How To Feng Shui Your Space

Did you know that your environment, let alone your space influences your prosperity or stagnancy in life?

As a granddaughter of a Feng Shui Master, I grew up with the mindset of where your environment influences your life. Nurturing your environment is key and fundamental towards your well being. That being said, I wanted to share what I believe Feng Shui is and how to apply this ancient practice towards your own well being and prosperity in life.

Feng Shui is a Chinese and Eastern philosophical belief system that dictates certain design elements of a home or apartment. Which means that the home that you choose to live in and how you arrange the furniture in your home can increase the flow of “CHI” (universal life energy force). It’s intention is to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Though while I have adopted some of its most basic rules to design my own home, it actually requires years of study to fully understand the complexities behind Feng Shui.

But I Don’t Subscribe to Eastern Philosophies…

Though the principles of Feng Shui are largely influenced by certain eastern religious philosophies and the belief in chi, or life energy that works as a force in the universe. The principles of Feng Shui attempt to encourage the ebb and flow of positive energy. In secular terms, all this means is that the room will put you in a good mood and function efficiently.

If you don’t prescribe to the spiritual aspect of Feng Shui, then no problem! Ultimately, these principles are just basic guidelines to designing a home that will elevate your mood and make you feel at ease after a long day. In this busy day and age, these guidelines can be useful to anybody!

In feng shui, the goal is to create and maintain this natural energy balance of harmony in homes, offices, businesses, and other manmade venues.

Things to Consider During Your Home Search

All apartment buildings have positive and negative feng shui features. You can't change the apartment building or other structural features, but it is significantly easier to create a harmonious space if you begin considering certain design elements before you even select a home or apartment to rent. During your tours, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Location You want to find a building in a lovely location, preferably with beautiful garden views or a relaxing city skyline. To get a better view, opt for apartments on the higher floors. The worst views that create stagnant energy are obscured views and other buildings looming around you. If you’re within view of a prison, industrial area, or cemetery, consider looking elsewhere. After all, these areas aren’t exactly the nicest views in the world…or the most uplifting.

  • Main Entrance A well-lit main entrance will make you feel safe and secure in your home or apartment building. Even if you don’t give a damn about Feng Shui principles, keep this one in mind. It’s just common sense. Plus, in apartment buildings, extinguished lightbulbs left unchanged can warn you of a negligent landlord.

  • Floor Plan Feng Shui has a lot of complicated suggestions on how a floor plan should look, but most people don’t have the luxury of being too picky. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is that your apartment’s floor plan seems to “flow” and make sense to you. Feng Shui discourages against oddly shaped homes that require you to arrange furniture in bizarre, tricky places. Remember, the point is to come home to a relaxing space! It’s also important that you have distinct rooms designated for particular purposes. Having a studio makes that particular Feng Shui rule more difficult to pull off, but setting up your furniture in an intuitive way can counteract the negative vibe that may come from living in such a confined space.

  • Lighting Windows are extremely important in Feng Shui because they provide a great deal of natural light, the abundance of which helps create an cheerful environment. Humans did life outside before we had houses, after all. We were meant to drink in the sunlight during the day! When you’re taking your tour, be on the lookout for large windows that let the sunlight pour into the room. If finding a place with big windows is too expensive, then find an apartment with great lighting!

  • Wall Color If you already know that painting your walls or having someone else paint for you just isn’t in your budget or the landlord is strict about changing the current look of the space, then take of note of the wall colors. A bright, pastel colored kitchen – the room that provides you health and energy – is recommended for its vibrancy and uplifting effects. The bedroom should be a more subdued color – like green and blue – to promote restfulness. Any color that reminds you of water is an excellent shade for the bathroom, which is the first place you visit when you wake up and the last place you visit before hitting the hay. If you can paint after moving in, even better! Don’t want to get too specific and just looking for a generalized “zen” atmosphere? The color white is always a great fallback.

    Location Is Paramount

Just as you would do when selecting a home, you want to first pay attention to what surrounds the apartment complex or home. This includes natural and man-made features.

Is the apartment beside or diagonally across from a hospital, funeral home or other activity that is associated with negative energy? If so, you may want to consider living elsewhere.

A water feature, such as a tiered fountain, meandering stream, or reflective pool with a fountain aerator, in the front of the apartment building or complex is most auspicious.

A mountain in front of the apartment is inauspicious while one behind the complex is auspicious.

