Feng shui meaning is an ancient Chinese philosophical system that promotes the harmonization of everything in your environment. Feng shui principles create balance and harmony that are so essential in good home design. Feng shui interior design practices order the arrangement of your home to promote positive energy, or “chi”. This means that there are specific feng shui rules that govern everything from colors to house layout.
Whether you believe in the spiritual nature of feng shui or not, there is something intrinsically wholesome about an orderly and balanced room. Strategic feng shui elements will increase your well-being by creating a space where you can relax and feel secure.
Basic Feng Shui Meaning
Feng shui is a practice that developed in ancient China as a way for humans to orient themselves and find balance within the universe. Traditional Chinese people practiced feng shui with aspects of ancestor worship and living in harmony with all things, similar to the practice of Taoism. Today, practitioners of feng shui principles use these to situate human-built environments like buildings, gardens, tombs, and houses.
People view the practices of feng shui in a variety of ways. Some believe that the principles of feng shui to promote harmonious and balanced living spaces will improve health, wealth, and overall well-being. Other people consider feng shui a pseudoscience. Still others believe feng shui offers a strategy to promote visually pleasing and elegant interior design.
Foundation Principles of Feng Shui in Interior Design
When you understand the foundational principles of feng shui, you can better understand the concepts in feng shui interior design.
Qi or Chi
Qi or chi is the most important principle in feng shui philosophy. It represents the life force that flows through everything. It is both a positive and negative force. The best interior design practices optimize the feng shui house layout to enhance the flow of positive energy through the space. This includes the location of furniture and natural elements. There are specific rules regarding feng shui plant placement and a bed facing the door in a bedroom to optimize the positive energy.
Yin and Yang
Yin and yang are another Chinese concept that is a central idea in feng shui. These ideas signify opposite yet interconnected forces. The yin represents the dark, feminine, and passive side and the yang, the light, masculine, and active side. In interior design, feng shui rules dictate that balance is key. Thus, you should contrast elements like light and dark colors, hard and soft textures, and straight and curvy lines to achieve balance. With too much of one side, the room will not achieve harmony.
Practitioners of feng shui design can also use nature to achieve room balance. Plants and flowers enhance the yin energy in the room. The sound of running water will enhance yang energy.
Feng Shui Elements
Feng shui principles also center around the five elements theory in Chinese philosophy: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each of these elements promotes as well as counteracts other elements to promote overall harmony and balance.
- Wood Element – The wood element in feng shui represents growth, expansion, and new beginnings. Experts in feng shui design associate wood with the color green and with wood furniture and decor. You can use wood to balance other elements, such as those associated with fire, to bring calm and peace into the environment.
- Fire Element – The fire element signifies passion, energy, and warmth. Red represents fire in feng shui design. This principle means that red elements like a red candle, picture, or throw pillow can bring a sense of intensity to the room. Use the fire element to counteract a space that feels too earthy or heavy.
- Earth Element – The earth elements bring a sense of grounding and stability to feng shui interior design. The incorporation of earthy materials like calcite crystal and natural stone help to ground a room. You can incorporate beige or yellow accents if your space feels too airy or light.
- Metal Element – Feng shui design experts associate the metal element with precision, focus, and order. They use gray, white, and metallic colors to symbolize the properties of metal. This can include elements like feng shui mirrors, metal objects, and crystals. Use the metal element to balance a room that feels too earthy or heavy.
- Water Element – The water element in feng shui interior design symbolizes flow in terms of adaptability and flexibility. Black and shades of blue often represent water in feng shui design. Incorporate water features such as aquariums, fountains, or paintings of water to balance a room that feels too energized. This element brings a sense of peace and calm that we associate with water.
A Bagua map divides a designated area into parts, each associated with a specific aspect of life like wealth, relationships, career, and knowledge. When you overlay the Bagua map with your home, you can identify the way each section of the house corresponds with a section of the Bagua map. The Bagua map overlay will guide you to enhance the positive energy in the distinct areas. For example, if you hope to achieve greater wealth, add money plants to the section associated with wealth and prosperity.
Use of Symbols
The use of symbolism is an important practice in feng shui house planning. Different symbols bring good luck, prosperity, and enhance the positive energy of the home. Those using symbols in feng shui design should consider placement, feng shui colors, imagery, number, and personalization of symbols. Important symbols in feng shui design include money plants to symbolize prosperity, mandarin ducks to symbolize love, and a ship’s wheel to symbolize new beginnings.
The importance of location is vital to feng shui design practices. Practitioners must determine the best location for a house or building based on the best flow of energy. This practice will determine the location of the house or building, the orientation of the structure, and the surrounding environment. For example, a front door oriented to face a mountain is auspicious because it brings robust and supportive energy to the house. Climate and weather and astrological signs matter in terms of the location of a structure in feng shui design.
Personalization is essential in feng shui design to create a sense of belonging and a connection to a particular place. Designers should use someone’s preferences, needs, goals, symbols, and energy to design a space that works for each individual.
Feng Shui Bedroom Design: A Case Study
Feng shui has valuable design principles for every room of the house. Here is a case study of a bedroom design that uses six feng shui ideas to help give you a practical idea of the steps to take to create your feng shui bedroom.
- Use a Bagua Map – The first step in creating an overall feng shui house layout is to use a Bagua map to plan your space. This will help you understand the region where your bedroom falls in the design and utilize this to increase the positive energy in the bedroom. You can also use a Bagua map just in the bedroom to identify which areas of the bedroom correspond to which aspects of life.
- Bed Placement – Furniture placement is a vital component of feng shui practice. Feng shui bed placement dictates that the bed be in a commanding position. This might mean that you might position the bed facing the door. This gives the person in the bed the best vantage point in the room to see who is entering their personal space.
- Symmetry – Feng shui bedroom furniture should maintain symmetry. Achieve this by keeping an equal amount of space on either side of the bed and using matching nightstands and lighting.
- Feng Shui Bedroom Colors – Choose bedroom colors that promote calmness and tranquility according to feng shui principles. These include beige, blue, pale lavender, and white. Other factors like the bedroom’s placement on the Bagua map will also help determine a good color choice for your bedroom.
- Decorative Elements – You can incorporate objects that signify the five elements in a way that represents balance. Experts are mixed on feng shui plants in the bedroom. Incorporate a single plant if you want to add some greenery to your room. Feng shui experts consider bamboo an important plant in house protection to counteract negative energy in your space. Make sure to limit mirrors, as many feng shui experts believe that too many mirrors create an energy imbalance.
- Limit Technology – Feng shui bedroom design should support comfort and peace, so it is vital to understand how electronics affect sleep. The sounds that electronics emit and the stress we associate with them can impact the quantity and quality of our sleep. Instead, keep electronics in other designated areas.