Arranging your home according to the rules of feng shui can be as simple as a few intentional décor add-ons.

By Lauren Phillips
March 05, 2019
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Incorporating feng shui into a space can help improve the flow of energy through the home, attracting positive forces to increase happiness, improve finances, better relationships, and more. The goal of feng shui at home is to harmonize your energy with your home’s energy, aligning your surroundings with who you are and who you want to be. Ideally, applying the rules of feng shui correctly can even help you achieve some of your goals and dreams.

You should think of it as making your home reflect your vision board, says Patricia Lohan, a feng shui expert and author of The Happy Home. Some perceptions of feng shui present it as requiring rearranging furniture, repainting walls, and completely reshaping a space. The good news, especially for feng shui novices, is that it doesn’t necessarily have to mean all that.

You can apply the themes of feng shui to your home without making major changes, if you want to test it out before committing fully or are unable to change very much at all. (We’re looking at you, small-space dwellers and renters.)

Real Simple caught up with Lohan at a celebration of the Chinese New Year, where she shared easy tweaks that can bring feng shui into your home without a major overhaul. If you’ve been intrigued by feng shui for a while but haven’t quite gotten onboard, now’s your chance to give it a trial run—the energy in your home might thank you.

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Placing a globe in the northwest corner of your home can encourage your capacity to travel globally. (You don’t have to settle for a classroom-style globe—places such as World Market and CB2 sell sophisticated miniature globes that can fit seamlessly into your décor.) If you’ve wanted to travel widely but haven’t yet, directing some energy toward that goal may help make it happen. At the very least, it will remind you to keep saving up for that ’round-the-world trip.

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“Whether you’re single or in a relationship, there’s only one type of picture I’d recommend in your bedroom, and that is a picture of, if you are in a relationship, yourself and your partner,” Lohan says. “If you are single, have a picture that represents the kind of relationship that you want.”

The goal is to capture the kind of relationship you want, whether you’re very single or in a committed relationship already. If you are in a relationship, frame a picture that captures both of you at your best: It can serve as a reminder of better days during rough patches.

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Fresh flowers arranged nicely in the center of your home can enhance your health and wellbeing.

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A major rule of bedroom feng shui is to not sleep with your back to the door. When you’re sitting in bed, you want to be able to see the door clearly. Not being able to can introduce tense energy to the space, whether you realize it or not. If moving the bed isn’t an option, for whatever reason, place a mirror—small or large—across from the bed that allows you to see the door. The same trick works in other rooms where you might face away from the door while relaxing: You always want to be able to see the door to a room.

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For feng shui in the living room, a decorative bowl overflowing with coins—chocolate, collectible, whatever—represents your finances overflowing. Place it in the southeast area of your home to give your finances a little love.

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If you are single and your bed is pressed into a corner of the bedroom, with two sides against walls, do what you can to shift it away from that corner. Ideally, at least a sliver of space should be between the side of the bed and the wall. This creates space in your life for love to enter.

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Lohan calls the bathroom a place to release and cleanse energies. That energy can be easily lost, though. “Make sure you keep your toilet lid down,” she says. “Energy is money, it’s love, it’s friendship, it’s travel—that’s what energy is when we talk about feng shui. You don’t want to flush it down the toilet.”