Odds are, you’ve experienced the feeling of exhilaration when you’re in a particularly stunning place in nature. The view from a mountain vista, hiking in a tall forest, or watching waves in the ocean can provide peace and inspiration when you’re feeling tired and knocked-around by the stressors of daily life.
Being in nature adds a vital component to our well-being. It allows us to get in touch with our deeper selves. It reunites us with our soul. Although nothing quite compares to the beauty and peace found in nature, your home can be transformed into a respite from the daily rat-race. You can create an environment that reflects the qualities nature offers – beauty, inspiration, flow, and symmetry.
We’ve come a long way since caveman days when a home simply met survival needs. We have access to millions of home decorating magazines, books, and television shows. The bottom line is the idea that a home can be a place of beauty and comfort. A kitchen is place to nurture your body, a bedroom allows for rest and renewal, a bathroom can be a place of nurturing, and the other areas of your home support getting together with friends, or working, or pursuing hobbies. Every room in your home can be arranged to inspire you and showcase your uniqueness.
Did you know that everything you put in a space influences the way you feel in the space? Have you ever walked into a restaurant, hotel room, or even a friend’s home and felt uneasy and didn’t want to stay very long? It was the energy of the space you were feeling. It could have been the furniture arrangement or the colors or clutter that you responded to. The bottom line is that whether you are out in nature or in your own environment, the energy affects you.
Wall colors, color palette, amount of natural light, furniture arrangement, artwork, flooring, rugs, window treatments, and arrangement of bookshelves, tabletops, and accessories create energy. You pick up on that energy, either consciously or not. If the space is unbalanced, you’ll feel uncomfortable. And don’t we all need a break from feeling discomfort caused by stressors out there in daily life? It’s vital to your well-being to be able to relax in your home.
The Chinese art and science of Feng Shui (pronounced “fung schway) explains that balancing energy allows for a richer life. Through correct arrangement of furniture, colors, and accessories a room will feel harmonious or chaotic. Feng Shui is derived from patterns in nature. Feng Shui actually means “wind and water” which references the flowing nature of the elements. Feng Shui rests on the principles of symmetry and flow. It allows us to sort of re-create nature, indoors.
The items you select for your home and where you place them can come together like a symphony or be disjointed and chaotic. When a space is balanced and appealing it should comfort you. My rule of thumb is – if you don’t feel “Ahhh!” when you walk into a room it means things are not in alignment. Whether you know it or not, you intuitively pick up on bad Feng Shui. A good way place to begin creating “Ahhh!” moments in a room is to break the room down into small sections – I call them vignettes. For example, your dining table, a shelf on your bookshelves, or your bed can be a place to exercise your creatively and intuitive decorating. Use accessories from other rooms or purchase new things – it doesn’t matter how small your budget is, what matters most is to use things you absolutely love. Play around with the accessories until you have the “Ahhh” moment. Creating a vignette oftentimes opens the door to create in other areas of the room.
Of course, seeking expert advice can point you in the right direction. Most importantly, have fun and stay open to your creativity. In Feng Shui there is no absolute right or wrong way to decorate, there are only guidelines which you can color in with your unique choices.