tale of Lisa Dutton. Her home had been languishing on the market for 30 months with only low-ball offers coming in. The Chino Hills, CA resident was frustrated. She said, “I thought, ‘Wow, my house is beautiful. What’s wrong? Why is someone just walking right out the door?” The reason, she came to find, was the place had bad qi–a Chinese term for energy. To fix this energetic issue, Dutton hired a feng shui expert and in short time had an offer nearly $100K more than her pre-feng shui-ed listing period.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to harmonize the human experience with our surrounding environment; it’s like UI design for reality. To some, feng shui might seem like soft science, but another way to see it (at least its more mundane aspects) is a codification of those intuitive and intangible elements that make a place feel great or horrible. When dealing with a small space, where there is no room for bad mojo, correcting qi disorders can make all of the difference in making the place a sanctuary or a rattrap.
The feng shui philosophy has been developing over the last 6K years give or take, so we won’t try to give an expert guide to incorporating its principles into your home (there are many consultants if your home has a serious qi deficiency). Furthermore, every house is different in its makeup, and much of feng shui depends on orientation to the sun and poles. That said, we can give a few simple, easy-to-implement suggestions to making your small space–or any space really–feel and flow better:
- Make an inviting entranceway. Logically, the entranceway is the gateway for both your body and qi into a home. Keep your entranceway clean, uncluttered and inviting. Paint your door if it’s in bad shape, put some plants and a clean door mat out front. Make an entranceway appropriate for a place you want to enter. The same goes for the interior aspect of the entranceway, which is where energy flows back out. Don’t block it with tons of coats or your gnome collection.
- Keep thing flowing. One of the main ideas is that energy should peacefully move through your home. Furniture placed in the middle of your home’s main arteries can clog those arteries leading to a constricted environment. Rodika Tchi says this on About.com about keeping a room’s flow: “Basically, as you stand at the entrance to your living room, visualize energy as water flowing into the room. Would the stream of water flow freely and smoothly? Would it get stuck in many areas of your living room? Will it rush right out the big window or another door aligned with the living room door.” These are important questions as there can be a tendency to cram too much stuff into small spaces. Err on the side of less to keep a space open. Often it’s better to sacrifice some function for flow.
- Remove “dangerous” furniture. Feng shui expert Erica Sofrina says, “Anything that you bump your head on, stub your toe or bruise your shins on is unsafe. The message to the reptilian brain is that home is not a safe place to be. Replace sharp-edged furniture with those that have rounded edges and remove from sight anything that is–or even looks like a weapon.”
- Clear clutter. You might have rationalized that a messy desk–or table or dresser or countertop–is the hallmark of genius, but feng shui philosophy would say otherwise. Feng shui dictates that we have connections with every physical object in our homes; when those objects are superfluous or represent things not dealt with, they can make our homes stagnant and overwhelming. Clear old clutter away ASAP and continually clear surfaces to keep things flowing smooth.
- Balance the elements. Traditional Chinese philosophy holds that there are five essential elements: fire, metal, earth, wood and water. Each element has a corresponding color or hue, e.g. red is passion, blue is relaxation, brown is grounding and so on. Try to not lean too heavily on one color, but rather try to create an elemental balance in your home to have balance in your life. Balance can also apply to décor; more “active” rooms like an office can have more going on than “passive” rooms like the bedroom.
- Use mirrors to your advantage. Well-placed mirrors can help transmit the flow of energy. Place them in dining areas to increase the enjoyment of meals or near dark areas to bring light and energy to that space. But don’t put mirrors directly in front of a door, which repels entering energy or near areas where you don’t want to increase something’s quality, e.g. a toilet.
- Bring in nature. Evolutionarily speaking, humans are very accustomed to living away from nature. Place greenery around your home accordingly.
Water and elements image via
- Surrey BC Micro Apartments and Choosing Small
- LifeEdited Family-Style (Part 2 of 2)
- Unflinching Look at Big Family Sharing Small Space