Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is the age-old Chinese art of making improvements to every aspect of your life by giving you better environment based on principles of harmony and energy flow. These days, increasing numbers of people from all walks of life are applying Feng Shui and experiencing the positive advantages of auspicious placement. Many flourishing persons now develop harmony and happiness in their relationships; better their prosperity; and break down persistent patterns of failure, challenges, and stress by rearranging their living and working conditions in accordance with Feng Shui principles.
Feng Shui Tips in the Modern World
Feng Shui has become very popular in the West during the last two decades. Technological advances like the cell phone and Blackberry mean that people never really unplug from their jobs, which creates a lack of balance in their life energy, which leads to illness and other problems. More and more people are choosing to spend their free time at home so they are focused on making their homes as comfortable and as harmonious as possible. Feng Shui has become a popular way for people to make sure that their homes are the sanctuary of peace and harmony that they need to recover from their stressful lives.
Even parents that choose to stay at home are working harder than they ever did before trying to manage the schedule for the family, do all the errands, and get the kids where they need to be. The principles of Feng Shui can help stressed-out modern homemakers create a peaceful home where they and their families can relax and enjoy each other’s company without feeling a lot of negativity.
Employers are slowly beginning to embrace Feng Shui design principles to fight off employee turnover and sickness. It stands to reason that anyone who is going to spend eight or nine hours a day at work is going to be affected by the atmosphere in the office. Hence, it’s in the employer’s best interest to create a work environment that is well balanced and helps to minimize stress and negativity so that the employees will be mentally alert, calm, and ready to do their best work.
One modern industry that has fully embraced the practices of Feng Shui is the real estate industry. People that go into the business of flipping houses buying distressed or problem properties at a bargain, fixing them up, and reselling them often use Feng Shui principle when they are remodeling the features and also when they are staging the property for prospective buyers. Real estate agents also use Feng Shui principles to help make homes that they are selling seem more inviting to potential buyers.
Feng Shui has also become a viable career path for some people. If you have a serious interest in Feng Shui, you might want to consider starting a career as a Feng Shui consultant. Job prospects for private Feng Shui consultants are steady because there are many industries that employ private Feng Shui practitioners to create balanced workspaces and homes.
Feng Shui practitioners can usually attend online schools to get the education that they need to be qualified to give private Feng Shui consultations or to teach classes on Feng Shui design principles for people that want to learn how to apply Feng Shui to their homes on their own.
Mapping a Room According to Feng Shui
To successfully balance your room according to Feng Shui principles first you need to “map” the room or become familiar with each section of the room and what it represents. There will be three main sections of a room: the area immediately in front of the door, the center of the room, and the far side of the room. Each of these areas will be broken down into smaller areas that correspond to areas of your life.
These rules apply to every room, so you can use the same rules to map different rooms in your home or your office. Making a basic Feng Shui map of a room is an excellent way to make sure that you balance each area of the room according to the area of your life that it represents. Here is the easiest way to map a room for Feng Shui purposes:
First draw a square to describe the room. The bottom line of the square should be representing the wall that has the main door to the room in it so your perspective should be based on that. After you’ve drawn a square to represent the room divide that square into nine equal squares by drawing three rows of three squares.
Start with the bottom three squares from the perspective of looking into the room from the doorway. The far left square that lies directly left of the door is the area of Knowledge. The center square directly in front of the door corresponds to your career. The square to the immediate far right of the door is the area of Travel.
Move up to the middle row of squares. This represents the middle of your room. The far left square in the middle row of squares represents Family. The center square that is in the middle of the middle row of squares represents Health. And the square to the far right in the center row represents Creativity.
Now you’re ready to map the last row of squares. The far left square in the top row of squares represents Wealth and Prosperity. The square in the center of the top row stands for Fame or Reputation and the last square, the far right square on the top row, corresponds to Relationships and Romance.
Knowing which areas of the room are related to different areas in your life is crucial to making Feng Shui work for you. To really feel the benefits of Feng Shui each area of the room needs to be balanced and harmonized so that all the areas of your life will also be balanced and harmonized. If you go through and use this simple Feng Shui map to map out each room of your home and to harmonize your workspace at your job you’ll be amazed at the difference that Feng Shui can make in your life.
