Bring good luck and fortune to your home with our feng shui guide to creating a harmonious environment, by Wendy Grant from Feng Shui Ism.
Wendy has seen, styled and walked the floors of numerous homes, buildings and retail stores in her professional capacity as a former magazine Editor-in-Chief. Now pairing Interior styling and Feng Shui consultancy she’s compelled to make the intangible tangible and demystify Feng Shui. With a flair for looking beyond the physical expanse, all the while applying her honed eye to the invisible Qi of a space that lies beneath. She constantly advocates for the subtle yet effective delivery of authentic Classical Feng Shui, for Modern day living.
Here are her Top Feng Shui Goals to transform your home’s energetic footprint in the Chinese Year of the Rat.
Feng Shui is essentially living in harmony with the environment. The objective is to align with the most harmonious Qi (energy field or cosmic breath) within our abode, through favorable positioning. Certain directions exert beneficial Qi in everyones home but they change annually, hence why the Chinese New Year (CNY) underpins the annual Feng Shui adjustments about the home.
庚 子 – The Year of the Metal Rat
The beginning of every CNY is imbued with tradition and customs to protect, ward off or negate any adverse effects of a challenging year ahead. This year it commences on Jan. 25th 2020 and will begin the return of the first in the sequence of 12 Chinese astrology animals. We’ll be ushering in the temperament tendencies of the cool, calm and charming nature of the Rat (not the western vermin rodent associations). The Rat 子, this year it’s aligned with the element of Metal 庚 and the calligraphy couplet is 庚 子, hence the year will be known as the Year of the ‘Metal Rat’. The last time this duo partnered up was in 1960.
The beginning of CNY is called the Spring Festival (Li Chun) beginning on a new moon and ending on a full moon. Each day of the festival cues a particular festival tradition. On CNY eve decorating homes and businesses with specific good luck symbols drawn on red paper is customary. But on the first lunar day of the year sweeping the floors is refrained from – till the end of the festival! The theory being that sweeping the floor will sweep away the auspicious luck of the New Year. Therefore the goal is to start the year with a well cleaned, clutter free house and then implement some time honoured tips to incorporate Feng Shui tenants into your home/business. Traditionally some folks even replace their sweeping brushes annually.
Then on the first day fireworks are set off (to ward off evil spirits); Families unite together at their parents’ house and fish features heavily on the menu, as it signifies abundance.
Okay, let’s get the biggest Feng Shui misnomer out of the way. You don’t have to paint your front door red to have good Feng Shui! Historically the ubiquitous red door symbolizes good luck and abundance. In accordance with the tradition homeowners who had a vermillion red door, did so under the guidance of a Master’s directive. Some front doors will definitely warrant and benefit from the colour Red while others may demand avoidance. As a result the element of ‘fire’ – which the colour red is categorized under – is used in a very measured fashion amongst the Feng Shui fraternity. Vast vistas of red can have dramatic effects -without appropriate guidelines long-term permanent applications are best avoided.
Hot on the heals of the Lucky Red Door misnomer is the myth that Feng Shui is either a religion of sorts, or a decorating style – like Minimalism for example. It’s neither. Of course if Asian inspired decor resonates with you personally then incorporating Feng Shui is equally as applicable as it would be in a nautically themed abode. So, independent of ones design aesthetic, taste or culture, Feng Shui solutions can be discreetly and respectfully applied, no matter your decor preference.
First impressions count. Keep entrances inside (and outside) clean, clear, functional and inviting. Plants add invigorating Qi to interior and exterior zones. Be careful where Mirrors are placed as well as what they reflect. In brief, to attract auspicious Sheng Qi (good/prosperous) keep your entrance as attractive as possible, so Qi can meander into your home. High quality auspicious Qi is the bedrock of good Feng Shui.
Remedy an uninterrupted view from the front door to the back door by adding something to break the direct flow of Qi. A plant or appropriate piece of furniture can work.
This year is governed by the elemental essences of ‘Metal’ and ‘Water’, which produce a harmonious synergy . The combined elemental palette lends itself to a favourable colour combo. So if you’re hankering to redecorate this year, check out our Living Room moodboard, collated with elementally themed inspiration from retailers at Supa Centa Moore Park.
If you’re thinking of replicating this elemental theme, there’s oodles more examples on offer in stores – just ensure the essential themes relate to curves, round shapes and dark inky blacks paired with white and metallic colours.
The living room should be a pleasing zone for family and friends to gather. Aim to arrange furniture in a welcoming and inviting formation. It’s best to avoid positioning seating directly opposite a doorway in the line of direct oncoming Qi. Modular chaise furnishing harnesses and gathers Qi while defining a space. Try aligning at least one side to a solid wall. And place your sofa or fave chair in a commanding position, so you can see who enters the room. See our ideal arrangements pic for more details.
Just like the entrance reduce clutter from the bedroom to induce a restful nights sleep. The average person spends 22+ years of their life in bed, so the bedroom space needs to support quality sleep, aid rejuvenation and induce restful yin quiet time. Bedrooms should be tranquil zones, to assist with a quality nights sleep. Natural bedding over synthetic fibers is best. No matter your bed size a headboard is a must. A solid headboard – be it wood or upholstered – in a colour or material that matches your personal favourable element is a good place to start – especially, if you haven’t had a bespoke Feng Shui analysis of your dwelling.
As highlighted earlier, Feng Shui relates to creating harmony between us humans and the environment. The outside environment therefore should be a mecca for Sheng Qi. Don’t over look the garden, balcony or communal spaces where Qi enters your home/business.
And finally, the layers of Feng Shui are nuanced. To the uninitiated, it can at times be confusing when different schools and systems are overlapped. Furniture placement and decor are but two aspects of Feng Shui. For example finding and using your homes most abundantly prosperous sector is just another layer – Hint it’s NOT in the same position in every home as some coffee table books suggest. Ideally it’s best to cultivate and maximize the hidden Feng Shui potential within your home/ business with a tailored consultation, to factor in the other layers ⧇
Feng shui ism
“Living eye to eye with environmental wisdom”
— FENG SHUi iSM