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Feng Shui Decorating: Basic Principles

Updated on July 2, 2007
Feng shui is the practice of placing objects in a way that promotes health and good fortune
Feng shui is the practice of placing objects in a way that promotes health and good fortune

By: Jaclyn Popola

Feng shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient Chinese practice dating back over 7000 years that, literally translated, means "wind-water". Used primarily in architecture, landscaping and interior decorating, feng shui is the art of placing objects and arranging space in a way that harmony and a balance of the elements can be attained in that particular environment. Operating on the belief that all things both living and inanimate have a "chi", or energy force, that flows through it, feng shui is a way of equalizing the natural world with it's modern day, man-made constructions. It is believed that adjusting the energy of the home through feng shui can promote health, prosperity, success and love. Manipulating our outer world is often an effective way of changing our inner selves. Have you ever walked into a place of business and immediately felt uneasy? Or entered a friend's home and couldn't wait to get out of there? Chances are you were in a place suffering from very bad feng shui, especially if the space was cluttered.

One of the basic principles of feng shui says that all clutter must be cleared away; you should only share your personal space with items that are useful, beautiful or sentimental. When a place is overridden with broken or useless items, your own energy and the energy of the space becomes overwhelmed. Step one is to sell or give away that which is presently useless to your own purposes, fix that which is important but broken, and recycle the rest. It is also important that your home be well maintained. Clean regularly and perform repairs as quickly as possible. If a door is hard to open, it will make it difficult for you to progress in life. Dirty windows cloud your judgment and make it hard to recognize what's really going on in a situation, be it literally or metaphorically. Inadequate lighting contributes to a lack of energy, so replace burnt-out bulbs quickly.

This crowded, cluttered room suffers from a bad case of feng shui
This crowded, cluttered room suffers from a bad case of feng shui
Next, you will need to determine which direction your house faces toward. A common misconception is that your house faces in whatever direction the front door does. Sometimes it will just so happen that house-facing and door-facing directions will be one and the same (if so, the home offers greater potential for better feng shui) but this is not always true. The facing direction of a house is usually whichever side faces a busy road, an active city, or a beautiful, picturesque view--any place where maximum "yang" energy is located. If you have such a place located near your home and you have a door or window that faces this place, then this is the facing direction of your house. However, if there is no door or window that opens out in that direction, then this CANNOT be your facing direction. In order for it to qualify as a facing direction, it MUST allow energy to enter through an opening in it's exterior. If you live in an urban area surrounded only by roads, choose the direction in which the busiest, most active roadway lies. That will be your home's facing direction. If you live in a high rise apartment building, keep in mind that any tenants living above the ninth floor will determine their facing direction not by roadways, but by figuring out which window offers the best view.

Feng shui principles operate mainly around the openings in a room. It is great to have doors that face high activity roadways and windows that look out onto a beautiful view, but at the same time, if you open the front door and straight ahead are the doors leading to the backyard, the positive energy will enter the front door and be pulled right out the back door without taking the time to energize your living space. To avoid this, you could try hanging a crystal at a halfway point between the two doors. When crystals are hung, they hold energy in one place. (In the world of paranormal research, you will often find crystals hung at front doors--they use the same principle to keep negative spirits from entering the threshold.) Chi flows through the home like water, through doors and windows, so it is imperative that these entrances not be blocked. Keep foyers brightly lit and completely free of clutter.

Inauspicious (unlucky) energy is called "killing breath". Lucky energy lines travel in a curved, wandering pattern. The unlucky lines that create killing breath are straight and sharp, pointed objects which are referred to as poison arrows. Sharp corners, pointy roof angles, even outside electrical poles or exposed overhead beams are all considered to be poisonous. Too many sharp angles are aggressive. But it is virtually impossible to eliminate all poison arrows, so since chi enters your home through its front entrance, concentrate your efforts on the poison arrows facing your front door, such as a tall street light that stands directly in front of it or a road that ends at your doorstep, like the center house in a cul-de-sac. Counteract the ill effects of poison arrows by placing a folding screen with a foliage or floral design on it in the path of these objects, just inside the door or window. Another option is to place a specialized bagua mirror just inside the doorway to deflect the negativity back outside, or to hang leafy plants on a spiky iron fence out in the yard.

A front door that leads directly to the back door flows any positivity outward as soon as it enters
A front door that leads directly to the back door flows any positivity outward as soon as it enters
These are the basic principles that will get you started on your journey into the world of feng shui decorating. Check out the other hubs in this group to learn more about the many tactics and beliefs that govern this powerful, ancient Chinese art form.


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think there is more to feng shui than corols..yes muted corols i suppose, do support your peaceful idea..but i believe where they are placed, and the amount of stuff, and what they mean to you, also is part of the feng shui idea. good luck..i think you can keep them.References :

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi I would like to see,1) More online comps that need X amuont of online tournament wins to enter. So you spend more games against you're level opposition rather than too poor or too strong. And with each harder tournament better prize money so it would look like:No tournament wins 2k Prize3 Tournament wins 3k Prize5 Tournament wins 5k prize10 Tournament Wins 7k prize20 Tournament wins 10k prize40 Tournament Wins 15k prize2) League creater for ultimate team so you can set one up with you're mates3) A greater change of formation specific to the player. So you cant change every position but messi could do striker, attacking mid and winger.

    • yev601 profile image


      11 years ago

      Huh, I have never thought of designing a home so carefully.. thank you for this article!

    • profile image

      golestaneh studio 

      11 years ago

    • Elijah S profile image

      Elijah S 

      11 years ago from Europe

      I enjoyed reading this article, Very interesting and informative. Thanks!

    • profile image

      pouya golestaneh 

      12 years ago

      im fengshui

    • profile image


      12 years ago

      Really fab article - I learned lots from this. And I KEEP STARING at your first image, the one with the room that has been Feng Shui'd. Nice.

    • profile image


      12 years ago


    • AndyBaker profile image


      12 years ago from UK

      Awesome article - Thumbs up :-)


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