The living room is an important space in any home, whether it’s a loft, a studio apartment, a duplex, a single family home, or a mansion. The reason the living room is so important is because it’s the primary social space in the home, whether among the residents themselves or invited guests as well. Using feng shui in the living room becomes a higher priority when the room’s importance is recognized, and when one remembers that feng shui can transform the flow of qi (energy) from chaotic and fast or stagnant and stale to a steady, calm flow that is both rejuvenating and refreshing. In this article, we’ll discuss how to feng shui the living room with regard to location, layout, furniture, and overall vibe.
FENG SHUI LIVING ROOM: LOCATION IN THE HOUSE
The location of the living room within the home itself plays a key role in the level of comfort and positive flow of qi.
Two Exterior Walls – A feng shui living room will be located in a room that has at least two exterior walls. This ideal living room location is close enough to the outdoors that fresh, positive energy can enter and flow freely, without becoming stagnant or stale. Ultimately, this location for the living room will activate feng shui elements in the living room to help create a healthful, restorative social space.
Avoid the Living Room in the Center of the House – A feng shui living room will not be located in the center of the house. Along with the feng shui guidelines for two exterior walls in the living room, this rule is to maintain optimal, healthy flow of qi. If the living room is housed in the depth of the house, energy can’t easily reach it; the flow stalls and eventually stops because it has to pass through too many other rooms before reaching the living room.
Well Lit & Ventilated – The feng shui living room, due to its connection with external walls, will be naturally well-lit. In fact, the space will ideally receive plenty of sunlight. In addition to the natural light through windows on exterior walls, a feng shui living room will be well ventilated because of the windows’ capacity to open and keep fresh air flowing. This freshness is a key component of feng shui – vitality and health.
No Direct Facing Doors – In the feng shui living room, doors will not directly face or open up into other doors. This creates a tunnel effect for all energy, and the rest of the space will fail to benefit from any flowing qi or restful energy.
Modest Doors & Windows – The feng shui living room will have exterior walls (and hopefully windows) and a door or two, but it should be noted that the ideal location for the living room avoids too many windows and more than two doors. This is because having too many doors and windows into/out of the living room creates somewhat of a chaotic qi current that is unsettling and even damaging to those in the living room.
FENG SHUI LIVING ROOM: LAYOUT
Once you’ve determined the best location for your feng shui living room, the next step is determining its optimum layout.
Sufficient Accommodation – While there are often few adjustments you can make to the actual size of your living room, it should never be too small to comfortably accommodate the entire family. Preferably, the feng shui living room will hold additional guests with ease and grace, also. When a living room is on the larger side, positive qi energy can enter and move in and around the room for a whole-room restorative experience.
Roomy & Comfortable – The feng shui living room, no matter what its actual physical size, feels roomy and comfortable. This has less to do with the living room’s footprint and everything to do with the layout of the furnishings within the space.
Maintain Pathways – In a feng shui living room, natural and architectural pathways will be maintained by optimum furniture placement. Obviously, a chair that sticks out into an inherent walkway through the living room will become a safety hazard. More than that, though, that same chair’s blockage stunts and thwarts the attempts of energy to flow freely and positively throughout the living room.
Strategic Fireplace – To the extent possible, install your living room fireplace strategically. A northeast fireplace aids in calm and collected thinking, as well as fortunate education. A south and southwest fireplace enhances romance and love. In fact, the whole south side of your living room will benefit from your use of red, pink, orange, and green hues, according to the feng shui bagua.
Reflect the Landscape – For the feng shui living room that benefits from a beautiful landscape view, format the furniture in such a way that the view can be appreciated from all parts of the living room. Consider hanging a mirror so that it reflects the landscape for those who, seated, may not be able to appreciate the view in person. A natural view is a sure way to enhance the positive energy of a space.
Television Placed Strategically – If you are following the feng shui bagua, or energy map of your home and space, a TV that is positioned in the north (career) side of the living room is auspicious; this layout is said to attract good luck in one’s career. A TV positioned in the south (fame and recognition) part of the living room enhances opportunity for fame and respect. Basically, because of the active (yang) energy of televisions, they will activate the area of the living room they’re placed in.
FENG SHUI LIVING ROOM: FURNITURE
With your layout ideas in mind, it’s now time to determine exactly what furniture will bring out the best living room feng shui.
Rounded Pieces – In feng shui, corners and hard angles are a significant deterrent to the restfulness of a space. The angles create what are called “poison arrows,” which point negative energy directly at a single point. To avoid this in the feng shui living room, consider incorporating furniture with rounded edges. Try to avoid corners where possible.
