Feng shui literally translates to ‘wind-water’ and describes an ancient Chinese belief in aligning energetic forces in the universe – known as qi – in order to create harmony between individuals and their surroundings.
In the home, this means deliberately arranging objects and rooms to allow the free flow of these forces and achieve balance. Although qi is a spiritual rather than a scientific belief, many of the practices of feng shui can have tangible benefits – helping you create orderly, decluttered spaces where you can feel truly at ease.
If you want to experiment with incorporating feng shui principles into your home, we’ve got six savvy tips to get you started.
1 Begin with the hallway
The best place to start with feng shui is the entrance to your home as this is the symbolic opening to your sanctuary. To maintain a sense of calm, make sure you declutter clothing, bags and shoes – anything that is taking up unnecessary room. Just remember, an organised space equals a tranquil mind.
Try and make your entrance hall as light and airy as possible, either by maximising natural light or using a variety of light sources, like pendants, lamps and sconces.
2 Bring in the elements
In feng shui, there are five natural element – earth, wood, water, fire and metal. Vlatka Lake, marketing manager at self-storage brand Space Station, says: ‘The colours in your home should reflect one or more of these elements to create calm and balance.’
You can use hues representative of metal with white, grey and metallic colours; these are traditionally believed to provide clarity. Burnt orange, scarlet red and dark wood tones are associated with energy and fire. Water is linked to relaxation, so you should incorporate grey, off-white and an array of blue shades to channel this quality.
The earth element includes tones of brown, tan and yellow and is symbolic of stability. And finally, wood which is representative of stillness and new growth, can be captured with a spectrum of browns and greens.
3 Create distinct boundaries
If you don’t have a home office, then it can be tricky to differentiate between relaxing and productive zones; this can leave you feeling stressed. So, whether it be the dining table or your living room sofa, you should clear away the stationery and technology from your multipurpose workspace once you’ve finished for the day. By removing these items you are allowing positive, calm energy to flow throughout your home.
4 Clear your vision
Dirty windows and crooked wall art can have a huge impact on your mood. Windows are representative of the eyes to the world, so you should clean them inside and out to allow as much natural light to flood into your house as possible.
‘Framed photographs and prints that are hung too low or off-centre can cause low energy which effects your qi – the current that runs throughout our bodies. To avoid this, rehang photos, prints and mirrors,’ advises Vlatka. If nothing else, you’ll avoid the minor everyday annoyance of noticing that off-kilter picture frame!
5 Say hello to nature
Striking a balance with the natural world is paramount in feng shui – and what better way to do this than by bringing a bit of nature indoors? Inviting greenery into your home does more than just make it Insta-worthy, it will also help to enhance therapeutic feelings of calm and relaxation.
Orchids and bamboo are typical eastern-derived plants which come to mind for this scheme, but you can use any kind of flora to bring harmony to your space. If you don’t have a green thumb, then not to worry, faux plants will do the trick, too.
6 Rethink your bedroom
Arguably one of the most important areas of feng shui is your sleeping space. The bedroom should be full of restorative energy in which you feel comfortable, relaxed and refreshed.
Soft lighting, scented candles and plants will help to harness this peaceful power, but in feng shui, the placement of bedroom furniture is what will really enable you to achieve tranquillity.
It’s recommended that the bed sits just off-centre, opposite the door but not directly facing it and you should use matching end tables on either side of the bed to harness a sense of balance. The overall feel of the room should be simple and minimal, so do away with distractions like a TV, as this will prevent you from getting a peaceful night’s sleep.