We could all do with a little bit more peace and harmony in our lives, and the best place to start is at home. A tidy home is supposed to equal a tidy mind, so with a few changes to your living spaces, you could notice a positive effect on your mood and on your stress levels. This is the idea behind feng shui, an ancient practice believed to have originated in China over 6000 years ago. Feng shui is a term composed of two Chinese words: feng (wind) and shui (water). These two basic elements are seen as fundamental to all life, and supposedly carry positive energy called 'chi' which we can harness in our lives for a more rewarding and harmonious existence.
The practice of feng shui involves examining how all living things are part of a natural environment constantly in flux, and how energy flows through all of these living components. Theoretically, we can create better energy for ourselves through organising and decorating our homes in a particular way.
Today we're going to look at a few simple ways you can apply feng shui to your living room for a calm, happy home:
A balanced colour scheme is important as you want to create a balanced flow of energy. However, In feng shui, each colour is considered to be an expression of one of the 5 elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. If you want to enhance a particular feng shui element and what it represents, for example fire and passion, then choose colours associated with the element, which in this case would be warm reds and oranges.
These should only be introduced as accents, however, as it is important not to ignore the other elements which you undoubtedly need in your life, such as Water and Earth, symbolic of and abundance and nourishment respectively. You might need some convincing that this really has an effect, but it is widely accepted that colours, just like sounds and smells, can have an impact on the way we feel. A balanced colour scheme is not only valuable in terms of feng shui, but balancing colours also ensures the room looks well designed and aesthetically pleasing.
Good quality lighting and various light sources are of the utmost importance in any room, but good lighting is especially important according to feng shui experts. Natural light in particular should be a priority for positive, nourishing energy. It probably comes as no surprise that a light, bright room makes you feel more refreshed and cheerful then a dark, dank room with limited natural light. It's in our nature to want to be outside and connect in some way with the natural world: large windows that let in mood-enhancing daylight is one way to achieve just that.
Clearing out clutter is essential to creating positive energy in your home. A messy room crowded with unnecessary bits and bobs you don't need, but can't bring yourself to throw out is not conducive to a relaxing living area. In fact, feng shui dictates that clutter leads to chaotic and angry energy which in turn results in conflicts in the home.
Get rid of any furniture that holds negative connotations or reminds you of negative things in your life, for example, furniture you've bought with an ex, or anything you feel indifferent about. You should choose items that reflect things that you want in your life now and in the future. Art work that inspires positive feeling, inspirational quotes and photos of happy times will all keep the mood light and happy.
Luxurious, soft materials, scented candles, and calming music, all work together to create a soothing environment good for mind, body and soul. Take into account all of your senses when designing your home in accordance with feng shui. Feng shui is all about balance, so if you're neglecting some of your senses in favour of others, you're less likely to experience any benefit from the space.
Plants bring 'chi', or positive energy, into a space, and are therefore the perfect addition to the living room. A Bamboo Palm or Peace Lily help to create a calming, natural vibe, as well as helping to keep the air in your living room oxygenated and cleansed. If you're after something a bit different, these vertical gardens from Living Interiors UK are a quirky way to achieve the same effect.
For related articles, check out this ideabook on serene spaces.