Feng Shui for Your Home: Enhancing Your Space for Well-being

Most of us have heard about feng shui, but understanding its true essence can be a challenge. While some books on the topic can be dense and academic, Joan Kaufman, a certified interior designer and...

Most of us have heard about feng shui, but understanding its true essence can be a challenge. While some books on the topic can be dense and academic, Joan Kaufman, a certified interior designer and founder of Interior Planning & Design Inc., simplifies it for us. She describes feng shui as a philosophy that explores the connection between a person and their living space.

When we step into a room, we immediately experience its impact. We are aware of how it makes us feel. That's what feng shui is all about - using your space to support yourself and create a positive environment. In this article, we will explore the fundamentals of feng shui and how you can apply it to your home.

What Is Feng Shui?

According to Kaufman, feng shui is a 3,000-year-old philosophy and environmental science that originated in China. It is a result of observing how animals interact with their surroundings. Kaufman emphasizes that in our busy modern lives, we often neglect to consider the impact of our surroundings on our well-being. The recent pandemic has highlighted the need for creating warm and comforting spaces within our homes.

Understanding the Meaning of Feng Shui

The term "feng shui" literally translates to "wind-water." It focuses on the relationship between our environment and our lives, both internally and externally. Feng shui recognizes the harmony and well-being that comes from being in balance with the elements of nature. However, achieving this balance is a personal journey, unique to each individual.

How to Apply Feng Shui to Your Space

Couple moving sofa together Caption: A couple moving a sofa together. Photo: PhotoAlto/Sigrid Olsson/Getty Images

There are five fundamental steps to applying feng shui to your space:

Step 1: Determine the 'Why'

Understanding your motivation is key. Ask yourself why you want to make changes to your space. Is it due to a crisis, a life change, a relationship issue, or simply a desire for something new? Identifying your reasons will guide your feng shui journey.

Step 2: Map Out Your Plan

The bagua, a set of eight symbols representing reality and the elements, plays a central role in space planning. Kaufman practices "pyramid feng shui," which takes into account the different living environments outside of China. The bagua, resembling a magic square, is a grid of nine smaller squares that help you organize your space. It starts at the entrance to the room you wish to transform.

Step 3: Examine the Five Elements

Feng shui, like many other philosophies, revolves around the circle of life and the interwoven relationships among the five elements: air, water, fire, earth, and metal. These elements are found in nature and impact our emotions and well-being. Incorporating the characteristics of each element can help create the desired atmosphere in your space.

Step 4: Clear the Clutter

Decluttering is an essential step in feng shui. Clearing your space of unnecessary objects allows energy to flow freely, improving the overall balance and harmony. By removing clutter, you open up space for new energy and possibilities.

Step 5: Adjust Your Energy

Adjusting your energy, known as qi or ch'i, is at the heart of feng shui. By aligning the elements, furniture, colors, and other aspects of a room, you can maximize the flow of positive energy. The goal is to create a space that feels right and supports your needs.

Additional Feng Shui Wisdom

Here are three important points to keep in mind as you embark on your feng shui journey:

You Don't Have to Do This Alone

Many interior designers incorporate feng shui principles into their work. If you feel overwhelmed, seek professional guidance and support. Finding a practitioner, attending seminars, or hiring someone to assist you can make the process more manageable. Remember, feng shui is practical and logical, not mere superstition.

It's not Permanent

Feng shui is a daily practice, not a one-time event. It involves self-discovery and continuous growth. As you evolve, your space will also evolve. Embrace the journey and embrace change.

Harmony in Your Space Increases Your Well-being

By practicing feng shui, you are not only enhancing your living environment but also fostering a holistic approach to well-being. As you create balance within your space, you may find yourself more inclined to adopt other healthy practices such as eating well and engaging in physical activities like yoga or Pilates.

Remember, feng shui is about creating a harmonious relationship between you and your environment. It's a personal journey that can transform your living space into a sanctuary of positive energy and well-being. So why not start exploring the world of feng shui and see how it can enhance your home and your life?