Items You Can Use to Balance Different Areas of a Room
You can use paint and furniture to help bring balance to a particular area of the room but there are also specific items that you can use in specific areas of the room in order to help balance particular things. If you know that your Chi is unbalanced when it comes to relationships, or your creativity, or your health, adding some of these items into the areas of the room that Feng Shui says represents that particular area of your life is a good way to restore balance and harmony to that aspect of your life.
Knowledge: If you want to restore the balance to the Knowledge portion of the room then you should add items that increase your self-awareness and your knowledge of the world around you. You can add a bookcase, lots of books about many different topics, self-help workbooks and worksheets, or photos and artwork depicting education or self-improvement.
Career: If you want balance the Career portion of the room and get your Chi flowing so that you can take your career to the next level, add mirrors to that portion of the room to reflect the Career energy and push it out into the world. You can also add items related to your career or artwork that shows images related to your career or to the job that you want to have if you don’t work in your ideal career yet.
Travel: The best way to balance the Travel portion of your room is to put up pictures of the places that you have been or to display souvenirs from past trips and also to put up pictures of places that you want to go or put out some brochures for trips that you want to take. Setting the intention of wanting to go to a particular place and then balancing the Chi of the room will help make it possible for you to take that trip someday.
Family: In the Family portion of the room it’s a good idea to put out treasured family photos, family keepsakes such as a Bible or a piece of jewelry, a scrapbook of family events and other items that remind you of your family. If you don’t yet have a child and want one put out some baby items like some handmade booties or a baby blanket.
Health: To increase your health and balance that portion of the room you can put out items that make you feel healthier. Is there one particular candle that you always light to help you relax? Put it in the healthy portion of the room. Or you can put out a favorite incense blend, or a mug to symbolize tea that always makes you healthier.
Creativity: The Creativity area of the room is the best place for the computer and work items, paints, and canvas if you paint, yarn if you crochet or knit, or items that symbolize any creative activity or hobby that you enjoy.
Wealth: In Chinese philosophy fish and water symbolize money and wealth, so if you want to increase your wealth you can put a fish tank filled with fish in the Wealth section of the room, or you can put a small indoor fountain, or a dish of water with a few coins in it, or if you prefer you can put your jewelry box filled with jewelry or other items that represent what you would buy with increased wealth. Is there a particular house or kind of car that you want? A designer dress that you would buy if you had more money? Tack a photo of it up in the Wealth area of your room.
Fame/Reputation: The best things to put in the Fame or Reputation area of the room if you want to increase your reputation and get recognition for your work are your past awards. Did you get an award at work or at school? Frame it and hang it in the Fame and Reputation part of the room. Is there a particular award at work that you want to get? Draw or make an award to symbolize that award and put that up as a symbol of what you want to achieve.
Relationships/Romance: If you want to balance the Relationship and Romance section of the room keep everything in that section in pairs. Two candles, two shelves, two nightstands, everything that you put in that section of the room should be in twos. You can also put mirrors in that section to reflect loving energy and send it back to you. Anything pink or red in that area will help spark passion and love.
Why Furniture Placement Matters in Feng Shui
Feng Shui is often called the art and science of furniture placement. Even though there is more to Feng Shui design principles than just furniture, it seems to the furniture placement that most people focus on. Why is furniture placement so important? It’s important because of the way that the furniture is arranged in a room as a palpable effect on that room and the energy of the people in the room.
How many times in the last year have you re-arranged your living room? Or your bedroom? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably re-arranged the furniture at least three times in the last year. What led you to re-arrange the furniture? Did you feel that the balance of the room was off? Maybe the room didn’t feel quite right, or perhaps you never really felt comfortable in it. Feng Shui focuses on arranging the furniture in the room to maximize the balance and harmony of the room and make you and everyone else that comes into the room feel comfortable and relaxed.
The way that people arrange their homes and their furniture within their homes is a metaphor for how they arrange their lives. If the house is filled with clutter, then their lives and possibly their minds are filled with clutter. If the house is filled with old items that are broken and run down, then there isn’t room for anything new. The owner of the home might be closed off in much the same way, hanging onto the past and not making space for the future. Feng Shui operates on the principle that by clearing up the clutter and making your home more balanced, you will also be clearing out your life and making your life more balanced.
