Does your life feel out of control? Tried therapy, Prozac and self-help seminars only to find you come home to the same miserable four walls? As they say, a tidy room reflects a tidy mind, and that’s where feng shui comes in.
“It can completely transform a person,” insists home consultant Davina MacKail, the author of Feng Shui For Health. “If you make the change in your external environment, it’ll have a corresponding shift in your internal world.”
Scores of celebrities – Richard Branson, Paula Abdul – live by the ancient Chinese practice, so we thought we’d find out about how to feng shui our homes.
Keep the hallway light and open, so the pathway is obvious, says former Feng Shui Society chairman, Jon Sandifer. “It needs to reveal to the visitor where they are and where to go next.”
If your door is opposite a blank wall, put down a rug or carpet to guide visitors in the right direction or add a mirror to the corner, but not directly opposite the door, as positive energy will flow straight back out – correct energy flow is a basic feng shui principle.
Clutter is the main enemy in this practice, especially in the hallway.
“When you walk into your house you want to feel welcomed home. You don’t want to open the door and see lots of shoes, books, clutter and junk mail. Put it all in a cupboard,” MacKail says.
Snooze time is precious, so make the most of your slumber by having as few distractions in your room as possible.
“Ideally, a bedroom would just have a bed,” MacKail says.
Make sure mirrors aren’t facing your bed – they’re said to energise the space, and so energise you, which isn’t great when you want some R&R. But you might want to turn that idea on its head and step up your mirror policy for parties.
Wooden bedframes and headboards are the best for creating a good sleeping space according to Priya Sher, feng shui expert at the Hale Clinic, near Great Portland Street. “Wooden-framed beds are great because they do not conduct electromagnetic
stress, so are good for health,” says Sher. “And wood represents stability and longevity in relationships.”
What you keep under the bed is important too. Keep only clean clothes and bedlinen under there because what you sleep on can affect your mood. Banish bad feeling from crazy exes by getting a new mattress and definitely buy new sheets.
Living rooms are gathering spaces, so having a focal point is important. “You want to make sure sofas and chairs don’t block the energetic flow but you want a focal point like a fireplace or coffee table,” MacKail says.
But we all know the most important function of a living room is social, so your furniture needs to be arranged so you and your guests are facing each other and you can chat freely without obstructions.
For those who want a bit more dollar, Sher says putting a soft-leaved green plant in the corner of your living room, diagonally opposite the door, will attract money. We’re still sceptical, but it’s got to be worth a try. And we promise to share if we get rich.
Sher suggests having the cooker and sink opposite each other in a kitchen can “aggravate relationships”. This is because fire and water combat each other.
MacKail also warns against having your back to your door when cooking. But you can’t exactly rip out your kitchen (unless you really hate your landlord), so put up a mirror so you can see who’s coming into the kitchen behind you.
Negative energy is also said to be displaced with a plant or pot of herbs.
Colours also give you feng shui points – avoid blues and blacks, which apparently cause relationship problems. Go for light greens instead.
Leaky taps are annoying. But they also bring bad feng shui. “If there are leaks, you’re draining energy out of your home,” MacKail says. So keep some green plants in the bathroom to make sure you don’t lose any energy or, more tangibly, money.
Sticking a big mirror in the bathroom – where you start your day – is said to help you live with a clear, bright vision. Now repeat: “I am in control.”
Up Your Sex Life
Open windows and curtains daily to let sunlight charge your bed with positive energy.
Avoid nookie on solstices and equinoxes to maintain your sexual appetite.
A bedroom needs warm colours and soft furnishings for good sex.
Get as much red in your room as possible.
Replace any single items in your boudoir with two or you’ll be doing it alone.
What to Avoid
You don’t want to mess up your luck because you’ve got your telly in the wrong room. Learn what to avoid, then good things will come:
Front and back doors shouldn’t be opposite each other, unless you want money problems.
Don’t get a house on a hill, because having a sloping garden will also ruin your moolah situation.
Avoid electrical items in the bedroom because this depletes your energy levels.
Clutter is a massive feng shui faux pas. It stagnates the energy in your home, which also saps your energy.
Be careful where you put clocks in your home – having one at the entrance is a reminder of the passage of time and can make your guests feel unwelcome and rushed.
Objects that carry bad memories create a negative atmosphere in your home. Get rid of your ex’s stuff sharpish.
A messy, disorganised home office in your bedroom is forbidden. Even an organised one is frowned upon.
Sharp corners that cut into open space are aren’t good – keep things smooth to avoid bad feng shui.
Trees in front of the door to your home block good energy from getting inside.
Mirrors facing a bed can block sexual energy, drain personal energy and make you feel like you’re being watched.