A Guide to Interior Design Styles: Feng Shui

A Guide to Interior Design Styles: Feng Shui

May 12th 2020

Much more than a modern buzzword, feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice for achieving wellness and balance throughout your living and working spaces. The philosophy focuses on you and your home environment, seeking to find equilibrium with the natural world.

Feng shui follows a few key principles for reaching high-quality happiness and mindfulness, and it considers everything from wealth to romance to knowledge when presenting possible design solutions.

A Look at the Principles

To understand feng shui style, we know that it’s helpful to review the guiding principles. A bagua map, or home energy map, focuses on eight areas of your life, with each area corresponding to a different element, shape, and color.

The map helps you to understand how the energy in each part of your home affects your overall life. While classical bagua uses compass directions for the map, Western bagua uses a grid, with the bottom of the map lining up with your front door.

The five elements are another main principle, and each one has a corresponding set of colors, shapes, and qualities. When you use the elements, it’s important to incorporate all five somewhere in your home. You’ll want a complete set to achieve balance, but each room will likely focus on one or two elements.

Sketch Your Home’s Floor Plan

With the bagua map before you, draw the layout of your home and place it on top of the bagua. Now you can see which rooms match up with the eight areas of life. You can choose to focus on improving one part of your life, or you can focus on improving the room itself.

Pick a Room to Redesign

If your kitchen resides in the self-knowledge square, you’ll want to focus on earthy tones for the colors and flat or square objects for the shape. Your kitchen could welcome in the earth element through butter yellow lower cabinets, a terracotta or flagstone floor, or a collection of angular pottery and earthenware on exposed wood shelving.

We love the idea of incorporating the complementary fire element through pops of red, cheery yellow, and orange. Artwork makes an ideal pairing here, due to its rectangular shape. Think landscapes, flowers, and pottery imagery.

Master the Commanding Position

The commanding position is especially important in three rooms of the home: the kitchen, the bedroom, and the office. This key aspect relates to one object in each of those rooms, namely the stove in the kitchen, the bed in the bedroom, and the desk chair in the office.

To achieve good energy flow, position your bed and your desk chair diagonally from and facing each room’s door. The stove is trickier. If you have the ability to during renovations, position the stove slightly offset and facing the entryway—or at least looking out on your open-space floor plan. The stove signifies wealth, so you want the energy to flow and not simply slip out the doorway.

Remove the Clutter

Here’s our pro tip: As you incorporate feng shui style, make sure you’re paying attention to those messy corners. You want to get rid of the clutter and chaos that blocks energy flow, such as a pile of unwanted clothes you placed at the front door months ago, those old gardening tools lining the hallway to the garage, or a flickering light that creates annoyance and poor illumination.

You’re not creating stark, empty spaces here. Rather, you’re creating functional spaces with just the right amount of design and decor.

Let in the Light

Along with clean spaces comes plenty of sunlight. Proper illumination is a key aspect of feng shui because it creates natural vibrancy, energizing you for another day. Make sure you don’t have dark or heavy curtains blocking the windows, and give the glass a good cleaning at least once a season.

Focus on Plants

As you work to attain balance with the natural world, make sure plants are part of the design. Plants are a natural extension of the wood and earth elements, and their life energy radiates into any room.

When incorporating plants, focus on the bagua area that represents something you’d like to improve in your life. If you’d like to strengthen your family connections, set out plants in the room matching the location on the bagua map. Likewise, if you’d like to bring more energy into your reputation, you’ll want plants to balance the area’s fire element. Plants should be healthy and vigorous, since sick or dying plants can bring negative energy.

Upgrade Your Doors

It's no surprise that doors are an important part of feng shui. You want your doors to channel energy, so why not create a sleek look at the same time? Modern sliding doors can encourage good energy flow that meanders from room to room.

Contact us to see how our sliding doors can create a home with optimal energy, wellness, and unique flair.