Home, sweet home with Feng Shui

Five quick fixes for maintaining balance in the home with Feng Shui.

Credit: iStock | Design*Sponge

Restore balance to your living space with these basic Feng Shui principles.

Vancouver Feng Shui consultant Mark Ainley offers 5 quick fixes for maintaining balance in the home

One of the attractions of Vancouver is the magnificent scenery: A unique combination of trees, mountains and ocean has made this city an ideal place to live. And yet living indoors cuts us off from the natural equilibrium and cycles of nature. One of the goals of Feng Shui is to bring into a living environment the same elements and sense of balance found in the natural world in order to create a more harmonized and relaxing space.

The atmosphere you marinate in at home impacts you on a deep level, staying with you as you go about your business in the outside world. Just think about how much better you feel at work when you’ve relaxed well in your off-time.

But you don’t need large windows to connect to a beautiful setting outside—you can create a natural atmosphere inside by applying a few sensible Feng Shui principles. Get started >>>


Feng Shui for living room

Photo: Design*Sponge, Ore Studios


1. Balance elements

Feng Shui speaks of matter expressing itself through the five Elements: Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each has its own quality (inspiring, grounding, clarifying, deepening and expanding, respectively), and their presence helps you to embody these characteristics. A balanced blend of colours, materials and shapes can create a more holistic and nurturing environment.

While you don’t want your home to look like a Rubik’s cube, the current trend toward two-toned design schemes creates a monochromatic, uninspiring canvas for your life. Add splashes of colour with flowers, artwork and objets.

Quick fix: Every room needs a touch of red. The best place for this colour is the far side of the room from the entrance, to symbolize the sun on the horizon.


Feng Shui for laundry room

Photo: iStock


2. Every space matters

Every area of your home is important and should be treated with respect. Even garages and laundry rooms can be attractive places where you can do household chores in comfort.

Hang artwork on the walls, and keep the areas clean and eye-catching. For example, an inspiring picture inside your closet can rebalance a space that often feels uninspiring. If you make every space count, mundane tasks can be done in a relaxing atmosphere.

Quick fix: In your laundry room, garage or closet, hang a painting or photo of a landscape to foster a sense of balance.


Feng Shui bedroom

Photo: iStock


3. Form and function

The function of each space should be respected. Dining rooms are for eating, living rooms for relaxing and socializing, kitchens for cooking, bedrooms for sleeping and romancing.

Avoid working outside of your office space, don’t leave books all over the dining table, and keep electronics to an absolute minimum in the bedroom (no laptops in bed).

If you ask too much of a particular space, you may find yourself taking on too much in your life outside of the home as well. Use each space for the purpose for which it was designed, and you will begin to feel more cohesion in the different areas of your life.

Quick fix: Remove computers and work-related items from the bedroom. If you read books in bed, store them inside your end table rather than leaving them lying out.


4. Be organized

Cluttered spaces create confusion and the temptation to tune out. If you disconnect from things in your home, you will likely do the same in the outer world. Holding on to possessions you don’t need or use can keep you in the past and resistant to change. Eliminate what you no longer require (here are some tips for decluttering) and display your favourites so that every corner of your home welcomes you.

Quick fix: Have an attractive box near the front door in which to place your keys, wallet and other essentials. As well, a box for all your remotes is a living room must.

Blue Lounge The Sanctuary stuff organizer

Blue Lounge’s The Sanctuary, an all-in-one basket and charging dock, is available on Vancouver’s Davie Street at Room In Order, which offers great storage solutions.


Using art in feng shui

Photo: Design*Sponge, Trina Dalziel


5. Hidden messages

Advertising sells concepts in a matter of seconds through the careful use of images, colours and language. Your environment might be selling you short if it doesn’t motivate or encourage you.

Choose objects and artwork carefully: Every single female client of mine who has been looking for a partner has had multiple images of single women around her home. Look at every object around you and think about the message it communicates. Surround yourself with uplifting and inspiring pieces that support the self-image you wish to embody in both your personal and professional lives.

Quick fix: If looking for partnership, remove “single” artwork and hang artwork of couples. If looking for clarity with your life path, hang a picture of a meandering pathway near your front door.


Mark Ainley, Vancouver Feng Shui consultant

Mark Ainley is a contemporary Feng Shui consultant based in Vancouver. He writes, teaches and consults for an international clientele in person and via Skype. His practical, common sense approach to designing homes and professional environments helps his clients create engaging, supportive spaces that reflect their core values.

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