Feng Shui — loosely translated to “wind” (Feng) and “water” (Shui) — is an ancient Chinese art of creating a space that’s harmonious with the environment. The practice has roots in ancient Taoism but has since spread through China and the Western world.
Want to learn more about feng shui? This blog will answer the question “what is feng shui?” in more detail, and introduce some feng shui basic ideas to incorporate into your interior design.
What Is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui is defined as the practice of arranging objects, buildings and space in a way that will achieve harmony and prosperity. It’s based on the Taoist belief in chi — also written as “qi” — or the energy that runs through everything. The goal of feng shui is to invite positive chi into your environment so your life feels both energized and balanced. As it relates to interior design and decorating, proper feng shui is believed to affect your well-being, relationships and even finances.
To create a fresh foundation for 2023 — the year of the gentle, elegant, peace-loving water rabbit, per the Chinese zodiac — we’re reorganizing our homes to create an environment that relaxes and uplifts by embracing some basic feng shui principles. While acknowledging that we are far from experts, we humbly present simple ways to feng shui your way into 2023.
These easy, expert-backed feng shui tweaks can help you create a positive space where you feel truly at home.
How To Create a Feng Shui Bedroom Layout
The place where you do much of your snoozing, dreaming, relaxing, dressing, makeup applying, and dance move practicing, the bedroom is the most important room of your home in feng shui philosophy. When it comes to creating a feng shui bedroom layout, furniture placement is paramount.
The key to creating symmetry in your bedroom is leaving equal space on each side of the bed. “This is symbolic of creating equal space for both you and your partner,” Laura Cerrano, a certified feng shui consultant in New York, tells MyDomaine. You can also add a sense of balance and symmetry by placing two bedside tables on either side of the bed, according to Cerrano.
Practice Feng Shui Bed Placement Principles
“Commanding” position means placing your bed with a clear view of the door while avoiding being completely aligned with the doorway. Having a bed with a clear vantage point of the door allows you to “literally, energetically, and metaphorically see and feel who and what opportunities are approaching their life,” explains Cerrano.
Go for Neutral Feng Shui Bedroom Colors
Skip neon greens and electric blues in your bedroom, as these vibrant colors can be overstimulating. Instead, go for calming, neutral feng shui bedroom colors, such as earth tones, creams and cool blues. In addition, Cerrano suggests adding accent colors associated with partnership energy. These include “pinks, reds, and whites,” she says. “This could be implemented through artwork, small crystals (like rose quartz), organic candles, or bed sheets.”
Stick To Feng Shui Bedroom Mirror Principles
Feng shui bedroom mirror design can be tricky, and experts in the practice caution against having too many. According to Cerrano, there are conflicting ideas on the principle — “But the one perspective many consultants agree upon is that adding too many mirrors in the bedroom creates an imbalance of energy.”
In the end, she recommends trying different configurations out and seeing how it feels. Experiment with removing all mirrors and seeing if you sleep better. Alternatively, consider keeping your mirror inside a closet, or simply removing unnecessary ones and leaving only a single thoughtfully-placed mirror in the room.
How To Create a Feng Shui Living Room Layout
Another important space, the living room is where you, your family and guests gather — whether to converse, read, root for sports teams or squabble over heated games of monopoly. To create a warm, inviting space that welcomes all who enter, the right feng shui living room layout is key.
Practice Feng Shui Sofa Placement Principles
Just like the bed in your bedroom, you should establish a commanding position for your living room couch. That means placing the couch in a place that gives the people sitting on it a clear view of the door. As New York-based feng shui expert Reiko Gomez tells Good Housekeeping, “An ideal furniture arrangement is one where, as you enter the space you can see the sofa greeting you. This will draw you into the room’s embrace.”
Choose Meaningful Feng Shui Living Room Colors
The best feng shui living room colors depend on the energy you want to cultivate. According to feng shui principles, certain colors elicit certain energies. Here’s a quick rundown of feng shui colors and their associations:
- Green and blue: These colors are associated with active energy, rejuvenation and new beginnings.
- Purples: Purples are connected with the crown chakra, eliciting abundance, wealth and self-worth.
- Earthy tones: Earthy colors like oranges, yellows and browns are linked with nurturing, hope and stability.
- Black: Black is associated with water energy, and can help promote concentration, creativity and meditation.
- White: White and metallic colors are connected to focus and mental energy.
Consider the activities that routinely take place in your living room when deciding on the right feng shui colors for your living room. In addition, it’s important to respect your instincts, so if a certain color draws you, go for it. And if a particular color feels off, skip it.
Create a Sense of Flow
“If you’re doing too much twisting and turning to get around pieces of furniture, or you find yourself squeezing between chairs, your arrangement is too tight. Open things up, and possibly remove one or two pieces of furniture, to increase the flow of qi.”
When arranging your living room furniture according to the principles of feng shui, optimizing flow is a major component. Make sure the flow of movement to and around furniture pieces is unobstructed, so you’re able to walk around with ease.
How To Create a Feng Shui Home Office Layout
Much like how the right workout outfit can boost your workout, a feng shui home office layout can help boost productivity. By applying these principles to your home office, you can cultivate a calm, focused work environment.
Practice Feng Shui Office Desk Principles
The same principle that applies to your bed and sofa is equally applicable to your desk. Place it in a centered, commanding position, or one where you can see the door without being aligned with it. This desk placement lets you see what comes in and out of your office while letting the energy flow around you.
Add Some Plants
Adding plants to your living space can improve your mood, lower stress and anxiety, and improve air quality. “Nature reminds us to step back, breathe, and flow — to stay focused, without being stressed and intense,” Leslie Close, a Los Angeles-based interior designer and feng shui expert, tells Better Homes & Gardens.
Clear Out the Clutter
By clearing off your desk and removing unnecessary clutter from your workspace, you can promote focus and clarity. According to Close, this practice applies to the clutter on your computer as well as off.
“Don’t forget to clear the clutter in your drawers and on your computer,” advises Close. “Just because it’s not on your desktop doesn’t mean it’s not important for shaping the energy of the room.”