Since you’re likely getting very familiar with the interior of your home, it’s a good idea to fill it with positivity. Enter feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice that charts the balance of energy, or chi, via scientific calculations. The goal of feng shui is to invite positive chi into your home so that your life feels both energized and balanced, and it’s a relatively simple way to improve the vibes of your space. While we’re no experts, and the calculations really depend on your exact space, there are general guidelines. So, we’re here to inspire some good energy for making your at-home time as pleasant as possible.
Check your commanding positions
In feng shui, one of the most important principles is the commanding position. Essentially, this is the position of some important pieces of furniture: the bed (it represents you), the desk (it represents your career), and the stove (it represents your wealth). Though you may not be able to move your stove, it’s probably fairly easy to get your bed and desk in a better position. The main thing here is to be able to see the door when using these items—can you see it when you’re in bed or sitting at your desk? You shouldn’t be directly in line with the door, but shouldn’t have your back to it either. All this comes into play so you can receive optimal positive energy.
No, you don’t need to add a climbing wall or ladder to your decor, but integrating some vertical shapes and lines in your home represents growth and expansion. You can make this happen in a variety of ways. Add some lighting where the light travels upward. Add a tree to a corner to make the space feel taller. If you have the room, put in some tall bookshelves. Work with the parameters you have to create the feeling of height.
Keep things clean
Having too much clutter around is probably not going to do your mental clarity any favors, let alone your interior design scheme. In feng shui, clutter is believed to take up valuable space that new incoming energy needs. We recommend making a habit of cleaning up your workspace each day. Not only will it make you feel less stressed out, but it’ll also create a sense of order in such chaotic times. Plus, you’ll get a clean start each day, which should benefit your productivity. Other easy cleans for a big impact: your windows (they’re considered the eyes of the building). Give that glass a new shimmer to maximize your sunlight.
Declutter the entryway
Doesn’t it make sense that the first place you see when you open your door is an important place to have good energy? In feng shui, your entryway represents the way energy enters your home and your life. Get rid of piles and balled-up socks. Do some dusting and decluttering. If you’ve got the space, add some plants and artwork. Do whatever you can to make the area feel inviting. Kristin Esposito, an interior architect and designer who studied feng shui, says “always try to include a shoe rack, hooks for coats, and storage for rain gear/umbrellas. It’s important that all these items have their ‘own place to call home’ as they hold the energy of the world beyond your front door.”
Are the most frequent routes in your home—say, from the bedroom to the bathroom—free from tripping hazards? Is there an end table you bump into every day? Think about how you move through your space and try to make the paths as clear as possible. If this inspires a major rearrange, you probably needed it. Efficiency is everything in feng shui, so it’s important to clear obstacles from your path and make your flow as easy as possible.
Your new life motto should be: When in doubt, add more plants. We’ve got a more detailed primer on which ones will help you find your ideal chi and where they can be best positioned, but the short answer? Plants embody life energy, so they’ll add freshness and vitality to your home.
“In the Chinese calendar, we are in the year of the rat and the element is metal,” says Kristin. “The metal element is great to incorporate into your home office as it helps with clarity, sharpness of thought, calming and balancing energies, it can help with productivity as well. (This couldn’t be more timely to incorporate into your home as we all navigate new working schedules and spaces during the coronavirus outbreak.) Bring in some decorative bowls, statues, or small sculptures.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest