Feng Shui is defined as the practice of reflecting the principles of the natural world in the artificial environments that we live in today. In Chinese, feng translates to wind and shui translates to water. The meaning of the term feng shui is derived from an ancient Chinese poem that talks about how human life can be idealized if we connect with the flow of the natural environment around us. In interior design, feng shui is understood as the principle of each living space ‘flowing’ into the next within the home. The arrangement of furniture is meant to draw the eye in an aesthetically pleasing pattern while the colors and textures used are supposed to emanate nature.
It can be difficult to arrange small spaces to have a “flow”, especially in small one-bedroom or studio apartments. Here, we’ve compiled all of the basic tenets of feng shui and tailored them specifically to the apartment lifestyle!
The commanding position within a room is the position wherein you’re standing furthest away from the door, without being directly in line with it. One of the principles of feng shui is to have your rooms arranged so that when you’re standing in the commanding position, you have a strong backing behind you, like a wall. You should place your bed in the commanding position so that when you’re in bed, you can see the door and are as far away from it as possible, without being directly in line with it.
Doors & Windows
Another principle of feng shui is to make sure that all of your doors can open 90 degrees or more. Being able to keep doors open and clear increases the ‘flow’ throughout your spaces. Windows and windowsills should be kept totally clear so that as much light as possible is coming through. You should also open all doors and windows every now and again to clean the air throughout the home.
Declutter your surfaces
Having clean, open surfaces is a huge pillar of feng shui. To look upon your home and see clean lines actually de-stresses your mind. One of the other main components of feng shui is minimalist interior design. Rather than having busy, cluttered decor, try clean, simplistic decor pieces and use them sparingly. Check out our most recent article, Minimalist Interior Design Reduces Stress for more tips on how to declutter and enjoy a tidy, orderly household.
Use of Mirrors
The use of mirrors is huge in feng shui. Mirrors can expand your space, reflect more light throughout the room, and bring the same reflective properties as bodies of water (again, bringing nature inside the home). They also work well to increase the number of commanding positions in a room when mirrors are placed to reflect entryways and doors.
The principles of feng shui denote that the entryway to the household is the portal through which all energy flows in and out, and is therefore the most important doorway in your home. Maintaining a clear and bright entryway is key to bringing good energy into the home.
Harmonious division of different areas
In many small apartments, your spaces multi-task as eating, living, and sleeping areas. It is an important tenet of feng shui that you separate your spaces with the arrangement of furniture. For example, your ‘living room’ furniture should face each other and if possible, the bed should be separated from the living area by a bookshelf, dresser, or other linear, solid piece of furniture. You always want to promote symmetry in the room, so try to keep furniture of similar size positioned opposite of one another.
Although Feng Shui is an ancient practice of emanating the themes of nature within the home, these design concepts apply in today’s world where so many of us are separated from nature. Feng Shui may even be most important for those of us who live in cities and apartments, as we likely don’t experience much nature in our daily lives.