When it comes to designing the perfect home, there are always what seems like an infinite number of decisions to be made. Would painting the kitchen walls neon pink be a faux pas? Which is the right way forward: a bigger TV or a more highbrow bookcase? Can I justify using the biggest room in the house as my study? Is a guitar-shaped swimming pool feasible? Would a mirrored ceiling in the bedroom give off the wrong impression? And of course, underlying everything is the universal question: how will all of these decisions collectively affect my home’s feng shui?
It’s a big question but feng shui is a big concept. According to self-proclaimed feng shui expert Tameera, feng in Chinese means ‘wind’ and shui translates as ‘water.’ She explains, "Wind and water were the original elements of creation. Wind is breath and movement and water is a prerequisite for life." Practitioners believe that feng shui flows through the universe, but it all starts under your roof. So it’s pretty important to get the balance right if you want to be happy, successful, and earn widespread renown as a domestic Jedi. Feng shui is all about generating positive energy and harmony, and if your home is lacking in either department, then the following features could be to blame.
The Doors Of Perception
Doors are significant in that they always lead to one place from another. But if your front door has bad feng shui, you could be on a highway to hell. According to The Spruce, your front door is important for your home’s recommended daily dose of chi, or universal energy. If your door faces in the wrong direction or is painted the wrong color, then the quality of energy it receives will suffer.
According to feng shui practitioner Victor Cheung’s Feng Shui Nexus, if your door is not proportionate to your house, then it could have a negative influence on your health and career. The article suggests that, the bigger the house, the bigger the door must be — and vice versa. Meanwhile, the color it’s painted should be dependent on the direction it faces — though getting too far into those details might be more trouble than it’s worth. In the end, Cheung advises whatever color you choose, it should feel inviting, and should be a color that you know you like.
The Hallways Of Always
Long and narrow corridors may be a favorite of horror film directors, (Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining is a classic example), but according to The Road to Domestication, they’re also magnets for a terrible combination of chi types that promote disharmony, and can make you feel off-kilter unless you take certain remedial steps to counteract them.
The feng shui fix for a long and narrow hallway is pretty simple (via The Spruce). Vibrant artwork arranged creatively on the walls can add some badly-needed positive energy. A long and gloomy hallway can also benefit from a few strategically placed lights. Ceiling lights are a no-go as this will hinder the path of good energy through your hallway and create a claustrophobic effect. Instead, use subtle wall lighting to open up the hallway. A long hallway also needs a feng shui strong focal point. So ensure whatever is at the end of your hallway, be it a door or a wall, is eye-catching, aesthetically pleasing, and suggests a new dawn instead of a dead end.
Odds And Ends
Clutter! You can’t live with it and you can’t get a decent price for it on eBay. So you store it under the bed, in the closet, in the garage, the attic, the basement, wherever! Yet all that clutter conspires to serve one purpose and that’s — you guessed it — bad feng shui! According to Red Lotus Letter, feng shui expert Katie Weber believes that clutter stunts your personal, professional, and spiritual growth. She explains that, like plants, we need to be repotted if we’re to keep growing. She warns, "When you’re overwhelmed by stuff, like a plant, you outgrow your pot and that’s when relationships suffer, business opportunities dry up, your health and vitality sapped, and finances become tighter." Weber stresses that we need to declutter and remove blockages to let the energy flow through our homes and our lives like a refreshing south-easterly wind.
Fellow feng shui expert Karen Kingston concurs. She highlights (via Well and Good) that clutter falls into four categories. There is clutter we don’t use or love, messy clutter that represents sheer chaos, hoarded clutter that has outgrown its space, and clutter that represents unfinished things such as abandoned projects and hobbies. Kingston points out that the more clutter you have, the more room there is for depressed and stagnant energy to grow like a poisonous mushroom. A home free of clutter gives positive energy room to flow through space and you. So be fierce, be unforgiving, be unsentimental, and de-clutter!
Keep A Lid On It!