There is an axiom that is a part of many belief systems that says “As within, so without,” meaning that your outer appearance, your health, and your home are reflections of what is going on within your spirit, your mind and your heart. Feng Shui is built on the principles that if you organize and balance the outer energies, you can balance your inner energies and become happier, more relaxed, and more successful.
So even though the art and science of arranging furniture according to Feng Shui principles might seem trivial at first glance, it’s an essential part of taking control of your life and working with the natural energies of the universe. If you want to be more successful in your career and your relationships if you want to be healthier, and if you’re going to achieve balance, then by making your home balanced you start to make your life balanced.
It doesn’t matter if you live in a mansion or in a one-room apartment, the principles of Feng Shui design and furniture placement can help you organize your life and improve the flow of your Chi. Start by re-arranging just one room according to some Feng Shui design principles and you’ll be amazed at how much different you feel when you’re in that room.
Feng Shui Furniture Placement Tips
When it comes to Feng Shui furniture placement there are specific design rules to particular rooms but here are some of the general furniture placement tips that will help you decide how to place the furniture that you have in your room in a way that will balance the room and allow the Chi to flow:
- Always place the furniture in a room in such a way that it breaks up opposing straight lines. This will help the flow of the Chi around the room and help the Chi of the whole house flow more freely.
- In Feng Shui, flat ceilings are the best for improving the flow of Chi. If you have sloped or textured ceilings, use wind chimes hanging from the ceiling to enhance the flow of the Chi in the room.
- Seating in gathering rooms like living rooms or family rooms should always be placed so that it breaks up direct paths around the room. There should also be an even number of seats in any room to balance the room.
- Do not lace the back of a sofa or loveseat directly towards the wall because this will break the flow of energy and cause negative energy to form and linger in the room. The couch or loveseat can be directed against the wall but the back of the sofa or loveseat should never be facing a fall if there is space between the back of the couch or the loveseat and the wall.
- Don’t clutter rooms with lots of furniture. Always leave a little open space to make the room more balanced and leave space for new things or new people to come into the room. If the room seems like it has too much furniture in it, remove the two most uncomfortable seats from the room and give them away or place them in another room.
- If the room that you are decorating is adjacent to a kitchen or a bathroom, but there is no door separating the two put a visual barrier like a screen or a curtain between the two to balance the room. If there is a door between the two rooms kept the door shut.
- The shape of the furniture in a living space, den, or family room should always be square or rectangular.
Typical design and decorating Mistakes according to feng shui
If you’re not all that familiar with Feng Shui design principles, it’s easy to make Feng Shui mistakes all over your home that can impact the balance and flow of your home. If you’re like most people, you’ve probably made each of these mistakes at least once and might even be making several of them now. Here are the most common mistakes people make when decorating their homes and arranging their furniture according to Feng Shui design principles:
- Not using the front door – If your home has a front door, then you should be using the front door at least once a day. Lots of people only use their side or back doors to enter and leave their homes, but according to Feng Shui principles, the front door of the home is the entrance for Chi and the way for negative energy to leave the house. You should be using your front door at least once a day, even if you just open it to check the mail.
- Keeping a computer and work materials in the bedroom – Your bedroom should be where you focus on your relationships and not on work. Bringing work into the bedroom will make your relationships feel like work and can lead to relationship problems. Leave the work at work. If you work at home, create a home office in a separate part of the bedroom and put a physical barrier between that section and your bed to help balance the room.
- Keeping exercise equipment in the bedroom – Just like maintaining work materials will make your relationships feel like work keeping exercise equipment in your bedroom will make your relationships feel like a workout, a stressful and exhausting one. Store the fitness equipment in the basement or living room and leave the bedroom just for sleeping and focusing on your relationships.
- Keeping hall closets overflowing with junk – According to Feng Shui, closets, especially hall closets, correspond to your willingness to let new things into your life. If your cabinets are crammed to the ceiling with old junk, you are not making any space in your life for new things so that no new things will come to you, and you’ll remain stuck.
