A lthough Chinese culture and feng shui are steeped in symbolism, the practical application of feng shui doesn’t have anything to do with burning incense, crystals or strategically placed figurines. It’s about stimulating the mood and energy flow within our buildings to evoke very real physical feelings that influence the entire spectrum of human “being”.
How we interact with the world and how we are perceived is determined through the presentation of our homes. Traditionally, the Chinese call this feng shui, and while its Western context remains unnamed, we innately know it as comfort.
Upon entering a new home or workplace, your primal senses are alerted, seeking connection with that space. Is it bright, welcoming and safe, or dark and uninviting? This hunch also imprints your immediate perception of those who live there. This is feng shui at its core.
If the feng shui is good, you feel the balance between light and dark, polished and plush, busy and restful – yin and yang.
Consider that all existence, the sun’s heat, weather systems, the moon’s light is driven by energy. Our homes, too, are an energised space, imbued with a dynamic mix of positive and negative forces, and we affect those spaces with our own blend of personal energy. This mix is constantly changing, which is reflected through our moods. Because our moods shape our lives, creating a haven to which we return to recharge our batteries, this has enormous benefits to our health, motivations and influences.
Every home has aspects that shine and provide reasons for us to feel good. Contrarily, homes have “hot spots” too, where clutter and dust gather. Often they are high-traffic areas that we observe hundreds of times each day, offering plenty of reasons to feel bothered, perhaps stuck. These are visual indications that the energy flow has stagnated.
Clearing these areas is a makeover that recharges the energy of these spots, and you’ll feel it immediately. Are you now rejuvenated because your home is fresh or because the energy is flowing and drawing you in? This is feng shui. It equates to better feelings, a more enjoyable flow through the processes and a more harmonious existence.
Our homes present a reflection of our personalities and demonstrate how we live our lives. Your front garden activates the sensory journey for people entering your property. Their first impressions are formed here. The garden’s condition indicates the level of care you give yourself and your loved ones.
For a home on the market, well-groomed gardens maximise the number of inspections and potential buyers. Water features in gardens entice a focusing on surroundings. Because bubbling water actually stimulates that which moves around it, water features are traditionally used in feng shui to enhance a positive energy.
Encouraging energies then help us create, and money is the natural result. This is why fountains are commonly seen at the front of buildings and are linked with prosperity. Moving water enhances whatever energy it encounters, helpful or damaging, so the positioning of such should be done in careful consultation.
Considered the mouth of the home, the front door is where the majority of energy enters. By now, opinions about what awaits are already formed. Whether it’s the jaw-dropping wow factor or subtle subconscious messages, you’ll know whether you’re comfortable to proceed inside.
A clean front door with a clear porch enables energy to flow gently through the door, circulating for the benefit of the inhabitants. This sustains a willingness to move
forward and readiness to welcome new opportunities.
Home means stability, nourishing body and soul. For families, the kitchen comes into sharp focus. Meal preparation is perpetual, and maximising the space available can be the differentiating factor between lovingly prepared sustenance or provisions prepared under duress.
It’s customary for the pantry, fridge and pots-and-pans cupboards to be out of order, but when they stay this way for extended periods of time, the energies need a revamp. A simple rearrangement of daily items so they can be reached without struggle, contributes to a feeling of ease and ability. Displaying fresh produce inspires culinary creativity, promotes a feeling of abundance and draws people in, making for more enjoyable kitchen experiences.
Bedrooms are havens inside the home, providing the ultimate place to unwind, a space to call your own, creating a pause between busy days as a partner, professional or parent. Bedroom energy is considered yin, peaceful and quiet. Maintaining your bedroom as a place of rest will contribute to balancing energies within the home. Practically, this means keeping noisy clocks, TV, video games and computers in the living areas. They promote hyperactivity and their electromagnetic fields disturb sleep patterns.
Because they fracture the energy, mirrors are another source of disturbance in bedrooms. Opposite the foot of the bed they can cause night frights and sleepwalking, so cover them during the night.
It’s generally when our lives need overhauling that feng shui comes into its own. We have intimate connections with our homes, and during turbulent times the invisible residing energies become more tangible. As most homes are complete before feng shui is considered, this practice has become more aligned with contemporary urban design, modern settings and more practical uses.
So whether you have an established property or are creating a ground-up design, a sensible application of feng shui can be employed to build you a better connection with your home, to present your abode in its best possible light, and without a whiff of incense or even a crystal in sight.
Letina Wong Russell