The principles and practices of Feng Shui can play an increasingly important role in our design work and, while we’re no experts in the philosophy, we are enthusiastic students of its value. A traditionally built form in China, whether it was a house, a village or an old town, has always been done in an harmonious way with its environment, this is somehow due to the influence of feng shui. Feng shui — which literally translates to "wind and water" — is the ancient Chinese art of placement. The goal is to enhance the flow of chi (life force or spiritual energy), and to create harmonious environments that support health, beckon wealth and invite happiness. At its most basic level, feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is a decorating discipline based on the belief that our surroundings affect us.
Feng Shui empowers you to improve every aspect of your life, from your health and wealth to your relationships and career. How does Feng Shui work? It enhances your environment according to principles of harmony and energy flow. Whether you’re aware of it or not, your environment — and your relationship with it — are constantly affecting you.
Learn how a balance of wood, fire, earth, metal and water can bring balance to your space and your life.
If you have a room that doesn't feel quite right, try balancing the elements to make it more comfortable. Each element invokes a different mood, creating a customized space that's beneficial for your personality and goals. Here's a look at each one and how to incorporate it into your home, yard or office design
A highly important tool in Feng Shui is the Bagua Map. It can be used to map out what colors and elements have what effects on your life.
When designing with the wood element, use shapes that mimic the vertical, column-like shape of tree trunks and the softness of leaves and flowers. Like the leaves and sky, wood's colors are green and blue. Consider incorporating the following types of objects:
Increase enthusiasm and leadership skills by maximizing the fire element. Use this element in design to encourage. To expand the fire element in your space, add:
candles, incandescent lights and sunlight
any shade of red, pink or purple
Earth affects physical strength and order while generating an overall feeling of grounding, balance and stability. When there's an overabundance of earth in a space, people will often notice a heavy sensation and experience more boredom, sluggishness and seriousness. When there's too little earth, people may feel disorganized, chaotic and unfocused.
To bring in the element, add:
Metal affects mental clarity and logic. The presence of metal within a room can be felt in personal characteristics such as organization, focus, righteousness and analytical abilities. When surrounded with too much metal, you can be seen as chatty, overly critical and prone to speaking without thinking. When there's too little metal, you may notice a feeling of quiet, cautiousness and lack of focus.
When enhancing a space with metal, add:
round or oval shapes
anything made of metals, including iron, aluminum, gold or silver
rocks and stones
white, gray, silver or light
Water's domain encompasses spirituality and the emotions. A balance of water brings about inspiration, wisdom and insightfulness. Too much water can create the feeling of unbalanced transition and the sense that you're drowning emotionally. It can make you feel overwhelmed and overly social. When there's too little water, you may experience a lack of sympathy, loneliness, isolation, stress and pettiness.
When incorporating the water element, add:
the color black or any deep, dark tones
reflective surfaces, such as mirrors and gazing balls
wavy, free-form or asymmetrical shapes
water or water features, such as aquariums and fountains
How to Implement
To tackle an entire room, start by noticing and labeling all the objects within a space. If you find yourself using a specific room less than others or avoiding it altogether, the elemental balance may need some adjusting. Be on the lookout for rooms made up of only one or two elements. By adding in objects that represent those missing elements, you'll be well on your way to creating a well balanced space.
If you’re looking to make some quick improvements to the environment in your home, the following list of practical Feng Shui cures is at your service:
Clear the entryway to your home. Let the chi (energy) flow right into your home and life by ridding your home’s front entry of obstacles. Such things as looming plants or vines, old newspapers, bikes, and toys in your front path may limit the amount of energy entering your home. Clear out anything behind your door for even more benefits.
Get rid of unwanted frustrations by fixing broken objects. Make sure your front door is in good working order. It shouldn’t scrape the floor or squeak, and the doorknob, hinges, and locks should all be secure. This cure allows you to release your frustrations and anxieties and smooths your life path.
Spice up your love life with plants in the bedroom. Place three or nine new plants in your bedroom to enliven the energy of the room, adding hope and cheer. (If the plants have pink flowers, this cure will be even stronger!)
Position your bed to feel safe, loved, and great. Place your bed in the Commanding Position of your bedroom. This spot is the one farthest from the door but where you’re still able to see the doorway and anyone approaching while you’re lying in the bed. Placing your bed in the Commanding Position allows you to be stronger, calmer, and in charge.
Block drains to keep dollars from draining out of your pockets. To keep your funds from being drained, keep your bathroom doors closed, hang full-length mirrors on the outsides of your bathroom doors, and keep your drains closed when not in use (cover the sink drain, stop the tub, and keep the toilet lid closed).
Encourage helpful people in your life by hanging a pleasant-sounding wind chime. The sound of a metal wind chime hung in the right-front area of your home, office, or bedroom activates more people to help you.
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