Most homeowners set up furniture and décor based on aesthetics and function, which makes sense considering people want a stylish and practical space. But did you know the way in which you design a room can also affect your overall well-being and future success?
Feng Shui (translating to “wind” and “water”) is an ancient Chinese practice that has to do with the relationship between people and their environment. It’s based on the belief that everything, including inanimate objects, has energy and the energy that surrounds you in your environment can have a direct impact on your daily life. How you arrange furniture or décor influences more than just the appearance of your space. If your home’s energy is not harmonious with your personal energy, aspects of your present life or future could be negatively affected.
The Bagua map
There are different methods practitioners of Feng Shui can follow, but the method most commonly used in the U.S. is named the Black Hat Sect Feng Shui, which was actually created to accommodate Western lifestyle and culture. It was developed in the mid-1980s by Grand Master Lin Yun and incorporates a tool named the Bagua map. The bagua map is divided into nine boxes separated into three rows, with each box representing specific areas in a person’s life, as well as colors and elements. These areas include:
- Wealth/prosperity (top left corner): purple, blue, red; fire element
- Fame/reputation (top center): red, orange; fire element
- Love/relationships (top right corner): pink, red, white; fire element
- Family/physical health (middle left corner): green; wood element
- Spiritual health/well-being (middle center): yellow, organic hues; earth element
- Children/creativity (middle right corner): white, pastel; metal elements
- Knowledge/wisdom (bottom left corner): blue, green; water element
- Career (bottom center): black; water element
- Travel/helpful people (bottom right corner): gray, silver; water element
The purpose of the bagua map is to pinpoint areas in the home that relate to these life elements. If using the bagua map to balance the Feng Shui of your entire home, you can draw a floor plan of the main floor and determine which areas of your home relate to “creativity,” “travel,” and so forth. “Career,” which is the box located in the bottom center of the map should always relate to the entrance of your space. You can also use the bagua map the same way in each room of the house.
When using a bagua map, you’re looking for places in the home that may not be set up to your advantage. For example, if you have a bathroom in the box labeled “wealth,” it could signify that money is being wasted or “thrown down the drain.”
The bagua is a tool you can use in Black Hat Sect Feng Shui, but it is not the only way to create an environment that is harmonious with your personal energy. Over time, there have been many basic principles developed in the study of Feng Shui that you can incorporate into your home without even using a bagua map. Let’s focus on these principles in regards to two very important rooms in your house: the bedroom and home office.
Feng Shui in the bedroom
The bedroom is a place for sleep, relaxation and romance. Improve your room’s energy with these Feng Shui bedroom tips:
1. Add a touch of red
Red is too stimulating to be used as the main color in the bedroom. You need to be able to sleep! To add elements of love and romance into the room, however, you can use the color red in more subtle ways, such as in a throw pillow or piece of décor.
2. Remove the clutter
A cluttered room does not allow energy to flow as it should, and cit an leave you in an anxious state of mind. Clear out all of the junk and eliminate what you don’t need so your mind can feel calm in your room.
3. Have two night stands
It’s nice to have a separate night stand for both you and your partner, but it also helps create a sense of balance in the room. So even if you have the bed all to yourself, surround the bed with a nightstand on each side.
4. Remove the TV
You might find it difficult to move your TV to another room, but you’ll be able to sleep better and relax without screens. You should also keep your laptop or tablet out of the room as well.
5. Don’t hang a light or fan directly over the bed
A ceiling light or fan can be a distraction when hung directly over your bed. Hang it instead where you can’t see if lying on your back and looking straight up at the ceiling.
Feng Shui in your home office
If you work from home, decorating with Feng Shui in mind can prove to be a useful practice in designing a room that allows you to stay calm, focused and productive.
1. Keep your office as far from the bedroom as possible
Your home office and bedroom have very different functions. The office is where you need to be productive while the bedroom is where you should be able to sleep. If you haven’t already chosen a room for your home office, select a room that is far away from your bedroom so you can keep those two aspects of your life separate.
2. Set up a commanding presence
You should never have your back to the door in a home office. Set up your desk so you’re facing the door and can see who enters. You should also position your desk so you aren’t too close to a wall or window, which could lead to distractions and hinder your productiveness.
3. Decorate with the color blue
According to the bagua map, blue is the best color to use in areas of knowledge/wisdom and wealth/prosperity. It’s also a color that has been said to help people concentrate. Add accents of blue around the room to encourage a focused mind.
4. Use storage solutions to stay organized
Just like the bedroom, your home office should be clutter-free. Anything that can be thrown away or recycled should be removed from the office. Everything else can then be stored in a way that keeps the room looking organized so you don’t feel stressed while working.
5. Decorate with plants
Outdoor elements bring new energy to your space, which then energizes you. Search for a plant that is low-maintenance and fits in with your room’s setup. Whenever you’re starting to feel drained, you can then look to your plant to give you a boost.
Whether you use the bagua map or basic tips, Feng Shui can make a huge difference in how your home affects your day to day life. Start small and gradually add more Feng Shui principles to your home’s interior design, and see how it helps you!