What the heck is feng shui? Contrary to popular belief, it is not an Asian dish or hipster trend. It is actually an up-and-coming home decor fad that can improve the feel of your home. Feng shui can help your home become the ideal relaxing oasis you have always dreamed of. We’re here to break it down for you and guide you through the feng shui process.
Feng shui is the idea that all spaces have a flow of energy. This concept is referred to as “Qi.” The art of feng shui is all about bringing positive chi (energy) into your home by decorating it to allow these energies to flow throughout your space. Historically, the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui started with examining landforms and sources of water; this process informed the Chinese on how to place a building. Feng shui practitioners typically work to maximize natural light and fresh air in your home to help the chi flow. Because your home is viewed as an outward representation of your life, the energy flow and design of your home can impact aspects of your life such as health, happiness, and wealth. Feng shui is becoming a growing trend, with offices to baby nurseries being renovated to reflect more positive chi.
Feng shui experts base their decorating and organizing on a energy map called bagua. A bagua is a diagram that divides your home into eight areas that correspond to aspects of your well-being. For example, health is associated with the east, fame with the south, and marriage with the southwest. These areas also correspond with particular colors and elements such as wood, metal, water and fire. Feng shui practitioners believe that by balancing colors and elements in various areas of the bagua, you can enhance your spiritual well-being and maybe even attract fame, luck, or money. Here are a few ways you can enhance your feng shui in your own home with these simple yet creative tips!
Understanding feng shui and its principles can be daunting at first, since it is a nuanced practice that can easily be interpreted in a variety of ways. However, there are some key concepts that can be easily incorporated into your home to act as a starting point for your feng shui journey. It’s important for your home to tell your story on its walls, and taking feng shui principles into account can help you achieve a highly personal and beautiful home. One way to do this is to personalize your space with family photos. As you decorate with family photos, keep these feng shui tips in mind:
- Choose photos that bring you joy. The photos you choose for your wall should remind you of some of your favorite memories. Often some of the most heartwarming photos are often spontaneous snapshots. If the story behind the picture was unhappy, it doesn’t belong on your walls. That bossy great-aunt? Toss it.
- Enhance chi by placing photos in the right direction. Southwest is the love direction, so it’s a great spot in your home for wedding photos. Family lives in the east, so this is where a collage of photos of your siblings, cousins, parents, etc. would be best placed. The west is associated with children and creativity, so pictures of your kids belong in that area of the home.
- Add complimentary colors and elements. In the art of feng shui, family is associated with the color green and with the element of wood — think of family like a tree. Other common traits that can be used to enhance family chi are: the color black, rectangular shapes and tall, vertical elements. Again, consider that family tree growing upright and strong, and you have a sense of the desired energy here.
Wall Decor Projects
So how can you use feng shui to your advantage in decorating your walls? Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Try a Family Photo Gallery. If you have a collection of favorite photographs of your family, you can create a miniature gallery of photos. Have them printed in black and white and put in matching black wooden frames, and you’ve just rang up several feng shui points for your family energy. This helps make a group of photos blend together and look timeless, to boot. Try arranging the photos in vertical columns for some feng shui bonus points. If you’re not a fan of black-and-white photography, you can still unify color photographs with matching wooden frames. To add a bit of green to improve your chi, use green mats in the frames or consider painting a green accent wall to house your photos instead.
- Create a Space for Kids. In the world of feng shui, children and creativity go hand in hand! White and yellow are associated with children and metal is the element of choice. If you want to make your feng shui energy more about the future and your children, you can create a similar photo gallery using shades of white and yellow instead of black and green. You could also easily swap silver or gold toned frames for a more modern look.
- Tell Your Story. Family photos and artwork aren’t the only thing you can hang on your wall, of course. You can also enhance your chi by adding other elements as well. Do you have an interesting collection of driftwood or carvings from a vacation to the Southwest? They belong in the east to enhance your family energy. A round mirror in a gold leaf frame is a perfect element for adding light and energy to a western wall to uplift your creativity/children chi, as is a metallic sconce or other wall-mounted lighting fixture.
How do you want your space to feel?
It’s important to find out what speaks to you and feels right in your space. A home’s design must be in harmony with what feels right to the people who live there, so walk through your home and ask yourself what is working and what is not. Each room has a distinct feel to it, and you may want to examine what you want the wall decor to say or feel like. Is it serene? Invigorating? Relaxing? Joyful? Fun? Maybe you want your living room to be inviting and warm, but want your bedroom to be relaxed and calm. To reinforce that, you should pick images and artwork that embody those words. Set the intention and it will make a difference in your feng shui design.
As far as decorating goes, make it a fun weekend project! When it comes to your home, pick a room or a wall to focus on and incorporate feng shui. You can base your project on the cardinal direction points that each wall represents, and use that to direct how you adorn the walls. Traditionally, the northern wall represents your career and success, the west wall expresses creativity, the east wall embodies health and life, and finally the south wall represents personality. You can easily create beautiful wallscapes with those representations in mind and enhance the energy flow to those aspects of your life. By using the feel you want for your space (joyous, serene, etc.), you can position items that represent those specific feelings and work on enhancing the look and feel of your home. This can increase the energy potential for your home and wall decor, and make it a more positive and enjoyable place to live. Your home will feel great once you get the positive qi energy flowing!
Any item that is meaningful to you can have a place in your wall decor, so don’t be afraid to get creative with mixing and matching framed photos and other interesting works of art or decorative items. After all, your wall should be unique to you and your family, so grab a tape measure and your favorite photos and start decorating!