- Not decorating the walls – Your home should inspire you, help you relax, and help you focus on your goals and the future. If your walls are bare and have no photos, pictures, mirrors, or other objects, you are sending out negative energy that will keep you alone and isolated. According to Feng Shui, your walls should be decorated with color, paper, photos, or other items that inspire your creativity, help you relax, and represent your dreams of the future.
- Leaving the toilet seat up – Did you know that leaving the toilet seat up is a major Feng Shui mistake? It’s true! Toilets are mostly draining, and good energy, as well as bad, can be drained from a room and from your life through the toilet. Leave the toilet seat down when you are not using it to prevent the energy of the room from flowing out and leaving the room imbalanced.
- Not cleaning the windows – No one likes washing windows right? But Feng Shui principles say that windows are directly connected to your Fame and Reputation. If you never clean the windows, then you will never have the kind of fame and recognition for your work, or your art, or your contributions to the world that you want to achieve. Wash the windows regularly so that you can start to gain more fame and recognition for your accomplishments.
- Having squeaky hinges – If the doors to your home are inflexible and make it hard for energy and Chi to flow through, then you will also be hard and rigid and not open to the flow of Chi. Oil those door hinges and plane the door if you need to so that the door opens quietly and smoothly. Then you and your home will be more open to the universal energy flowing through the home.
- Not cooking regularly – Have you heard the expression that says a kitchen is the heart of a home? In Feng Shui that is definitely true. The kitchen is the space that all the warmth and vitality and love flows from, so you must spend some time each day making the kitchen a warm and inviting place to be. If you don’t cook very often or if you don’t cook very well so try to avoid it at least turn the burner on the stove once a day to boil some water and make a cup of tea.
- Not getting rid of stuff you don’t use or need – Clutter is the biggest enemy of positive Chi and good flow in a home. Most homes have more clutter than the owners realize. It can be hard to get rid of items that aren’t ready for the trash, but if you don’t need them or haven’t even looked at them in a year, get rid of them. Even family heirlooms can interfere with Chi if you let them sit around too long. Either use them in a way that honors the energy they carry or get rid of them.
How many of these mistakes have you made in your home? Probably at least a few. But now you know how to avoid making them in the future and how to arrange your rooms to accommodate the flow of Chi throughout the home.
Feng Shui Tips for the Living Room
The colors that you use in your living room, the furniture that you pick, and how you arrange those items can all make a big difference in the Chi of the room. These rules could apply to any area where you spend a lot of time, whether it’s a traditional living room, a den, or a family room. If you want to balance the energy of your living room according to the principles of Feng Shui here are some tips to help you do that:
- Always place the seats in the room facing each other and not the TV or video game player. This will make people feel more comfortable and stimulate conversation. If you have bare floors, use an area rug to anchor a “conversation space” that has at least two chairs facing each other.
- Keep the TV, DVD player, stereo system, video game system, and all other electronics in an armoire or cabinet that can be closed when you don’t want the distraction of the TV or other electronic equipment. The living room should be a relaxing space, and sometimes it will be more relaxing to have your electronics hidden away.
- Hang a family photo on the East wall of your living room. In Feng Shui, the East wall of the living room is the space for Family Relationships, so hanging a picture of the family all together, and happy will be a great way to balance the energy of that area and create the right energy for more happy family moments.
- Red and gold are great colors for the living room because they are balanced and will promote creativity and energy and also wealth and stability. You could paint an accent wall in the living room red if you don’t want to paint the whole room red, or use red and gold throw pillows, blankets, or carpet to add some color energy to the room. Gold accents like jars, candle holders, gold-framed mirrors or other items make the room look rich and invite prosperity.
- Lighten up dark areas of the living room like alcoves or hidden spaces using mirrors, plants, and aquariums. Adding lots of natural light and life energy through the use of plants and fish is a great way to prevent those dark spaces from gathering negative energy. You can also use lamps with natural light bulbs to add a bright light to dark corners.
- Position the furniture in the living room so that no one who is sitting in the living room has their back to the door, according to Feng Shui principles that will cause unease and will make the Chi in the room unbalanced. Any family or friends sitting in your living room should be able to see the door to the living room without having to turn their heads.
