Feng shui – from the Mandarin for ‘wind’ and ‘water’ – is a Chinese philosophy centred on space and orientation. This guide will provide a crash-course in the ancient art, teaching you how to harness positive energy or sheng chi.
Ever since feng shui entered the world of New Age-inspired interior design, style-conscious homeowners have been scrambling to tap into its secrets. Some use it as a handy guide for creating a balanced space, while others chase promises of wisdom, health and even fame.
Environment shapes our minds and interactions more than we perhaps realise – so why not harness the powers of earth, wood, fire, metal and water for your home’s social centre?
Layouts that channel sheng chi
At its heart, feng shui is all about balance and the flow of energy. In the home, this means entrances should be clear and, if possible, framed with wood – a strong and protective material. The very first step in any Eastern design journey is to declutter your home; there should be no obstacles preventing the movement of energy.
Not all energy is positive, and cramped arrangements can create a surplus of negative energy. Avoid this by thinking about the flow of air and light. Open windows regularly and choose white or cream curtains to let light penetrate the room.
Your sofa is the most important furniture for any social space, so position it opposite the entrance. If your living room door is in the corner, consider positioning a corner sofa near the far end.
To create a truly feng shui living room, ensure you have enough seating to accommodate guests. Graceful accent chairs can be positioned in symmetrical pairs, facing the centre, and with space for air to flow behind them. The way your living room is laid out affects the natural path of social interactions, which in turn shape family life.
Discover your feng shui energy map
Uncover the full potential of your home’s energy with the ancient feng shui map. The traditional method uses a compass, while the modern Bagua map treats the home entrance as its southern face.
This south-facing area suits water energy, which is traditionally linked with career and life journey. If your front door opens directly into the living room, use glass, mirrors and textiles in sinuous patterns – like those on the rippled Richmonde.
Does your living room sit left of the entrance? If so, using the metal element is believed to harness fortune in travel and partnerships. Travel souvenirs and metallic furnishings could create a balanced effect. Right-sided living rooms are linked to the earth element – the home of knowledge. Here, bookshelves and square furniture can work well.
If your living room is at the back of your house, fire, wood and earth elements are thought best. As you might expect, wooden furniture complements the wood element, so opt for sofas with wooden frames to maximise prosperity. Fire is even linked to fame and reputation, so use warm lighting or choose a leather sofa to maximise this energy. Triangular shapes fit the theme, so you could even experiment with ladder shelving.
Colour inspiration from the
Once you have mapped your home, you’ll know which elements to channel according to this ancient philosophy.
Red tones are linked with fire, as are strong yellows, oranges and pinks. Water, on the other hand, best suits dark colours like blues and blacks. Neutral hues can bring earthy hints into your home, while brilliant white or cool grey colour palettes harness the calming energy of metal.
Metallic golds and bronzes offer a slightly warmer way to channel the feminine energy of metal through your home. Finally, you can harness the wood theme by pairing many shades of green and brown.
Sofas like the Anneka come in many hues, so you’re sure to find the perfect match.
Accessorise the feng shui way
Creating a balanced living room also means choosing the right accessories. Feng shui living room mirrors help to intensify the energy of your chosen element and can really open up smaller spaces.
Air-purifying plants can also keep air crisp during winter and in homes with little ventilation, while full-spectrum light bulbs help to ensure your home radiates positivity even in the evening.