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2022 Feng Shui Principles To Level Up Your Interior Design

Posted on January 31 2022

What is Feng Shui?

According to its standard definition, Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese traditional practice which claims to use energy forces to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment. Often referred to as the art of placement, in the simplest of terms feng shui is about positioning different elements to optimize “Chi,” or energy. The term is composed of two words: “feng,” meaning wind and “shui,” meaning water. Not only are these two elements basic and vital to human existence, but they also move and flow around the world.

While the principles of feng shui apply to many elements of life, they are commonly practiced in interior design because the tools used in feng shui analysis can most easily be applied in the context of a home.

Incorporating feng shui goes beyond Western design tenets of comfort or aesthetic. Instead it places emphasis on physical and mental health, success, and healthy relationships, which is brought on through positive energy flow.

As we welcome the Chinese New Year this 2022, here are the basic feng shui know-hows to refresh you. 

The Basic Feng Shui Principles & How To Incorporate Them In Your Home

The main goal of Feng Shui is to direct positive energy or “Chi” within our space so that Chi will also flow well within us. 

The five important elements in Feng Shui are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These Feng Shui elements are placed in specified areas of a home to impose the good flow of Chi. 

Wood 

Bagua Directions: East, Southeast
Colors: Green, Purple, Brown

Wood symbolizes health, growth, vitality and abundance. Expressed in green and brown colours, the main decorations for this element are healthy plants, green pillows or cushions, imagery of vegetation, and other similar objects. 

Buy Some Houseplants
Plants are strongly tied to the wood element because they improve air quality, which helps add the life-giving chi to your living space. And because many plants fit within wood’s color scheme of green, purple, and brown, you can accomplish two-in-one when decorating with plants. Try to find houseplants that are best for feng shui, such as a rubber plant or ficus.

Highlight Wooden Furniture
If you want to incorporate the wood element into your home in a literal sense, use wooden furniture and decor! This can be anything from chairs and tables to decorative bowls, picture frames, and more. If you want to take on a larger project, wood paneling along walls is a great way to use the element as well.

Add Structure with Columns
Tall pillars and columns mimic the strong, sturdy trunks of trees, which makes them the perfect addition to your home when you’re trying to harness the energy of the wood element. You can go bold and install actual columns in your home, or go for a more subtle look with floor-to-ceiling curtains or vertically striped linens.

Some of our products you might like to incorporate the wood element in your home:

Metal 

Bagua Directions: West, Northwest
Colors: White, Gray, Black

Metal represents discipline, efficiency, and productivity. It also supports knowledge and mental sharpness, and builds a sense of calmness, clarity, and lightness. You can add this element to your space with metal frames, sculptures or bowls, white pillows or rugs, or gray-ish decorations. 

Go with Neutral Colors
Neutrals like white, gray, and black are associated with this feng shui element, so you’ll want to stick to a neutral color scheme when decorating areas of your home for metal. Use light, airy colors like white and cream in family-centered areas to strengthen positive bonds with children. Or try darker shades of black and charcoal in a home office or dining room to attract chi for creativity.

Decorate with Metallics
Another way to harness the energy of metal is with metallic accents and mirrors. Incorporate a large statement mirror, golden picture frames, silver drawer handles, or bronze vases. Because they reflect energy, mirrors are great to place above a fireplace or in your office—just don’t put them in a bedroom!

Round Out Your Decor
The circle is the shape associated with the metal element, so when finding decor for your home, stick to round pieces. Play with using round coffee tables and end tables, circular wall pendants, or fabrics with curving patterns. And if you’re making a furniture upgrade, opt for pieces that have rounded edges.

Some of our products you might like to incorporate the metal element in your home:

Earth 

Bagua Directions: Center, Northeast, Southwest
Colors: Yellow, Pink, Orange, Blue

Earth stands for stability and support, and provides a sense of groundedness and peace. Bring the earth element inside your home with rocks, crystals, landscape imagery, pottery, or objects in earth colours. 

Incorporate Natural Materials
Furnishings and home decor made from natural materials are an easy way to include the earth element in your home. Go with clay figurines and terra cotta planters in your living room, earthenware vases in your kitchen, or granite countertops in your bathroom to evoke the earth element in more centralized rooms of your home.

