Let’s be clear, Feng Shui is not just a certain brand of oriental chic. You know the one, a joss stick here, perhaps a Buddha bust there, the odd printed light shade and throwing a kimono on for dinner.
Rather, it is the ancient Chinese tradition of arranging objects to create balance. This can include placement of furniture in the home, colour schemes and choosing objects for what they symbolise.
Of course, there will be those who are dismissive. But at the very least Feng Shui gives us a blueprint on how to reorganise our homes.
Secret of success: A bedroom painted in Dulux’s Brave Ground – an earth tone. £12 for 2.5l (wilko.co.uk)
‘This is the perfect time for people to connect with the space they live in so their homes can support them in their work, health, wellbeing and relationships,’ says Vicky Sweetlove, a Feng Shui consultant. And what a fitting name she has.
Conveniently The Feng Shui Society is hosting a conference in London and on Zoom tomorrow. So whether it’s creating a more positive environment, focusing on relationships or hoping for that promotion at work, Feng Shui has you covered. Here’s our guide on how to get started.
This is the first step in the process of Feng Shui, but it’s not the decluttering popularised by Netflix star Marie Kondo. Rather than getting rid of everything, the process is more about clearing space and seeing how the land lies.
‘Clearing the clutter in your home and letting go of past objects opens the energy,’ says Vicky. ‘The heaviness is lifted and people can start transforming their lives.’
Feng Shui is about balance and hurling out all of our belongings is more final an act than the Chinese tradition demands.
The process is ongoing and small changes might be required each year. But space clearing is the place to start and ties in with the other features of this tradition.
Brave Ground — a muted grey/brown — is the Dulux Colour of the Year for 2021 and while the shade is anything but bold, it does have strength in the world of Feng Shui as it’s an earth tone.
An Oliver Bonas Clementina Ceramic Vase, £24.50
There are five elements in Feng Shui — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — and each brings with it different qualities. So a change in colour is an easy way to create a shift in energy.
For example greens are wood tones and connected to vitality, family and wealth. So perhaps Graham & Brown’s Ecuador Matt Emulsion (£42 per 2.5l) is the way to go.
While Brave Ground will set you back just £12 for 2.5l.
Feng Shui is about the relationship between people and the space they live in. It’s personal and is supposed to benefit both parties; happy home, happy life essentially.
Crucial to this is life areas (or the bagua) which generally are broken up into: career, relationships, health, wealth, good fortune, spiritual life, creativity, wisdom and fame.
According to Vicky, health, creativity and good fortune have been the most popular recently. While this used to be career, life journeys and fame.
Life areas also correspond to parts of the house as well as colours and elements. Everything is linked.
For example a boost to fame and reputation would mean skipping that Love Island audition and placing a red, orange or yellow object in the home’s south. The Oliver Bonas Clementina Ceramic Vase would work (£24.50).
While an improvement to career and life journey would mean turning to the north and buying something blue or black associated with water, for example the Eddie Eco Velvet two-seater sofa (£249, Dunelm).
A personal matter
As personal spaces, bedrooms are crucial to Feng Shui and what’s most important here is bed position.
The ideal spot is known as the commanding position; this has a good view of the door while not being in line with it.
Vicky had a client who was sceptical about Feng Shui, but turned to the practice to help his struggling business.
She found all the beds in his home were in the position of Total Loss.
After improving the family’s sleeping direction her client reported his best month of the year.
Beds should also be located away from a wall so there’s space to get out on both sides. Under the bed storage is out; in particular for souvenirs, photos, shoes, electronics, books or general clutter.
The easiest way to proceed could be to look at the bedroom as a whole picture.
Sharps design consultants, for example, will come to your home and give advice. This visit could even be timed with a Feng Shui consultant.
What your home really needs is a… console table
A console table – such as B&M’s £40 two-drawer Tromso – is a narrow piece, designed to stand against a wall
It pays to follow the adage that ‘you never get a second chance to make a first impression’; this applies to hallways whether you’re selling a house or staying put.
If your hall requires a makeover, your home needs a console table, a narrow piece, designed to stand against a wall.
When storage is a must, B&M has the £40 two-drawer Tromso, while Dunelm offers the sturdy £207.20 four-drawer Sidmouth.
But if you have banished clutter from the hall, Wayfair’s £54.99 Vaillancourt or Habitat’s £40 Loft Living console table should fit the bill.
Next’s swish graphite grey £120 Flynn is a console table designed also to serve as a desk.
The mirrored Gatsby from Feather & Black, £550, combines utility and Art Deco glamour.