Tag Archives: Feng Shui 101

Feng Shui For Your Soul

The term Feng Shui is commonly recognized as a system of arranging one’s environment in a harmonious way.  Over the last decade I’ve witnessed the effect of energy on my clients’ well-being.  My experience led me to see the importance of going beyond the exterior environment and getting to the heart (and Soul) of the matter – energy flow within.  The truth is that you can’t change things on the outside unless you first change things on the inside.

The feeling of harmony starts with a thought. When your thoughts are grounded in love they create beneficial energy in your body.  Aligning your thoughts with your highest self puts you in a powerful place to create your life rather than allowing life to create you.   You feel energized and inspired when your thoughts and actions correspond to your values and goals.

How do you Feng Shui your Soul?  The most important ways are:

1- Letting go of the past;

2- Loving yourself unconditionally;

3- Acting from your Highest Self, or Love;

4- Trusting in the benevolence of the universe; and

5- Living each day of your life in integrity with your Soul.

Remember ~ “There is no planet sun or star [that] could hold you if you knew but what you are.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Feng Shui Tips for Decorating Large or Small Rooms.

Whether you’re decorating a large or small space, to create coziness and appeal the primary design principle to focus on is balance.  A room must exude the right energy to feel balanced.   By its nature, a large room exudes “yang” or expansive energy.  A small space room transmits “yin” or constrictive energy.  It follows that yang energy needs to be balanced with yin energy and yin energy with yang.  The correct furniture, colors, and accessories are the key to creating balance.  If you don’t feel comfort and relaxation in a space it’s because the yin/yang energy is out of balance.  When good Feng Shui is coupled with good design, an environment is naturally cozy, relaxing, and beautiful. 

Small Spaces.  If you’ve got a room that feels cramped or constrictive:

  1. Use the same wall color throughout the space.  A light color is best because it creates an open feeling.  Yellow, warm beige, or white works well.  Yellow is also the best color for illuminating dark areas.  
  2. Paint the ceilings white or the same color as the walls.
  3. Use European furniture which is smaller in proportion than “regular funiture-store” furniture.   (Look at IKEA’s selection for an example).
  4. Add mirrors to create the illusion of space.  A mirror reflects light from outside if placed opposite a window.  A whole wall of mirrors can open up the space in a dramatic way.  
  5. Don’t block natural light.  
  6. Hang drapes a few inches higher than the top of your windows to create a feeling of height.
  7. Avoid clutter, use decorative containers to stay organized and don’t display a lot of chotchkies (aka knickknacks).  A few well-placed items evidencing your style and flair are plenty.
  8. Choose pieces of art that relate to each other.  Use similar frames for each piece (or no frames).  The over-all feeling should be cohesive and light. Art containing fire colors (red, orange, purple-pink) or wavy lines transmits an energetic quality which counteracts feeling constricted in the space.  Landscape scenes and photographs open the space up.
  9. Use monotone, natural fiber, or non-fussy area rugs to add a finished quality to the room and to create separate areas.

Large Spaces.  If you’ve got a room that feels empty or like a mausoleum:

  1. Break the room up into several areas to fill up the space and create visual interest.  When you’re in a large empty space you’ll feel exposed making relaxation difficult.  Create several areas within the room that serve different functions.   For example in a living room the first area can be a conversation area with a couch, two chairs, a coffee table, and two or three small side tables with table lamps.  The second area can be a reading corner next to a window with an overstuffed chair, an ottoman, a table and good reading lamp.  And a third vignette can be a game area using a round table with chairs on either side and a  floor lamp nearby. 
  2. Use thick, earth and fire color (brown, yellow, beige, red, orange) rugs in each area in the room to further delineate each area.
  3. Use furniture proportionate with to size of the room. Generally, wood is best.  
  4. Hang artwork at eye level or a few inches above, especially if ceilings are high (above about 12 feet).  The art will pull your eye towards it and minimize the length of the wall.
  5. Paint the ceilings the same color as the walls or in a slightly darker shade. 
  6. Hang drapes even with the windows.
  7. If you have built-in bookshelves, arrange them to create visual interest.  Don’t simply line books up in a row.  Add framed photos, ceramics, and accessories.  You’ll create energy and soul.

Have fun and remember that if something intutively feels wrong, it can be corrected by applying principals of balance.  If you don’t know exactly how to remedy the problem experiment and see how changing things affects the way you feel.

Feng Shui 101 – Creating Coziness and Comfort

Do you find yourself drawn to certain places in your home more than others? Is there an area where you feel particularly relaxed?  Maybe it’s a nook in the bedroom or a reading chair in the living room.  Odds are, its architectural features and its interior décor are in balance.  Balance in a space signals safety and security which you feel on an unconscious level.  When you feel safe, you can relax.  Balance is the essence of Feng Shui. When good Feng Shui is coupled with good design, an environment is naturally cozy, relaxing, and appealing. 

 What makes a room cozy and comfortable? 

