Feng Shui 101 Part II: A Room-by-Room Guide

Can I still improve my home Feng Shui if I live in a very small space, or if I cannot change the floor plan or location of my current home?

Many of us, especially in big cities, live in small apartments or rented properties where it’s not possible to make any major changes, such as knocking down a wall to change the layout of the rooms. Don’t fret — there are still many things you can do to improve the Feng Shui of your home. Here are some tips:
  1. Keep your home organized. This is especially important if you live in a small space, as keeping your home organized allows you to utilize your space in the best possible way. Otherwise, it creates clutter and the chi would not be able to flow. Since chi is transported by air, having too many furniture or objects (to the point where it is hard to walk around, or hard to remember where you put things) blocks the chi from flowing properly. The best thing to do if you live in a small space is to be as minimalistic as possible.
  2. Incorporate smart storage. You might be thinking, “I just have so many things! Organizing would be much easier if I just had more space.” This is when we get creative and incorporate smarter ways to store items - such as getting a storage cabinet that is much taller than it is wide, to utilize the space above that would otherwise be untouched. The most important thing for good Feng Shui is to create space for chi to flow.
  3. Beware of the Trouble Star. In 2020, there is a Trouble Star in the East which brings financial loss, conflict and even poor health. Check with a compass to be sure. If your bedroom happens to be located in the direction of the East, you may experience some health problems this year. If the main entry to your home is in the East, there’s a possibility for financial issues. These troubles tend to come out of left field. So, if you’re thinking - Why is it that things were going so well, and then Lunar New Year came around and suddenly these problems are coming out of nowhere? - you might be feeling the impact of the Trouble Star! If you have multiple rooms in your home, try to avoid using the room(s) in the East as your bedroom in 2020. If you live in a studio or one-bedroom apartment, consider moving your bed so it is not in the East. If none of these changes can be made to your home, hang tight - the Trouble Star will move to a different direction next year!
  4. Take advantage of your personal element and direction. I’ve designed this chart to help you determine your most auspicious direction and your element. To attract good luck, you can place objects corresponding to your element in your auspicious direction. For example: if your element is metal and your auspicious direction is the West, place a metal sculpture in the West of your home. Elements and some examples of their corresponding objects. 
    • FIRE: Red wall paint, red-colored furniture and decorative objects, candles, oil lamps, or fireplace.
    • EARTH: Natural crystals and stones, or decorative objects made of clay or earthenware.
    • METAL: Objects made of metal - such as sculptures, vases, furniture, or other ornaments.
    • WATER: Water fountain, aquarium/fish tank, blue wall paint, blue decorative objects, or plants that grow in water such as bamboo.
    • WOOD: Living plants - people of wood element are the only ones that I recommend to have living plants in the home as plants offer them great support.

Is it true that having living plants around your home helps to bring in life force energy?

I’m not sure I agree with that, and here’s the reason why. First of all, plants live off of chi just as humans do. If there are many plants around you, they’re competing with you for chi since they need to sustain themselves. So, when you enter a space that is crowded with plants, you can sense a difference in the energy; it can feel a bit claustrophobic or stuffy. To view this through a scientific lens - plants give off oxygen during the day, but at night, they compete with us for oxygen. If you absolutely enjoy having plants in your home (this is common in people who are of the wood element), consider smaller plants that don’t take up too much space and don’t grow too quickly. The bamboo plant is a great choice. Whatever plants you choose, make sure you keep them out of your bedroom!


Are there different rules for each part of the apartment/house? What are some tips for each of the rooms?

Yes there are, since each part of the home corresponds to different aspects of our lives. Of course, this depends on the layout of each person’s house or apartment, but I’ll walk you through some basic guidelines below:
  • Main Entrance (Money and Wealth) – Make sure there are no obstructions in the entry to your home, as the front door is the portal for all the chi to enter your home and life. Open up this space as much as possible to allow the maximum amount of life-force energy into your home. Avoid cluttering with too much furniture or decorative objects, as this may block opportunities from coming into your life! An important tip for those of us who remove our shoes before entering the home: put your shoes away neatly in your entryway console/cabinet or shoe shelf. Last but not least, ensure that your entrance is well-lit and well-ventilated.
  • Living Room (Social Life and Interpersonal Relationships) – Avoid placing your sofa/couch in the middle of the living room, especially if you live in a small place. First of all, this is a terrible design choice as it makes your living room look smaller and more crowded. Next, it is recommended for our backs to be facing the wall rather than an open space, as this promotes a sense of support and comfort. If you have your sofa in the middle of the room, you may notice that you can’t really relax. Push your sofa against the wall if possible, as this can create a power position. 
  • Bedroom (Health and Romantic Relationships) 
    • Orient your bed so the headboard is against the wall. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), there is an acupressure point on the top of our heads called the du 20, which is connected to all the meridians in our body. Since this point affects the rest of the body, it is important to ensure that the crown of your head is in a safe and supported position by having the headboard of your bed pushed up against the wall. I think the biggest mistake you can make with the layout of your bedroom is to place your bed in the middle of the room, or have windows right behind the bed. If coldness enters your body through the du 20, it can cause a variety of health issues such as Bell’s Palsy.
    • Make sure that your bedroom door does not open up to the feet of your bed. Traditionally, the Chinese believe that having your feet oriented towards the door while laying in bed is inauspicious, as the only time someone were to leave their room feet first while on their backs would be when they’re carried out in a stretcher. From a TCM standpoint, exposing the meridian channels on the soles of your feet to wind/cold air coming in from the door could cause illness.
    • Ensure that your bedroom has a good amount of natural light and ventilation. This helps to rejuvenate the chi in your bedroom and avoid stagnation - breathing new life into your health and romantic relationship. I recommend opening up your curtains during the day and keeping your windows open for at least an hour a day. Going back to the popular belief that plants help to bring life force energy - sunlight and fresh air alone can do wonders for your space.
    • Avoid placing mirrors in your bedroom. If you have trouble sleeping, the mirror(s) in your bedroom might be the culprit! In Feng Shui, we believe that mirrors reflect energy. When too much energy is bouncing around the room, it is not conducive for restful sleep - resulting in nightmares, frequent awakening throughout the night, or even insomnia. If you have mirrors in your bedroom that cannot be removed easily (such as mirrored closets), a cheap and easy solution is to cover these reflective surfaces with a thin, opaque material such as paper or cloth.
  • Office/Study Room (Career) If possible, orient your desk in a way that your back is against the wall. Just like what I recommended for the living room, this helps to create a power position. Since your home office/study room directly correlates with career, this power position will provide a sense of support, and help to manifest authority and success. A major mistake is having your desk set up in your bedroom. If you live in a studio, try to create a distinction between your sleeping area and working area. Mixing the two could negatively affect both your productivity at work and your ability to to rest well at night.


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