What is Feng Shui?
Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient Chinese art-science associated with good health, good fortune and overall well-being.
It is based on the principle that all things are enriched with life-force energy known as Chi, including furniture and decor, with a perfect place for every item down to your rubbish bin and linen basket.
The meaning of Feng Shui literally translates to wind (Feng) and water (Shui) which are symbols of positivity, peace and prosperity in Chinese culture.
Feng Shui is thousands of years old and combines elements of many areas of study including philosophy, astrology, astronomy, physics and the theory of five elements.
In modern times, Feng Shui is widely regarded as the art of placement – the positioning of humans and objects within a space and how this arrangement affects every aspect of your life.
For decades it has inspired the interior design of houses across Australia, Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Feng Shui teaches that clutter in the home disrupts the flow of positive energy leading to bad vibes.
According to interior experts The Spruce, the Feng Shui of a space is measured by the Feng Shui compass and the Bagua (aka the Magic Square), an energy map which guides students of Feng Shui in optimal household arrangement.
The Ancient Chinese Doctrine of Feng Shui says the Bagua can be superimposed over a diagram of your home, office, room or desk and used as a guide.
Once you define the Bagua, you will see which areas of your house are connected to specific aspects of your life – for example, the southeast Feng Shui point of your home is linked to the free flow of money, wealth and financial success.
The principles of Feng Shui
- Yin and Yang
One of the fundamental principles of Feng Shui is Yin and Yang, a representation of balance and constant change.
The Taoist theory of Yin and Yang centres of the belief that life is balanced by feminine (Yin) and masculine (Yang) energy which contribute to free flowing Chi and a happy, content and meaningful existence.
- The Five Elements
In the Feng Shui system, wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are the five elements, and each is represented by a colour that helps us bring balance and harmony to a space.
Feng Shui is heavily focused on the energy shifting properties of colour, the choice of which should be carefully considered before investing in wall paint, furniture and household accessories.
According to the principles of Feng Shui, colour is alive.
Six simple ways to Feng Shui your house
Fire colours like red, orange, pink, purple and deep yellow symbolise passion and high energy, and are said to support your career ambitions and help you achieve recognition.
Fire Feng Shui colours also nourish sexual energy and self-esteem.
Earth shades help boost stability, harmony, nourishment and calm in human relationships, as well as supporting health and inner balance.
Feng Shui earth colours include pastel yellow, beige or nude and desert tones.
The metal element improves mental sharpness, precision and clarity to help you live with efficiency and speed.
To eliminate distractions and confusion in your life, decorate your office and kitchen with grey and white.
Perfecting the Feng Shui water element will bring a sense of refreshing purity and calm to your house, as well as welcoming financial abundance into your life.
Use blue and black colour schemes in conjunction with water fountains and mirrors.
The final Feng Shui element, brings natural energy, vitality and growth to a household.
It is said to be the bringer of prosperity and development, and is related to the use of plants in Feng Shui design. Wood element colours include brown, green and other earthy tones, and work particularly well in the living room where significant relaxation time is spent.
2. Light and Air
Light and air are two key elements essential for good Feng Shui in your house.
When it comes to lighting, the rules of Feng Shui call for as much natural light as possible to promote feelings of happiness and inspiration
Living rooms lacking in direct sunlight should be illuminated with fluorescent lights, incandescent or warm-bulb desk lamps and soft floor fixtures to increase ambience.
In terms of boosting positive air quality, throw open your windows as often as weather permits and invest in air purifying plants like Areca Palms, English Ivy, bamboo or Peace Lilies (or anything with upward growth to promote productivity and projection).
Aromatherapy oils and uplifting music are also Feng Shui methods of boosting Chi in your house, as well as wind chimes, water features, crystals and dream catchers.
3. Layout, mirrors and clutter
Early risers should opt for an east-facing bedroom to catch the abundance of the rising sun, while night owls enrich their energy best in west-facing spaces.
Headboards should always be placed firmly against a wall, never in the middle of the floor, to provide safety and security while sleeping.
In terms of layout, the bed should never be placed beneath an exposed beam and you should be able to see the entire room while lying down.
The space underneath the bed should be kept clean and clear of clutter at all times to allow for free flowing Chi.
Lighting red candles in the southwest sector of the bedroom is a romantic feature which encourages intimacy and passion in couples.
Mirrors in opposite alignment with the bed are a bad omen for relationships and should be taken down or covered at night.
Instead, place them in stagnant spaces like the end of hallways to promote the flow of positive Chi.
In the kitchen, empty bins regularly and clear out fridges and cupboards frequently, as bad smells and rotting food symbolise blockages in your personal relationships and professional life.
For office and study spaces, your desk and chair should be positioned to face outwardly allowing the best circulation into the room thanks to the view.
International interior designer Lorena Gaxiola says the position of walls can also contribute to good energy and allow you to concentrate more deeply and think with greater clarity.
4. Entrances and Doorways
According to the principles of Feng Shui, the energy coming through your front door is the single most important factor for determining good fortune and prosperity.
Front door colours, door placement and staircase positioning can all have meaningful impact on the flow of energy inside your home - for example, north facing doors indicate the occupant likely values their career to a high degree.
Likewise, disorganisation and clutter in the northern sector of a house can be a sign of a person overwhelmed by their job.
Avoid placing your front door directly opposite a tree or electrical pole, as this attracts negative energy (known as Sha Qi).
To counteract negative flows, place a mirror above the doorway to reflect the toxicity. The path leading to the front door should also be well lit, well-kept and clean at all times to welcome good luck.
The door itself should always open inwards to symbolise openness to fortune and opportunity.
Flaking paint should be coated over and sealed as this is an omen for tiredness and exhaustion in one or more areas of your life.
5. Gardens and exteriors
In the garden, Feng Shui Living Australia recommend maintaining healthy plants and fresh flowers to attract positive energy and lift your spirits.
Rubbish and old, discarded items should be cleared from the garden or any outside space as holding onto such goods indicates a fear of letting go of the past and blockages in present day living.
Maintaining a well-manicured, luscious garden symbolises a willingness to attract exciting opportunities and challenges into your life.
Broken roof tiles or cracked facades should be fixed as soon as possible as these damages signify a gradual decline in health.
In Chinese culture, water is related to wealth so keep a lid on your finances the Feng Shui way by preventing them from draining away.
Feng Shui teaches that water flows out of the home directly from the bathroom, so always keep the door closed and the toilet seat down.
Leaky taps should be repaired immediately as they represent a gradual loss of income.
Fixtures like fountains should be placed near the front door or on your study desk to attract opportunity and abundance in all aspects of life.