Feng shui to please the chi

Between the random roommates and minimal and awkward spaces we are left to deal with, it’s not easy to make your apartment feel like home.

The principles of feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with your surroundings, can help you achieve this.

It comes from the holistic belief of many ancient peoples that all things on this Earth, and beyond, are interconnected. That is, your energy life force, or chi, is connected to the chi of all the things surrounding you. When it flows correctly, you are more likely to live a healthy, comfortable lifestyle. Essentially, your environment reflects your life. If you want your life to be pleasant, your surroundings should be clean, comforting and stimulating to the senses.

Fortunately, feng shui can work regardless of whether you believe in its spiritual roots. Take a chance, and try some easy apartment fixes. Your chi will thank you.

Living room

The seating arrangements in a living room command the energy flow of the room. When positioning the furniture in a living room, be aware of what you want the space to be conducive to – relaxing, reading, watching TV, socializing. Making the TV the focus of the room will kill socializing and a sense of unity within the household.

You want to position the furniture in a circular manner, allowing the chi flow, and conversations, to move effortlessly around the room. Stereos should be as far away from guests as possible to minimize contact with electromagnetic radiation. Besides, you don’t want to give them a headache.

Living with roommates adds another dimension to the assembly of the living room. Each member of the household should feel comfortable in the common areas. To achieve this, it is important that each person contributes to decorating. If the self-expression of one roommate dominates an area, it is important to address this and allow the energies of others to contribute to the space.

A central theme in the art of feng shui is keeping spaces clutter-free. Common clutter in the living room includes full ashtrays, used cups, old newspapers and magazines, fallen plant leaves and old, ignored mail.

The bedroom

Ideally, the bedroom should be used only for relaxing, romancing and sleeping. Electronics such as computers, stereos, alarm clocks and cell phones detract from the function of the room and should be kept to a minimum. They also emit electromagnetic waves that are thought to be harmful and not conducive to relaxation.

If you must keep these objects in the room, keep them away from the bed.

The bed should be backed by a wall for stability. Putting it alongside a window is thought to invite outside energy in, which can cause restlessness.

You should have a reasonable view of your bedroom door from your bed to minimize the element of surprise, which will make a guest uncomfortable. Putting a mirror opposite the door is a quick fix for this problem.

Ridding your bedroom of unused and ignored clutter will also contribute to making it a cozy, peaceful retreat.

Mirrors to the rescue

Yes, they can make any room look bigger. What they can also do is “fix” irregularly shaped rooms by symbolically filling in a part of the room that is missing. For example, if your living room is L-shaped, not square, you can hang a mirror on the wall that is taking up the space.

Adding a mirror to a dark, drab corner can help the chi circulate easier. Adding one to a long hallway, preferably opposite a pleasant image, can help slow the chi down.

However, placing a mirror opposite a door directs the chi back through the door, which prevents it from entering at all. This is also why a mirror should not reflect a window.

It is also recommended that mirrors are framed so they contain the chi and so they never distort or cut the image reflected in it. This will symbolically distort the chi.

The kitchen

Between the sink, counter-tops, cabinets and refrigerator, the chi flow in the kitchen has potential to be the worst within the apartment.

To keep it from becoming a haven for stagnant energy, all expired or rotten foods and unlabeled mystery items in the fridge or freezer should be thrown out.

Garbage should be taken out once the wastebasket is full. Seldom-used appliances and utensils should be stored comfortably out of sight. Dirty dishes, crumbs and stains on the counters and floor, empty containers and pizza boxes all contribute to an unappetizing and unclean feeling in the kitchen, so keep them in check.

Adding easy-to-manage plants to the entrance of a closed-in, windowless kitchen will help contain the energy in the kitchen. It will also add some life to it, literally.

Source: Feng Shui Home

By: Gill Hale, Stella Martin, and Josephine de Winter