Feng Shui and the Home
When I blogged about what influences my home style I mentioned that many years ago I qualified as a Feng Shui practitioner. Today I’m going to tell you a bit more about what Feng Shui is, and how it’s helpful to apply it to the home. There’s a little more to it than clearing the clutter and keeping the toilet seat down (though neither of those are bad things!)
What is Feng Shui?
Very simply, Feng Shui is about analysing the energies in the home, and then working to maximise the positive and minimise the negative, to provide us with the most supportive environment we can have. Sound familiar? Well it’s what we’re all trying to do in our homes when we design and decorate anyway, isn’t it? We’ve all had the experience of walking into a space and not liking the atmosphere. Conversely, we’ve had the experience of walking into a room and feeling calm and serene, or energised. Ever redecorated a room and felt so much better in it afterwards? So you’ve probably experienced the benefits of Feng Shui without knowing it! Carrying out a Feng Shui assessment on a space provides an additional source of information to help inform your design decisions for the best results.
Different types of Feng Shui
There are many different types or schools of Feng Shui. Some are easier to learn and apply than others. None of them are right or wrong. However the more complex methods, like a more complex recipe, are more detailed, so are likely to give a more focussed result. For example, you can choose to decorate your space to encourage the energy that supports what you want to use the space for. In a bedroom you may well choose to focus on good relationship energy, whereas in a home office you may prefer to enhance energies for business and prosperity.
Energy is represented in Feng Shui by the 5 elements: Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal. Each of these are associated with specific colours, shapes and textures. So you can bring an element into your home by using the associated colours, shapes and textures where they are needed. Water, for example, could be brought into the home by colour: blues of all hues. But also by texture; glass and mirrors represent water. Or by shape: flowing, sinuous shapes also represent the water element. A simplified summary of the elemental cycle and some aspects of it is in the diagram below:
Flying Star Feng Shui
The type of Feng Shui I practise is a more complex method called Flying Star Feng Shui. This method assesses the energies in the home by laying a 9 box grid over a floor plan of the home, and mapping the energies (represented by the numbers 1 to 9) that fall into each box. Each grid has constant energies, which depend on when the house was built and it’s facing direction, or compass bearing. It also has changing energies, as stars ‘fly’ both each year and each 20 years, in accordance with the Chinese calendar. So the basic energy of the home stays solid for 20 years, but is tweaked each year as the stars fly! Every 20 years there is a more significant move of energy.
When the energies have been assessed in each area of the home, it’s possible to work out where energies clash and where they enhance each other. Steps can then be taken to counter clashes and support enhancements, by applying colours, shapes and/or textures that represent the required element.
Assessing the Feng Shui of your Home
I have really simplified the process here for the purpose of providing an introduction to Feng Shui in one blog post! In reality there is quite a lot involved and it takes some time to learn to be able to undertake your own analysis. However applying the results of analysis anyone can do!
To summarise, the process to assess your home in accordance with Flying Star Feng Shui is:
- Draw up the floor plan of the home (the more accurate the better), overlay a flying star grid, and plot the energies. The picture below shows the output of this process for my last home – a floor plan with the directions and stars in each segment mapped.
- Assess how the energies in each segment interact. In some cases they will clash, in others support.
- Assess the solutions/support required for each area, and incorporate that into your room design.
Does Feng Shui work?
I have used Feng Shui as a tool to help make design and decor decisions in my last 2 homes. I didn’t follow it to the exclusion of all else or to the extreme. For example the first home I used feng shui on, the assessment basically suggested the entire house needed to be white! It was very brightly coloured at the time and I couldn’t have handled the transition to an all white house. So I re-painted using much paler tones and basically went as far as I felt comfortable with. I applied it to the garden as well, where more and taller planting was required. I certainly felt much more comfortable in the house and garden afterwards, and it sold quickly as well, which was the other objective I was trying to achieve! It certainly made enough difference to how I felt in the home for me to go on to study to become a Feng Shui practitioner myself.
Feng Shui doesn’t work miracles; it won’t ‘find’ you the perfect partner or job! But I believe it helps you to create the most supportive environment for you to be able to go and find yourself the perfect partner or job. I would never totally ignore what Feng Shui tells me is appropriate for a space. If an assessment tells me that a room needs water energy for example, I would never then paint it red, which represents fire energy. But I could choose to bring water energy into the space within any number of decorating styles, so it doesn’t dictate what style I might choose to use. I have taken account of feng shui when deciding on the layout of a room as well, for example in a lounge diner I’ll look at where the energies are most conducive of relaxation and place the lounge area there if possible.
Want to know more about Feng Shui?
I’m currently assessing the Feng Shui of The Creative Coastal Home. I’m planning a further blog post to share the results and a bit more about how to apply Feng Shui in practice. I’ll then be referring to the assessment when I plan each room in my home. IT won’t fully dictate how I decorate, but they will influence it.
So what do you think? Have you learnt something new? Would you use Feng Shui in your home? Would you like to know more about it? Let me know if any specific area is of interest and I’ll focus on exploring that a little more in my next blog post on Feng Shui.