The two previous articles about Feng Shui were an introduction and general terminology explanation and then last time I covered the basic elements (fire, water, earth, etc.) and how they are represented in the home. Today I’ll be covering some of the main decorating problems and how Feng Shui can be used to redirect chi or energy in a more positive way. Remember, this is only a cursory exploration of the discipline – hopefully enough to whet your appetite for more information. If you find it intriguing, take the time to research it further – there are LOTS of resources. You might find a book to help you at Amazon – check it out on our Bookshelf tab in the menu above.
A few tips on bed placement: Place the bed so that it’s not directly under a beam, you don’t have your feet pointed directly to a door, your head or toes are not pointed toward a toilet, so that the bed is not bisected by a line between two doors, and the headboard should not be directly under a window. If the placement of the bed MUST be under a ceiling beam, use fabric to tent or drape over a four poster bed to be between the sleeper and the ceiling.
Dark bedspreads or duvets are preferred over lighter colors and plain are usually better Feng Shui than patterned. Especially avoid geometric patterns with sharp angles as that representation of the fire element is usually too strong an energy for a bedroom.
Bathrooms and Kitchens
Toilets and other bathroom fittings create bad Feng Shui. Instead of large, grand toilets and sinks (where energy is sucked away), keep the toilet small, hidden away if possible and always with the lid closed.
Whether a home or company office, here are some tips to decorate to maximize your luck and energy. Avoid having your office or desk located at the end of a straight hallway. Don’t place your desk directly in front of an entry door. Avoid an office that directly faces a restroom or stairway door if possible. Do not sit with your back to the door – either your personal office door or the door to the whole floor of offices.
Many office buildings have exposed pillars and beams both of which are negative chi and could give you problems (headaches, tiredness, etc.) The best way to counteract the negative energy is to use silk trees to break up the ‘points’ of the pillars and diffuse the energy. Avoid sitting or working under a beam. Flowers on your desk or credenza can also provide strong yang energy and deflect ‘knife’ or corner negativity.
Hang a piece of art depicting a water scene (preferably without mountains) in front of you to encourage good fortune – especially if it’s the north, east or southeast wall. The best overall subject is landscape art of any kind. A good rule of thumb is to place a mountain picture behind you and water in front of you. Generally you want to avoid hanging abstract art with too many sharp, pointy edges or pictures of wild animals which can sometimes have too much negative energy.
Traditionally peonies represent love and good fortune for women seeking romance. Using peonies in the living room decor (wall art, silk or real flowers) encourages romantic luck.
Mirrors are a common tool in overcoming negative chi or structural elements that can’t be changed. They are often called the aspirin of Feng Shui but because they are so powerful at expanding energy, they should be used with care. Mirrors, crystals (hung in a window), reflective glass bowls and vases, all serve the purpose of expanding a space and the energy in it. Round or oval mirrors are preferable for creating harmony in bedrooms and small spaces like bathrooms. Avoid having a mirror in the bedroom that reflects the person sleeping as it will negatively affect the quality of sleep. Make sure that what you are reflecting is positive – the outdoors, a calm color, etc. and NOT clutter. The mirror will magnify the negative chi.
Chinese coins (the kind with the square holes) are filled with good luck – they attract positive money luck. Hung with red yarn or ribbon (another good fortune symbol) on the inside of the front door, the coins will encourage good financial fortune.
Fresh flowers are a strong yang energy (I discussed yin and yang energy in an earlier post) therefore most appropriate for public, energetic spaces in the home. Generally flowers and plants are not a good choice for a bedroom because the yang energy could disturb sleep. The exception is for a bedroom of a sick or recovering person – the extra yang energy is helpful to recovery.
Windchimes are another common item to adjust your home environment. They help define boundaries and moderate the flow of fast-moving chi. Use them to mark a transition between the indoors and outdoors or even between rooms when your back is usually to the doorway. Sound is great for cleansing the air and shifting energies.
One More Installment
There will be one more installment filled with more design tips using Feng Shui principles. I used some personal books as well as online resources to research this post – my books are The Feng Shui House by Gina Lazenby and Lillian Too’s Easy-to-Use Feng Shui by Lillian Too. I hope you’re finding the information interesting and informative. Let me know if you have any specific Feng Shui questions and I’ll try to find answers for you.