Don't worry ... you don't need to be an ancient master to achieve total furniture Zen. Read on and we'll show you how to incorporate the principles of Feng Shui into your furniture layout for an interior design that looks as good as it feels.
One of the first things to consider when laying out your furniture is how the room flows. Chi, the energy force behind Feng Shui, needs to flow freely through the room for the best effect. Feng Shui literally translates to “wind water,” so consider the way the wind blows, and the way water flows and that should give you a good idea of how chi should flow through your home. If there's a sofa blocking the front door, or a bed in front of the pathway to the door in a bedroom, this blocks good energy (Sheng Chi) from freely flowing through your home. The front door is the main portal through which Chi flows through your home, so pay extra attention to blockages there.
Another important aspect in creating a Zen-like living space is to pay attention to your seating spaces. One of the important tenets of Feng Shui is to be sure to never have your back to a door. Take this into consideration when laying out your living room, for example be sure to have your sofas and arm chairs oriented in such a way that you and your guests will always be facing the doorway.
This seating rule can also be applied to arranging your office space. Instead of placing your desk up against a wall, situate it away from the wall, with the seat behind it so you are facing the door. This puts you in a captain-like position, and gives your workspace a positive and powerful feel.
Who doesn’t hate bumping their shin into a sharp corner of a coffee table or bruising their hip on a dining table that’s always in the way? If you’ve ever felt like your furniture is literally attacking you, you can thank Sha Chi, or attacking energy. This can be avoided by making sure sharp décor items are out of the way of the natural flow of your home. Keep the area in front of your sofa clear of coffee tables, for example, or consider rearranging your dining room so that your table and chairs are out of the way.
Another type of Chi to try and avoid creating in your home is Si Chi. If you’ve ever walked into a space and it made you feel down or sad, then Si Chi is probably to blame. You can avoid adding this depressing, un-Zen like atmosphere to your home by clearing the energy regularly by letting in bright, natural light, adding fresh potted plants, or rearranging the furniture to create a new, positive flow.
Another way to add a positive energy flow into your home is to accessorize with Feng Shui themed décor. Water elements, such as a fountain or even an aquarium are excellent ideas. A mirror hung over the back of a sofa can help to deflect energy, and recirculate or activate energy flow. Even choosing art with Zen-like themes (dragons, bamboo, the Buddha) and other décor pieces can help create a calming feel.
Even the materials that your furniture are made of can help foster a Zen feel. Choosing environmentally friendly furniture for your home is obviously good for the planet, but it can also be good for your state of mind as well. Consider choosing pieces made of bamboo, which is a beautiful and sustainable material, but also a common element in Feng Shui. By choosing a table set or chairs made with bamboo or other sustainable materials, not only will your room have a calm feel, but your mind will be at ease knowing that you made an environmentally friendly purchase.
Of course, evaluating the furniture you already own and updating key pieces like your sofa, bed or office desk with quality pieces will also add a calming aesthetic to your home. Keep all of these tips in mind and pretty soon, you too can enjoy a home that makes you feel comfortable, inspired and supremely Zen.