A few years ago I decided to try some feng shui ideas to decorate my home, even though my rational self was skeptical. The results were very pleasant, and I came to see that some principles of feng shui have a sound common sense basis. Here are simple feng shui tips you can use for your home.
What is Feng Shui?
“Feng Shui” literally means wind and water, and is about achieving balance. The principles of fengshui can be applied to not just your home but also your life.
The central concept in feng shui is chi, which means moving air. This chi represents energy, which can be either positive or negative. Almost everything in feng shui is aimed at allowing positive chi to circulate freely, and banishing negative chi.
Science or superstition?
You may be skeptical about feng shui, as I was. Yet I recognised that Traditional Chinese Medicine has been around for thousands of years and is now gaining recognition in western medicine. In the same way, feng shui is slowly gaining mainstream acceptance and the scientists might get to it soon 🙂
My approach was therefore to experiment a little and judge by the results. I invite you to do the same. Here are some practical applications of using the concept of chi to bring positive energy into your home and life.
How to use feng shui in your home
1. Clear away clutter
Clutter traps chi and prevents it from circulating. Trapped energy turns stagnant and becomes sha chi, literally ‘killing energy’. This saps your positive chi and results in feelings of stress, depression and irritability.
What to do with physical clutter:
- Throw away anything you haven’t used in 5 years
- Store things you haven’t used in a year away in a closet
- Gather small items into large boxes
- Put a laundry basket near bathing or changing areas
- Keep your desk free of clutter
2. Create open spaces
Open spaces allow chi to accumulate and gather strength. This space attracts harmony, health, and prosperity into your home and life.
How to create open space:
- Move large furniture to the sides of the room
- Use side tables instead of a large central coffee table
- Choose sleek designs instead of bulky ones
- Leave doors open to allow easy movement between rooms
3. Have essential items only
The easiest way to get rid of clutter and create open spaces is to have essential items only. For me, a writing desk is more essential than a bed, and for years I slept on the floor by choice. A TV is non-essential for me, and my living room has no TV.
4. Avoid long passageways
Long passageways cause chi to rush through too quickly, and this momentum can result in chi leaving altogether. This why a slow, meandering river is more conducive to life than fast-flowing rapids.
- Use plants or screens that subtly re-direct chi around them
- Hang string curtains that slow down chi
5. Avoid over-hanging objects
When I first read this in a feng shui book, I thought “Duh!” Objects hanging overhead may fall and injure us. This was when I realised that much of feng shui was common sense at work.
- Don’t position your bed under a beam or hanging shelf
- Get rid of chandeliers and other ceiling suspension
6. Reduce sharp corners
The corners of a table or shelf produce sha chi (bad energy). Again, common sense supports this advice, since a child or even adult could walk into a sharp corner and get injured.
Reducing sharp corners:
- Choose round tables over rectangular or square ones
- Position corners to point away from doorways or frequently used spaces
- Use special plastic protectors or even plants to soften sharp corners
Feng shui and your home
Even if you are skeptical about feng shui, as I was, you may like the results of decorating your home according to these principles. My home felt much more peaceful after the makeover, which surprised me. Why don’t you try and see for yourself?
43 replies on “Energize Your Home with Feng Shui”
There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity but I will take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
Hi Daphne, in my country there are many doctors (as we know, doctor is identical with modern medicine) learn traditional chinese medicine to increase their skill.
Great list, Daphne. Thank you. 🙂
Traditional Chinese Medicine is gaining a lot of respect. Funny that it’s been around for thousands of years and is only now being recognised by ‘mainstream’ medicine. Thanks for your informative comment.
I’m looking forward to the next post you write in this series, Daphne. This is a wonderful concept, with so many applications to different areas of our lives.
My fiance just moved into a new home a few days before I left Greece. One of the things we had discussed was incorporating feng shui principles into our new home environment as we shape it and fill it with our lives and possessions. Your posts are a great first step for us in doing just that.
Yes! Thank you!
Good to know you’ve already been thinking about feng shui. Sounds like this concept is gaining acceptance in many parts of the world. Shaping your new home environment must be so exciting, especially if you’re doing it with your fiance. I hope the next couple of posts help with some basic tips.
I’m a fan of Feng Shui … if for no other reason, I’ve bumped into too many sharp corners in my life 😉
At work, I declutter, create open space, face the door, and keep some plants. It feels good.
It’s not fun walking into sharp corners! Much of feng shui is so practical. I’m glad you even know about facing the door. I was wondering whether to include directions in my series, thinking it may sound a bit over the top to non-Asian readers. You’ve given me the impetus to go ahead, thanks!
Yes I believe in chi and feng shui. I have it all down except for a large bulky coffee table, one hanging light in the kitchen and a couple of sharp corners!
I love the energy in my home and often get comments on the “feel” or good energy of it.
Congrats on your google page ranking. I wish I had your talent and knew how to change my design!
I think you’ll continue to rank high due to your great content and sincerity!
