Feng shui focuses on how the placement of objects within a space affect both the energy flow (or chi) in the living environment, as well as your own personal energy flow. The ancient Chinese defined “chi” as invisible energy that binds life together, and the practice of feng shui teaches us how to attract strong chi into our homes.
In Chinese, feng means wind and shui means water, and culturally these elements are associated with good health and fortune. Think of it this way—our homes are a mirror of what is happening inside us, and the purpose of feng shui is to get your living space in alignment with your own life goals and ideals.
Although feng shui has been around for thousands of years, there are several little-known facts about the practice. Here are six things you probably didn’t know:
1. It’s all about the elements
There are five elements that feng shui uses in order to divide the world, and each element can be very easily invoked in your home!
- Wood: Creativity and expansion are key moods brought about by wood furniture and items such as plants and trees.
- Fire: Increases enthusiasm and inspiration and can be brought about by candles and any shade of red or pink.
- Metal: With just enough silver items or stones in your home, your mental clarity and logic are improved.
- Earth: Stability, strength, and balance are created with the right amount of earth tones (brown or green) and flat surfaces.
- Water: Wisdom and insightfulness are created when your home has a good balance of mirrors, aquariums and the color black.
By experimenting with these elements and finding a happy balance, feng shui followers believe that a customized space can be created that benefits your personality and goals. For quick rundown on each element and how it can be useful, visit HGTV’s The Elements of Feng Shui.
2. Furniture placement, material, and color
A large component of feng shui is the placement of furniture and its effect on energy, but did you know that there are two other components that are just as important as furniture positioning? Your furniture’s material and color should be harmonious in order to create the best energy flow within a room.
For example, if you’re decorating your bedroom with good feng shui in mind, wood is the best material for a bed as it is the element of growth, new beginnings, and family. For your bedroom colors, blue is a water element and a color of calm and tranquility. Combine these two components and your bedroom will be a sanctuary of harmony!
3. The bagua map is an important tool
In feng shui, bagua maps are eight-sided, directional diagrams that use your space in order to map out your life. They identify the life areas where positive changes need to be made, and can be placed over top of a floor plan to show you which areas need the most focus.
4. It’s also about keeping out foul energy
Much of feng shui is focused on creating a positive balance of energy, but there are practices you can employ to guard against foul energies, too. Some of them include:
- Always keeping the bathroom door closed
- Throwing away wilted or dead flowers immediately, and also broken cookery
- Painting your front door bright red
5. It’s a lifestyle as well as a great career choice
Feng shui professionals have the best of both worlds—their homes have wonderful chi, and they can translate their knowledge and love of feng shui into a career that helps others balance their own energy!
It’s not only homes that need feng shui. Corporate office spaces also need a proper balance that uses the five elements and the bagua map to achieve an environment that is conducive to success.
6. Bringing feng shui into your home is easy!
Using feng shui in your own life sounds much more complicated than it actually is. You may already have these items in your home and not know that you’re using feng shui!
- Fresh flowers. Flowers lift the energy of the home in a very natural way, and landscaping in general adds wonderful chi. There are many different types of flowers and each flower serves a unique purpose. For example, single individuals can place peonies in their homes in order to help attract love in their lives.
- Wind chimes in your garden. The word “wind” literally makes up the definition of feng shui! According to traditional feng shui philosophy, wind chimes cure negative energies.