Poison arrows, such as rooflines, taller buildings, utility poles and intersections are inauspicious by have feng shui remedies.

Avoid living in an apartment built into a hillside or along a ridgeline. These locations will result in harsh environmental obstacles and elements. In addition, this location cannot provide you with the support you need in general.

High Rise Apartment Buildings

There are several things to consider with a high rise apartment building whether you are already living in one or apartment hunting. These include:

  • An attractive and uncluttered entrance is a must for good feng shui.

  • An open and nicely appointed front entrance with a foyer. This will allow the chi energy to enter and pool in the foyer before spreading throughout the building.

  • Elevators should be in excellent working condition.

  • Fresh décor, paint, and furnishings are a must, along with healthy lobby/foyer plants.

  • Surrounding buildings are important. If your apartment complex is dwarfed by other buildings, you may need to use remedies in your apartment to counter the poison arrows these create.

  • Good lighting in entrance and hallways is a feng shui must.

Apartment Complex

Like a high rise, you want specific feng shui features at a larger, lower apartment complex to ensure you are taking advantage of auspicious chi energy. Some of these include:

A complex should have neat landscaping, clearly marked parking places, and a parking surface absent of potholes and cracks.

A curved road leading into the complex is more auspicious than a straight road.

Building maintenance should be up-to-date, such as no peeling paint; make sure window and door locks work, there are no plumbing leaks or broken fixtures, and that all electrical outlets work.

Trash bins are neat and not allowed to overflow.

The Basics of Furniture Arrangement & Decor

The rules for furniture arrangement and decor are the most popular and commonly used aspects of the Feng Shui aesthetic philosophy in the West. Knowing where to arrange your furniture and what accessories go in what room can help you create the perfect atmosphere in a room and keep everything running smoothly as you navigate a space. Remember, it’s all about conjuring a positive association with each room.

General Rules 
Each room of the house is treated differently, but there are a few general rules you can follow:

  • Furniture size should be conducive to the space they occupy to avoid crowding

  • High traffic areas should be left open for ease of movement

  • The main piece of furniture in the room should be in the “command position,” a space that seems central to the room

  • The best accessory for any calming, zen-styled room is cleanliness

Living Room  
Feng Shui living rooms revolve around balance and warmth for a group of people. The following elements promote this feeling:

  • A tight circular shape is preferable for chairs and couches, so people can face one another while speaking (Note: You don’t always need to place the chairs in a literal circle if this isn’t efficient for the shape of the room. As long as the seating seems to promote a sense of community, then you’re good to go!)

  • A central element to gather around, such as a coffee table, ottoman, or fireplace

  • Empty fireplaces should be filled with attractive decor – like plants, paper screens, fan, or s decorative sculpture

  • Televisions should be hidden in entertainment centers, as they are not aesthetically pleasing and can suck the energy out of a room

  • Fresh green plants create a sense of, especially when paired with natural light

  • If you have high ceilings, place pleasing pieces of art at eye level to create a focal point and keep the energy from rising to the ceiling

Bedrooms are intended to promote both relaxation and sensuality. It is one of the most important room that Feng Shui can be applied to, because it can really boost both your restfulness and love life:

  • The bed should be placed in the command position, but never on the same wall as the door because this brings a feeling of insecurity to those sleeping in the bed

  • Two bedside tables create balance and a welcoming feel to the room

  • Soft fabrics with a luxurious feel will help make your bedroom into an escape

  • Color palette should be soothing overall, but hints of red and pinks throughout the room will promote a romantic feel

  • Art on the walls should be calming and promote positivity

  • Having moody lighting with dimmers allows you to control the feel of the room

  • Avoid placing electronics in the room as these can quickly become the focus of your energies instead of the bed

  • A desk in the bedroom is a BIG no-no. No one wants to wake up, look at their desk, and immediately be reminded of their hectic lives.

This room is commonly ignored by Feng Shui because it has inherently negative energy. However, more recent spins on the Feng Shui aesthetic have begun exploring the possibilities bathrooms offer:

  • Brighten up this room as much as possible

  • Candles add a fire element that contrasts the overwhelming water elements of the room

  • Plants also add a earth element to the room

  • Mirrors widen this typically small space and allows you to admire yourself

  • Cleanliness is incredibly important, since bathrooms are so often considered dirty places

  • Keep the drains plugged and the toilets closed to prevent energy from flowing out of the room

  • Get matching towels and washcloths that will help create a cohesive, balanced vibe

    1. Position your Bed Correctly. Try to position your bed so you can see out the door without twisting your head. It’s best to avoid sleeping with your feet facing directly out the door, which in Feng Shui is considered the most inauspicious position for getting a good night’s rest. If you can’t move your bed, place a piece of furniture, a screen, a shawl, or other soft fabric near the end of the bed for cushioning.

