Clear the Clutter, Clear the Mind with Feng Shui Decorating

Kathy Burns-Millyard

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The Feng shui decorating style of design has become increasingly popular and somewhat trendy in the past decade, with millions of Americans embracing its less-is-more, our-energy-is-our-soul-is-our-mind-is-our-mood-is-our-life philosophy.

While that is a simplified definition, at the heart of Feng shui decorating is simplicity and a conscious attempt to embrace the subconscious in a space.

Pronounced “fung shway, " (literally means “wind, water") it is the Chinese practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

It is an ancient rule in Chinese philosophy that spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy is crucial to mental, physical and spiritual health and well-being. The favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and sitting furniture and rooms in a home. The practice has been embraced by countless designers in the States. A lot of this is driven by a new-found American appreciation for oriental art, food, and decoration.

Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

While harnessing your chi and getting in touch with the yin to your yang is not simply a matter of painting a room red, there are some basic tenants of feng shui decorating that, when applied, have made millions happier, and, they would argue, healthier.

*Clear the clutter. Get rid of everything that is useless, evokes negative feelings or responses, or serves no purpose. The goal here is, as Thoreau said, Simplify! Simplify! Simplify!

*Pay attention to the energy in your room. No, this does not mean stare at the light or put a fork in a socket, this means be cognizant of the feelings evoked by items, different areas in the room, different furniture positions, and different lighting. Having positive energy flow is crucial. If something is having a positive or soothing effect in a certain place, leave it.

*Clean the room from top to bottom. And that means everything; walls, windows, doors, closets, baseboards, heating elements, fixtures—everything.

*In the bedroom, where feng sui is most commonly applied, bed placement is very important. Make sure your bed is placed to provide greatest visibility to your doorway and also provide a feeling of protection and safety. If this is not possible, a mirror on the wall opposite the bed can reflect the negative energy. Your bedroom is your haven, a place of safety and serenity.

*Sleeping areas should not be too dark. Reds, light greens and blues and yellows are positive colors that have beneficial effects on the mind and spirit.

*Avoid overusing whites, which, according to feng shui, deliver “cold energy. " If white is unavoidable, flowers, plants and splashes of well-placed color can counteract.

While feng shui decorating is most commonly applied in the home, many have embraced it in the workplace and are using the same principles to guide the layout of their desks and offices. When applied, feng shui decorating in the workplace encourages productivity, better work, and, ultimately, financial and professional success.

© 2005, Kathy Burns-Millyard, Visit The Do It Yourself Home Decorating Network - - for wonderful home decorating tips , decorating styles , pictures, photos and more.


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