Feng Shui Basics for Beginners

Feng shui may be a term you’ve heard thrown around every once in awhile, but do you know what it means? Well, I’m here to give you the feng shui basics.

What is Feng Shui?

Feng shui is based on the idea that your environment (in this case, your apartment) has a force or energy known as “chi.” It’s believed that a space with proper feng shui and natural flow brings good fortune, prosperity and harmonious relationships with the people in your life.

On the other hand, if your apartment is cluttered or has a disruptive flow, this could lead to negative results such as poor health or financial troubles. I’m guessing those are two things you would like to avoid.

While feng shui sounds complicated, apartment decorating with using feng shui principles is simple, trust me. Here’s how to achieve feng shui in your kitchen, bedroom and living room:

Feng Shui in the Kitchen

In order to create balance and positively influence health and prosperity, your kitchen should be bright, open and airy. Even the smallest of kitchens can appear larger with a few simple tricks.

If there’s not a window in your kitchen, add a large mirror to the wall so light bounces around the room and so you can see what’s going on around you. After all, nobody wants to stare at a wall as they’re cooking.

In addition to natural light flowing in through the windows, your kitchen should also have ample artificial light. Add layers of light to the space, including accent, ambient and task.

These three types of illumination will create a bright and cheery space for you and your guests to gather in. Keep in mind that a single overhead fluorescent light is not ideal, as it can cast a harsh glow that causes headaches and eyestrain.

The colors you use in your kitchen also contribute to the feng shui of the space. Start with an all-white color palette (usually pretty easy in a rental) to keep the kitchen bright and spacious. Add in accents of vibrant colors using decorative bowls of fruit, cooking accessories, curtains or dinnerware.

Feng Shui in the Living Room

The way in which furniture is arranged in your living room can either make or break the space’s feng shui. Furniture should keep with the natural flow of the room and work with the existing traffic pattern.

Let’s start with the sofa: Ideally, it should be placed against the wall furthest from the room’s entry point. Make sure to leave a few inches between the wall and the couch. Having a wall behind your sofa is said to add comfort and security to the room.

If you don’t have an available wall for your couch, put a long table or a few smaller tables behind your sofa. Place a few lamps on the tables to illuminate your couch and provide a sense of protection.

As a general rule, the way your chairs and couches are arranged should be conducive to conversation. It’s going to be super awkward to talk to your guests if you’re both at opposite ends of the room or if you’re facing away from each other.

It’s also important to include a balance of shapes. Consider adding a round coffee table to the center of your living room to allow energy to freely flow throughout the space. Pair that with square or rectangular side tables or ottomans.

Squares represent the Earth, while rectangles symbolize wood, and circles represent metal. All of these combined elements help give your home a balanced feel.

Feng Shui in the Bedroom

The bedroom is where you should feel the most relaxed and de-stressed to help you prepare for a good night’s sleep. The first step to creating this environment is to remove all the clutter from your room, keeping only the things you absolutely need out in the open (e.g., an alarm clock, a lamp or a book on your nightstand). The goal is to live minimally.

Next, remove anything you’re storing from underneath your bed. Apparently doing this can create negative energy. Your bed should only serve one purpose: sleep. If you can, try to find another location for whatever might be kept under your bed. You may find that you don’t even need what you’ve been keeping under there for so long!

And finally, turn off your phone and laptop and store them both away from where you sleep. I know; this seems difficult, but you can do it. If you use your phone as an alarm, put it on sleep mode so you’re not interrupted by a late-night text or Facebook notification, only the sound of your alarm in the morning.

The bright screens on your phone and laptop don’t exactly help to lull you to sleep—in fact, they do quite the opposite. Instead, keep a good book on your nightstand, which will help relax you and prepare you to get some good shut eye.

Now, do you feel that positivity flowing through your apartment?

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