1.  Size of the room.

2.  Ceiling height.

3.  Proportion of windows to walls.

4.  Amount of natural light.

5.  Outside noise.

6.  Floor plan.

7.  Furniture Placement.

8.  Interior Décor.

Although some of these qualities can’t eliminated, Feng Shui Design Principles can significantly change the feel of a room.  Your choice of wall color, furniture arrangement, lighting, and furniture placement can transform a cold and uninviting space into a cozy, beckoning nest.  

Next time….using Feng Shui to balance these areas.

Buying a Home? Look for these Feng Shui Features.

When you’re in the market for a new a home your biggest priorities are usually price and location.  Next, the floor plan of the home and the feeling you get when you walk in will be deciding factors.  Have you ever experienced that feeling of  “ahhh!” when you enter a space?  It’s an intrinsic feeling you get when an environment feels nurturing.  It’s a great indicator that the house has good Feng Shui.    

Here are six features to look for when you’re in the market for a new home that will create good Feng Shui:

1.  Where is the home located in relation to the street? Avoid buying a home on a T-junction.  When a home is on a T-junction it gets bombarded with traffic energy coming towards it.  The result can be increased arguments and conflict at home.  If the home sits back a good distance from the street or if there is landscaping between the street and the home it alleviates the negative effects.

2.  Does the front door face the street?  Look for a home a with front door facing forward, not to the side, and which isn’t blocked.  The  front door is important in Feng Shui because it is the primary pathway for energy.   A front door which enjoys a clear pathway can receive energy- also referred to as “qi” – and the home will be healthier.  Avoid having large trees directly in front of the door which block qi.

3.  Is the floor plan practical and functional? Practicality almost always indicates good Feng Shui.  Some minor oddities are endearing, but things that make you scratch your head and say “what were they thinking?” are almost always a sign of bad Feng Shui.  Trust your instinct.  If it’s impractical and feels awkward to you it can likely cause problems in your home due to unbalanced energy.

4.  Does the home have good flow?  Open floor plans are preferable because they allow  qi within your home to circulate.  If the floor plan is compartmentalized ensure that rooms have windows so you create good qi pathways.

5.  Do you feel comfortable with the way the home sits on the lot?  Having a steep hill six feet behind you can cause you to feel claustrophobic.  Conversly, if the home sits on top of a hill you may feel exposed and unsupported.  It’s best to look for a flat lot that comfortably fits the home.   When home is grounded and securely placed on the lot, you’ll feel the same. 

6.  What type of driveway does the home have?  Is it circular?  Don’t buy a home with a circular driveway unless you plan infrequent use.  If you use a circular driveway often, the coming and going of the vehicles create a disturbance of energy in the front of your home which can cause conflict inside your  home.

For Good Feng Shui take a look at these Areas in Your Home First.

The art and science of Feng Shui provides guidelines for assessing how healthy the energy (or “qi”) is in your environment.  Certain areas of your home have a bigger influence than others in determining whether or not you have good Feng Shui.  When your home has good Feng Shui, it supports your health, wealth, and relationships.  When it doesn’t, you may experience struggles or what’s commonly referred to as “bad luck.” Of course your home is the sum of its parts and every area has some impact — even small areas like the top shelf of your closet!

First – The Front Door  Why?  In Feng Shui, qi is the life force that fills your home.  All exterior doors and windows are qi mouths, allowing energy into your home.  The front door is the most important qi mouth and the direction your door faces determines the quality of qi your home receives. 

Recommendations

  1. The door is best placed facing forward and not sideways.  It can easily receive qi when facing forward. A front door facing sideways is kind of like having your face on sideways  – it’s awkward and strained.
  2. A winding pathway leading up to the door rather than a straight path is preferable.  Winding paths allow qi to meander to the door rather than rush toward it.  If you’ve got a long, straight path you can place potted plants or bushes alongside of it to help slow down the qi.
  3. If the direction of traffic flows towards you, a fence or landscaping can prevent qi from rushing toward your front door.  When qi rushes at your door it can cause conflict in your home.
  4. Keep the front porch free of debris and in good condition.

Second – The Master Bedroom Why?  When you’re sleeping, you’re less guarded and more susceptible to qi forces in the room.  For good health, it’s important to ensure that your bedroom is healthy.

Recommendations

  1. Place your bed against a solid wall.  If you can’t do this because of windows, if you have a solid headboard it’ll help guard you from the energy coming in from the windows and you’ll sleep better.
  2. Don’t place your bed on the same wall as a toilet or in line with a toilet.  
  3. Place your bed flush against a wall rather than placing it diagonally.  If the floor plan doesn’t allow this, put a wall screen behind you to give you support.
  4. Place your bed facing the bedroom door if practical.
  5. If your bed is in line with a door such as the bedroom door or bathroom door, keep the door closed when you want to relax so you’re not hit with qi.
  6. Avoid placing sharp corners or objects pointing toward your bed.
  7. Place a nightstand on each side of your bed.  (They don’t have to match).
  8. If your bed doesn’t have a footboard, place a bench at the foot of your bed. 

 

Third – The Foyer  Why?  This is generally where qi first enters your home.  The foyer sets the tone for the rest of your home. 