Use Earth Tones with Decor
When picking out decor for rooms where you want to harness the earth element—such as a kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom—look for softer, earthier colors like warm yellows, pale pinks, and grayish blues. These colors can stimulate positive energy around health, relaxation, and stable relationships.

Try Some Crystals
Crystals come from the earth, so they can be useful in channeling the earth element. Each crystal has a different meaning and purpose, so be sure to take that into an account when using them. For example, black tourmaline has a strong, protective energy, while rose quartz represents happiness and love.

Some of our products you might like to incorporate the earth element in your home:

Water

Bagua Direction: North
Colors: Blue, Black

Water symbolizes wisdom and serenity and provides a sense of flow and renewal. Mirrors, reflective surfaces and aquariums are ways to add the water element to your space. 

Experiment with Black
The color black is symbolic of deep waters and has protective qualities. While it’s not recommended to paint an entire room black, you can still bring pops of black into your living spaces. Consider using light fixtures with black accents in your kitchen and living room. Or if your front door faces north, try painting it a shade of black!

Utilize Water Features
One of the best ways to use the water element in your home is with actual water features. This can be anything—fountains, ponds, pools, aquariums, and more. If you’re not ready to take on a big water feature project, smaller features like a bowl filled with water and petals or a fish tank can work well, too!

Opt for Wavy Decor
Curved and wavy shapes mimic the movements of the ocean and can help you bring the energies of the water element into your home. Keep your eye out for decor like glass vases, artwork with flowing lines, or even fabric and wood patterns that have waves in them.

Some of our products you might like to incorporate the water element in your home:

Fire 

Bagua Direction: South
Colors: Red, Orange

Fire symbolizes love, passion, and energy. It is a representative of transformation, expansion, and volatility. This element is expressed in red, bright yellow, orange, pink, purple, and magenta colours. To add the fire element in your home, you may use bright yellow candles, lampshades, or other similar bright objects - but be careful in placing too bright objects to avoid overpowering and maintain a balanced environment.

Add Warmth with Fire
Setting up a fireplace or fire pit—particularly in more social areas like living rooms and outdoor living spaces—is a great way to get in touch with the fire element and harness its energy. Of course, if you can’t add a fireplace into your home or have a fire pit outside, you can always include candles in these spaces.

Focus on Good Lighting
Adding warm lighting is another way you can bring the fire element into your home. Whether it’s pendant lights, floor lamps, table lamps, or wall sconces, good lighting can make all the difference. Just be sure that the light faces upward similar to the way flames reach toward the sky.

Decorate with Reds & Oranges
Reds and oranges are the feng shui colors associated with the fire element, so try to use these colors when decorating rooms where you need more dynamic energy. If painting a whole room red seems too overpowering, you can always opt for red accent walls, orange throw pillows, and other fiery pops of color.

Some of our products you might like to incorporate the fire element in your home:


Now that we have been refreshed about the 5 Feng Shui principles, where shall we place these Feng Shui home decorations respectively? Let’s refer to the energy map or Bagua Map. 


The Bagua Map

The most common tool in Feng Shui home design is the bagua map. The bagua map helps analyse energy in a given space, and suggests what elements to bring into the space to enhance the flow. Each of the nine quadrants has an element and colour associated with it, which can help inform your decor. The nine quadrants of the bagua map are Wealth, Fame, Love, Family, Health, Children, Wisdow, Career, and Helpful People. 

The below is a Western interpretation of the map. There is also a traditional map which is defined by compass direction, which makes navigation a bit more difficult for feng shui beginners. If you rather avoid using compasses, we recommend sticking with the Western version by simply dividing your floor plan into a grid. 

  • Southeast – Wealth and Prosperity – Wood
  • South – Fame, and Reputation – Fire
  • Southwest – Partnership, and Marriage – Earth
  • West – Children and Creativity – Metal
  • Northwest – Helpful people and Travel – Metal
  • North – Career and Life Journey – Water
  • Northeast – Knowledge, and Wisdom – Earth
  • East – Family, and Health – Wood

When incorporating the bagua in your floor plan, focus only on one to three areas because this is already enough to strengthen or improve positive energy flow. For example, you want to focus on your family and health, then improve the eastern part of your home and furnish it with the wood element.

