Most of you probably heard of an ancient Chinese philosophy called Feng Shui, which is getting more and more popular among interior designers and decorators. Lets see, what Feng Shui really means and how to design harmonious spaces following some of the most important rules of this concept.
“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is psychics” – said Albert Einstein and in his words, we can see what’s the meaning of energy present in life, which Chinese people call qi.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that aims to plan spaces and interiors in a way that serves good health, happiness and well-being. Literally translated, feng means wind (something invisible), and shui means water (something intangible). According to this symbolism, our lives are governed by forces that are invisible and intangible. The most important premise of the feng shui philosophy is the free flow of qi (energy), which is possible when there is harmony between the forces ruling the world and our lives.
Feng shui is connected to astrology and how the stars affect us (both mentally and physically). When it comes to interior design, feng shui embarks paying attention to energy in your home. If we want a home with positive vibe, first we need to be aware of it and how can we embrace it.
All the interiors have low and high energy places. Feng shui helps us understand, which colors, patterns, textures and objects to choose in specific areas of the house to achieve balance and positive vibrations at home.
This concept also gives us specific rules, which will be helpful. They suggests which objects, furniture and accessories to surround ourselves with in individual interiors, where and how to place them, so that they have a beneficial effect on us and help, depending on the type of interior, to relax, work or sleep. This beneficial positioning is closely linked to leaving some free space for the flow of energy, from the entrance through all the rooms.
Feng Shui concept is linked to three different ancient Chinese astrology concepts, which are: five elements, yin & yang and 9 life areas (bagua map).
Every element has an impact on different aspects of life and each one of them has a specific color palette, season and symbolism linked to it. These elements interact in different ways, sometimes to our advantage, sometimes not.
Wood symbolises growth and vitality, but can be easily destroyed by metal and fire. On the other hand, water helps the trees grow. Placing wood items in your space encourages personal growth. Its’ season is spring, and the color palette circulates around green.
Fire links to red color and summer. This is the strongest of all elements, which symbolises passion, love and energy. Fire can represent expansion, volatility and transformation.
Earth, opposite of fire, symbolises stability and balance. It’s color is orange, and the season is late summer, when everything slowly ends after ‘the time of fire’. Earth is the basics of feng shui philosophy, because it gives us life and feeds us.
Metal is an element for logic and intelligence. It’s color palette is grayish, and the season – autumn. As it’s sharp and edgy, it symbolises mental sharpness and knowledge, but also wealth and material goods. It’s good to place some metal elements in study room or office, so it will help us grow mentally.
The last element is the most vital one. Water symbolises wisdom and serenity. It’s the element of winter, with blue color palette. It helps with relaxation, so it’s good to add aquariums, ponds, mirrors and reflective surfaces to relaxation spaces.
Yin and yang are the two basic forces in the universe. Yin is the female element, calm and passive, and yang is the male element, active and strong. The two energies are opposites, but they are dependent on each other and complement each other.
When it comes to adapting rooms according to yin and yang, it is useful to know that some spaces are suited to yin activity so they would be perfect for relaxation. On the other hand, those subject to yang energy will be suitable for arranging a kitchen, home gym or workspace.
In interior design, the balance of feminine and masculine elements ensures a successful and good home life. Information about which energy is assigned to particular rooms is provided by the bagua map.
Bagua Map is the most common tool in feng shui interior design. Bagua Map is a map of 9 life areas which helps to plan the spaces that will cover all this life areas in your house. The grid also indicates how to arrange these rooms, what to equip them with and where to place the furniture.
The bagua map is traditionally imagined as a compass of 8 diagrams, which represent all the forces of nature. Western culture made it a bit easier for us and recreated the map, using 9 squares which represent all 9 life areas.
It is advisable to impose the bagua map on the floor plan of your house or flat, so that you can easily determine the location of certain interiors. The entrance should always be located in zones: Wisdom, Career and Helpful People (Friends). Each zone is assigned to specific elements and colours to be used there, as well as materials to be used and the must-have items that will assure the proper energy flow:
Wealth – this areas element is water, and the material is wood. You should decorate it in a way that will represent abundance. Use blue, black, grey and violet colors alongside with valuable items and materials, such as porcelain, silk, glass and live plants.
Fame – this is the area that should highlight who you are and what are your life goals and dreams. No wonder, as the element is earth, which is responsible for growth. Use yellow, red and natural tones with ceramics, porcelain, stones. Try to avoid heavy objects and dark colors.
Love – this is the best area to place your bedroom as it encourages intimacy and love. Try to use photos, candles and fragrances.
Family – as you can guess, this is a place for happiness and family life, so it’s best to place dining room or seating area of the living room there, so you can enjoy time with your loved ones. Use a lot of light and vibrant colors or patterns, to make this place blooming with life and positivity.
Health – placed in the center of the diagram, this is the area which all the other areas are based around. It’s usually a hallway between rooms. Keep it clean and spacious, so the energy could flow freely. The best colors are yellow and gold.
Children – according to feng shui, this is of course the best place for kids room but if you don’t have kids, you can arrange it, so the area will play the role of waking up your inner child. It can be your work or creativity space, a room for playing board games or video games. Use earth items and child-like objects to decorate the space.
Wisdom – It’s definitely a feng shui zone for a home office or workspace, as it’s meant to encourage decision making and studying. Make place for books and some objects that will help you focus or meditate and avoid distracting items or moving objects.
Career – This is the spot dedicated for entrance halls, it supports your life and career journey. Decorate with mirrors and monochromatic colors and avoid bright colors and unnecessary items.
Helpful people – This areas’ colors are white, black, grey and gold, and the element is metal. It’s a place for you to cherish the important people in your life. Avoid turning this area into a storage place with a lot of unnecessary items, as this will make you cluster your social life.
One of the most important rules in feng shui design are all about keeping everything clean and simple. Simplicity and cleanliness are connected to the flow of energy – in order for it to move freely in our home, it should not encounter obstacles that block or stop it.
Feng shui starts at the entrance and the entrance hall should be neat and well-planned, so the energy will freely enter other parts of the house. Don’t cluster the space and go for bright, positive colors with good vibe.
Surround the space with natural elements, such as real plants and ponds. Because… what is the better place to relax and gather good energy than a natural environment?
It’s very important not to cluster the space. Use décor items wisely, don’t put anything in the middle of the room, so the center can remain empty. Think about how you will move around the house and place furniture accordingly.
Use metal and crystal elements. Metal helps with clarity, sharpness of thoughts and productivity, but it also balances yin and yang energies. Check witch crystals are good for which aspects of life and place accordingly to the areas they will be most helpful and stimulating.
Use levels, to go more vertical, so the space will look bigger and taller. You can use some vertical shapes, big plants that will climb the walls or some hanging shelves and pots. In feng shui, it is an element which helps with growth and expansion.
The work area must be separated from the rest area so that work does not mix with relaxation.
Get rid of old, unnecessary things: clothes, gadgets, broken items, toys, broken plates or pots, as they accumulate negative energy.
Check the commanding position of items. It is important where you place the furniture, that are the most important in everyday life, like bed, sofa or dining table. Place the bed and the desk towards the doorway and not in the same line with it, because facing the entrance represents power.
Keep the windows clean and open them often so the light and air can flow freely around the house. Since the air is one of feng shui components, it should be always welcomed in the house.
Repair or replace leaking taps, because wealth escapes with the water.