You’ve probably heard of the concept of feng shui, the Chinese system of beliefs that govern spatial arrangement in relation to the flow of energy (known as chi) in a building. Even if you feel this particular system is too “out there” for you, it has its merits and can help you create a natural flow in your home. There are lots of ways to incorporate its more basic, down-to-earth elements into your home to make it a more calming environment—or if you’re selling, to make it more appealing to buyers.

The Basics

The purpose of feng shui is to align your energy with your home’s energy so that it reflects who you are and where you want to be in life. Everything—even everyday objects—has a certain energy, known as chi. Chi can flow into a house, and it can also flow out. Using feng shui concepts can help you guide that energy freely throughout your home. Carefully consider what you bring into the house, how you arrange the rooms, and how you maintain your home. Do you notice that when your house is messy or cluttered, you feel more stressed out and negative? That’s because of the negative energy associated with the lack of maintenance. It makes sense, right? Let’s look at a few ways you can use feng shui to help elevate the mood and the flow of energy in your home.

Living Room

Ideally, the couch should be against a solid wall farthest from the front door, but it should still have a clear view of said door. If there’s no wall to place the soft against, you can leave it floating, but anchor it with a console table in the back. Placing a mirror across from the couch also helps you feel secure if your back isn’t to the wall. Arrange other furniture close enough to create conversation areas, but leave enough space for the natural flow of traffic. As for coffee tables, consider going with a round shape to keep out harsh angles.

Dining Room

The dining room table should be an appropriate size for the room. A smaller table in a large room makes the room look too big and empty; likewise, a too-big table in a small space feels cramped and tight. Dining tables can become a catch-all for things like junk mail, school or work papers, or stacks of clean laundry. Instead, the dining room should serve a better purpose. If you don’t use it for much dining, try bringing energy to the room by using it as a space for work, crafting, game night, etc.

Bedrooms

The focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed itself, making it the most important piece to address. The head of the bed should be placed against the wall that is farthest from the door, but it shouldn’t be straight across from it. In feng shui, it’s considered bad luck to have your feet pointing directly at the door. This is known as coffin position, as it’s how the Chinese remove the dead. Leave space on either side of the bed so that each partner has equal access and lighting. Remember that the bedroom should be a calming space; it’s hard to rest easy when there’s too much energy—whether it’s literal or perceived energy—in a space. Try not to plug any electronics in behind the bed, and don’t store anything underneath the bed. And yes, you’ve heard it a million times, but it really is best not to have a television in the bedroom. Keep lighting soft, and bring in a mix of masculine and feminine details: for example, a solid wood bed with luxurious, soft linens.

Overall, it’s important to create a calming, restful environment that’s also full of positive energy. Surround yourself with things that have meaning and beauty, and get rid of those things that don’t inspire joy when you look at or hold them. A home arranged using feng shui concepts is a restful home, which makes a happy home!

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