Gosh I really like the specificity of your comment – that coffee table, hanging light and sharp corners – just three items to tick off your list and you should have good chi circulating in your house. If your guests can feel the good energy in your home, imagine how much it’s doing for you to live in in every single day. No wonder you’re so well-balanced and happy with your life.
I don’t know if the page ranking means anything significant, other than massaging my ego a little. Thanks for the vote of confidence though. You’re such a cheerleader and I appreciate it.
Had to comment on this post too Daphne as it was so timely. Having spent a few weeks back in Cape Town away from the on-line world as well as the past week in the Highlands in Scotland completely away from it all, this post really resonated as I’m feeling very much like it’s time for a ‘de-clutter’! Also, a good friend of mine recently emailed me about applying feng-sui to my home environment as she’d recently retrained in this area and, since I’m due to move again soon, everything’s pointing to it being a good time to consider it. Like you, I’m a bit sceptical about aspects of feng-sui, but loved your post for discussing ways to apply it not only to one’s home environment, but to different aspects of life as well – you’ve made some really good points that can easily be applied and relate well to some aspects of life coaching – esp the notion of decluttering one’s mind, as that’s often a good starting point for someone wishing to make changes in their life.
Really enjoyed and look forward to your next instalments!
All the best
Life is strange – I’m about to move too, so we both could take some time to think about feng shui as we plan and decorate our new places. Wonderful too that you have a friend who can visit your new place and see the actual physical lay-out and give practical advice – much better than reading a general blog post.
Sounds like you had a really good, well-deserved, and perhaps much-needed break from the online world and even aspects of the ‘real’ world. You sound on top of the world now, and it’s great to hear your cheerful ‘voice’ here again.
Hi Daphne. You have shared a lot of useful information here. A part of me used to be skeptical about feng shui as well. However, it is true that we feel differently in different rooms and it has a lot to do with how furniture is arranged, the colours used, plants etc. I keep my place as neat as possible. A messy room clutters your inner space as well as your outer space. I like how you’ve also applied this to our mental space too.
You’re right that in the end it boils down to a feeling we experience in different homes and different rooms. It’s kind of reassuring that there is a pseudo-science that can start to explain those feelings, and better yet, show us how to create those positive feelings. I’m glad you found the mental applications alright – I started to think it was a bit cheesy and taking things too far! 🙂
Thank you for the good post and with sharing. It is nice to get someone else that thinks like you do. If you do not have the clutter you can find things that you need when you need them, without spending an hour looking for them or buying a new one because you can not find the other one.
Dan and Deanna “Marketing Unscrambled”
Dan and Deanna,
Clutter is certainly something many of us could do without, and at the same time we cannot bear to throw stuff away and so accumulate years’ worth of unnecessary possessions. I’m working on throwing out stuff all the time.
I used to be skeptical about Feng Shui, too! Last year, though, someone introduced me to it. Actually, they were talking more about the power of intention when it comes to decorating our homes. I Feng Shui’d my life after that, and suddenly it was as if the clouds parted and the sun came out: dreams I’d been waiting on started materializing one right after the other! I truly believe FS works.
“The clouds parted and the sun came out” is a lovely result, and I’m so glad that the feng shui worked for you. Sometimes we are skeptical until we try it and cannot deny the results. So happy to know your dreams are coming true. Yay!
Clutter is something that absolutely drives me crazy. I cannot live with clutter. I need clean, simple, open space. I haven’t done a lot of study with Feng Shui but some and I definitely believe in it. My husband and I were actually talking about it last night! Our house has flow, and from day 1 when we moved in folks commented about how comfortable the house is.
Talk about the law of attraction at work – you and your husband talking about feng shui and then you read about it the next day. These stories may be pure coincidence but it’s nice to think there may be more to it. Great to know that your house has good flow or ‘chi’.
Daphne, this is so timely.
I’ve just been going through a process of simplifying my living space and also about to move apartments. I’ve long been interested in Feng Shui and was looking for a simple guide/summary .. and here it is. I’ll be coming back to this often over the next weeks.
I’m about to move apartments too, which is why I’ve dug out the feng shui stuff again. What a coincidence. I’ll do a nice detailed post next to help both of us as we plan our new places.
I was sitting under a beam
— A beam in my bedroom ceiling
I was strumming my old guitar
When I started to get a bad feeling
So I ran to the Internet
To see what was wrong with me
And a site said that beam was cutting off my chi
Restricting the flow of my life energy
The site said I must find a new way to be.
Oh, why, why, why,
why can’t I be feng shui?
That’s the first verse of a feng shui song I may just be inspired to finish with the inspiration from this post. Thanks!
And page rank, what’s a page rank??
Please do finish the song! Gosh you’re a genius for just getting that verse out after reading one post. That’s a true gift, and I hope we get to hear the whole song soon. Would you like to guest post it here?
I love feng shui, but do find the elements aspects confusing. But to the best of my understanding my home is feng shui-ed and guests always comment that there’s a nice energy in it : )
Really looking forward to the rest of your series as I always enjoy learning more and being reminded about feng shui techniques.
