What is Feng Shui?

What is Feng Shui?

The ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui (pronounced “foong schway”) is an interior design principle that aims to create a harmonious space. Literally translating to “wind” and “water”, Feng Shui is all about connecting your home or office space with the natural elements.

While you might think that this ancient art is simply about placing objects in a particular order, it is actually more about designing a balanced setting that supports you and anyone who enters the area.

Source: Lindy de Waal Interiors

What is ‘Qi’ energy?

The practice, evolving from traditional Chinese medicine, analyses the energy that flows through a specific area. This flow known as ‘Qi’ – also sometimes referred to as ‘chi’, literally means the ‘life force’. Qi is said to be a source of energy that has an effect on the overall happiness of those occupying the space. If there is a negative Qi, then this is said to result in one having problems in different aspects of their life. Positive Qi encourages beneficial effects such as happiness and improved finances in an individual’s life.

The Three Different Schools of Feng Shui

The three different schools of Feng Shui include Form, Compass, and Flying Star.

1. Form School: This school is named for the art of analysing “forms” or physical objects in and around an area. As every form has its own Qi, it is important to take into account how these objects contribute to the area’s total Qi. This school concentrates mainly on how energy flows through the landscape and objects in the area.

2. Compass School: This school of Feng Shui is concerned with the direction in which the area is facing. Upon discovering this element, the area is divided into nine sectors that represent a different area of ones life.

3. Flying Star School: This is the most inclusive and sacred school within the art of Feng Shui. It is believed to work by computing the “natal chart” of the area. Once this has been done, the nine sectors divided up in the Compass School are identified.

How to ensure your home has good Feng Shui

Here are some easy to implement improvements you can do to add some positive Feng Shui into your home.

1. Declutter your home

This can take some effort on your part, but the end result will be worth it. Take some time to go through any clutter in your residence Marie Kondo style, and throw out what you no longer need. Importantly, ensure whatever you decide to keep has a home – perhaps investing in some bins and shelves to store your belongings neatly.

Source: Studio Oscar Lea

2. Ensure a warm welcome

In Feng Shui, the front door is an important area of capturing Qi energy and can affect the flow of your entire home. If you want people to feel welcome and relaxed in your house, you should make sure the entrance looks good. Try to keep it open and lit up with natural light whenever possible. You should also decorate the area with decor items like fresh flowers and framed photos.

3. Keep it fresh

You can improve the feng shui of your home by making an effort to keep everything about it as fresh as possible. For example, get rid of dead plants and trim off any leaves that are clearly dead as well. This can keep the energy in your home positive. Even the air needs to be fresh, so avoid stale air by opening the windows and doors at least once a day.

4. Position your furnishings properly

Feng Shui often depends on the proper positioning of furniture and decor. For example, make sure any mirrors on the wall allow you to see your whole reflection or at least your entire face. If it does not, you should reposition it by moving it up or down as necessary. Similarly, your stove should be placed against an interior wall that cannot be seen from your foyer. Even the position of your bed makes a difference, since it should be against a wall that does not have a door, and you need to make sure the foot of the bed points anywhere besides the door to your room.

5. Avoid certain decor

Yet another way to improve Feng Shui is to avoid filling your home with heavy, bulky furniture, opting for lighter pieces instead. In addition, be wary of water features in your house since they can create negative energy in many instances. If you really want a water fountain, consider keeping it outdoors so it does not affect the Feng Shui of the interior of your house.

Creating Feng Shui your bedroom

To achieve a sense of Feng Shui in your bedroom, location, furnishings, colour, and decor all play an important role. While the location of a bedroom is not necessarily something most people can control, colours and materials absolutely are! Here’s how to make chi flow for a harmonious bedroom that might just help you get a better night’s sleep.

Bedroom location

First and foremost, try figuring out the orientation of your bedroom. Is it facing west, east, north or south? Ideally, your bedroom should be exposed to sunlight at dawn to help increase your energy levels. You avoid, where possible, facing the busy street is not a good idea. The ideal location for your bedroom can also depend on a number of lifestyle factors:

  • North-west: mature energy, best suited for parents as it can help boost feelings of responsibility, respect from others, and give you a better ability to organize your life.
  • North: quiet and peaceful energy – best for those who find it hard to sleep or suffer from frequent nightmares.
  • West: best for a couple – can boost romance, pleasure, and contentment.
  • East/South-east: best suited for younger people, chi energy in this part of the house is considered to help anybody wanting to make a good start in life.
Source: Visualising Interiors

What about the bed?

In Feng Shui, the placement of the bed and the materials it is made from are both important factors to consider. The right bed can revitalize your energy and influence aspects of everyday life. Wood is the most favourable material for the bed as metal is thought to disturb chi, and may even alter the local magnetic field. Watch out for bed frames made out of brass and cast iron as they may speed up chi which can cause sleeping problems.

You should also aim to keep the space beneath your bed empty to avoid energy stagnating while you sleep.

Keep it natural

Natural materials in the home are thought to help to calm the body and spirit, and better for overall health. Your mattress and bed linens should be made from natural materials like bamboo or organic cotton, as it means chi can easily flow over it.

In addition to introducing a natural mattress and linens, you need to take it a step further and detoxify your room. Switch out toxic cleaning products with non-toxic cleaning products. Vinegar and water can go a long way, so can baking soda. Eliminate plug-ins and air fresheners, instead opt for a diffuser with essential oils – avoiding any that isn’t tested for toxicity and metals.

Try and keep your bedroom decor natural too, incorporating elements like wood, mirrored surfaces and natural fibre rugs. Adding in a personalised soy candle on your bedside table can also invite a naturally calming scent and positive energy throughout the space of your bedroom.

Colour me calm

To strengthen chi energy, use soft pastels and white with touches of red, silver, and gold. Painters Care recommends starting with painting your walls in neutral tones first, before introducing bolder colours.Red is thought to increase romantic ambience, while pastels and metallic colours create peace and tranquillity.

Designated decor

According to Feng Shui principles, a bedroom should never be cluttered or contain electronic equipment such as TVs as this can lead to disturbed sleep and low energy levels. The same holds true for books. If you have stacks and stacks of books, you will want to remove them from your bedroom, keeping just a single book you’re reading on your nightstand.

The ideal bedroom decor should include wall scrolls with harmonious representations of nature, including flowers and birds. If you have a desk in your bedroom it should be white, and kept clean and tidy. Rugs are okay in the bedroom, but it important that they are the right colour. Red and gold-coloured rugs are thought to improve energy and create warm energy. Fitted carpets are also fine but think about the colour before you go ahead and have them fitted. A wooden floor with natural rugs maybe a better idea when it comes to improving chi.

In the bedroom of a married couple, everything should be placed in pairs. Two nightstands, two lamps, two pillows. This is thought to help to improve intimacy and warm feelings towards each other.

Do I need a professional for Feng Shui?

If you are really interested in improving the Feng Shui of your home or office, then you might consider hiring a professional consultant. They can analyse your space and create a comprehensive chart that identifies all the positive and negative energies present. From there, the consultant will help create an actionable plan that can help you minimise negative energy while maximising positive energy.