Feng Shui Tips for the Bathroom
You might not have thought that your bathroom needs to be more balanced, but it makes a lot of sense to use Feng Shui techniques in the bathroom. Bathing is supposed to be a relaxing activity, and if your bathroom isn’t designed according to Feng Shui principles, it can make the room hard to relax in. Here are some ideas to help you use the concepts of Feng Shui to balance the energy of your bathroom and make it a more peaceful, positive, and relaxing place:
- Add more mirrors. Most of the time, bathrooms are small, or at least smaller than you’d like. Using mirrors will make the room seem bigger and it will also reflect the energy and help the energy flow throughout the room. You can use small mirrors in strategic places to add a bright, airy feeling to the bathroom.
- Use good lighting in the bathroom. The major problem that most rooms have is that they are too dark. In Feng Shui getting the most natural light possible is vital when it comes to balancing the energy of the room. To get the best possible lighting in the bathroom, install new light fixtures, and trade your old bulbs for full spectrum bulbs or natural light bulbs to give the healing energy that you need.
- Put a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door. One of the significant problems that bathrooms present from a Feng Shui perspective is that they are usually located in the Prosperity section of the home, which can lead to a lot of lost Chi due to the toilet and sink. Keeping the toilet seat down will help, but placing a full-length mirror on the back of the bathroom door will help reflect the energy and balance the room.
- Add a small dish of pebbles or stones on the back of the toilet tank or near the sink. The stones represent earth and will help hold onto the Chi of the room and keep it from being washed away down the toilet or the sink. You can use artificially colored stones if you want to add some color energy to the bathroom or just use natural colored rocks and stones.
- Placing a black or red rug at the base of the toilet will also help fight off the loss of Chi through the bathroom. You can paint the bathroom red if the bathroom is in the center of the house because the aggressive red color, which also represents money, will help make up for the loss of Prosperity energy through the toilet. If red is a bit too bright and will overwhelm the bathroom space try painting the walls a soft sandy color but adding red linens to increase the flow of Prosperity Chi while still keeping the bathroom a relaxing, tranquil room.
- Fix all the dripping faucets. A dripping faucet is symbolic of money dripping away down the drain, especially if the bathroom is in the Prosperity section of the home. Taking care of any leaks or drips can also stop your money from leaking and dripping out of your life.
Feng Shui Tips for the Kitchen
- For most families the kitchen is the central room of the home and the room where people gather most of the time. Using Feng Shui principles in the kitchen can help to create a more harmonious room where people feel comfortable gathering and spending time with each other. It can be tricky to use Feng Shui in the kitchen because kitchens have to be functional, but you can use these tips to make your kitchen balanced and functional at the same time:
- To prevent the Chi from flowing out of the house, keep the kitchen door closed if the kitchen door is in a direct line to the back door. If there is no door between the kitchen and another room, but there is a direct line through the kitchen to the back door place a curtain or some type of barrier in the doorway to prevent all the Chi in the home from flowing out through the back door.
- The placement of the stove is important. Whenever possible, the stove should not face away from the kitchen door. Whoever is standing at the stove should be able to see anyone entering the kitchen. If it’s not possible to move the stove to a more promising place, then use small mirrors throughout the kitchen to reflect the energy and also to allow anyone standing at the stove to see anyone entering the kitchen.
- The elements in a kitchen are out of balance because of the items needed to make the kitchen functional. Fire, represented by the stove and microwave and Water represented by the sink and refrigerator, overpowers all the other elements in the kitchen. In Feng Shui those two elements should never be used together. To balance the elements use wood between the two. You can install a wooden butcher block counter between the stove and refrigerator, install wood floors, or use wood cabinets to provide a buffer between the two. Using natural stone tile countertops or flooring will also help balance the elements in the kitchen.
- Use a round or oblong table instead of a square table for dining in the kitchen. Hard edges in the décor of the kitchen will make the room seem harder and colder than it should be. The kitchen is the heart of the home and it should be comfortable and inviting. Use chairs that have cushioned seats or benches with pillows to make the eating area more appealing.
- The seating in the kitchen should be set up so that no one sitting down in the kitchen is facing a wall. That will block the flow of Chi and throw off the balance of the kitchen.
