Green Living

Feng Shui Your Home

Clear out clutter and bad energy with our easy feng shui decorating tips.
Feng Shui Your Home
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If you are looking to re-energize your health, finances, or love life, start by redecorating your home. According to the Chinese art of feng shui, the qi, or life force, of your house feeds your energy and affects your wellness. And when it’s blocked—by clutter or poor placement of furniture, for example—you may be thwarted in your attempts to improve your relationships or professional pursuits, says Joey Yap, author of Joey Yap’s Pure Feng Shui (Cico, 2008). “People come to me wanting more prosperity, creativity, and romance,” says Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life (Sterling, 2003).

A rejuvenating, nurturing home environment is one in which the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water are in balance. You can achieve this without major renovations; simply follow our guide to begin transforming your home today.

feng shui your LIVING ROOM
Clear clutter. Cull your bookshelves often. “Keep only the books that inspire you,” says Barrett. “Holding onto everything just depletes your energy.” Leaving space on your shelves can also open you up to new ideas. And make sure your floors are clear; if they’re cluttered, they’ll drag the room’s energy downward.
Decorate mindfully. “Surround yourself with objects that symbolize your passions—this acknowledges and energizes what makes you special,” says Barrett. Choose lively décor that’s important to you—like mementos from travel, says Barrett.
Experiment with color. Whether you paint a wall or add accents like throw pillows, blankets, and vases, use color to balance the room. Orange helps energize; blue can soothe; purple and gold help attract wealth; green can bring better health; and red stimulates passion and prosperity, says Ariel Joseph Towne, a feng shui consultant based in Los Angeles.
Rearrange the seats. Ideally, the sofa should be up against a solid wall, which gives a sense of stability, says Towne. “Another option is to set up a table with plants behind the sofa,” suggests Barrett. Or arrange your seating in a circle or square shape to encourage conversation and community. Make your living room even more inviting by positioning some furniture to face the entrance.
Avoid recessed lighting. An abundance of natural light helps brighten your spirits. Artificial lighting can also lift your energy, as long as it’s directed toward the ceiling. “Recessed or overhead lighting generates downward, oppressive energy,” says Barrett. “Try wall sconces instead.

SHE TRIED IT! Deborah Shadovitz, a Macintosh consultant in Los Angeles, had a hard time confi ning her work to her home office. “My books and papers encroached on other spaces, but decluttering seemed so daunting,” she says. In the living room, Shadovitz decided to arrange her chairs in a circle, which encouraged guests to sit and socialize. Once her living room became a destination for entertainment, Shadovitz was inspired to organize her home. “Without the clutter, my house feels so fresh and welcoming.”