6 Feng Shui Tips For A Living Room
You have a hectic life full of work, significant others, kids, after-school activities, and very little time to relax. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a relaxing space to share with your loved ones? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a sense of relaxed fun in your main shared living space? You can have those things, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, it can turn into a family activity; a living room makeover!
The question is, how do you make the right decisions to create the right atmosphere without spending a lot of money? Feng Shui, and ancient Chinese philosophy and tradition, may have answers for you. Its main concern is balancing physical and spiritual energy known as Qi through the elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. By using these elements in proper proportion, you can create the balance your living space currently lacks, and you can also release positive energy flow while ridding your home (and your family) of negative energy. Sounds pretty good, right?
#1. Get Rid Of Clutter
Get rid of the dirt and clutter first. This may be a westernized Feng Shui concept, but it makes good sense, nevertheless. Feng Shui energy is like water or air; it flows through the path of least resistance. If there are boxes, clothes, trash, dirt, dishes, and goodness knows what else piled up in the living room, what happens to that flow? It stagnates. What happens to your spirit? It stagnates. It is difficult to be cheerful and carefree when your space is a mess.
This does not have to be a painful, lengthy process, however. Choose a weekend, enlist everyone in the family, and set a timer. Separate the clutter into three piles: trash, charity and clean. When the time is up, do what you need to with the piles, and then stop for the day. The next day, do a deep cleaning, again employing everyone in the family to help, as it will go much faster.
Don’t forget to shampoo the carpets and cloth furniture, if possible. Start with a very blank slate; only put the big pieces of furniture back to start. Live with it that way until the following weekend, when you, as a family, can take the next steps.
#2. Color The Walls
Decide the color palate for the walls. What compass direction your living room faces will help you decide the wall colors. If it is an east-facing room, you will want to look at shades of green or even turquoise. If it is a south-facing room, you may look at oranges, pinks, bright yellows, or even bright purples.
If these bright colors are overwhelming, you can choose one or two walls for a bright accent and leave the rest a more neutral white. If it is a west-facing room, grays, earth-tones, or metallic finishes are good. Lastly, if it is a north-facing room, white, all shades of blue, deep purple, or even black are good colors.
Again, if some of these colors are overwhelming, use them on an accent wall. Choose the colors over the course of the week, and do the painting that weekend. The rest of the steps involved are less work, and more fun. Do the next steps at your own pace to avoid burnout. Don’t forget to have fun!
#3. Furniture Placement
Work on furniture placement. Most Feng Shui guides will tell you to avoid L-shaped sofas. If you already have one and cannot afford to buy a new one, it isn’t the end of the world. Try not to arrange the furniture in an L-shape, however. You want to encourage conversation, so turn the chairs at an angle inward toward the main piece of furniture (usually a sofa or loveseat).
One thing that is universally important in Feng Shui is what happens behind the furniture. Make sure no one has a door or window at their backs. Doing so creates a feeling of insecurity because the person cannot see what is happening behind him or her. Always place the sofa next to a wall; if this isn’t possible, create a faux wall by moving a tall table or screen behind the sofa to add stability.
Side chairs are safe against a wall, but they are also fine in a corner. They do not have to be right next to walls, so you may pull them in a bit to make them part of the life of the room. A modern concern that Western Feng Shui practitioners will warn you about is the television. If it is not in use, hide it in a cabinet or behind a screen. The people should be the focus of the room, not the electronics.
#4. Make It Airy
You need plenty of light and air. The living room should be a bright and airy place. At the same time, you need to have the ability to control how much light is in the room at any one time. Make sure all lighting is on dimmer switches (they are fairly easy to install).
Make sure all windows have adjustable coverings such as blinds on them. That way, if you want to watch a movie together, you may lower the light, but if you want to have a family gathering, you can lighten things up considerably. It is also important to air out the space when it is practical.
#5. Right Balance Of Five Elements
You need to balance the five elements. In Feng Shui, there are five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Some experts will tell you that you need to represent every element in every room, while others will tell you to focus on just the element connected with the direction in which your room faces. The best idea is to follow the heart of Feng Shui: balance.
Most modern living rooms are wood-heavy. They have wood floors, wood furniture, and rectangle shapes (tables, sofas, lounge chairs, etc.). Too much of any one element is not a good thing. If your room has too much wood, add some of the metal element. Metal (axes) cut wood, right? That means adding round tables or rounded chairs, items made of metal, and cream colors.
Just a few touches will help quite a bit. Another possible problem is too much fire element. Newcomers to Feng Shui hear that fire, and the color red associated with it is lucky when it comes to passion, love, money, and power. More is better, right? Buy a red sofa, buy a ton of candles, install a fireplace, and so on. What could go wrong? What happens when a forest fire has an endless supply of fire wood? It turns into a wild fire.
Your living room already has a heavy wood element presence. If you add a heavy fire presence, you are asking for trouble. Too much fire, and that passion turns to rage, arguments, infidelity, and worse. There is nothing wrong with lighting a candle or two or having a red accent here or there, just be careful with fire like you would in real life.
#6. Family Touch
Add a few last minute touches as a family. The best part comes at the end when you get to decide what artwork goes on the walls, what pictures go in frames, and what plants to add to your home. As for artwork, stay away from images of violence, whether it is literal, figurative, or abstract.
Peaceful mountain, meadow, or abstract scenes are good. Even better, choose a representation or two of your children’s’ artwork and frame it. That will make them feel important, and it will bring a piece of them into the room. Rotate pictures in frames; go shopping in your old picture albums and bring out things that the family hasn’t seen in years. Lastly, plants with smooth, broad leaves are considered lucky and soothing.