7 Expert Ways to Feng Shui Your Living Room
Follow these tips for a more peaceful, balanced space.
A feng shui living room is a peaceful living room, but contrary to popular belief, feng shui isn’t a method of decorating. Feng shui encompasses way more than using specific colors or arranging furniture in a particular layout.
Feng shui is a branch of Chinese Medicine that is an art, a science, and a spiritual practice all rolled into one. The purpose is to create balance and harmony in all aspects of life by changing the energy of the spaces we live in. After all, our environment has a profound effect on the way we behave, how we think, what we say, and our feelings at a subconscious level. By creating a balanced space that flows energetically and feels good, it impacts aspects of life beyond the physical. A clean, balanced home means a better mind, and ultimately, a more peaceful life.
Feng shui expert and interior designer Ashley Cantley shares a perfect analogy. “Imagine how you behave differently in New York City versus at the beach, for example. If you're in New York City, you might walk faster, work longer, feel guarded in your mind, your body might tense up, and you might respond to people cautiously,” she says. “Whereas at the beach, you feel relaxed, you go with the flow, you might feel happier, you'd probably get less done, you'd be open and friendly with strangers, etc. Or, how would you feel if you lived in a dark, dingy, bug-infested home? What would your attitude be? How would you interact with other people? Conversely, how would you act and feel if you lived in a luxury home overlooking an infinity pool? You show up in the world as different people depending on what your environment looks and feels like.”
The goal of feng shui is to create a space that energetically flows and triggers you to be the person you want to be. “You can literally design the life that you want to be living,” Cantley says.
Having a balanced living room is very important because the space serves multiple purposes in the home. It’s an area to both socialize and relax in. After all, the living room sofa is as perfect a spot for some alone time as much as it is for family gatherings. The purpose of feng shui is to help you create a space that maximizes both purpose and positive energy. Here are the steps you need to take to design a feng shui living room.
The first step of the process is to minimize clutter. “A space where energy flows well is one that's not filled with stuff in every corner. Empty space or minimalism is a good thing in feng shui,” Cantley says.
This doesn’t mean getting rid of everything you own, but rather taking inventory of what is meaningful in your life. Evaluate the space and keep only the furniture, decorative accents, and other knickknacks that you feel a connection with. If an object doesn’t make you feel happy, then donate it. You may also want to consider switching out furnishings and decor seasonally if you have a lot of things you like but want to avoid clutter.
Brighter Is Better
Lighting is very important in a feng shui living room. “The more lighting the better,” Cantley says. “The lights don't always have to be turned on, just as long as there's the option to turn them on.”
Light allows us to be in a good mood. Brightness is uplifting. On the other hand, dark space can trigger depression and lower the vibration of the energy. Dark spaces just also feel less inviting.
Cantley’s solution for a lack of natural lighting is to use a light bulb that mimics natural sunlight. “Opt for energy efficient light bulbs that last longer. You will save money and reduce the negative impact they have on the environment,” she says.
Color is important in feng shui. Because the living room is the place where people converge and bring in their own energy and personalities, earth tones are ideal to ground the space. Consider neutrals like yellow, brown, and clay for larger pieces of furniture. Then add accessories with bright blues, greens, and other colors that pop. This will bring energy and happiness into the room.
Pay Attention to Layout
In a feng shui living room, grouping pieces of furniture together is ideal so that conversations flow more easily. The position of the seating in the room is also incredibly important. All seats should have a view of the door so everyone can see who is coming and going.
However, if some seating has to be faced away from the door, Cantley says to “hang a mirror on the wall to see what's happening behind them or position a piece of furniture (like a long table) with plants behind the couch that's positioned with the back to the door.”
Decorate the Walls
Choose uplifting artwork to create a higher vibe. Another way to decorate the walls is by using wallpaper. “Wallpaper with flowers, birds, animals, trees, and leaves creates a lot of stimulating energy as well,” Cantley says.
The whole purpose of feng shui is to create balance, so make sure there isn’t a single overpowering material in the room. Cantley says it’s important to offset textures. For example, if there is a lot of metal in your space, she suggests adding soft accessories like pillows and rugs. “If you have a lot of whites and pastels, add pops of colors, plants, or wood to warm it up.”
How to Feng Shui a Small Living Room
Remember, the goal of feng shui is to get energy flowing, so it's especially important to minimize clutter and to clean smaller spaces. Because furniture arrangement options are usually limited for smaller living rooms, it’s best to make the area feel more spacious by purchasing a large mirror. “By placing a large mirror in your space you'll do two things: you'll be able to see who's coming and going in your space, and you're creating the illusion of more space. Don't be afraid of using color and patterns either.”