Feng Shui Room Design

Sally Painter
sofa with throw pillow and vase

Designing a room using feng shui principles ensures the best interior to support not just the activity taking place in the room, but those living or working in the room. Following some general design guidelines will ensure your home is properly laid out.

Basic Feng Shui Rules

There are basic feng shui rules that are general enough to be applied in almost every room in your home such as a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, dining room and den.

How Chi Energy Moves

Chi energy is the life force of all living things and is attracted to a home or room that is in balance. Activating the right element brings the type of luck associated with the sector where the room is located. None of this is long-term effective if the basic feng shui rules aren't correctly applied to the room. The chi energy must be able to move about the room unencumbered.

Things that can block chi energy include:

  • Furniture in the natural pathway of a room, such as walking from one door to another
  • Clutter on the floor, in closets, drawers, tables and cabinets
  • Dirty windows that need to be washed inside and outside

Flooring

Flooring can direct the flow of chi energy, so you want to be careful when laying hardwood floors. Wood floors can be placed to assist the chi energy to travel over a large room or to slow it down. For example, if you have a long narrow room you may wish to lay the boards at an angle or even horizontally to slow down the chi energy.

Tile shapes should be considered before committing to a specific one. Square tile represents earth and should be used where you wish to ground the chi energy, typically at the main entranceway. A diamond pattern represents the fire element if the room is in the southeast (wood). Since fire consumes wood, this would be an inappropriate shape. However, round tile represents water, which nurtures wood and is an excellent choice for this sector.

Remove All Clutter

Clutter is your worst enemy. It blocks the flow of chi and the chi collects around the blockage. This creates stagnant energy that further blocks new chi energy entering the home, similar to how a dam blocks the flow of a river.

Get rid of clutter:

  • Clean out cobwebs, dust bunnies, dirt, stacks of books/magazines and empty overflowing trashcans.
  • Repair any broken windows, furniture, light fixtures (replace bulbs), and appliances/equipment (all considered clutter).
  • Replace anything that no longer works and cannot be repaired, especially appliances, electronics, and dripping sinks.
  • Vacuum and sweep floors regularly to prevent the accumulation of dirt, dust and debris.
  • Dust furniture, floors, shelves and anywhere else on a regular basis.
  • Don't let dishes, laundry and trash accumulate. Keep up with chores.

Doorways and Entrances

foyer of home

The entrances to your home should be clutter free and attractive. This includes inside and outside.

  • Cat litter boxes should never be in foyers or entry doorways, such as a mud room or kitchen. Empty regularly.
  • Lighting inside and outside a door should be maintained with no dust, bugs or leaves accumulating in it.
  • Make foyers and other entrances inviting with colors, plants, decor and ample lighting.
  • Doors to other rooms should be free of clutter and anything that prevents them from being used, such as a piece of furniture blocking the doorway, even if just partially.

Mirrors in Feng Shui

Mirrors play an important part in designing your room.

  • Mirrors should never be placed directly opposite a door leading into the home. This will bounce all chi energy out of the house before it can enter.
  • Mirrors shouldn't reflect the bed, bathroom or stove.
  • Mirrors should be used in a dining room to reflect the table and attract abundance. Never place a mirror that cuts off the heads of those at the dinner table. A large floor mirror is an excellent choice as long as it reflects the dining table.

Window Treatments

You can use almost any type of window treatment, such as blinds, curtains, shades, valances and other window decorating.

  • Natural materials are best for feng shui applications.
  • Use color(s) that match the color(s) assigned to each sector.
  • Be aware of symbols within patterns, such as wavy lines and circles that are both symbolic of the water elements.

Lighting Choices

Most of the rules about lighting in feng shui center around attracting chi energy and mostly solving problem areas. Leave a light on for a minimum of five hours to attract chi energy.

  • Use full-spectrum lighting since it resembles sunlight the best.
  • You can heighten the fire effect of an overhead light by using a fan/light combo. The wind (fan) will fan the flames, so be careful when using these. Also, the fan blades are considered poison arrows but you can suspend a multi-faceted ball from the center of the fixture to help ease the effect.
  • If you don't have enough light in a room, layer lighting with recessed lights on a dimmer switch, along with floor and table lamps. Adjust the light as needed during the day.
  • Low hanging light fixtures are inauspicious and ill advised.

Furniture Placement Tips

How and where you place furniture can have a big impact on specific areas of your life.

  • Keep furniture size proportionate to space. Don't overcrowd a room; it's considered clutter.
  • Place furniture so chi energy isn't blocked, leaving ample room to walk around a chair or table.
  • Avoid placing the entire room of furniture in the center of room (floating arrangement). Anchor a few pieces against walls.
  • When using area rugs, place at least the front furniture legs on the rug. Even better is for all of the furniture to sit on the rug to create harmony and balance.

Three Important Feng Shui Design Tools

modern living room with orange sofa

There are three feng shui tools you can use to enhance various sectors of your home as you design. These important tools include water features, colors and elements.

Water Features

Many people enjoy using a water feature to enhance specific sectors in the home. You can use one of the three compass directions suitable for a water feature. However, water features should never be used in a bedroom since it produces too much yang energy that would disrupt sleep and rest.

Southeast

The southeast (SE) sector is governed by the wood element. A water feature works in this area since it feeds the wood element in the feng shui productive cycle.

East

Like the SE sector, the east (E) sector is governed by the wood element and benefits from the addition of wood elements in this sector. The east sector governs family and health and the addition of a water feature in this area will increase your family and health luck and abundance.

North

The north (N) sector governs career and its element is water. Adding a water feature in this sector will activate your career luck.

In addition to compass directions known as sectors, you can add a small water feature in the SE, E or N areas of a room (except a bedroom).

Use of Color

Color can enhance your feng shui design from room to room. You can use the colors assigned to each sector to fortify your feng shui efforts. The colors include:

  • South: Red, pink, burgundy and peach
  • Southwest: Red, pink and white
  • West: Gray, white silver and gold
  • Northwest: White, gray and black
  • North: Blue and black
  • Northeast: Blue, green, aqua and black
  • East: Green and brown (wood colors)
  • Southeast: Blue, red and purple
  • Center of home: Yellow, brown and tan

Activate Sectors with Elements

In addition to having an assigned color, each compass direction also has a specific element. You can activate the energy of a sector by adding this element.

  • South: The fire element can be activated with light fixtures/lamps, candles or a fireplace. This sector governs reputation, auspicious recognition and fame.
  • Southwest and northeast: The earth element can be activated by adding crystals, pottery and ceramic pieces. This sector governs love relationships (SW) and education (NE).
  • West and northwest: The metal element can be activated though the use of (non-sharp) metal objects. The west sector governs children (descendant) and the northwest governs mentor luck.
  • North: The water element is activated by adding a water feature to this sector, such as a water fountain, aquarium or waterscape paintings/photos. This sector controls career.
  • East and southeast: The wood element is activated by adding various wood objects, especially wood furniture and plants. The east governs health, and the southeast governs wealth.

General Room Design

These are a few general feng shui rules that can get you started in designing a room. Each room has more specific rules that can be layered into your overall home design.

Feng Shui Room Design