Recommendations

  1. If your front door opens directly to a living area, create a virtual-foyer by using an area rug (consider a circular one), and a console or buffet table next to the door.   The purpose is to slow down qi from rushing into your space.
  2. Avoid clutter.  It’s best not to keep your shoes by the front door but if you do, ensure that they’re tastefully organized and not in obvious view.
  3. Be mindful of the artwork you see upon entering and ensure it’s something that lifts your spirits.
  4. Generally, a mirror is appropriate in this area.
  5. Ensure there’s abundant lighting.

Feng Shui 101 – What Kind of Energy do You Have?

Did you know that according to Feng Shui, the year you’re born in determines the type of energy you have?  In Feng Shui, there are five elemental energies:  wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.  Every year has a predominate type of one of these energies.  You can find out your unique energy (also called your Ming Gua) by using the formulas below.   Finding out which energy you have not only sheds light on your personality, but shows you which colors, shapes and directions support your energy.  When you’re supported, your health and well-being are strengthened. 

How to Determine Your Birth Year Energy or “Ming Gua”:

For Women:  Add all the digits of your birth year.  Add the resulting number until you get a one-digit number.  Add 4 to the result.  If the result is then a two digit number, add the numbers  to get a one-digit number.  The result should be between 1 – 9. 

Example:  If you were born in 1 9 6 2   Add 1+ 9+ 6+ 2 =  18.  Add 1 + 8 = 9.  Add 4 + 9 = 13.  Add 1 + 3 = 4

For Men:  Add all the digits of your birth year.  Add the resulting number until you get a single-digit number.  Subtract the resulting number from 11.  If the result is 10, it means you are a 1.

Example:  If you were born in 1 9 5 9   Add 1+ 9+ 5+ 9 = 24   Add 2 + 4 = 6.  Subtract 11 – 6 = 5

Here are the corresponding colors, shapes, and directions for each Ming Gua.  Knowing the type of shapes and colors that support you is particularly helpful when you are selecting décor for a bedroom or office.  Look for your supportive shapes in furniture, fabric, rugs, and accessories.  The best directions are based on which direction your face faces.  For sleeping, it is the direction that you face when you sit up in your bed.

If your ming gua is 1 – You are a Water Element

Colors: Blue, Black, White, Gold       Shapes: Wavy     Best Directions: SE, S, E, N

Associated Qualities – Flowing, liberal, running downwards, intelligent, creative

 

If your ming gua is 2 or 8 – You are an Earth Element

Colors: Yellow, Brown, Red and Purple, Pink     Shapes: Square, Cubic  

Best Directions: NE, NW, W, SW

Associated Qualities – Concentration, stability, stubbornness

 

If your ming gua is 3 or 4 – You are a Wood Element

Colors: Green, Turquoise, Dark Blue, Black   Shapes: Rectangular  

Best Directions:   SE, N, E, S

Associated Qualities – Growing upwards, endurance, will power, usefulness

 

If your ming gua is 6 or 7 – You are a Metal Element

Colors: White, Gold, Beige, Brown,Yellow  Shapes: Round, Spherical  

Best Directions:  W, SW, NE, NW

Associated Qualities – Sharpness, propriety, cutting, advancing

 

If your ming gua is 9 – You are a Fire Element

Colors: Red, Orange, Pink, Purple   Shape: Triangular  

Best Directions:  E, SE, N, S

Associated Qualities – Radiant, spreading, generosity, anger

Questions or need further information?  Contact me at e@blptexas.com, or leave a comment, below!

Five Affordable Feng Shui Fixes For Decorating Dilemmas

Applying practical principles of Feng Shui can solve common decorating dilemmas.  Any of these principles can be applied in any room.

1-  If you don’t have a foyer or if you have a large room needing several different conversation areas you can create the illusion of a separate room by placing an area rug in the center of the space, coordinating with the color palette in the room.  For example, to create the feeling of a foyer place a circular area rug in front of the front door.  You can use area rugs wherever you want to delineate a space or create a conversation area.  Circular rugs are particularly good for pulling together a space.

2-  To complete or find inspiration for decorating a room, look for artwork that speaks to you.  Artwork  gives a room a finished feel and creates coziness as well as visual appeal.  I like to hang pictures so that the middle of the piece is one or two inches above eye level.

3-  Dark areas?  You can add balance and movement with mirrors, artwork containing fire colors (red, orange, pink, and purple) and circular or wavy objects which create movement.  If you have a corner that feels “dead” revitalize it with “up lighting” that’s placed on the floor, a decorative floor screen, or a standing mirror.

4- Does a room feel stark or sterile? “Cozify” it by adding soft drapes or roman shades, using earth and fire colors (brown, yellow, beige, red, and orange), and adding area rugs and soft fabrics such as cozy throw-pillows.

5-  If you don’t have a wall where you need one, you can invent one by placing a console behind a couch, using a decorative floor screen to separate areas, using bookshelves open on both sides, or drapes hung on side mounted retractable rods.  Floor screens also work well in corners to soften the area and create energy.