The ancient Chinese art of feng shui (literally translated means 'wind-water') is based on the belief that the location and layout of our properties, together with how we arrange objects within them, affect our success, wealth and happiness.
Learning how feng shui works involves learning about chi or qi – the invisible life force or energy which is thought to be inherent in all things. Being in tune with this energy and using feng shui principles in our homes and offices can encourage this energy to flow, which in turn can re-energise our lives and help us to achieve a sense of calm and wellbeing.
You can learn more about feng shui, including how to apply a Bagua Map – a tool devised by feng shui masters to pinpoint specific areas within the home or office – and also the Five Elements in our Feng Shui Diploma Course. As an introduction to this deeply-fascinating subject, here are some general room-by-room changes that apply to most homes.
Feng Shui for the Front Door
First impressions count so taking a good look at your front door is a great place to start with feng shui. Referred to as the 'mouth of chi', this is where the new energy first enters the home, bringing with it opportunities in all areas, such as health, wealth and relationships. It's important this gateway is never blocked, so avoid placing any furniture behind the door so that it can open fully. Also, ensure that the hinges are well-oiled and that it doesn't stick. The hallway is a common hot spot for clutter so keep an eye on coats, shoes, junk mail, dying plants or anything that might block the area too. If your back door is directly opposite the front door, there's a danger the chi can rush in and out too quickly so consider placing a wind chime just inside the front door to calm its flow.
Feng Shui for the Living Room
If you can't decide on that new coffee table, feng shui says that a rounded table would be preferable to a rectangular one. The knife-like corners of the rectangular table, or any other angular furniture or sharp corners in the room, can create what's called cutting chi, sending 'poison arrows' your way. To avoid being on the receiving end of this negative energy, reposition the furniture or think of ways to soften the sharp edges, for example trailing plants make good camouflage for areas such as the mantelpiece or bookshelf. Consider your sofa location, too. Ideally, it should be high-backed, it should be placed against a solid wall (for stability and support) and you should have a good clear view of the door.
Feng Shui for the Kitchen
Another room with lots of sharp angles and potential poison arrows is the kitchen. If you're choosing worktops, go for those with softer rounded edges and ensure knives are stored safely away and not on display. Consider having a really good clear out and tidy too, as energy can become stuck and feel sluggish in cluttered areas. Go through the cupboards and fridge and throw out anything out of date and get everything clean, shiny and sparkling, so that chi doesn't stagnate. If you have any broken or chipped crockery cluttering up your space, you might want to throw it away as keeping it or using it is thought to deplete energy and vitality.
Feng Shui for the Bathroom
In feng shui, water represents wealth so you may want to take few steps in the bathroom to avoid your hard-earned cash going down the pan! This is especially true if your bathroom or toilet faces, or is directly above, the front door as this is where chi and opportunities first enter the home. Make sure that everyone puts the toilet lid down, turns the taps off fully and keeps the bathroom door shut to protect energy. If you have an en-suite, keep the door shut overnight otherwise you might notice you wake up the next day feeling particularly tired and drained.
Feng Shui for the Bedroom
One of the first elements to consider in the bedroom is the positioning of your bed – diagonal to the door is best. Ideally, you should be able to see the bedroom door from the bed, but not be directly in line with it. The bed should be stable – to reflect stability in relationships – with a sturdy headboard and ideally against a solid wall with access at both sides. Try to avoid having your feet directly facing the door as this will deplete your energy overnight. Feng shui experts also believe mirrors are not thought to be conducive to a good night's sleep as they increase energy flow which can interfere with achieving a restful, peaceful atmosphere. In particular, if your bed is facing a mirror, or you can see yourself in the mirror when you are in bed, consider moving it or covering it up.
Feng Shui for the Home Office
If you work from home, achieving a good work (and chi!) flow can be achieved with just a few simple adjustments. Firstly, if you can, re-position your desk so that it is facing the door and diagonal from it, ready to welcome career success and opportunities. In feng shui terms, this will put you in the 'command' position. Ideally, you will have a solid wall behind your chair for support and keep your feet firmly on the ground. A good de-clutter of the space will also help, so file away any old documents and delete any unwanted files on your computer. Clear unfinished tasks such as returning phone calls and replying to emails. Finally, remind yourself of your accomplishments to attract more success by displaying any certificates, notes of thanks and other achievements that are special to you.