Tag Archives: home decorating

Feng Shui 101- Ten Tips for Decorating your Living Room

A living room is a place for both comfort and connection. The arrangement of your living room should want to make you plop down and relax. The room should be open and welcoming as well as cozy enough to encourage conversation. The furniture arrangement should allow for easy traffic flow.

Feng Shui Tips for Harmony and Comfort

1. If your living room is open and loft-like use area rugs and furniture arrangement to create designated areas for each function.

2. The arrangement of your furniture should be conducive to conversation. Create a traditional conversation area with a comfortable couch with a coffee table, side tables, and lighting. Arrange the furniture in a semi-circle.

3. If your floor plan doesn’t allow for you to place your couch against a wall, create a faux wall by placing a console table behind the couch. In Feng Shui, it’s best to have a wall behind you when you are sitting or laying down.

4. A color palette consisting of two or three of your favorite wall colors and one or more neutral colors works well. 

5. Select table lamps that have three wattages (3-way lighting) to give you options for creating ambiance.

6. If you watch television in the room, it’s best to have the most comfortable seating across from the television.  Place the media center and couch first when arranging the space.

7. Don’t place a couch or chair with its back facing the main entryway of the room unless you have no other options.

8. Remember that what you see outside the room becomes part of the inside. If your view is abundant with trees, you’ll be bringing the color green into the room and it becomes part of the color palette.

9. Choose paint colors and furniture first. Add an area rug that matches the color of the couch and neutral-colored window treatments.  Complete with art and accessories. 

10. Artwork on the walls is a great way to feel grounded and focused.  Similarly, window treatments like drapery panels will create grounding and a feeling of coziness.

Most of all, enjoy your living room and have fun redecorating! 

 

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How Home Decorating with Feng Shui Creates More Peace in Your Life

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.

Home Staging 101 – Five Powerful Tips

Selling your home? If you look at it as product for sale and not as your home, you’re more likely sell it quickly and profitably.  Why?  Because you’ll be able to detach from thinking of it as yours.  You can then remove personal items and arrange your home to attract the widest amount of buyers.  And don’t worry, you can bring all the great memories and personal items to your next home! 

The key to effective staging is for you to detach from thinking of your home as your home and instead think of it as a product to be sold.

Here are Five Powerful Home Staging/Decorating Tips:

1-   Walk up to your front door.  Open it. What’s the first thing you see?  That’s what prospective buyers will see when they open the door.  It’s their first impression.  It can’t be changed.  Make sure what you see is not cracked, crooked, worn, smelly, dirty, or personal.  In other words, no chipped paint, ill-placed artwork,  tattered carpet, flowers in need of a water change, smudges on the mirror, or photos of your last family reunion.

2-   How much natural light does your home have?  Homes with lots of natural light sell quicker and at a higher price because people feel more energized and comfortable in the space.  Make sure that all window treatments are open except if there’s an obvious unsightly scene outside.  Turn on all the lights when you have a showing but avoid using flourescent lights unless you don’t have other options.  If you’ve got a dark house you create more light by painting the interior walls yellow, cream or beige.  And remove all clutter and superfluous furniture.  Add accessories in these colors:  red, bright orange and yellow. If it’s practical, install sky tubes which allow natural light from above and are less expensive than sky lights.

3-   Can you navigate easily through rooms and hallways?  The furniture arrangement in each room must allow for lots of room and for ease when walking through the space.  Remember that buyers are going to check out every room and will usually open closets.  Make sure it’s easy for them to get there.  You may have to rearrange furniture, but do what you need to in order create a good traffic flow through the space.

4-   By now most people know that personal family photos should not be on display when showing your home.  But that’s not all.  Remove animal skulls, deer antlers, animal-skin rugs, bones, mounted fish, photos of mounted fish, and anything else that’s no longer with us.  You don’t want to turn off anyone that has an aversion to these type of dead things.  Also trophies, swords, knives, and aggressive images are best removed.  Conversely, religious icons should be put away prior to showing your home.  You don’t want to limit buyers who may have judgments against certain religions.

5-   In each room, look up and look down, open all closets and cabinets and assess the dirt situation. Then clean, scrub, vacuum, polish, dust, wipe, sweep, and deodorize as necessary.  No time?  Hire a cleaning service to do it for you.  It’s very important that buyers feel immediately comfortable in the house.  Picture yourself  checking into a hotel and finding dust bunnies under the bed or fingerprints on the mirror.  It leaves a bad impression and you don’t feel comfortable.  The same principle applies here.

Good luck with selling your home and remember that these tips can be used even if you’re not selling your home.  They’re good Feng Shui!

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.

Feng Shui Can Help With Your Home Decorating Decisions

You may not be aware of it, but you’re always experiencing and reacting to the energy in your environment.  Using the principles of Feng Shui will help balance energy in your home.  Why is this important?  Because when your home looks and feels good, you can relax and feel comfortable.  And that creates a better life!

So – how do you balance energy?  By using the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood and the principles of yin and yang.  The feeling you get when you walk into a room is dictated by the way the elements are used (knowingly or not) in decorating the room.

Take a look at these photos and notice whether you feel differently when you look at each one.  If you do, you’re experiencing the power of Feng Shui.  What you’re reacting to at the most basic level is the arrangement of the elements.  Shape, color, and placement of the elements create energy which then makes a room feel warm or cool, comfortable or uncomfortable.

First photo – There’s a lot of  water and metal energy here and it creates a cool, modern feel.  Looking closely, here is the breakdown of energy:               

  1. Water energy is created by the curvy shape of the chairs and their blue color.
  2. Metal energy is created by the metal floor lamp, the white color of the shade, and the plant on the table.
  3. Earth energy is created by the shape of the table and the beige color of the carpet.
  4. Fire energy is created by the red color in the wall art and the magazine.
  5. Wood energy is created by the rectangular shape of the wall art and in the table.

Second photo – Lots of fire energy here in the color of the chairs, the accessory on the table, and the wall art.  Does the space feel warm and inviting?  Fire energy creates warmth.

Third photo – The most basic level of energy, yin and yang, is displayed here.  White is yin energy and black is yang energy.  When black and white are used together they create a formal and rigid feeling.   This rigid feeling is alleviated by the shape of the wall art.  Even though the art is without color, it feels vibrant, doesn’t it?  It’s because of the shape.  This is the most vibrant part of the space.

Here is a helpful guide for you to identify the five elements in your environment:

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

And for more information, see my post “Feng Shui 101 – the Five Elements.”