    2. Clear Clutter. In Feng Shui, clutter represents postponed decisions and the inability to move forward, so be careful where you pile and file things. Being surrounded by too much stuff prevents the flow of positive chi, or energy, around you and makes your room feel cold rather than welcoming. If you have the opportunity to add your own furniture, look for pieces that double as storage space, such as an ottoman that opens so you can store your linens. For dorms where eating, sleeping, and studying are all done in one room, use a screen to separate the areas whenever possible to help minimize distractions. For example, when you're studying you can position the screen so you can't see the TV, which could distract you from studying. Or, you could screen off the bed, since this could tempt you to take a nap instead of opening your books.

    3. Add Living Plants. Place a living plant within 3 feet of your computer to help balance any electromagnetic frequencies, or EMFs, that it generates. Choose plants with rounded leaves since they represent wealth, and avoid cactus and other spiky plants that repel energy and Bonsai and stunted plants that represented limited growth. If you can’t grow natural plants, silk is an acceptable alternative because it’s made from a natural fabric. Avoid displaying dried flowers around the room because in Feng Shui they represent dead energy. 

    4. Clean Your Windows. Windows are considered the “eyes” of a building, so when they are dirty your vision is clouded. It may sound radical, but clean the inside of your windows occasionally so your can clearly see your future. And be sure to open your windows frequently to let in positive chi.

    5. Decorate with the Five Elements. Use a balance of colors and shapes of the Feng Shui Five Elements to decorate your space. The Five Elements is the collective name used to describe the colors, shapes, and textures around you: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. Each Element is distinguished by a characteristic shape, colors, and set of attributes. When you include a mix of all of these Elements in your dorm or small apartment, your space feels more balanced and comfortable. For example, red is the Fire Element color that adds passion; yellow is an Earth Element color that helps ground you; white is a Metal Element color that gives you focus; blue is a Water Element color that will keep you relaxed; and green is the Wood Element color that helps your knowledge expand. Click here to read more about the Five Elements

Office/Work Space  
This room is your source of wealth and vitality, but it can also be a place associated with stress. It must always be kept separate from where you live, play, and rest. There are many design elements that can increase the productivity of your work space:

  • The desk should always be placed in the “commanding position”

  • Symmetry helps add a sense of harmony and order to this room

  • Artwork should be inspiring and creative

  • Plants add a sense of vibrancy to room and purify the air your working in, allowing your mind to work better

  • Adding a small fountain will help add a calming element to this otherwise hectic room

  • Cleanliness is vital in this particular room for  helping you work more efficiently

Studio Apartments  
If you have a small studio apartment, applying the principles of Feng Shui can get tricky. Despite your lack of space, dividing your each area strategically is a must:

  • Utilize a decorative screen or curtain to create a distinct area between your bedroom and work area, specifically

  • Your bed always takes the “command position”

  • Make sure the entryway is completely open and distinct from the rest of the apartment

  • Every space possible should be used for storage to keep clutter to a minimum

  • Shy away from loud artwork that crowds the space aesthetically

  • Placing mirrors in the right places will help expand the room

  • Furnish the apartment so that there is a balanced amount of furniture on each side of the room

In feng shui, the goal is to replicate that sense of well-being and positive uplifting energy flow. This is achieved through the use of feng shui principals, such as:

  • Clutter free: Get rid of all forms of clutter inside and outside your home.

  • Compass directions: Use compass sectors to activate specific elements for each sector.

  • Reinforce auspicious chi: Select colors, furniture, art, accessories and other aesthetics to layer into the room design to reinforce auspicious feng shui energies.

  • Light: Play up natural light in rooms and add artificial lighting to attract sheng chi.

And now you know how to balance the Chi Energy in Your Home

The best way to achieve balanced chi energy in your home is to follow these basic feng shui principles. While chi is invisible, when you take advantage of auspicious chi through the use of feng shui, you'll soon see the visible effects. This powerful energy manifests through abundance, career advances, improved health, and accumulation of wealth and blessings for your family.