Applying the decorating principles of Feng Shui can help to create a balanced, harmonious feeling to your living space and your life as a whole
When I first heard about Feng Shui, I was fascinated not only by the concept that inanimate objects have energy, but also by the stunning visual appeal that’s inherent in spaces where the principles of Feng Shui have been applied.
As I delved a bit deeper, I discovered that Feng Shui isn’t just about decorating; it’s also about healing and problem solving.
If you’re curious about these principles, I encourage you to spend some time studying Feng Shui. In the meantime, enjoy these strategies for making your home more beautiful with these helpful Feng Shui decorating rules.
To start, let a bagua map be your guide to decorating the Feng Shui way. The word ‘bagua’ means ‘eight trigrams’. Traditional bagua maps contain eight trigrams arranged around an octagon. Western bagua maps consist of nine squares arranged to form a larger square. Both types of bagua maps involve a layout of a basic drawing of your home’s footprint which is then stretched to cover the entire home.
All Feng Shui bagua maps contain the same areas which represent different principles. When taken together, they symbolize 9 vital aspects of life:
Health — yellow, orange, pink, apricot, and gold colors
Symbolized by earth and situated at the center of the bagua map. The color green is typically avoided in the health section and wood décor is traditionally frowned upon. Since this section is all about balance and is used to tie other areas together, consider displaying something square, and make cleanliness and order a priority. An earthenware vase or another earthenware object provides a grounding effect.
Career / Life Path — black and blue colors
Symbolized by water and aligned with the front door of your home. Earth items are traditionally avoided in this segment, as are bright colors. Consider welcoming energy into your home with a fountain, and decorate with mirrors, glass, and dark, grounding colors. Avoid placing a mirror of any kind directly opposite the front door, as this is traditionally believed to cause chi to leave before it can travel through the rest of your home; place it on a side wall instead. Traditional Feng Shui rules dictate that bagua mirrors ought to be placed outdoors only, as their primary use is to block negativity from entering, so position a mirror outdoors above the front door — never indoors in the life path zone.
Helpful People / Travel — white, gold, silver, and grey colors
Symbolized by metal and located to the right of career trigram. Round objects, black and white photos, and black and white decorative items are ideal here, along with metal décor. Anything that represents storage or stagnation should be avoided.
Children / Creativity — white, gold, silver, and grey colors
Symbolized by metal and situated above and/or to the left of the helpful people trigram. To infuse your home with a sense of playfulness, this is the perfect place for games and items that speak to your inner child. If you have children, this is the perfect place to keep toys. Metal décor is ideal, and earthy objects are welcome. Delineate walkways and keep them clear while avoiding reminders of fire in the child zone, along with sharp edges.
Relationships / Love — pale yellow, tan, pink, and sand colors
Symbolized by earth and positioned above and/or to the left of the children trigram. This part of the bagua map covers your love life, so decorate the relationship section of your home with items that promote sensuality and encourage romance. Candles, decorative items arranged in pairs, photos of you and your partner, and mementos of your travels together are perfect, but try to keep family photos out of your relationship segment and avoid placing anything sharp here. Additionally, this is not the place to store broken items that are awaiting repair. If you are single and seeking a relationship, consider using symbols of love in this area as well as in your bedroom such as photos of pair-bonded birds or animals, along with images of loving couples.
Fame / Reputation — red color
Symbolized by fire and positioned above health and to the left of the relationship trigram. Display items that you’re proud of, along with objects that symbolize your aspirations. Tall, vertical objects symbolize you standing tall, and diplomas, awards, and the color red are ideal. You’ll want to avoid water features in this area since water symbolically douses fire. Dark colors and heavy objects aren’t considered suitable here either.
Wealth / Abundance — green color
Symbolized by wood and positioned to the left of the fame trigram. Add at least one live plant such as a money tree, as well as valuable objects and artwork that symbolizes abundance. Incorporate items that remind you to express gratitude while avoiding stacks of bills, trash bins, and toilets in this area. If your bathroom happens to land in the wealth section of your home’s bagua map, you may wish to give it a bagua map of its own, with the abundance portion of the map stretched to avoid the toilet so you aren’t symbolically flushing away your wealth.
Ancestors / Family — brown, green, and blue colors
Symbolized by wood and positioned below the wealth trigram, to the left of health. Live plants, floral prints, family trees, attractive lamps, and beloved heirlooms are ideal additions to this part of your bagua. It’s also the perfect place to display your favorite family photos. Shiny metal items are to be avoided as are single decorative objects. Instead, it’s best to place décor in groups of three or more items in this section of your home.
Wisdom — pale yellow, tan, pink, and sand colors
Symbolized by earth and positioned to the left of the career trigram, below the ancestors / family trigram. If you meditate, this is the perfect place to practice. Distracting colors and moving objects should be avoided; instead, stick to calming paint colors, such as cream, blues, white or grey. Books and other thoughtful objects are the perfect addition for your wisdom quadrant, as is a comfortable recliner where you can spend plenty of time cultivating knowledge. The home experts at Recliner Life suggest creating a sense of openness by placing your largest pieces of furniture against back walls as far away from room openings as you can. Position items such as recliners or coffee tables in a way that facilitates conversation while creating a calm, comfortable, welcoming feel.
If your home has more than one floor, you’ll want to apply the same Feng Shui bagua to each floor. You can also use the bagua map to decorate a single room. While you’ll want to highlight Feng Shui colors for each bagua section, it’s perfectly fine to accentuate with other hues and a variety of furnishings and decorative objects with just a few exceptions as noted here. Mix and match in a way that pleases you.
When decorating according to the principles of Feng Shui, it’s important to place certain symbolic objects in each area to enhance the flow of chi, or life-giving energy.
Other objects are believed to block chi, so they’re best avoided. Clear away clutter and focus on function throughout your home. Clutter represents stagnation and indecisiveness and messes keep energy from flowing, and they distract you from your purpose. Consider embracing minimalism, particularly if you live in a small space, because airflow and light should be a priority throughout your entire home, as both symbolize the flow of positive energy.
Bottomline: Your décor should be in alignment with who you are.
Many people make the mistake of believing that Bagua mirrors, Buddha statues, and Fu dogs are must-have items since they’re traditionally associated with good luck. The truth is that while these objects often find their way into Feng Shui decorating guides, they aren’t really necessary and certainly won’t promote harmony in your home if you dislike them. If recommended decorative items aren’t really your style, there’s no need to include them. Plain mirrors (particularly round ones), plants, and art that speaks to your heart are just as auspicious. So long as your space offers a balanced, harmonious feeling, it’s going to have a positive effect on your life as a whole.
You may also enjoy reading Going With The Flow: Using Feng Shui To Create Movement in Your Life by Patricia Lohan