Leaving the toilet seat up is not just unhygienic, it’s bad feng shui and can leave you feeling drained in every sense. According to feng shui practitioner Carol Daigneault’s Feng Shui Studio, toilets represent the biggest pipe in the home and can suck all that vital chi energy out if you don’t do the right thing before you flush and put a lid on it. Daigneault explains that bathrooms as a whole can be potential minefields for achieving good feng shui. Tubs, sinks, showers, and toilets all require drains and have the combined potential to quickly strip the feng shui from your house. Carol explained, "In all my years of feng shui practice some of the most dramatic imbalances I have found have involved toilets and drains."
To prevent all that good chi from being washed down the drain, Carol recommends always putting the toilet seat down. She also stresses the importance of plugging the sink, bath, and shower drain when not in use. If you’re the forgetful type or just don’t believe in creating extra work for yourself, Daigneault says you can symbolically plug the drains through a little judicious application of red duct tape on the pipe below. Remember, when it comes to chi, an open toilet is like an open sewer. Feng shui consultant Dana Claudat explains (via Realtor.com), "Not only will shutting it keeps the energy stronger in your bathroom, but it’s also more pleasing to see."
Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall
With the exception of Count Dracula, who doesn’t love a good mirror? Staring at our own reflection is a great way to pass the time and practice our selfie faces, but did you know that the room you place your mirror reflects and multiplies the positive or negative power of your home’s feng shui? The Holistic Home author Laura Benko (via MyDomaine) suggests hanging a mirror should connect to and reflect an intention, such as creating more opportunities for yourself. Dining rooms are regarded as the perfect rooms for mirrors because they represent our potential to retain wealth. Alternately, kitchens are off-limits for mirrors. One facing a stove is a surefire way to store up a lot of negative energy. However, if you’ve got a beautiful view from your home, reflect it!
Benko also warns to never hang a mirror directly opposite your front door but almost anywhere else in the hallway is okay. A mirror facing your desk will weigh you down and double your workload, but one in the living room can put more bang in your buck when it comes to social gatherings. Lots of people tend to hang mirrors behind a sofa or bed, but feng shui experts believe this is detrimental to an individual’s well-being. And never, under any circumstances, hang a mirror across from the toilet. There are certain things in life it’s wise not to reflect upon.
Back To Front
Just as what goes up must come down, and what goes in must come out. If there is a path directly from your front door to the back door, all the energy in your home is leaving via the rear entry before it can accumulate and blossom within your four walls. According to The Spruce, chi energy behaves like water, and it will flow faster than a cheetah on the prowl through directly aligned doors. Ideally, you need your feng shui to circulate and linger for a while before it bids your home au revoir. Obviously, a complete remodeling of your home’s layout is a bit extreme, but there are a few tricks you can utilize to prevent a full-scale feng shui energy leak.
Positioning a round table in the path of the chi energy flow will cause it to break like waves hitting a rock. Placing a vase with flowers on the table will work wonders, as will situating a tall and wide floor plant in a visually striking pot between the two doors. Funk This House recommends the installation of furniture in strategic hot spots to slow down the raging torrent from the front to back. What furniture you place and where will depend on your home’s design. Another tip to net the chi and let it marinate is to create inviting places where both people and energy will choose to linger and socialize instead of rushing to the nearest exit.
Beams Can Be Mean
Exposed wooden beams may give your home a cultured and antiquated look but they can also cut up the energy of space quicker than a sharp knife through hot butter. The feng shui experts call it "cutting chi." According to feng shui professional Karen Kingston, exposed beams are particularly problematic if you spend a lot of time beneath them when you are pursuing physically inactive pastimes, such as watching TV, working at a desk, fly-catching, or simply nodding off.
Kingston explains, "It is a well-established feng shui principle that daily prolonged exposure of this type can cause health problems in whichever part of the body is directly in line with the cutting chi." Low beams can lead to a feeling of being frustrated, hopeless, and even powerless. Meanwhile, sharp beams can leave a soul feeling irritated, argumentative, divided, and lost without a compass. It all sounds pretty appalling — so what’s a person to do?
