Feng shui is all about the balance of energies (also known as Qi). Through the placement of feng shui elements, we can gather positive energy to assure health and good fortune; at the same time, we can channel out negative energy to create harmony in our space. You can draw on aspects of feng shui that you feel you want or need to improve the way your property feels and functions.
Central to feng shui is what’s called a Bagua (bagua means eight-sided) map that lays out the nine separate areas of energy and intention in feng shui. In arranging a room, these translate to nine areas to note. Divide your room into those areas then overlay the map to see which parts might need correcting or attention.
When the structure of an area cannot be physically changed to suit the ideal energy that’s desired in a feng shui house, you can use a ‘cure’. This is usually in the form of objects like mirrors, running water (like a fountain), plants or pets (like goldfish).
Cures help us fend off negative energies.
Feng shui tips for your home
A feng shui house is all about good home design, the arrangement of internal living spaces and integrating aesthetically pleasing decorative elements which promote harmony and a sense of wellbeing.
But it’s easy to get wrong. Here are some common sources of negative energy in feng shui around our homes.
Bowing or blade-shaped curves
Bending roads shaped like curved blades are considered bad feng shui for Australian homes (and those all over the world!). The blade-liked curves are said to bring bad luck on health. When your building or house is located across the curve, you can use broad leaf plants to shield your home from the negative energy. Plants, such as pothos, canes or bamboos are commonly used for shielding purposes and are easy to keep around the house.
If your window is facing a curved road, such as an overpass or curved highway, you should look at blocking and redirecting the possibility of negative energy. A combination of curtains and convex mirrors (a fish eye mirror or a curved mirror) can do the trick. Curtains should be kept down at all times, while convex mirrors should be placed outside the window, facing the curve, to divert the energy. (Mirrors are commonly used in feng shui to manipulate space and guide energy).
How to Feng Shui your home
Here’s your guide to the ancient Chinese tradition of Feng Shui. The term Feng Shui – which quite literally means ‘wind and water’, is the practice of allowing good energy (otherwise known as chi) to flow throughout your home.
The art of Feng Shui suggests that we all have a deep connection to our homes, and that the energy and flow of our living spaces has a profound effect on our wellbeing and sense of happiness. So, with a few small tweaks and a little spring cleaning you can transform your home into a sanctuary of positivity. And who doesn’t want that?
While Feng Shui existed well before home-organization guru Marie Kondo, her best-selling book, ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ echoes some of the basic principles of Feng Shui. First and foremost: decluttering is key. Inspired by the start of the Lunar New Year, now is the perfect time to declutter and achieve balance, harmony and good energy flow in your humble abode.
Here’s the 101 on Feng Shui-ing your home:
Keep it tidy
Spring cleaning and decluttering your home has many positive benefits. While you’ll probably spend 80 per cent of your time getting distracted by all the great stuff you find, here are some easy tips to help you achieve clutter-free spaces and good Feng Shui in your home:
- Clear out any items that aren’t used regularly or don’t serve a purpose. If it hasn’t been touched in over a year, it’s a good sign that it’s time to say sayonara.
- If an item evokes bad memories or feelings, let it go.
- Use baskets, boxes or tubs to organise your items – set up a system that works for you and gives you easy access to everyday items.
- Donate unwanted good to op shops – you’ll be decluttering and feeling good about sending your once beloved items to a new home.
- Clear your surfaces (desks, side tables etc.). Surfaces with minimal clutter encourage positive energy in the space.
Let there be light
Positive energy in the home is enhanced by the presence of natural light and fresh air. The great outdoors and a little vitamin D are vital ingredients for our health and well-being, and have a vast impact on the chi of your home. In a nutshell: good quality air and good quality light equals positive energy. Simple, right?
Generate air flow throughout the home by opening windows and back doors, and open curtains and blinds to ensure you are letting in the maximum amount of natural light. Air purifying house plants are also a great way to help produce some more O² in your home.
Make use of mirrors
Feng Shui and mirrors are a match made in chi heaven. While mirrors are popular Feng Shui items, if used incorrectly they can cause negative energy throughout the home.
- Mirrors should be used where they can dissipate light and movement in a space, which allows positive energy to bounce around the room.
- Mirrors in a dining room invites wealth and abundance as it appears to double the amount of food.
- Mirrors are great in the entryway of the home – but shouldn’t face the front door as it reflects good energy back outside.
- Don’t places mirrors facing the bed – you can startle yourself, and it can reduce your personal energy resulting in sleeplessness.
Colour me happy
Colours in Feng Shui are an expression of one of the five elements: fire, water, wood, earth and metal. Choosing colours to put in your home has a significant influence on how you feel – from happy, to passionate, to calm or content.
When selecting your colour schemes, it’s important to focus on the feelings you want to ignite. Do you want a warmer space that uses red – a representation of the fire element and the colour of romance and luck? Or use a neutral palette that relates to the metal element that symbolizes innocence and clarity? Choose colours that evoke happiness within you, and positive energy will follow.
Feng Shui tips when building a new home
Of course, many of the design principles that form the thinking behind Feng Shui are evident in many of our beautiful home designs and floor plans, such as the Vantage in Lyndhurst and Sovereign in Glen Waverley, VIC. If you take a walk through either of these stunning display homes, you will see that the moment you step inside the front door – the staircases aren’t visible.
Staircases should not be located in the centre of the home as that disrupts the flow of energy and, similarly, they should not be aligned with the main entrance. By doing so, any energy that comes into your home will head straight upstairs – and it is important that this energy is dispersed throughout the home freely.
As the heart of every residence – the kitchen plays an important role in Feng Shui energy, and can influence the health of the people living in the home. Island benches should be kept clean and unencumbered, and the kitchen sink shouldn’t be positioned within the island bench, as water that is located centrally can drain energy from the home.
Feng Shui also says that the kitchen sink (which represents the water element) should not be located beside the stove (representing the Feng Shui element of Fire) as Fire and Water do not mix well.
You want to use furniture to enhance the movement of energy in a room, and to invoke an energy that is rejuvenating and refreshing. Firstly, assess what the function of the living room is, and how it will be used – once you have singled out the primary purpose of the room, you will find it’s easier to choose furniture that is relevant to the space.
Couches should be placed ideally with a wall behind, or, if that’s not an option, you can use other furniture behind the couch to mirror the effect of a wall. When placing additional furniture, it should feel convenient and logical. If you need to go out of your way to walk around an item, chances are it is encouraging bad Feng Shui in the room.