The Chinese term for ‘wind and water’, feng shui is the 4,000-year-old system of altering the flow of energy to harmonise people and their homes. Although at first glance it can seem a little tricky to grasp, the philosophy behind this system is based on simple practices that make homes clean and organised, whilst also connecting us to the spaces we live in which affects our mood and well-being.
There are five feng shui elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. By placing these elements around your home, you can create balance and a feeling of good energy. These elements relate to different areas of your life that you might want to work on, for example: if you want to attract more prosperity, introduce elements of water. If you wanted to improve your health or are lacking in self-care, place plants (to represent wood) or pieces of wooden furniture in your home.
You can also add these elements into your home by paying attention to colour, for example tones of yellows and browns represent the earth whilst greys and whites symbolise the metal element, which can provide clarity and precision. To invite wisdom into your spaces, accents of black reflect the element of water, so you could try sitting in a black or dark blue chair when you study. Finally, the colour red symbolises the element of fire which can illuminate you when you need more passion or recognition.
It is important to pay particular attention to certain defining rooms, such as the bedroom, which represents you the most in feng shui philosophy. We spend so many hours sleeping in our beds, it is a vital place to manifest positive energy. You can do this in a few different ways. For one, make sure there is space either side of the bed as well as under it. Don’t store objects under your bed, especially sharps objects, so if you must you can use this space for bed linen and extra pillows. Make sure you have a good solid bed frame and headboard which will bring a stable energy.
Decluttering your home is the first thing to think of when following feng shui. Clearing things out of your life that no longer serve a purpose or make you smile should be the first things to go. This creates a feeling of light and air, two very important elements of feng shui called ‘Chi’. You can maximise this feel-good energy by opening windows, letting in light and placing air-purifying plants around the room.
One important factor in feng shui is the ‘commanding position’ in which certain object should or shouldn’t face each other. For instance, making sure your bed and desk face the entry door (on a diagonal is best) creates good feng shui, as it allows the positive energy to flow toward you through the ‘mouth’ of the room.
Some well-placed mirrors in which you can see your whole self (to avoid feeling fragmented and broken up) are also beneficial as they can help to circulate the good energy ‘chi’ around the home.
Doors are extremely important in feng shui as they are a portal for energy, so make sure none of them are blocked. Ideally you should be able to open all doors to a minimum of 90 degrees. In particular, your front door is the entrance to the home and also seen as the ‘mouth of chi’ meaning it must enter a well-kept hallway to welcome a positive entry into the home. This means no shoes, dirty mats or rubbish bins.
Next, get rid of any broken or lifeless items, such as cracked vases or dead plants, as they create bad energy (not to mention looking unattractive). More functional breakages such as leaking pipes or broken lamps will accumulate negative energy too so it is always best to repair these issues immediately.
Finally, don’t overuse mirrors in your home. Although mirrors are often an important factor in creating the illusion of more space and light, if there are too many, the good energy ‘chi’ can be bounced right back out of the home. For example, you should try to avoid hanging a mirror within five feet of entering your home as your chi energy will immediately reflect out of the home.
By altering how energy flows through your surroundings, you can promote happiness, prosperity and good health. Not only this, but your home will look clean and more organised. By going through your belongings and donating or throwing out anything that doesn’t spark joy, your home will be an oasis of calm, filled only with the things that make you happy.
Take a look at our interior inspirations for more ideas on decorating your spaces.