There are various feng shui remedies to counter the potentially evil influence of beams. One of the most common fixes is to hang bamboo flutes, or representations of birds, balloons, or angelic creatures in the vicinity of the beams. Such things are all associated with the air element and conspire to combat the oppressive nature of beams. However, the best remedy is to cover the beams completely by installing a fake ceiling. It may not look as good, but you may feel a lot less ‘cut up’ about it than you’d imagine.
Stairway To Misery
A front door that opens onto a staircase can quickly lead to a lack of feng shui nourishment for your home. The Spruce explains that the energy coming down the stairs pushes all the good energy that would normally enter your house via "The Mouth of Chi," or as it’s known in old money — the front door. Starved of good feng shui energy, your ground floor can soon become like a wasteland leading to financial failure and other assorted woes. Obviously, if you have a huge foyer and the staircase is well removed from the door, this is not an issue. In such instances, the incoming energy has time to settle and spread its wings to other areas of the house before it’s pushed out by the tidal wave of energy coming down the stairs like a hyperactive toddler. Yet if you have a small foyer, you may find yourself in a bit of a pickle.
Never fear, there are a few feng shui tricks you can utilize to balance things out. According to Ms. Feng Shui, to stay one step ahead of the pressure that a bad feng shui staircase exerts, it’s always wise to hang a wind chime or crystal in the middle of no man’s land between your front door and the foot of the stairs. This will help slow down the chi as it gallops down your staircase. It’s effective and a far less costly alternative to renovating your staircase.
A Room With A View
Everyone loves a room with a view, and there’s nothing like watching the sun rise and set as you gaze philosophically at the sky and spy on the neighborhood from the comfort of your bed. Yet according to Love To Know, you should never make the cardinal error of putting a bed under a window. A bed beneath a window means you’re sleeping slap-bang in the middle of the chi energy flow entering and leaving your house. If you put yourself directly in the path of that epic flow, you’ll be spiritually and mentally tossed around like a paper bag in a gale. The brunt force of all that chi will play havoc with your health and you can forget about getting a good night’s sleep.
According to Open Spaces Feng Shui, a solid wall should be the only thing the head of your bed backs onto. This is called the command position. Feng shui places an emphasis on sleeping as if you have your back to the mountain. This not only protects you from harm, but it also helps safeguard your valuable store of personal chi energy. Yet this scenario is not always possible. If you must place a bed beneath a window, it’s wise to invest in a heavy-duty pair of shades and a headboard that will act as a substitute for a mountain and provide protection from any negative energy that may creep through your window while you’re in the land of nod.
The Enemy In The Boudoir
According to feng shui, a TV in the bedroom is detrimental on so many levels. If you want harmony and balance in all areas of your life, those days of bingeing on Netflix in your pajamas whilst casually rummaging it the KFC bucket has got to go. According to Love To Know, TVs can work in the same way as a mirror, in that they generate a lot of yang energy. As a rule, feng shui is all about striving to create a balance of yin and yang energy, except in the bedroom. In feng shui, a bedroom should be designed to contain more yin than yang. Yin is passive energy renowned for its calming and relaxing properties and can aid a restful night’s sleep. However, a TV’s yang will drown out all the yin. At the exact moment you should be getting all Zen-like and tranquil, a TV will blast you with an unhealthy dose of yang energy to leave you feeling twitchy and unsettled.
The article also explains that TVs often consist of metal elements that attract the water element. In feng shui, water is also considered a rich source of yang energy. At this point, you may be thinking, "well, if TVs are out, thank God for tablets!" Unfortunately, feng shui experts frown upon using electrical devices of any sort in the boudoir. Yet if you really cannot live without a TV in your bedroom, it’s advisable that you drape a cloth over it or shut it away in a cabinet while you’re sleeping. Sweet dreams!