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Home Improvement

What is Feng Shui?

4 min read

Feng shui is an ancient Chinese traditional practice that seeks to harmonize individuals with their environment. Taoist beliefs cite that Qi—the energy of the universe—flows through landscapes, water and structures. Traditional feng shui was used to orient buildings and spiritual structures such as tombs, while the modern-day practice is reflected in private interior design consultations.

Feng Shui Basics

For thousands of years, Feng Shui has attracted those looking to bring harmony and balance into their homes.

Historical Origins

Feng shui can be traced back thousands of years to cultures like the Yanshao and Hongshan as early as 4000 BC. Because feng shui was practiced long before technological advancements like the magnetic compass were made, early people relied on the stars and solar events to build homes or communal centers. Feng shui is a multi-dimensional practice that incorporates elements of astronomy, astrology, architecture, geography and more.

Fundamental Concepts

Central to feng shui are several fundamental concepts: yin and yang, Qi and the five elements of the earth. Feng shui aims to create balance and harmony between the energy of a space and the people within it. Achieving this balance is believed to enhance various aspects of life, including health, relationships and prosperity.

Components of Feng Shui

Feng shui is a multi-faceted practice and incorporates multiple tools and techniques to maximize energy flow.

The Bagua Map

The feng shui bagua map is an octagonal chart that divides your living space into eight or nine sections, with each area representing different aspects of life. The sections include:

By lining up the bagua with your home’s layout, you can identify areas within your home that you can enhance—making an impact in its corresponding sector.

Natural Elements

The five elements—wood, fire, earth, metal and water—are essential components of feng shui. Each element is associated with specific qualities and colors, meaning their arrangement influences the flow of energy in your space. For example, red is often associated with passion and energy, while water symbolizes prosperity and abundance. While you don’t need to represent every element in every area, striking a balance between the five makes for a more harmonious environment.

Natural sunlight also plays a role in feng shui because it’s seen as an energy source. If your home looks dull and stuck in the shadows, consider installing custom replacement windows that let plenty of sunlight into your space.

Color and Feng Shui

Colors have their own wavelength and energies, evoking different emotions and feelings based on the hue. Blues and greens invite tranquility and serenity, while orange is associated with warmth and optimism. Be intentional about what colors you decide to use in your space and consider exploring how each color could influence your mood.

Furniture Layout

Despite the multi-faceted practices of feng shui, an optimized furniture layout is what most people remember. Feng shui principles emphasize arranging your furniture in a way that maximizes energy flow in your space—including your windows and doors. Simple adjustments, like moving your bed away from a window or changing your desk placement, can make a substantial difference in a room’s overall feel.

Clutter and Organization

Clutter disrupts the flow of energy in your home, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and stagnated. By regularly eliminating clutter and keeping things organized, each room has a sense of calm and order. Laundry rooms, entryways and your closet are all places that may need extra attention.

Ways to Practice Feng Shui at Home

Before you do an overhaul of your home’s interior, there are a few small changes you can make to see if feng shui practices are for you.

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