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Updated: 08/06/2014 4:50:19 PM


Feng shui is something that most people have heard of, but few have an understanding of what it actually is. When it comes to interior design and architecture, the basic concepts of feng shui can be useful when coming up with new ideas or to develop a greater understanding of space. To help you improve your understanding of feng shui and how it can help your own practice, here are the basics, including 10 feng shui interior design tips to get you started.

What is feng shui?

Feng shui is concerned with the flow of energy, or chi, within a space. There can be overly aggressive ‘attacking’ energy (sha chi) and low energy (si chi). The aim is to get a balance between these two to ensure the energy flow is harmonious. By placing certain objects in different positions around a space, you can manipulate the flow of energy to improve every aspect of your life – health, wealth, relationships, career, etc.  While the practical interior designer may turn their nose up at the suggestion of their profession having such a drastic impact, by following the basic principles of the energy flow of a space, interior designers can improve what is often referred to as the ‘feel’ of an interior space.


Improve your energy flow

feng shui office design

Malaysian interior designer Ee Lynn designed this modern office in conjunction with a feng shui master to perfect the colours and allocate the optimal layout.

The flow of chi energy comes in and out of windows and doors. The aim of feng shui is to place objects within a space that slow this energy and  allow it to calmly flow around the space before exiting again. Placing bulky objects in awkward places can cause the chi to build up, leading to a blockage in the energy flow. Conversely, having no objects at all in a space will cause the energy to flow far too quickly. A balance is achieved through developing an understanding of the nature of the objects you have in your interior.


Feng shui tips

Here are a few quick feng shui tips to help you improve your own interior space:


 1.   Keep the entry clear

The front door of a home is thought to be where the chi gets in. You want to let it in by minimising the clutter that sits around it. Don’t place tables, plants or anything near the entry. Keep it wide open and let in all that good energy.


2.   Fix any breakages

Anything that’s broken in your interior space will prey on the anxiety and frustrations of the person who inhabits it. Keep hinges oiled, make sure locks work well and make sure the doors don’t scrape the floor when they open and close. A working interior will lead to a relaxed life.


3.  Put the bed in the power position

The best place for a bed to sit is in the furthest corner of the room where you can still see the door when lying down. This will make you the master and commander of the space, leading to a stronger, calmer and controlled outlook on life.

Feng Shui room design

In Tôn Huỳnh‘s feng shui bedroom, the bed is placed in the power position.

4.   Place a bookcase in the hall

A bookcase (preferably with books in it) should be within the view of the front door, but not blocking it. The energy will interact with the material and encourage learning.


 5.   Remember to put the toilet seat down

Open toilets, plugholes and drains will encourage money to drain out of the inhabitant’s pocket. Keep the toilet seat down, keep the plugholes plugged, cover all open drains, and open up a savings account.


6.   Put plants in the bedroom

By placing three plants in the bedroom you will be greatly improving the romance in your life. Using plants with pink flowers will enhance the romance (or a certain aspect of it anyway).


7.   Give your career a boost with better desk placement

In an office, a desk should face the door from the opposite corner. If this is impossible, a mirror should be strategically placed that allows you to see who’s coming in the door. If you do this, be prepared to become a winner and stumble upon an abundance of opportunities.


example of bad feng shui

In 1997 the newly appointed Hong Kong Chief Executive, Tung Chee Hwa, refused to move into his rightful residence at Government House (above) citing bad feng shui as his reason. His popularity dropped by 40% during his tenure.


8.   Keep the curtains open

Open the windows too. An abundance of natural light and fresh air are essential for good chi. Plants inside and good ventilation will also help clear the air.


 9.   Focus on the feel of the bathroom, bedroom and kitchen

These three areas are the feng shui ‘trinity’ and where the energy will thrive. If you get the feng shui interior design right in these three areas you will be in good stead for creating a positive energy flow through the entire interior space.


10.   Use water features to your advantage

Water enhances the flow of energy. You don’t have to leave the taps running but consider adding small fountains to enclosed spaces to improve their energy flow.


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