Good House Feng Shui
Feng shui is all about energy—banishing the bad vibes and welcoming the good ones. Even if you think this concept of "energy" is mumbo-jumbo (and the idea of hanging crystals makes you want to gag), consider it on more basic terms. Does your home make you feel good? Or does it make you feel unsettled? That's energy.
"When a home has lush plantings, an attractive door, and an appealing entrance, that's both good design and good feng shui, " says Kathryn Weber, publisher of the Red Lotus Letter website on feng shui.
Invite good energy indoors by creating a welcoming spot using calming artwork, greenery, and mirrors (but don't face them toward the door—this pushes the energy right back out the door, according to Weber).
"Careful thought should be brought to the foyer, " she says. "This is the starting point of your arrival at your home, and making it attractive and auspicious-looking brings good energy and attracts good fortune."
Tip No. 3: Use the elements
Classic feng shui has five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Balanced properly, they "represent all of nature and restore harmony and balance into our homes, " says Maureen K. Calamia of Re-Nature Feng Shui.
You don't have to literally put a wood branch in your room to achieve harmonious balance. Using a material, color, or texture that represent that element is just as suitable—think burlap, bamboo, or cotton. There's no need to procure some earthy organic matter, either. Try terra-cotta planters and salt lamps.
Tip No. 4: Add greenery
We hate to break it to you, but your black thumb—or even your green thumb—might be ushering in a busload of lousy energy. (Sorry.)
"A house that's either devoid of greenery or overrun by it isn't good feng shui, " Weber says.
Adding plants is an easy way to improve your home—and the benefits aren't limited to feng shui. Greenery cleans the air, reduces stress, and happens to look damn good.
Tip No. 5: Ditch clutter
"It's important to keep a clean and open space so that we can welcome all the energy the universe has for us, " Cho says. "Clutter blocks positive energy from moving freely throughout our spaces."
Not sure where to start? Employ the Marie Kondo method: Ditch everything that doesn't make you happy. "Joy" and "positive energy" are synonymous terms—so it makes sense that stress-inducing clutter would be a feng shui no-no.
Tip No. 6: Focus on the people
Design your seating so guests feel comfortable and welcomed. Certain seating arrangements are taboo in feng shui, including chairs facing a couch at a 45-degree angle.
"That angle literally puts people at odds with one another, " Weber says. Face chairs directly toward the sofa to encourage conversation and create a warm, cozy environment.
Another furniture placement rule (if it won't squish your layout): Pull furniture and chairs away from the wall. Not only is the practice good feng shui, it also makes your living space feel airy and open.