The elements are confusing to me too, and I’m trying to understand them better and will touch on them in my next post. I’m no expert but will share my beginner’s understanding with you soon! Good to know your home is feng-shui’ed 🙂
Hey, Daphne… great list! One of the things that has made the biggest difference for me, wherever I’ve lived, is the position of the bed. It matters where it’s placed in the room, which direction it is facing, and how easy the flow of “foot traffic” is around it. I’ve never studied the proper way, but I can usually tell pretty quickly when it is not in the right place (I feel like I’m ALWAYS on the wrong side of the bed.)
Wow, you actually know about bed positioning… I’m impressed! I never took that stuff seriously, until I decided to try it out for fun and it turned out well. Thanks for giving me this impetus to include this point in my next post – I wasn’t sure whether or not to…
I wasn’t interested in feng shui previously. Although I would obey basic tips, I wouldn’t go to great lengths to move my bed or furniture. However, as a practitioner in energy cleansing, I now appreciate the concept of qi and flow of energy. I also do property clearing and can attest to some of the reasons why dark corners need to have light coming in and why we need to keep the clutter down. I’m looking forward to learning more about feng shui from your upcoming posts!
I’m more and more amazed by your many talents. I didn’t know you did property cleansings, though I can see that would tie in with energy cleansings in general. I have so much to learn from you. I’m just a feng shui beginner – using the ideas for decorating more than anything else, though increasingly I find the advice quite sensible. If I get any feng shui principle wrong in future posts you must tell me!
I guess I’m going to be raining on this parade by saying this, but I’ve tried feng shui and it did sweet nothing for me.
Don’t worry – I’m not a feng shui practitioner and was skeptical myself – still am when it comes to the intricate details of feng shui. Well, if it doesn’t work for you, try something else! I’m all for practicality. Thanks for your honest comment. I appreciate it.
I learned Feng Shui years before it was popular here in the West because one of my close friends was from Asia and swore by it. Initially I thought it did not make sense but with time as I have incorporated more and more of it into my life, it does make a difference.
Everything in life has some form of energy to it and dark, cluttered places just do nothing to help make a person feel better. I look forward to reading more in the series. 🙂
Glad you were introduced to feng shui and remained open to it, despite initial misgivings. I too just laughed it off when I heard about it as a girl. Now that I’m older and realise there’s so much I don’t understand about the universe, I’m more prepared to consider the possibility that this ancient wisdom holds some truths.
You’re right that ‘everything in life has some form of energy to it’. Even science says so!
Hi Daphne .. I too would love to be ‘free’ decluttered .. and my aim is in that direction .. I’ll get there and that’s the most important thing. When I have been decluttered .. I worked beter and was more productive; things with my Ma have somewhat taken over my life – but my future is free .. I can see it – I guess that’s important.
I loved the brain post – disk clean up .. I’ll be going to have a proper look ..
Thanks – excellent ideas and thoughts & I look forward to the next few.
I actually love the cluttered English cottage look, and as long as everything is pleasant and comfortable and we feel happy where we live, that’s most important. And you’re so right – when people are ill, they are more important than interior decoration by far. So don’t worry about ignoring this for a while 😉
The disk clean-up post was written some time ago, in a fun manner. Hope you like it!
Great post! It’s so funny because I was just thinking about how much my life has changed lately and awhile ago I had tried to arrange my room with feng shui in mind. I really do think it works!
Intriguing that you recently tried feng shui and think it works. It’s fun anyway, and does provide some ideas for decorating. I still don’t know if it’s fact or fiction, but as long as we feel better, that’s great!
I knew little about Feng Shui until I read your post. What you describe makes complete sense to me. I recently decluttered and cleaned my office and it feels more serene and peaceful.
I look forward to the rest of the series. Keep up the great work!
Glad the principles makes sense. Feng shui goes into a lot of depth and after a point I can’t make logical sense of it. So I just follow the ideas I find sensible and ignore the rest.
Thanks for the post Daphne! I am going to ruminate on those points.
Hi Middle Way,
Enjoy ruminating! Thanks for your comment.
Daphne, I think all your tips and advice are fantastic, but I think they are fantastic for much different reasons. I have yet to let go of my rational and scientific mind. I think all that stuff works, but I’m just not sure about the reasons. It’s like the law of attraction. I agree with most of the ideas people like Jack Canfield teach, but I don’t agree with them on the reasons why they work.
In the end however, I’m not sure it really matters though does it? If it works it works.
I’m glad I found your site and thanks for sharing your ideas.
I’d be very interested in your reasons – why you think the law of attraction and fengshui work. I used to think it was psychological – because I’ve arranged my furniture in a way that’s supposed to bring me good luck, so I act confident and therefore increase my chances success. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Is this how you understand it?
I’ve since accepted that there may be larger laws at work in the universe than I understand. All very fascinating. I guess you’re right – if it works it work. The sun has always brought growth and life – it’s us people who had to slowly understand it. Still, the sun ‘rises’ everyday. It just does! 😉