Thousands of years ago, Taoism developed a set of spiritualistic practices around the belief that two fluid energies—wind and water (feng and shui)—flowed through homes, buildings, or exterior spaces, contributing to the users’ harmony and success. If you’re wondering how to feng shui your own home, start by designing free flowing energy paths through the careful arrangement of your buildings, interiors, furnishings, and possessions.
Clutter is feng shui’s mortal enemy because it means the natural flow paths of chi energy are blocked by tchotchkes and other obstructions. Therefore, decluttering is the first step in creating feng shui.
Many things contribute to clutter, but not keeping up with maintenance is the most common cause: for example, simple unattended things like burned-out lightbulbs, malfunctioning appliances, or leaky faucets are all part of household clutter, since they pull your attention away from harmonious thoughts and pursuits.
Simplify your home’s spaces before delving into cabinets, drawers, and closets and reorganizing them to free them from obstructions. This is a really useful exercise to do first. As you do it, you can physically feel a burden of care lifting as clutter disappears.
You can also accomplish a spiritual cleansing of inappropriately obstructed chi energy by opening your windows and blowing out your living space for nine minutes (nine) is an auspicious number in feng shui.
Rearrange Living Spaces
After cleansing and decluttering, you should begin to rearrange your living space according to the five Taoist elements that underlie the philosophy. For Taoists, the world is divided into five materials which possess definitive qualities of color and shape: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. The easiest way to introduce good feng shui to your home is by including something to represent each of the five elements in your space.
Earth, for example is brown, orange, and yellow and comes in flat or square shapes. A dark rug in the middle of the room should provide sufficient earth element for your space. Metal is represented by white, gray, or metallic colors with spherical, round shapes, like a large circular porcelain bowl. Water, interestingly, is represented as black, or very dark blues, with curvy, wavy shapes like furled or blowing dark blue curtains in front of a patio door. Fire, of course, is represented by red colors, in triangular shapes like stems of red Japanese maple leaves on the mantel or in a vase.
Since your home is a shared space, you need to take careful consideration with the placement of your furniture. A large living room encourages chi energy to pass freely in and around the room. The room should be large enough to accommodate the entire family and guests comfortably. There must be a comfortable seat for each member of the household, and for this reason the furniture arranged in a space with good feng shui is often mismatched. Each person in the home should feel welcome and accommodated, and his or her tastes should be reflected in the piece of furniture best suited for them.
Furniture Placement is Essential
Where you place furniture impacts the way the chi energy enters and moves around the room. Never place furniture in natural pathways through the room. This type of placement will block chi energy, cause it to become stagnant, and create negative energy. The furniture should be arranged to invite conversation and interaction with your chairs and couches facing each other and no one sitting with their back to the door.
The most significant piece of furniture in any living room is the couch. It should rest against a solid wall. Nonetheless, a popular western furniture arrangement is to place a sectional couch in the middle of the room without wall support. This floating should be avoided since it permits and encourages instability in your family’s life, work, wealth, health, and relationships. You can easily test the intuitive truth of this design principle by sitting on a couch against the wall before sitting on one set in the middle of the room. With each arrangement come different feelings. Chances are you feel safe and secure when sitting on the couch against the wall, while the one set in the middle of the room leaves you feeling vulnerable and uneasy, as though you need (constantly) to look behind you. Geomancy or feng shui is an ancient design system that produces unified pleasing interiors with reduced clutter and obstructions. Use these design ideas to provide unity and integrity to your living space. Creating good feng shui might not connect you to universal chi, but it leads to health and happiness. It’s only a short stretch from there to good fortune.