Interior designers have been using feng shui to decorate homes since the 1980’s. However, the ancient Chinese practice is far older. Feng shui, meaning “wind-water,” has been used for millennia to harmonize people with the environment around them in accordance with the flow of the universal Qi (“cosmic current” or energy).
Qi—pronounced “chi”—is believed to follow the same pattern as wind and water which, when balanced correctly, is said to improve wealth, happiness, long life, and family. Consequently, if Qi is not flowed properly, it can have an adverse effect. This perceived flow was used to orient buildings, tombs, and homes, among other structures.
The flow is directed through a bagua map, which can cover the entire house or each individual room. The bagua represents the different areas of life circumstance: career, children, fame, family, health, helpful people, knowledge, love, and wealth. Each area is balanced by one of the five elements: earth, fire, metal, water, and wood.
Now that we know a bit of history about feng shui, let’s see how you can use it to improve the flow of your home.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Positive energy
Creating a flow of energy through your home begins where every guest enters, the front door. How you place furniture and décor throughout the house will all depend on each piece’s alignment with your front door or the “mouth of qi.”
Start by cleaning your entryway. Run a vacuum over the floor and door mat to get rid of dirt that tends to get tracked in. Then, cut the clutter. Keep your entry rug and hall tree but organize anything that could block the space like shoes or pet toys.
Let light into your entry way. Keeping the entrance to your home well lit makes it more inviting and easier to find. When the entrance to your home is easy to find, the good energy can enter your home more easily.
Take charge with the command position
In feng shui, the “command position” is where you place key pieces of furniture in a room, which can correspond with how you position yourself in life. It is believed that when you are in a command position, you are in charge of your life and what the furniture represents (bed=you, stove=wealth).
What is a command position? A command position is a spot where you can see the door while you are using the item, but it is not in direct line with the door. Most commanding positions end up being diagonal to the door. For example, your desk (which represents your career) should ideally be placed in the corner opposite of the door, but it should not face the corner. You want to be able to see and welcome the positive energy into your workspace.
Create an elemental balance
Harmonize the rooms in your home with the five elements of feng shui. These elements can be added by using the actual materials, or the colors that represent them.
- Earth – Bring stability and balance into your space with the earth element. Earth can bring a sense of grounding to your space through landscape images, stone accents, ceramics and flat or square shapes. If you don’t want to add too many items to your space, try decorating with earthy colors such as browns, yellows and neutrals.
- Fire – Invite passion and energy into a room using the fire element. Representing transformation, expansion, and volatility, fire should be incorporated in small doses. Candles and fireplaces are easy ways to bring the fire element into your home. You can also add fire to any room using shades of red and orange, or by using sharp shapes like triangles and suns.
- Metal – Logic and intelligence are important to a space, which are represented by metal. Promote knowledge in a room, like your home office, with metal frames, iron work, aluminum décor, gold or silver accents, and round or oval shapes. Another easy way to symbolize mental clarity in a room is to use metallic colors like white, gray, or silver.
- Water – The “shui” in feng shui means water, so it is natural to represent that element in the rooms of your home. Water brings a sense of wisdom and serenity to a space and can be incorporated using mirrors, aquariums, small fountains, and waterscape images. Using wavy or curvy shapes help direct the flow of your room, while black and other very dark colors bring the element into a space.
- Wood – Add growth and creativity to your home using wood. The vitality symbolized by wood can be represented literally with wood furniture, plants and cotton or other natural fabrics. Or you could be a little more abstract by using tall rectangles, vertical stripes, and any shade of green or light blue.
No matter how you choose to add feng shui to your home, a few fundamentals should be incorporated to each room. Keep each room organized so that the energy can flow smoothly through your home. Clean windows often so that light can get in and illuminate the energy. Finally, thank your home. Showing gratitude for the space that makes you feel safe and gives you shelter can promote positive energy.
While we may not be feng shui experts, we do know a thing or two about getting loan applicants into homes they love. Looking for the home that feels like a good balance for your life? Contact your local PrimeLending® mortgage loan officer today.