Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy and system designed to help you live more harmoniously with your environment. Feng shui translates translately into wind-water and is believed to help improve our lives by bringing us positive qi (chi) or energy. We could use a little more positive energy in our lives.
In my search to find the best (aka easiest + cheapest) ways to add a little feng shui style to my home, I found three basic ways of finding that harmony.
1) De-Clutter. This is the easiest of the three steps, and the one that will provide the most noticeable and immediate effect. Less clutter equals less stress. Get rid of anything you do not need, use, or love. (Better yet, donate it to a good cause.)
When deciding what to keep in your space, try to avoid excessive use of overhead lighting and anything with sharp corners. The general goal is to create spaces that are balanced, as in the yin and the yang. Your different rooms of your home should make you feel relaxed, stimulated, or energetic without feeling lethargic, depressed, or anxious.
2) Define your spaces – making at least one space a relaxation area. Feng shui expert from Zimbio.com, Ken Lauer, states, “As the threshold between your home and the outside world, you want to bring a bit of the natural world into your living room using Feng Shui colors.”
3) Introduce the five basic elements of feng shui into your home. There are five basic elements in feng shui design – wood, fire, metal, earth, and water. Each element is associated with different benefits, and is represented by corresponding colors, shapes, positions in the home, and symbols. The directions in the chart below indicate a good positioning for the element for general harmony.
Five Elements of Feng Shui
Element of Fire Benefits: Energy, passion, intelligence, recognition & fame – Colors: Red, orange, pinks, and purples – Symbols: Candles, pictures of fire, light, sun – Shape: Triangle, peaked – Position or Direction: N
Element of Earth Benefits: Stability permanence, marriage & romance – Colors: Pale yellow, light brown, sand, beige, taupe – Symbols: Ceramics, stones, crystals, landscape – Shape: Square – Position or Direction: SW, NE
Element of Metal Benefits: Networking, children, transmits energy – good and bad; Some types, such as copper, are associated with health – Colors: White, gray, gold, & silver – Symbols: Metal things, swords, coins, pictures of metal things – Shape: Round, half-moon, domed – Position or Direction : NW, W
Element of Water Benefits: Career prospects, communication, opportunities, wealth, & prosperity – Colors: Blue, black – Symbols: Mirrors, glass, fountains, sea landscapes – Shape: Wavy, curvy – Position or Direction: S
Element of Wood Benefits: Motivation, creativity, growth, wealth, family – Colors: Browns, greens – Symbols: Wooden things, furniture, plants, pictures of trees – Shape: Rectangle, long & high pieces – Position or Direction: E, SE
When you begin decorating, start small so none of the elements becomes overwhelming. The elements you introduce should “get along” with the other aspects of the home, and be represented in every area of your home for the full benefits.
To make the most impact, focus on color first, shape second and material third. Placing the elements in different positions of the home will result in different effects. One great way to start is by simply adding a Buddha statue, which always brings good energy to your home.