For beginners, dipping your toes into the world of feng shui can be overwhelming, to say the least. Here we explain exactly what feng shui is – the five elements, major principles, and how you can apply it to your home, office and life.
What is feng shui?
Feng shui is the Chinese practice that focuses on balancing and harmonizing the energies in your home, office, and life to reflect your emotional self. Aligning the energy of your environment with your own is easier than you think, take it step by step and it is believed that this will unlock the flow of energy to help you lead a more balanced life.
The feng shui elements
Create balance and vibrancy in your life by consciously channelling the energies of the five feng shui elements.
Bagau (also called ba-gua or pakua) is the feng shui energy map, it helps you identify areas in your home and how they are connected to specific areas of your life, but also is a guide on the appropriate shapes and colours for each room. The Chinese translation is “8 areas” which it is believed amount to one’s health and happiness.
The eight areas of the feng shui bagau are:
- Health & Family
- Wealth & Abundance
- Fame & Reputation
- Love & Marriage
- Creativity & Children
- Helpful People & Blessings
- Career & Path in Life
- Spiritual Growth & Cultivation
The rules of feng shui for home placement
- Slopes can create negative chi, so avoid homes on a slope of 45 degrees or more.
- Avoid building near power stations as they generate energy and can create energy chaos resulting in negative chi.
- A home with views over a cemetery is considered bad energy as a cemetery is a place of death.
- Don’t buy or build a home close to a junk-dumping site as the clutter can have a negative effect on chi.
- The layout of the street in relationship to your home can either carry positive or negative chi to you.
Image: Marnie Hawson / aremediasyndication.com.au
How to use feng shui in your home
When it comes to your home the “feng shui trinity” – your bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen – has the utmost importance for your health and wellbeing.
- The entry to your home should be inviting and clear of clutter. Feng shui experts concur that your whole house should be clutter-free and contain only the essentials. This will help declutter your mind and allow you to focus.
- Keep the garden well maintained and tidy.
- Create “chi” in your backyard by using curves – straight lines are rarely present in nature.
- Put away coats and shoes in your entry hallway so that energy can circulate.
- Airflow is key to creating positive energy in the home. Open your windows often and use an air purifier to keep your home fresh.
- Bring wealth into your home by placing a plant and a light either side of the front door.
- For uplifting positive energy, place a mirror above a table with fresh flowers.
- Choose your art carefully, as images carry strong energy. Choose images that are happy and beautiful. Avoid using images that feature lonely or solo people or items.
- Keep your space clear of clutter. It will keep the energy in your home light and harmonious.
- Allow as much natural light into your home as possible. During the day use candles and lamps to illuminate dark spaces which represent areas of neglect in certain aspects of your life.
- Create clutter-free benchtops. Like most other spaces, clutter is a no-go in the kitchen. Use simple storage solutions to help save space so you will have larger workspaces to utilise.
- Herb gardens add a sense of calm and beauty to a kitchen.
- It is considered bad feng shui practice to have the bathroom and kitchen doors facing each other. When two doors are opposite each other it is said that the energies flow faster in and out – the same goes for your front and back door.
- Your sofa, coffee table, and entertainment units should not be disproportionally large in your living room. All of the furniture should work in harmony. When it comes to the arrangement there is no right or wrong answer, but your sofa should be pushed up against a wall.
- A mix of shapes in your living room is important. Opt for a circular coffee table with a rectangular lounge and add in other round, oval and square items to help balance out the room.
- To encourage the flow of wealth, place a lamp in the corner of your room diagonally opposite the room’s entry.
- In public (yang) spaces, bring energy to the room through the calculated use of colour. Deep blue and eggplant are energizing colours and red is invigorating.
- To optimise energy in the dining room place a large mirror reflecting the table as it is said to bring good fortune and abundance. Although make sure you hang it high enough so guests aren’t looking at themselves.
- Don’t let your dining table become a place of neglect as they often become the household “dumping ground.” Clear the clutter and create an appealing environment you don’t forget about.
- People don’t like sitting with their backs to open doorways and windows, position your dining table so people have their back to a wall. This will help them feel safe and comfortable.
- You should always keep something on the dining table – fruit is a great choice. Apples help develop friendship, pears attract positive energy, peaches represent good health, and oranges symbolise richness and prosperity.
- Crystals are a huge part of feng shui which is why chandeliers make a great addition. The reflective metals in the chandeliers will help the space feel calmer.
- When it comes to the bedroom layout, place your bed against a solid wall where you can view your main door.
- Importantly, avoid placing mirrors opposite the bed, as arguments will be amplified.
- Try and avoid having electricals running behind your bed, look for a battery-operated alarm clock – keeping your phone out of your bedroom is a non-negotiable!
- If you have a painting above your bed, hang it high and choose something that will elevate your mood. Think calm colours and soft shapes.
- Keep all bedroom doors closed at night, including wardrobe doors.
- Avoid clutter and storage under the bed, as you’ll absorb the energy whilst sleeping.
- Clear your bedroom of the TV, computer or exercise equipment. These items introduce the energy of work and stress into a space that should be relaxing and harmonious.
- Make your space warm and inviting with soft and cosy textures. Add symmetry with table lamps and matching bedside tables to create a bookended effect, then your bed will feel like a room within a room.
- Don’t use red in your room – it is very yang and can affect your quality of sleep, or ability to actually get to sleep.
- Don’t place plants in your bedroom unless it’s a large space, and keep them as far away from the bed as possible.
- Keep your bathroom clean. We’re not saying you need to squeegee your bathroom from top to bottom each day, but keeping it clutter-free will help. Select the bare necessities, look for earth-friendly products and keep it orderly and neat.
- When it comes to bathrooms, the colour white and other light colours are great choices as they are fresh and body-friendly. The colour white also helps cut through confusion, slowness and delays which helps purify and cleanse. Avoid the colours blue and black (water element colours) and images of water as these will strengthen the energy you want to control.
- To avoid draining wealth energy in the bathroom, keep toilet lids down and keep the door shut. Plants can help improve the feng shui.
- Always position your desk or working spaces with a view rather than a solid wall. This hinders creativity.
- Improve the quality of air in the home or office by introducing plants, foliage, and flora. Plants will improve concentration and increase positive energy, concentration, and innovative thinking while reducing stress.
- Crystals will break electrical waves transmitted by computers, software, phones, and technical devices. Neutralise negative energy by positioning them next to water throughout the office or the home.
- Colour plays an important role when it comes to feng shui: gold promotes prosperity, silver represents security, and red is for wealth. Attract desired outcomes by introducing suitable colours into your space.
- Retain the essence of abundance by placing a small water fountain near the main entry door.