Feng Shui for Newbies: 3 Easy Ways to Start Using Feng Shui
First, let me be clear on this, Feng shui is not simply about decorating and moving furniture. It is a deep and ancient practice of understanding all forms of ch’i (energy or life force), and using it to benefit all our lives. Ultimately, the foundation of practicing Feng Shui is a connection with, and a sensitivity to, the world around you. Keeping that mind, newcomers can dip their toe into the deep wisdom of the practice by applying Feng Shui principles to shape their own home. If you are thinking about redecorating your home it is a perfect opportunity to incorporate some simple Feng Shui concepts into your design ideas. Good decorating ideas can also mean great Feng Shui for your home. Why not spruce up your place with a little positive energy as well as a new coat of paint? Here are three basic Feng Shui concepts that you can follow to help create a more relaxing and supportive environment as well as a great looking space.
Smart Space planning
A fundamental principle of Feng Shui is to create a feeling of support and to have a good flow of ch’i (energy) in your space. By arranging your furniture with Feng Shui in mind you can create a smooth flow of energy in your home. A good rule of thumb is to remember ch’i can’t go where you can’t go. Meaning if furniture is blocking your path then it is blocking the path of ch’i. Three quick Feng Shui rules to consider when arranging your furniture:
- Avoid bulky furniture or too much furniture in a space this will create energetic blocks; for example, a sofa that blocks an entryway.
- Avoid sharp edges in high traffic areas: this can create fast moving, negative ch’i; to remedy this try adding tables with rounded edges and curved lines.
- Try to have a supporting wall behind the sofa or behind the head of the bed. Having a solid wall behind your back and head mimics the grounding, supportive energy of a mountain.
Use healthy materials
Clean and non-toxic air is must for positive best ch’i. Whenever possible use materials and finishes that are low or non-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds). Many paints and solvents contain these compounds and they can cause allergic reactions and have been linked to asthma and other respiratory issues. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) recommends that “if you use products only occasionally or seasonally, such as paints, paint strippers, and kerosene for space heaters or gasoline for lawn mowers, buy only as much as you will use right away.”, as they will continue to leak and off-gas while being stored. Yikes! If that’s what it does when it’s sealed imagine what it can do if you painted it on your walls! The best approach is to choose one of the many environmentally friendly products that are now available such as Zero VOC paint or water based floor finishes and hardwood coatings.
Avoid extremes in design
Good Feng Shui is about balancing the Yin and Yang energies in a space. Some spaces have too much Yang energy which can cause overstimulation and restlessness other are too Yin which can lead to lethargy and depression. It is important to balance these two types of energies. This is especially important if you are redesigning your bedroom. Too many hard edges, bright white walls and high ceilings can be too Yang but this can be balanced by added lower, softer furnishings and fabric window treatments. Too much visual clutter, busy patterns and dark colours can be too Yin this can be balanced by using more Yang design elements like clearing out knick-knacks, adding brighter lighting and plain, light coloured fabric.
These three basic Feng Shui concepts for decorating are a good starting point and can be applied to any space for any individual. Simply moving your furniture into a new layout can lift the energy of the entire room – so feel free to start small. If you wish to delve deeper into more personalized Feng Shui assessments it is recommended that you work with a qualified Feng Shui consultant. A Feng Shui consultant will be able look at your elemental astrology to determine which colours and elements are most supportive.
Peace & Blessings