The simplest way to apply the bagua map is to overlay it on your floor plan. Simply draw your floor plan and place the nine-quadrant bagua map on top of it. The doorway should face south and align with one of the bottom three squares.

Though it is common for people to feng shui a whole house or apartment, you can use the bagua map on as large or small of a space as you’d like.

General Feng Shui Decorating Tips

  • Make a good impression with your front door.
  • In order to attract energy into your home, you need a welcoming front door. 

  • Declutter.
  • Too much mess prevents the energy from flowing and also clutters your brain. Decluttering can give you more space to move freely. The best place to start decluttering is your bedroom or your kitchen. 

  • Make sure air and light can get in.
  • Since air is a key component to the very meaning of feng shui, it must be allowed in. A combination of natural light and air will bring in good energy and rejuvenation.

  • Make use of crystals.
  • Use rose quartz for love, tourmaline for protection, or citrine for healing and wealth. 

  • Place the bed and desk towards doorways. 
  • Facing the entrance increases power and minimizes vulnerability. 

  • Add a natural element. 
  • Decorate each room with a houseplant. Not only do they improve energy, they also increase health and naturally purify the air. 

    Feng Shui Decorating Tips By Room 

    If you prefer to apply feng shui principles to a room rather than a whole house, here are some things to keep in mind. 

    Living Room

    When designing your living room, begin with the largest piece of furniture you have (typically, a sofa). Make sure it faces a door or opening and is placed against a wall, ideally the one furthest from the entrance and allows for a few inches of breathing room between.

    If you have additional seating like a lounge chair, choose where to put it based on what is conducive for conversation. Try not to cramp the space. The goal is to create energy flow.

    When deciding on a coffee table, try to avoid harsh angles. If a circle or oval feels too contrasting to the rest of your furniture, just contrast the shapes in the smaller element as this creates better balance.

    Use sheer window coverings to allow light in but prevent energy from escaping. If you prefer completely uncovered windows, try placing a plant nearby.

    Adding red elements will help invigorate the room and help to energize.

    Bedroom

    Similar to the living room, start with your bed and place it far away from the doorway, but not directly facing it. Try to avoid having too many electrical components close to your sleeping space.

    If possible, avoid putting a television in your private space. This often becomes the focal point of the room, which takes away from the calming energy.

    Combine masculine and feminine details to make sure both parties are represented and a balance is established. If you have a metal or wooden bed frame, choose soft-colored linens.

    Fill your bedroom with cozy material to invite a restful, calming energy. Using hues in green and blue can add to this type of feeling. Clearing out whatever is under your bed also helps energy flow.

    Home Office

    The biggest tip for home office decor is removing the clutter. As much as 50 percent of your desk should be clear, which means it’s time to hide those cords!

    Similar to the layout in the other rooms, position your desk facing the door because this gives you a position of power, which is important for your place of work or productivity.

    Decorate this space with a few personal objects like a family photo and incorporate greenery as the energy from plants will help you stay focused. To invigorate the area, add red details.

    In terms of color, use gentle yellows and greens to calm and center. Add earth tones for stability and flowers or a motto to remind you of what you need to accomplish.

    Avoid Feng Shui Taboos

    • Dead or wilt plants - it shows restlessness and does not show positive energy
    • Paintings of ferocious animals  - it is said to bring bad luck
    • Paintings of ferocious animals  - it is said to bring bad luck
    • Fake or dried flowers - symbolizes artificiality and bad energy
    • Leaky faucets - represents a loss of fortune 

    Feng Shui As A Life Guide

    Having Feng Shui is useful as a guide when it comes to improving your home and your life. Some interior designers even welcome the idea to help them bring good energy into a home. Feng Shui focuses on life energy, especially your well-being.

    Though the practice isn’t past your belief, it is not wrong to try and create a good home design plan that adds personality to your daily life. If it provides you comfort, balance, and harmony into your environment, then you’re doing it right. And you’re doing great.

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