What is Feng Shui?

Q: I’ve asked for some interior decorating ideas from a friend and she mentioned something called feng shui. What is that?

A: Feng shui started in ancient China as a belief system involving the attainment of positive energy, called qi, through the orientation of buildings, tombs and other structures. In modern use, the term refers to a style of architecture and interior decorating that, once again, releases positive energy, or at least feelings that are psychologically pleasing and harmonious. Many people misunderstand a feng shui decorating treatment as requiring a full-bore Zen-type household. This is an overstatement – think of feng shui as simply a set of decorating steps that provide you with psychic energy whenever you enter the decorated space. For instance, a bedroom should have a soft, comfy vibe, whereas a home office should radiate energy and success.

In the end, you adopt feng shui decorating tips to make your home fun to live in and supportive of a happy lifestyle. Although there are some principles that differ slightly from Western decorating styles, you can pick up the feng shui groove pretty easily and get comfortable with it real fast. You begin by clearing out old, stale “energy”. If that sounds a little obscure, it simply means to de-clutter your surroundings. Don’t keep items just because you’ve had them for a long time or they were a gift. Instead, evaluate everything you own – if you wouldn’t go out today and buy the item, then get rid of it. Many charities, antique dealers and second-hand stores will be thrilled to take these items off your hands.

Next, pay attention to two foundations of proper feng shui:

1.    Proper flow of good-quality (clean) air. This may mean installing a better filtration on your HVAC, or perhaps just replacing the filter more frequently. An air exchanger allows you to bring fresh air into the house while minimizing additional heating/cooling costs. Vacuum and dust frequently to remove dirt and allergens from the air.

2.    High-quality lighting. Arrange for sunlight to be available in as many parts of the house as possible. Consider adding skylights, mirrors and additional windows. Artificial lighting should be customized to match the characteristics of each room, from soft and moody to bright and energetic.

Once you have the preliminaries down, proceed with a number of steps:

·       Create an energy map, or bagua, for the home, specifying room colors and contents to optimize energy and flow. You should research the proper feng shui color suggestions for different rooms.

·       Decorate with good feng shui products – your interior decorator can help you with this. You will probably have at least one Buddha image in the home.

·       Position your décor items for maximum qi. Once again, this will require some input from a decorator familiar with feng shui principles.

Don’t forget to use the Internet to explore feng shui idea