Tag Archives: harmony

Easy Feng Shui Design Tips for a Small Space

In small environments use color and furniture arrangement to keep the space open and energy flowing.   Using the same colors throughout, but in different shades you can create a harmonious space with great Feng Shui.  Using the tips below will help your space feel open and in balance.

1- Think of the whole space as your palette rather than room by room.  Use one neutral color thoroughout the space and add color with accessories.  I recommend Benjamin Moore’s Barely Beige as a great neutral palette for walls.

2- Each room should relate to each other.  Use the same two or three accent colors in each room. Base your accent colors on one pair of complimentay colors.  Here’s an example:  brown, beige, red, and green.  You can slightly use different shades of these colors in different rooms and throw in another color in a room if you want, keeping the same palette and just adding to it.

Complimentary colors are:

 Red & Green  /  Yellow & Purple  /  Blue & Orange

3- Neutral-colored furniture is best for small spaces.  Add vibrancy in a room by using one piece of furniture with color.  For example, if your palette is beige, brown, blue and orange, a good addition to the décor could be a blue chair or an animal-print ottoman.

4- Mirrors are a great way to open up the space.  They are particularly beneficial placed on walls opposite windows so they can reflect the outside.

5- Use size-appropriate furniture for a small space.  Big, bulky, and heavy furniture is inappropriate.  Use lightweight, clean lines, and multifunctional pieces.  To see how a piece of furniture fits in the room before you buy it, use masking tape to outline the furniture on the floor.

6- Add coziness with soft drapery panels, pillows on couches, throw blankets and small area rugs.

7- If you don’t have a foyer by your front door create one by placing a rectangular or circular area rug in front of the door and a console table on the wall closest to the front door with a square or rectangular-shaped piece of art above it.  (A mirror would work well too).

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Feng Shui 101- The Five Elements

Orange Chair

Can you spot the Five Elements in this photo? Scroll down for answers.

Feng Shui is based upon the principles of Yin and Yang.  Yin and Yang are the parents of “the five elements”.  The five elements — fire, earth, metal, water, and wood are used in Feng Shui to create balance and harmony.   The elements describe different types of energy (qi) and can be thought of as “five phases” because energy is constantly moving and transforming.  Everything in the world is created from a combination of the five phases.  They are the building blocks which create the quality of energy present in a certain space. 

Why is this important?  Because when energy is balanced, you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable in a space producing a higher level of satisfaction with life.

The Five Elements and their Characteristics

Element Quality Color Shape
Water Flows, falls Black, Blue Wavy
Earth Compacts Yellow, Brown Square, Cubic
Wood Grows upward Green, Turqouise Rectangular
Metal Contracts White, Gold, Silver Round, Spherical
Fire Radiates Red, Orange, Purple Triangular

The goal of Feng Shui is to balance the elements in an environment so that they don’t conflict with each other.  Using color, shape, furniture arrangement and space planning, a Feng Shui practitioner arranges the elements a harmonious way and makes the unseen, seen.  The qualities of each element is manifested in its color, material, and shape.  However, you’ll rarely find an element that’s just a single element – most things consist of a combination of elements.  For example, when we use the term wood qi, it means that it has a preponderance of wood qi, not that it is only wood qi.  

How to Balance the Elements

The correct use of elements will create the productive cycle.  The productive cycle means the elements are not overpowering one another.  The space will feel comfortable and look appealing.   The productive cycle works like this: 

five elementsWater nurtures -> Wood nurtures -> Fire nurtures -> Earth nurtures -> Metal nurtures -> Water. 

In contrast, using too much or too little of an element causes conflict between the different energies which causes unbalanced qi.   This is known as the destructive cycle.  The destructive cycle works like this:  

Water weakens -> Fire weakens –> Metal weakens -> Wood weakens –> Earth weakens –> Water.  

destructive cycle

Applying the Principles to a Room

At the most basic level, if you have a room with a pitched ceiling, painted red, with white furniture and white drapes containing circular-shaped pattern, the room will have a lot of fire and metal qi.  Why?  Because red is a fire color, and the pitched ceiling is a fire element (triangular), white is metal color and circles are metal shapes.  Fire is destructive to metal.  The elements are following the destructive cycle. This is undesirable and the unseen conflict between fire and metal can cause you discomfort in the room. 

How to move into the Productive Cycle?

Add rounded-leaf plants in square-shaped pots to add earth, wood, and water energy.   Earth energy is found in the dirt and the square-shaped pot.  Wood energy manifests from the color green and from the very nature of the plant.   Water energy is found in the curved shape of the leaves.   Adding the missing elements buffers the conflict between metal and fire and creates the productive cycle.

Going Deeper

A Feng Shui practitioner would go deeper and do more a thorough analysis before making recommendations by asking these questions:

  • First, what type of inherent energy is found in the room?  This is based on the compass reading of the room and charting of the natal chart or flying-star chart.  (“Star” meaning energy) 
  • Second, what is the room used for?  Recommendations for a bedroom will be different than for the dining room.  You need to determine the quality of energy needed  in the room based on its usage.  For example, earth energy in a bedroom is desirable because it is grounding and can help you relax.  In an office, too much earth can make you lethargic and not wanting to work.
  • Third, what is the birth-year energy (or ming-gua) of the people who will be using the room?  If you are a water element the best elements for your bedroom are water energy and metal energy (metal creates water).   Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to add these elements if they are already inherently in the room.

The goal of Feng Shui is to create balance and harmony through correct energy balancing. When a room is balanced energetically odds are you’ll feel it as you walk in.  If you get the feeling of peace and feel like relaxing your shoulders look around and see if you can spot how the five elements are used in the room.  Intuitively, we all can feel when a space is balanced.

 

Orange Chair

Can you spot the Five Elements in this photo?

Water – the curved arms of the chair; the color of the floor (black).

Wood – the inherent material used in constructing the chair; the shape of the chair legs.

Fire – the color of the upholstery (orange).

Earth – the square-shape of the squares on the wall; the shape of the bottom chair cushion.

Metal – the color the chair was painted (white); the circular back of the chair; the color of the wall (grey).

 

Feng Shui adds balance to your life.

If you’re conscious of living in harmony with your enviroment and enjoying a healthy, balanced livestyle odds are you’ve heard of Feng Shui.  Using Feng Shui principles in your home will help you feel comfortable, relaxed, and balanced.  Feng Shui not only helps you feel great but applying the principles at your home or office will help create a balanced and comfortable space.

The ancient Chinese, originators of Feng Shui over 6,000 years ago, developed systems of arranging their homes to harness the most powerful energy flow for success in their lives. For example, such choices as location of your house, its orientation on the lot, floor plan, wall color, furniture arrangement, and accessories directly affect the energy flow of your space; thus, they will either support you or cause discomfort and stress.

When an environment has “bad Feng Shui” it makes you feel uncomfortable or uneasy. When a space has “good Feng Shui,” the environment appeals to the senses and feels comfortable, balanced and inviting.

Here are five tips for creating a healthy,  balanced home:

  1. Trees and plants in the yard should be healthy and well cared for.  The front yard should be maintained in good order, clean and neat.
  2. There should be a clear, clean, obvious pathway winding to the front door.
  3. The right balance of natural light in a room is an important first step in creating a well-balanced and healthy room.
  4. Energy should be encouraged to circulate slowly throughout the house.  Stagnant energy is not healthful.  Clutter, too much furniture, or furniture that is too large for a room will obstruct energy flow.  Energy needs clear pathways so it can meander through every room of the house.
  5. Generally, less is more in accessorizing and decorating your home.

And rest assured, a space can always become more balanced using Feng Shui.