Feng shui was developed in China over 3,000 years ago. It stems from the Taoist belief that everything comes from nature and thus, everything from a corner in your home to the teapot on your stove holds energy.
Based on the idea of yin and yang, Taoists believe that proper balance energies within the home can directly influence the good fortune of its inhabitants.
Loosely translated, feng shui means “wind and water”, both which are associated with good health and good fortune. A good way to think about how this works is to think about the way wind and water move in nature.
When energetic obstacles in the home are removed and each element is in perfect harmony, wind and water are able to flow easily. When a home’s energy is out of balance, the movement of wind and water may slow down or become trapped.
On the surface, feng shui may seem like simply a way to arrange furniture in order to create harmony, but it is actually a rather complex science. Many feng shui techniques add elements to a space that can make it more tranquil and aesthetically pleasing, while also promoting the improvement of our lives as a whole.
Getting Started With Feng Shui
There are a few tools that you will need to get started with feng shui. The main tools are the compass and the Bagua. The compass is important because each direction coincides with a different area of your life. For instance, North is associated with water and corresponds with your career or life path.
The bagua is an octagonal grid which shows all eight compass directions and their associated meanings, elements and colours. By using the bagua as an energy map, you can enhance the elements in a room based on it’s location to bring more harmony and balance into your life.
Integrating Feng Shui into Design
The practice of feng shui is complex and often times, doesn’t make sense to those simply looking at it from the surface. After all, what does placing a mirror opposite your entryway do for your good fortune? Or, how does introducing a water feature in the northern most room of your home help your career?
Well, think about it this way: the arrangement of a room can either create a sense of calm or a sense of anxiety and chaos.
Imagine trying to sleep in a room where you can’t see the door and a corner of the wall is jutting out and pointing straight at your bed. You might feel a sense of anxiety because you can’t see if someone is coming into your room and that sharp corner is constantly threatening to split your bed in half with you in it!
The feng shui remedy to this would be to move the bed to a location where you can see the door or use a mirror to provide a view of the door from the bed. Softening the corner with fabric or a plant would not only reduce it’s menacing appearance, but also lend a sense of character to your room.
Feng shui is not magic but rather, the art of minimizing the chaos in your home through time tested Eastern design principles. The more you work towards creating a sense of calm in your immediate surroundings, the closer you’ll get to aligning your life with the flow of the universe.