Interior Design... for Wellness?
Remember back 10 years or so, feng shui was the in thing and we all took to moving our furniture around, re-painting our rooms and buying more house plants in a bid to find that much sought after thing called ‘zen’. Basically the same principle as popular now, but instead of trying to redecorate our living rooms to make us feel better, we’re now trying to redecorate our gut. And also quite a similar concept to wellness in general, and actually quite similar (except the slight fact of being from entirely different cultures) to Hygge, so really it’s no surprise at all that Feng Shui is set to make a comeback in 2017 (ok, so it never actually ‘went away’, but it’s set to be popular again). And given that all we remember of Feng Shui is that sleeping with your feet facing the door is a sign of ‘death’, we’ve done a little digging to find out just what Feng Shui is and why it’s good for us.
WHAT IS FENG SHUI?
It’s a powerful method, derived from ancient Chinese art and science, of experiencing more balance, joy and inspiration in your life. Working on the theory that we are influenced by everything in our outer environments, feng shui gives you the tools to create balance and harmony in your surroundings, arranging furniture to properly circulate life-force energy, and help you to flourish and feel inspired. It is based on the concept of wind and water, both being essential forms of natural energy that flow freely on Earth. When they are both balanced and flowing, nature flourishes, and the same concept is then applied to your surroundings and the natural energy.
HOW DOES THAT WORK?
Life-force energy, known also as ‘chi’ flows through your house, having a powerful effect on how you feel and think. This flow of energy is affected by everything from objects and layout to emotions in an environment, so Feng Shui (the ancient Chinese art of placement) is used to create a positive energy, which leads to feelings of happiness and motivation. Through identifying the natural energy, and the natural energy and how it behaved and effected them
HOW DO I ACHIEVE THIS?
The majority of remedies for a negative energy are viable and inexpensive, with a variety of techniques focused on increasing, moderating and circulating energy. There are also different trains of thinking, the most common being the concept of Yin and Yang. Yin is a feminine energy, slow and soft, whilst Yang is masculine: active, fast and hard. The idea is that you reach balance by creating an equilibrium of both in your environment, either through the compass or form school of thought. The compass concept is based on complex calculations including your birth date, numerology and the Chinese compass to determine the best directions for living, and quite a hard one to apply to everyday living. The form school however, emphasises the importance of surrounding features such as streets, buildings and waterways, using these in relation to your home and focusing on the arrangement of specific objects.
HOW TO APPLY IT
- Colour is an easy and simple way to apply Feng Shui to your living space. Take for instance yellow; this should be used in the centre of your living space to create a healthy and grounded space, whilst using violet to the far left of the entrance increases prosperous energy.
- Keeping areas tidy - most people can agree that this is good for your mental clarity anyway, but clutter and mess creates barriers to the flow of energy, blocking it or creating negativity.
- Increase natural light and air flow as much as possible. Pretty hard when you’re living in London, but don’t block windows, keep the blinds shut or use heavy, dark curtains, and open windows whenever there’s an opportunity. Alternatively, make sure to have more than one light source a room, and use essential oils.
- Know where your rooms are, and the way they’re facing (South/East/North/West) as this effects the energy, and the colours, shapes and materials that work there. For example, in a North-facing living room, metal, glass and mirror-like materials are best.
- Don’t colour block - Feng Shui, despite preferring certain colours in certain areas, also talks about the importance of adding other colour and elements in too. So, sorry guys, but that all-white room may not be the best for feng shui.
- Arrange furniture based on how it works for you - create spaces that work for their intention to create a good energy flow from people. Sofas facing sofas, etc.
- View ‘chi’ or the flow as water - where would it get stuck, where would it escape, where would it not flow easily? Then use this as your base.