Living Room Sofa – The feng shui living room’s sofa is discussed in detail in this article on how to feng shui your sofa. Ideally, the sofa should be positioned against a solid wall to lend stability and security to whoever sits on it. It should also be comfortable.
Loveseat & Single Chair – Along with the primary living room sofa, if your living room is large enough, feng shui recommends adding a loveseat and at least one single chair. These pieces of furniture provide plenty of options for any number of various seating needs – seating for one, two, three, four, five, etc. What’s more, the sofa, loveseat, and chair combination gracefully allows for a coffee table in the feng shui living room.
Square Coffee Table – While rounded edges are often preferred in a feng shui space (even in the living room), the coffee table might be one exception where square or rectangular is more auspicious. This probably has more to do with the function of the coffee table – providing various people sitting in various seats a place to put objects – than anything else, really. To provide comfort and hospitality in the feng shui living room, a coffee table is vital.
Positive Qi-Activating Lighting – Lighting in the feng shui living room is an important factor. Along with natural light (which your living room should have, with its two exterior walls), other lighting options will help to complete the desired function and ambiance. Table lamps and wall sconces provide upward-flowing light. Overhead lighting provides functional task lighting options.
FENG SHUI LIVING ROOM: OVERALL VIBE
Feng shui is more than just a series of rules to follow; it’s mostly about the spatial arrangement to enhance the overall look and feel of the space. It’s the overall vibe, really, that makes great feng shui.
No Clutter – In a feng shui living room (and, frankly, any space trying to incorporate the restful, comfortable, and safe ambiance of a feng shui space), clutter will be avoided at all costs. Messiness, clutter, and other untidy distractions serve to thwart the flow of qi as well as bring about a sense of discomfort.
Use hard-working, double-duty furniture pieces to help contain the clutter…as well as a good old-fashioned “pick up after yourself” mentality.
Positive Artwork – A feng shui living room incorporates artwork, photos, or other images that are pleasant and positive. Smiling faces, pretty parts of nature, and other optimistic pieces are preferred over pieces (however remarkable they might be, artistically) depicting sadness, crime, struggle, or storm.
Strategic Artwork – In those instances where your artwork depicts a beautiful body of water or a sailing vessel, be sure that the overall vibe is calming and that the movement of the artwork is toward the room. The same holds true for art with human and animal stances or movement. You don’t want your energy to be leaving the room through your art.
Reflect the Positive – If you choose to incorporate a mirror into your feng shui living room, there are a couple of guidelines to follow. First, the mirror should avoid reflecting anything negative (e.g., clutter, grime, etc.), because that negativity will flow into your home. Second, the mirror should avoid reflecting anyone directly as they stand at a living room door.
Cover TV – Mirrors are a tricky business in feng shui. In some instances, they are recommended to reflect vibrant, invigorating energy; in other cases, they enhance negative, discomforting qi. The television is one place that should serve as a TV, and not a mirror. So, in the feng shui living room that houses a TV, it should be covered when not in use so as to avoid its mirror-like reflective properties.
Aquarium in the Living Room – If you have a place for it in the north side of your living room, an aquarium is a solid choice for the feng shui living room’s enhancement. (It’s said to facilitate wealth and opportunity; the southeast part of the living room is also good for aquariums, too, attracting good luck.) For the feng shui living room aquarium, a square or rectangular shape is best, with round being the second choice.
Candles in the South – Candles work well in most feng shui living rooms, balanced with other elements of course. It is recommended that this type of décor is mostly located in the south part of the living room, which is not surprising since a feng shui living room’s fireplace is in the south as well. (Candles on the mantel for the double-win.)
Wood Pieces – Feng shui living rooms tend to have a variety of wood items, from large furniture pieces to small décor details. Small and mid-sized wood pieces, such as photo frames and bookshelves, work well in the east and southeast parts of the living room. Wood furnishings tend to do well in the south as well.
Metal Décor – Metal objects in the feng shui living room often include things like metal bowls, trays, candlesticks, and photo frames. These are particularly beneficial when placed in the west and northwest areas of your living room. In fact, if you’re looking for a place to incorporate a family photo into your living room, consider framing it in a metal frame and hanging it on your living room’s west wall for good luck.
Hanging Crystals – Sometimes, even in a feng shui living room, poison arrows brought about by right-angled pieces or wall corners simply can’t be avoided. One technique for alleviating the harsh negative ray is to hang a multi-faceted crystal from the ceiling, which reflects and refracts the negative qi and helps to dissipate its potency.
Keep it Personal – Remember that feng shui isn’t simply about Chinese furniture and décor. Rather, it is a feeling in a space. True feng shui is about form and placement, not specific symbols and statues placed in the four corners of your room. Be sure to reflect your personal style and preferences.