This post may contain affiliate links. This means I may make a small commission on any purchase at no cost to you. Think of it as a tip for great content! I only promote products I use or would buy myself.
Why it’s OK to Feng Shui
As an Interior Designer and Interior Design Instructor, I frequently discuss different design practices with clients, associates, and students. I have had an interest in Feng Shui since being exposed to the concept as a young adult. In certain areas, there are many people who believe Feng Shui is part of an Eastern religion. As such, they believe actively applying the principles of Feng Shui to their home design would go against their religion. I disagree, and I want to explain why.
Feng Shui is a blending of ancient art and science
First off, let me admit that I am not a Feng Shui expert. I have a general understanding of the basics. The information I’ve learned comes from what is probably the “Americanized” version of the practice, but I believe the general concepts hold true.
The basis of Feng Shui is the movement of energy, or “chi”, throughout the home. And from my understanding, it isn’t really religious in nature, but more of an ancient blending of art and science. In other words, Feng Shui does not have anything to do with the worship of any deity but has more to do with what we (in general) perceive as good design. Some of the principles that I believe everyone will acknowledge are good design are as follows:
- -The elimination of clutter and unnecessary items (Simplifying)
- -The removal of dust, dirt, and grime (Cleaning)
- -The use of natural light (Daylighting)
- -The use of living plants
- -The incorporation of the elements in home design (water, earth, metal, wood and fire)
- -Clear paths of movement (traffic patterns)
- -The elimination or repair of broken, torn, or unusable items
Principles of Feng Shui
Some of the other principles of Feng Shui deal with aligning certain areas of your home either with the main entrance or with the directions on a compass. The basic layout is called the bagua, and each area is assigned an affiliation to a certain aspect of your life such as love, wealth, children, fame, etc.
Colors and Elements
There are colors that increase the energy vibrations of each of these areas, and mindful decoration can enhance the quality you are looking to improve. In addition, each area correlates to a specific element: wood, fire, earth, metal, or water. Incorporating this variety of materials in your home can create not only interest but also balance.
Red is one of the most dominant Feng Shui colors. It corresponds to the fire element, which can both destroy and create. A good balance of red will create feelings of excitement, passion, sexual desire, and energy. Too much red can cause arguments and aggression, while too little can cause listlessness and even depression.
Pink is a softer version of red and is associated with love. While pink is still a fire element color, it is much more subdued than red and is best used in the love and marriage section of the home. This corresponds to the southwest area of the bagua. Other good places for the color pink are in a little girl’s room or a creative home office.
Orange is also a fire element color and you can use it in an area where red is too strong. Like red, orange is best used in the south part of the bagua and is also welcome in the southwest part of the home. Orange is a very social color and can be used to promote conversation. It is lively, creative and extroverted, and should be avoided in places that should be quiet or contemplative in nature.
Yellow is very similar to orange in feng shui. It is a fire element color (when used in more intense values) and symbolizes good cheer, happiness, coziness, and being welcome. Yellow is also mentally stimulating. It is a good choice for children’s rooms, kitchens, and home offices. Pale yellow is an Earth element color.
Purple is the last fire element color. It is the symbol of insight and wisdom. Purple can cause many problems when used in the home and is not recommended as a major color in any room.
Light yellow, sand, and light brown are the Earth element colors. Use it in the bedroom and the kitchen. Ways to incorporate the earth element into your decor would be through stones, clay items, crystals, and landscapes of canyons, deserts, and earth-colored vistas.
Green is a wood element color with growth, healing, change, and prosperity properties. Use it in the east and southeast area of the bagua.
The other wood element color is dark brown, which is nourishing. Use it in the main entryway to your home or in the kitchen. Light brown is an earth element color.
Blue and black are the water element colors. We associate them with ease and abundance. Feng Shui uses water features and mirrors to improve one’s wealth.
Blue is a peaceful, relaxing color. Use it in the east or southeast area of the Bagua which correspond to health and wealth.
Black is mysterious, protective, and powerful. It is best used in the north, east, and southeast. Black is a good choice for a bathroom.
The last element is metal. White and grey are the two metal element colors.
White is the color of new beginnings. Use it in the west or northwest areas of the bagua, or children’s rooms, bathrooms, and meditation areas. It is very versatile and blends easily with other colors.
Gray is somewhat neutral. Use it in the north, west, and northwest areas of the bagua.
With the current interest in simplifying and “creating order”, I think it’s time to revisit the concept of Feng Shui. Many religions promote the power of “mindful thinking” or prayer. Organizing your home to align with Feng Shui beliefs, if nothing else, creates an opportunity to mindfully reflect on your decor and on your intention in specific areas of your life. It also gives you some direction if you are not sure where to start on your home design.
If you are interested in more information on this topic, I strongly suggest The Spruce Blog. In addition to the linked article, there are several other articles that elaborate on all aspects of Feng Shui.
Until next time,