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Feng Shui Your Home

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by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published September 29th 2010
Most people think of feng shui as being a slightly mystical Chinese style of home décor. What most people don't realise is that despite the religious sounding terminology, many of the principles of feng shui involve arranging your space in a way that's logical, thoughtful and most pleasant to live in. Which is something that most people could benefit from.

The terms 'balanced' and 'harmonious' are used more frequently than 'comfort', when people talk about feng shui, but the pursuit of comfort and calm must be the overriding force.

These are some of the main principles of feng shui that you can apply to your space without requiring you consult any ancient Chinese gods. But if you try them and they work then you might want to investigate feng shui further.

Feng shui 101:

The first step in any feng shui process should be a good, solid de-clutter. Get rid not just of everything you don't need but also jettison everything you don't love. This can feel very renewing and therapeutic and can help make your redecoration seem more like reclaiming your space and energy.

Next let in the chi. Chi is a force that feng shui practitioners recommend you allow to circulate through your space. You let in it the same way that you let in light and air. For optimum chi flow leave gaps between pieces of furniture and the walls and avoid placing desks, chairs, sofas or beds directly across the entrance pathway – especially if that would mean having your back to the door. Avoid having dark spots or corners. It's said that these also obstruct the flow of chi, and if you illuminate them, or else house a pot plant in them, they'll stop being obstructions.

The third step is to define the bagua, which is the feng shui map of your space, and will tell you which areas of your space reflect which facets of your life so that you can welcome different energies into them.

Once you have a map you need to understand which of the five feng shui elements – water, fire, wood, earth and metal – should be arranged into each of your bagua quadrants.

If you're interested in promoting wealth, for example, you should include the elements wood and water in the south east quadrant of your space.

One of the easiest ways to make use of the elements is to use the colours that correspond to them when decorating. The reds and oranges of the fire shades are pretty obvious, and by arranging these in the southern, north eastern and south western quadrants of your space you're focusing their powers on your career. Likewise the earth shades are the shades of the earth. By placing earth shades in those areas instead they'll help nourish your relationships.

The colours of metal are shades of grey and white, and these should be used where you work or study and in the north quadrants to promote clarity and efficiency, or in the west to promote creative endevours.

Wood and water are frequently used in a more literal way, as well as employing their shades in decorating, Browns and greens represent wood and blues and blacks represent water. Wood in the south and the east promotes prosperity and having water in your north, east or south east is a good way to promote calm.

It may seem a little daunting to start with, however once you've de-cluttered and let in lots of light and air you'll immediately feel the benefits and will be keen to have a go at the more involved aspects of feng shui. You'll be feeling calmer and more relaxed in no time.
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Why? Ensure the spaces you inhabit promote calm and comfort.
Where: In your own home or office
Cost: You might even make a profit if you sell some of your clutter
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