5 Common Room Layout Mistakes to Avoid, According to Feng Shui

Hint: You might want to move your work-from-home desk.

Feng shui is a philosophy that looks at how to improve the flow of energy in our homes. Feng shui originated in ancient China and was developed to assist people in how to place their homes in relationship to environmental conditions. In the modern world, I like to define feng shui as "mindfulness of spaces." When we can be aware of the details in the spaces around us, we can connect to and create homes that nurture and support us.

One of the many ways you can begin to incorporate feng shui principles into your life is to fix 5 of the most common home decor layout mistakes. Luckily, most of these are simple to correct, but if you can't, remember to do the best you can with what you have.

01 of 05

Blocked Doors

In feng shui, your door represents your voice. Doors are also how energy flows in and throughout your home. More often than not, I see doors that are blocked and not able to open a full 90 degrees. Sometimes, I also notice a bunch of clutter hanging behind the door. Other times, a piece of furniture blocks the door from opening fully. Either way, make sure to clear out the clutter and remove the furniture so that you can invite a good flow of qi (life force energy) into your space.

02 of 05

Beds Out of Command

One of the most important principles in feng shui is called the "commanding position", which puts us in control of our life so that we can relax and see opportunities coming towards us. It's pretty common that a bed is placed out of command. To make sure your bed is in command, you want to be able to see the door without being directly in line with it while laying in bed (sitting back to the headboard). If you are directly in line with the door, you're in the so-called "coffin position" with your feet pointed out the door.

To correct a bed out of command, the first and best choice is to move it. Usually, it's best to be diagonal (or "kitty-corner") to the door. If this is impossible because of the architectural features of your bedroom or space constraints, you can alternatively place a mirror there so that when you are in bed, you can see the door in the reflection.

03 of 05

Bed Up Against a Wall

For adults, their primary bed should ideally have the headboard secured against a solid wall with space on the other sides of the bed. Although it may save space to have a bed pushed up against the wall, this creates an imbalance of yin and yang for the inhabitant. Even just 18 inches of space can make a big difference. It's also ideal to have room at the foot of the bed so you have space to move forward in life. If this is not possible and you don't have the space, do the best you can.

04 of 05

Desk Facing the Window

Your desk represents your career and the hard work you do in the world. While it's alluring to place your desk right up to the window facing your beautiful garden view, in most cases, it's not a good feng shui practice. When your primary desk faces a window, your qi goes straight out the window and away from your work. Ultimately, the window view will become a distraction. If the only place to put your desk is in front of the window, pull the shades down while you're working so your qi stays with you at the desk.

05 of 05

Desk in a Bedroom

Because desks symbolize career and work, it makes work-life balance very tenuous when we have our primary desk in the bedroom. You can see the desk when you're going to bed, which makes you think about work. Alternatively, you can see the bed when you're working and that may make you drowsy and want to rest. It can be hard to unplug from work and a desk in the bedroom contributes to this imbalance. Ideally, try to move the desk out of the bedroom.

However, it's understandable that a lot of people have a desk in their bedrooms due to lack of space. One way to work with this dilemma is to create a visual separation. You can use a curtain, a screen, or even a freestanding bookcase as a divider. It's also helpful to turn off the computer, then cover it or put it away at the end of the workday so that there is a visual and energetic boundary in place.

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