When we look to feng shui to create a healthy environment and to cultivate the right energy in our home, we often only consider layout and furniture placement. But there are much more ways feng shui can help shape the look and feel of your home. One of the easiest ways to transform your home's energy—without moving a single piece of furniture—is through color. In feng shui, there are five elements that are expressed through color. Working these feng shui color palettes into your home will help set the intention of the space and draw in those specific lines of energy.
As a general rule, plants are excellent feng shui decorating for the East, Southeast and South areas of your home. It is best to avoid too many plants in the North, Southwest and the Center. Having plants in the bedroom is undesirable feng shui unless your bedroom is quite big and the plants are located further from the bed. These guidelines mostly apply to big plants, if you are decorating with small plants in tiny containers then the rules are not as strict.
Earth represents stability and nourishment – like Mother Earth. Incorporating a nurturing earth element into your space will help to bring peace, stability, and protection to you and your relationships. The earth element is also believed to play an important role in maintaining hope, health, and inner balance, as well as elevating mental activity. Earth colors are: beige/skin colors, sand tones, and light yellow.
No matter the function of the space, no living room is complete without a couch—and, as it turns out, its placement can have a big impact. "As with any room you are applying feng shui to, its best to establish a 'commanding position,'" Cerrano explains. "In short, this means the occupants sitting on the couch in the living room have a clear vantage point of who is entering at all times."
In the hustle and bustle of our lives, it’s nice to come home to a place that is relaxing and calming, where we can take a few deep breaths and meditate or let our minds wander. Feng shui, a system of laws that focuses on the flow of energy in spatial arrangement and orientation, has been around for centuries keeping that very concept in mind. While many of us may not be able to incorporate all the laws of feng shui into our homes (there are many!), integrating some of the concepts will likely aid in our homes’ capacity for positive energy flow and influence of relaxation on the mind and soul.
Our home is a metaphor for our life: It can only hold so much stuff. Even if we have beautiful, expensive art, we only have so many walls. Our walls will start to look chaotic and cluttered if we put too many paintings on them. This is the same case with our lives. If we took a job without quitting the job we had before it, there would simply not be enough time in the day to do both jobs. There is only so much time and space in our physical world. We have to prioritize, revise, and choose what we want to put on our walls, where we want to work, and with whom we want to be in relationship. Otherwise, we keep adding, adding, adding, until we have a nervous breakdown. This is also what causes our lives to stagnate: too much stuff to the point where energy can no longer circulate or move.
All plants belong to the Wood element, and experts use them as a way to balance the elemental energy of a specific area. For instance, it can help boost the energy level of an area associated with wood, or weaken an area associated with water. But of course, there are other factors to consider when balancing the five elements, which we will discuss later.
Adjusting the natural light coming through windows is another way to control the amount of the Fire element. If too much sunlight is coming through, particularly on the South side of the home, then using drapery or blinds is helpful. On the contrary, to allow more natural light, open window coverings. At night, windows take on a yin quality because they create a black hole effect. They actually pull energy out of spaces, so it is important to close window blinds or drapes at night.
In Feng Shui, we use the “commanding position” to locate important furniture such as your bed. The bed is arguably the most important piece of furniture to put in the commanding position because you spend so many passive hours sleeping! To place your bed in the commanding position, you want to be facing the door while not in line with the door while lying in bed. Ideally you can be diagonally across the room from your bedroom door. However, I understand this is not always possible. In that case, find a mirror and place it so that you can see the door while lying in bed. I suggest freestanding mirrors, as they’re easier to move around and get just right.
Getting started with feng shui for your home is easy when you begin with the house basics and gradually move on to the more complex feng shui levels. After you have mastered these seven home feng shui steps, you can explore the deeper levels of feng shui, such as the annual movement of feng shui stars, or energies. The important things to remember are to start simply, have fun, and thoroughly enjoy the process—this is good feng shui.
That's up to you. Some people love looking outside and seeing life go by; others feel invaded. But if you have a big window opposite the front door, the energy can fly right out the window, so it's good to address that: Use drapes or blinds. Or put something in front of the window, like a plant or a pretty reflective bowl, to bounce energy back into the room.