- Position the oven and refrigerator away from windows or skylights so that the Chi flowing through the room won’t flow out through those openings. Skylights are great for providing natural light, especially in the kitchen, but they can make it challenging to keep the Chi in the room from flowing out.
Feng Shui Tips for the Master Suite and Bedrooms
Bedrooms and the master suite are the rooms where it’s most crucial to use the principles of Feng Shui. Most people don’t get nearly the amount of sleep or rest that they need to deal with their hectic lives. Using Feng Shui in all of the bedrooms in your home, especially in the master suite, is a great way to make sure the bedrooms are places where you and your family can relax and feel rejuvenated. Use these tips to make the bedrooms in your home and your master suite balanced and harmonious rooms where you feel refreshed:
- Use plants to balance the energy and to bring life and health. Put three living plants on the eastern facing side of the bedroom to help balance the Health area of the room. Living plants will help to create positive energy and to increase light and oxygen in the room.
- Make sure that any mirrors in the room don’t reflect you or the person that sleeps in the room while they are sleeping. For example, a mirrored closet door that is next to the bed or faces the bed and reflects the person sleeping in bed will hurt the flow of the Chi in the room and can cause sleeping problems. If there is nowhere else to put the mirror or the bed in the room, then make a cover for the mirror or use a sheet or towel to cover the mirror at night.
- Keep the décor in the bedroom soft. Use soft, relaxing colors instead of bright, vibrant ones and use furniture that is rounded and has a soft appearance. Using furniture that has too many jagged edges or square edges will block the flow of Chi in the room. If there is no way to avoid using furniture that has hard lines then fix the energy balance by placing a green plant in front of that piece of furniture.
- If your bedroom has an attached bathroom always keep the door to the bathroom closed to prevent the Chi in the room from escaping through the bathroom.
- Don’t keep a TV, stereo, computer or other electronic equipment in the bedroom. The electronics can produce high EMFs or electromagnetic fields, that can interfere with sleep and cause a range of health problems. If you must keep electronics in the bedroom, then keep them in a place where you can cover them at night while you sleep.
- Use different types of lighting in different areas of the bedroom or master suite, or use a dimmer light switch so you can adjust the lighting. Sometimes you will want a beautiful soft relaxing light, and other times you will want a healthy dose of natural light. Use a three way light bulb, a dimmer switch, or lamps with different kinds of light bulbs in them to create a healthy atmosphere in the bedroom.
- Don’t have your bed in line with the bedroom door. In Feng Shui sleeping with your feet pointing out of the bedroom door is the position of death. The best place to put the bed is against the wall opposite from the door but set to one side so that it’s not directly in line with the door.
- Plants will make the room more relaxing and they will also supply much-needed oxygen. If you don’t want the hassle of taking care of plants keep the windows in the bedroom open often to increase the oxygen flow of the room.
- The bed in the room should be placed so that it’s easily accessible from both sides, and you should have two bedside tables, one on each side. This creates balance and also puts out the energy that you don’t want to be single, you want to be part of a pair and you are making room in your life and your bed for someone else. This is especially important if you are single and looking for a partner.
- Close the bedroom door at night. Shut all the doors at night. The door to the bathroom, closet doors, and the bedroom door should all be shut at night to prevent the loss of Chi and to give you the healing and restoring energy that your body and mind need to recover from the day.
- Don’t position the bed directly in front of a window. If your head is facing a window while you sleep, then your Chi will flow out through the window while you sleep, and instead of waking up refreshed, you’ll wake up feeling worse than you did when you went to bed.
- Make sure that the bed is not positioned anywhere in a direct line from a window to the door because that will cause your Chi to flow directly out of the room. Your bed should always be positioned away from windows and doors.
- Choose beds that have a large, stable headboard. Chi enters and exits the body through the head as well as the hands and feet, and having a solid, strong headboard will help regulate the flow of Chi while you sleep.
- Get rid of exposed ceiling beams in the bedroom. Aesthetically some people like the look of exposed brick or exposed beams in the bedroom, but that can be very bad for the flow of Chi. Exposed ceiling beams should be covered with a soft, draping fabric, or you can hang wind chimes on them to neutralize the cutting effect of the beams.