How to create good feng shui at home

Learn the basic principles of the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui with our handy beginner's guide

Feng shui living room photo via Pinterest

Ever wondered how to achieve good feng shui in your home? You’ve probably heard of a few popular feng shui concepts, such as having your bed facing the door, but do you know why? And what about the other areas of your home?


In our handy beginner’s guide we break down the basic principles of feng shui and explain the history and significance of the ancient tradition. We also explore why it’s a good idea to try feng shui in your home if you want a welcoming, happy and fulfilling interior space.

What is feng shui?

Feng shui, which translates to ‘wind water’, is a traditional body of Chinese philosophy and metaphysics with the ultimate goal of harmonising an individual with their surroundings.

One element of feng shui, and the most well known outside of China, is the art of orientating buildings and interiors in accordance with a certain set of rules to allow energies to flow. The earliest signs of feng shui concepts in architecture appear in ancient Chinese settlements as early as 4000BC.

Followers of feng shui believe an invisible life force, known as ‘qi’ and pronounced ‘chee’, is in and around all living things and should be respected and utilised for a happy and healthy life. But how do you go about this practically?

One of the main components of feng shui is the ‘commanding position’ rule, where significant items in your home like your bed, desk or oven are positioned within the eye line of the door, without being directly opposite it. This is so you can stay aware of comings and goings and it is also believed to symbolically leave a clear pathway open for new opportunities.

Clutter, understandably, is a no-no when it comes to feng shui as it obstructs the flow of energy. Clear, open spaces are ideal.

Feng shui also uses the five-element system drawn from Taoist philosophy; wood, fire, earth, water and metal, which we break down into a bit more detail below. By combining all five of these elements, along with the commanding position rule, you will be on the right track for achieving good feng shui at home. Most importantly though, feng shui is about your physical space and ethereal space being in harmony, so if you can’t get your bed facing the door, don’t worry!

The 5 feng shui elements

EARTH – Related to earthy colours like orange, yellow and brown and flat, square and solid items like tables and rugs.

METAL – Related to grey, white and metallic colours and circular metallic shapes such as a round mirror or deep stand-alone bath.

WATER – Related to navy and black colours and wavy shapes. Small water features, a garden pond or wavy patterned accessories and artwork all tap into this element.

WOOD – Related to green, teal and blue colours, and tall elegant shapes. Trees and houseplants tick this box. 

FIRE – Related to the colours red and orange and triangular shapes. Fireplaces, candles and lighting are all ways of bringing this element home.

How to feng shui your home

Whether you believe in invisible energies or not, feng shui has some all-around advantages. For instance, keeping a clutter-free home can reduce stress levels, and houseplants have been shown to boost productivity. Leaving your shoes at the door, another feng shui practice, keeps your floors clean even if you don’t believe it offers any spiritual benefits.

Here we take a room by room approach to show you how to use the practice of feng shui throughout your home and implement the rules we explained above.

Feng shui hallway

Photo: Alexander Design
Photo: Alexander Design

The hallway is one of the most important areas of the home when it comes to feng shui as it is where outside and inside energies meet. It should be light, bright and welcoming. You could add a mirror to create extra light, but avoid positioning it opposite the door as you walk in as this is understood to direct your home’s energy outwards.

If you don’t have much or any natural light in your entranceway, add a cosy floor lamp or table lamp. Include small accessories which make you happy, such as a fresh bunch of flowers, a favourite ornament or a statement houseplant.

Feng shui living room

Feng shui living room photo via Pinterest
Photo via Pinterest

The living room should be cosy but also energising as it is where we often gather with friends and family. There should be enough seating for the house members as well as extra for guests. Position seating in an open square or circle, so that everyone can see each other, and try not to have the backs of chairs in front of the door or entranceway, as this blocks the energy coming into the room.

Plants and wooden elements will add positive energies to the room, so invest in a large houseplant or two and wooden furniture or accessories in this area.

Feng shui kitchen

© iStock
© iStock

The kitchen is where you cook and get nourishment from food so be sure to keep your stove and fridge in tip-top condition. If possible, keep the stove in the eye-line of your door and ensure that no past-their-prime foods are lingering in your fridge.

Keeping fresh herbs on the windowsill and introducing warm lighting will bring life and depth to your space and having clear countertops and enough seating for socialising will make your kitchen more welcoming.

Feng shui office

Photo: Frenshe
Photo: Frenshe

Many of us spend a substantial amount of time at our work desks, so it’s worthwhile making this area a comfortable, organised and aesthetically appealing space. Situate your desk in the commanding position, with the door in your eye-line or if that’s not possible, looking out a window. Invest in a good-quality, ergonomic desk chair with arms and a high back as this creates support and protection.

Choose a spot with plenty of natural light as this helps counteract the harsh blue lights from laptops and phones. A small water feature and plants will add positive, calming energy to the space too.

Feng shui bedroom

Photo: Extra Space Storage
Photo: Extra Space Storage

The bedroom is a place of relaxation so there shouldn’t be too many distractions here and the colour palette should be neutral. Keep out electronics such as televisions and computers and if you can, don’t use this space for work or activities other than sleeping and relaxing.

The bed is the focus, position it outwards, diagonally across from the door and strengthen it with a headboard and a bench at the foot of it. Symmetry is important in the bedroom in feng shui, so be sure to have two bedside tables to keep things balanced.


Like the feng shui look? Check out our guides to the Japandi aesthetic and Scandi style interiors too!