Feng shui is an ancient practice that dates back more than 3,000 years, notes Crane & Canopy. It centers on building a comforting and balanced home environment that infuses positive energy into the space. Feng shui offers itself as a decorative approach to building good health, good fortune, and a balanced, harmonious life.
As a result, focusing on bringing good vibes, and removing features that may bring about bad luck and misfortune lies at the heart of this style of home decorating and design. Feng shui has many tenants and rules that practitioners utilize to create harmony and balance within the home. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, Dr. Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, the author of "Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation," discusses how you can implement these features in your own home. While improving balance and good luck in the home is straightforward, it requires attention to detail and a little know-how.
Indoor plants have a central place in many decorating schools of thought, and feng shui is no different. Dr. Kim explains that: "Healthy plants are a great way to bring positive energy to your home, while dead or withered plants can have the opposite effect. It is important to make sure you prune dead leaves from your plants often and keep up with their care." Thriving and green plant life adds oxygen to your living space and provides both a calming visual element and a fundamental health-improving feature at the same time.
Dr. Kim makes a few specific recommendations when it comes to selecting your indoor plants. She suggests, "you should avoid plants with thorns or spikes (except roses), which are also thought to be bad luck. The snake plant is a great example of a plant that can attract good luck and help protect your home from bad energy."
Another crucial piece of advice for a functional feng shui-focused home is the purging of old equipment that no longer serves a purpose. Dr. Kim says that "broken items are thought to attract negative energy and welcome bad luck, according to feng shui principles. Keeping clutter and such items is thought to represent allowing the same brokenness and mess inside, too. Using chipped cups or plates is especially thought to be a way of treating yourself poorly, and therefore subconsciously manifesting more negative energy and failures in your future."
Clutter is a mood killer in more ways than one. The New York Times reports that a cluttered home invites significant stress into a person's life. On top of the negative energy that is created by increased clutter, this feeling of strain can bleed out into the other elements of your life.
Dr. Kim also has words of wisdom regarding specific decorative items in the home. She says, "items that represent the passing of time, such as clocks or calendars, should always be in working order and not outdated for the same reason. You don't want to invite energy of being stuck in the past."
According to the principles of feng shui, the way you layout your furniture is especially important and should be done with extreme care. Dr. Kim explains, "in every room of your home, there is a commanding position. This is where you can easily see the entranceway without having to turn your head. To bring good luck into your home, put furniture you use often in the commanding position, such as your bed, your sofa or a recliner, and your office chair."
The location you decide to place items of furniture should promote good energy and luck that flows through a well-designed room. Therefore, a simple re-arrangement of your existing items may be all that is needed to change the overall feeling of your primary living spaces. Dr, Kim continues, "the commanding position is considered a place of protection and safety as you can see any threats coming your way, so it's also thought to be good luck to position yourself in this way."
Feng shui is a deeply spiritual means of channeling positivity and warding off bad energy. As such, the practice brings users in tune with nature and a variety of natural elements. One such addition is the use of crystals. These natural gemstones are often a centerpiece of feng shui philosophy. Dr. Kim says that "black crystals, such as black tourmaline, can help keep you protected from bad luck. Known as a protecting stone, placing black tourmaline by the front door to your home or in the corner of each room can clear away negative energy, ward off bad luck, and invite better positive energy in. You can also wear black tourmaline to carry its protection with you wherever you go."
A simple layout of crystals around the home can be effective in creating the atmosphere you're hoping to achieve. Similarly, trying a few different configurations and noting the effect can provide a potent addition to the feng shui practices employed in your home.
The final element of feng shui that Dr. Kim suggests is the use of door protectors. She explains, "usually coming in pairs, door protectors are figures or symbols you place outside the entrance to your home. These items are thought to protect both your home and the people inside from any bad energy or luck." She continues, "in China, door protectors are usually dogs, but they can be any animal or symbol that holds meaning to you."
Feng shui door protectors can be small statues or ornaments that hang from the door itself or the walls next to the entryway. They can also be installed as a sort of door knocker, bell, or ribbon. Red ribbons in particular offer a lucky color mixed in with this fixture of good luck, providing a dual purpose when added to your home. Getting creative with your door protectors is a great way to add a layer of personalization to your entranceway, and incorporate the positivity of feng shui.