If you are reading this, then you are looking for ways in which to incorporate feng shui into your home based on a general idea of what you think it means in terms of interior design. You’ve probably come across the word a couple of times and are interested in trying it out for yourself to see what it’s all about.
This beginners guide is aimed at just that: beginners. It’s for those who are looking to gain a basic understanding of the basic principles of feng shui without dedicating their entire life to a whole new belief system. It’s an opportunity to dip your toes before you decide whether or not you want to take the plunge.
But before all of that…
What is Feng Shui?
Feng shui originates from ancient China, and is the practice of optimising the flow of chi / qi (energy) within the surrounding environment to improve everything from health to financial wealth. It is known as the “art of placement”; creating harmony or balance between positive and negative energies, based on the principles of yin and yang, to assure good fortune to those who inhabit the space. Following an ideology of dualism, where two polarities (yin and yang, good and evil, etc) are dependent on each other, and all things are a blend of both.
Historically in China, it has been used to orient human-built structures and objects. In fact, the magnetic compass was first invented in China between 300BC to 200BC during the Han Dynasty as a directional tool rather than a navigation tool, to determine the most suitable positioning of housing and crop farms. It wasn’t until the 11th century that the magnetic compass was used for navigation.
What are the basic principles of Feng Shui?
The belief that universal energy, known as Qi, flows through everything and around us as we go about our life is the most basic principle of Feng Shui. The belief is that this energy is what animates all living things and indeed the Earth itself. If energy is to maintain its flow, the home must be set out in the correct way to ensure such energy can flow perfectly, with no limitations that may hinder this. The base behind this principle is, if you create a space where you can finally breathe and feel at true comfort within, this will allow working on improving your health, prosperity and happiness come easy.
Yin and Yang is a big basic principle that many may be aware of already. Within this belief system, Yin is seen as feminine energy – it’s passive, dark and cold. Yang is seen as the male energy – active, clear and warm. Despite their differences, these two are completely complementary and provide the perfect balance to one another.
The ‘5 elements’ are also important and you may have heard of these five already. They are known as water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Each of these elements has its own colour, material and form that makes it what it is.
Water – Represented by dark blues. The element of water is fluid.
Wood – Represented by green shades. The energy of wood is growth and ever-changing.
Fire – Represented by red and pink shades. The energy of fire is pulsating and would be called true energy.
Earth – Represented by earth tones and yellow/orange. This element is nurturing and sustaining.
Metal – Represented by pastels, grey and white. The energy of metal is focus and direct.
What are the benefits of Feng Shui?
Benefits of living through the Feng Shui methodology provides many advantages for an individual, such as health improvements, an increase in energy and motivation, improve learning capabilities and promoted emotional and mental health. Think of Feng Shui as allowing peace, prosperity and happiness to enter your life.
If you’d like to explore more about Feng Shui, we’ve put together a three-part series on Feng Shui Tips for your Bedroom: