Feng Shui is a Chinese cultural tradition that relates to the proper ordering and distribution of spaces within the home. According to this tradition, energy (chi) flows according to the distribution and orientation of things in relation to nature and the cardinal points (north, east, south and west). The correct placing of things will allow energy to flow harmoniously and create a better environment in the home. Poor distribution, however, could generate bad vibes.
Elements of Feng Shui
There are several elements to Feng Shui. There is, for example, Ying-Yang, that symbolise the two complementary opposites in the search for balance. Also there are the animals of Feng Shui (the white tiger, the green dragon, the red phoenix, the black turtle and the yellow snake) that represent protection. Another element present in Feng Shui is the compass to measure the orientation of things. Feng Shui states that the bed should be pointing towards the north, for example. The five natural elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) must also be in perfect balance.
Related: How to decorate a Feng Shui bedroom
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Colour is an important element in the home. Its use should be balanced and correct for each specific place. For example, the colour yellow transmits energy and joy and should be used, in a clear tone, in spaces such as the kitchen and living room. Earthy colours, such as brown, convey security and stability and should be used on floors and skirting boards. Blue represents the sky and can be used in bedrooms.
Lighting, whether it is from the sun, electricity or candles, is very important in Feng Shui. It is desirable to have large windows in your house as this allows light to enter throughout the day, re-energising your home. You should try to achieve balance in different parts of your home: light areas (yellow and pastel-coloured walls) and dark areas: (grey, black and violet walls). It is not recommended to use fluorescent lighting, as it only emits part of the light spectrum and weakens energy. It is better to use halogen or incandescent lights as these stimulate chi.
Related: Feng Shui tips on lighting
The bedroom should only be a place of rest and love. This means that there should be no distracting elements that remind us of work, problems or the outside world. You should have soft or dim lighting in the bedroom with pastel-coloured walls. The bed should be positioned so that your head faces north and neither your head nor your feet should be facing the door, since this removes energy rather than replenishing it. It is important that rooms are kept tidy.
Related: Feng Shui for the master bedroom
The living room
The living room is for family gatherings and receiving guests. It is the room of communication and for this reason chi should flow naturally and without hindrance. The room should therefore be close to the front door. The chairs should be placed in the form of a closed figure and have no squared corners. The table should be positioned slightly to the side of the room. It is preferable that the furniture and tables are made from natural materials, ideally all from wood. The television should be kept in an isolated location.
Related: Feng Shui mirror placement tips
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The dining room
The dining room is one of the most important places in the home as it is where you nourish your body and soul. When eating a meal you should be relaxed and therefore there should be no distracting elements, such as a turned on television or too much decoration, in the room. The dining room table should preferably be circular to strengthen the communal bond. If you have a square or rectangular table, avoid sitting at the corners.
Related: Feng Shui cures for prosperity
The kitchen is the most important room in the house as it is where you prepare the food that will nourish and bring the whole family together. It should be clearly lit and preferably be located in the west. The sink area should be located away from the fire area (they are opposing energies, Ying and Yang), and if possible, they should be situated on walls opposite each other. The kitchen walls should have warm and clear colours. Also the kitchen furniture should be made from natural wood.
Related: Feng Shui kitchen cures
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The entrance of your house
The front door is where chi enters the house and for this reason it is desirable for it to be as wide as possible. Avoid having a front door that faces directly towards the back door, since this means energy will enter and leave without circulating around your home. It is good to place a wind chime at the door to harmonise sounds. Objects or furniture should be kept away from the door, since they could bounce energy out of the house.
Related: Feng Shui money tree tips
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Water, which symbolises money, is the predominant element in the bathroom. Each time you flush the toilet and run the taps, wealth leaves your home. For this reason, it is necessary to always keep the toilet seat cover down when you flush. The colour of the bathroom should be clear pastels and have blue elements that correspond with the element of water. The toilet should be located behind the door.
Criticisms of Feng Shui
Feng Shui is usually criticised for being a pseudoscience. Critics point out that it is the product of eastern superstitions and mystic beliefs. One way or another, the ordered arrangement of objects in your house will help you to have a better organised home. Whether or not you believe in the traditions or customs, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable in your own home.
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