When decorating their new homes, some active adults have begun turning to feng shui as a way to promote a healthy, low-maintenance living environment. This can be a complicated process involving bagua maps, balanced elements, and hanging crystals to promote the flow of vital energy (chi). But it doesn’t have to be quite so involved. There are many simple elements of the feng shui philosophy that can be easily applied to any living space.
1. Clearing Away the Clutter
This practical tenet of feng shui is rooted in the idea that clutter prevents the flow of positive energy. Over time, clutter accumulates in closets and junk drawers, bringing with it the nagging thought of cleaning it out “someday”. Cutting out the clutter will also make it easier to keep up with the cleaning of your low-maintenance home.
To help clear the clutter, take a good look at the items you are keeping and ask yourself the following questions: Do I love it? Do I need it? Does it reflect who I am now? Does it represent times that I want to remember? Where does it belong? Then, either find a proper place to store the item, donate it, or throw it away.
2. Arranging the Energy Flow
According to the principles of feng shui, furniture placement has a direct impact on the flow of positive energy. Crowded furniture arrangements block the flow of chi, making your home feel cramped and less energetic. To correct this, place the most dominant piece of furniture—such as a couch in the living room or the desk in a home office—in a command position, giving it a clear view of the room’s main doorway. Arrange the rest of the furniture around it, keeping the room’s walkways clear of obstructions.
You can also bring energy into your home by introducing healthy nature elements like plants, flowers and tabletop fountains. Mirrors further increase energy and will open up the feel of a small room.
3. Contending with Multipurpose Rooms
Many homes in active adult communities feature open floor plans with one room flowing into the next. While this creates a spacious living area, it can be challenging when applying the concepts of feng shui. Multipurpose areas, such as combination living and dining rooms, have a divided focus, which can be unsettling if not handled carefully.
To strengthen positive energy flow, decorate each functional area as if it were its own room. This will give you well-defined living spaces that still enjoy the spacious benefits of an open floor plan. You can further delineate each functional area with partial room dividers or with well-placed lighting, such as an attractive chandelier over the dining room table. Use complementary colors and accents to ensure that these separate areas still flow smoothly together.
4. Balancing Bedrooms for Restful Sleep
There are many feng shui principles designed to promote a restful environment in the bedroom. To begin, the bed is best placed in a command position with a clear view of the doorway. This encourages a sense of security while sleeping. Choose a decorative theme for your bedroom that embraces a subject that you love, but avoid displaying family photographs in the bedroom as they can inhibit intimacy.
When choosing colors, warm tones in shades of beige, brown or peach are especially restful, though some people are soothed by cool blue or green tones. Feng shui designers also recommend that TVs and exercise equipment are left out of the bedroom or stored out of sight during the night. Entertainment armoires with doors are ideal for TVs and exercise equipment can be screened from view with a room divider. This lowers the sense of activity in a bedroom and allows for a more restful environment.
While the philosophy of feng shui can be taken further with special tools or the advice of a professional feng shui consultant, this is not necessary to bring some of the basic design concepts into your home. Begin with these simple steps and see how feng shui can help you create a comfortable living space.