A feng shui-ed space, according to traditional Chinese beliefs, allows energy to flow more freely, creating an environment of harmony, balance, and positivity.
It combines five natural elements: wood, earth, metal, water, and fire, as well as the careful, deliberate placement of furniture, decor, and other features in any given space.
Do you want to give this ancient art a shot? First, let’s review the main principles of this design approach:
1. A healthy balance of yin and yang
Feng shui is all about balance, especially between the yin and yang elements. Essentially, if a space has a yin feature, it should also have an equal amount of yang.
Here are a couple of examples:
Dark (yin) and light (yang) (yang)
Both soft (yin) and hard (yang)
masculine and feminine (yin) (yang)
Closed space/solidity and open space (yin) (yang)
geometric and curved (yin) (yang)
In any space where you want to feng shui, try to strike a balance between these elements.
2. Energy must flow through open channels
In feng shui design, energy, or chi, takes center stage, and that energy requires space to flow — in each room, on each wall, and throughout the entire home.
To create these energy pathways, you must be mindful of where you place furniture, particularly doors. For example, you wouldn’t put your bed directly in front of your bedroom door because it would obstruct your energy flow. Instead, you’d want to move the bed back a little, against a wall diagonal from the way, to give chi more room to travel while also giving you the “privileged place” when you sit on it (more on this next).
The same is true for arranging other items. Clear away any clutter and avoid blocking doorways, openings, and halls in your home. You want a clear path for energy to travel throughout the house.
3. Take the commanding position
You want your home base in each room to take command, also known as the power position. This means you’re facing the door (rather than directly in front of it) and have full visibility of the area ahead of you. This could mean that your desk is in the center of the room, just slightly diagonal from the door, or that your couch or recliner is along a back wall in your living room. It all depends on your design and furniture.
4. Make use of the five elements
The five elements mentioned earlier (earth, metal, water, fire, and wood) each represent a different aspect of your life. Incorporating more of these elements is said to improve your quality of life.
Earth elements, for example, represented stability and groundedness. More earth elements in your environment may result in a more grounded, humble existence. Wood, on the other hand, represents expansion and growth. Including more of these could help you advance in your career or achieve your next big goal.
5. Be familiar with the Bagua map.
In addition to the elements mentioned above, there is a “Bagua map” in feng shui that is supposed to correlate with certain aspects of life. You take the map and superimpose it on your floor plan to see which areas of your home influence your life circumstances. Wealth and prosperity, for example, are usually found in the southeastern corner of your home. Incorporating the right elements here could improve your overall wealth, according to feng shui principles.
Other components of the Bagua map include fame/reputation, love, health, children, knowledge, career, and others.