Feng Shui Your Living Room
Living room generally have both a formal and informal side to their design and layout, and this reflects their uses. On the one hand the room needs to be comfortable, relaxing and spacious so the household can unwind, watch tv or listen to music. On the other hand, it needs to sharpen things up when used for formal gatherings of the extended family, guests or potential business clients. Feng Shui principles can help you strike the right balance. But regardless of the room’s uses, remember to keep it tidy, as this makes it much more user-friendly and pleasant for everyone.
The informality of this room needs to be reflected in the presence of yin styles of furniture and decor. Yin represents softness, space, relaxation, expansion, and nurturing chi. To emphasize yin aspects of comfort, hang rich, warm, thick curtains, lay a thick, warm, single colored carpet, and provide deep, comfortable sofas and chairs which have a high back for support.
In addition to these sensual yin features, try to include other yin items such as a drinks cabinet, television and video system and a hi-fi or piano.
For a more formal atmosphere, still consider the furnishings, but pay special attention to the actual layout, position and structure of the room – all yang factors. Yang is represented by clarity, focus, formality, structure and precision. Give your room an edge of formality by placing the sofas and settees in a square facing each other, with either a rug or a low, unobtrusive coffee table in the center. Small tables, lamps, footrests or pot plants positioned at the four corners of this arrangement help to create a pa kua effect and keep the chi circulating and intact.
Now you can enjoy the informality of a relaxing room’s plentiful soft furnishings, with a comfortable but slightly more formal sitting area where the seated occupants can focus on each other rather than on the television or window view.
The living room is the ideal space for you and others to enjoy certain aspects of your wealth, success and family. Have the family silver on display, an heirloom that serves as a talking point, various gifts you’ve received from clients or framed photos of your immediate family.
Planning Your Living Room
It is always important to note which direction or sector of your home the living room occupies. In an ideal world, the best location for the living room would be either the southwest – an earth area representing relationships – or the west, which is governed by the metal element and represents children and projects.
Again, superimpose the pa kua over the living room floor plan to identify quickly the various sectors within the room and which element supports each one. In this way you can decide where to place the brighter lights (south, east, southeast), or trinkets and mementos from clients (in the northwest). photographs of family (the west), pictures of ancestors (in the east), and photographs of partners and spouses (southwest). Your own comfy armchair should ideally go in the northeast, while the north should be kept as a quiet area.
Colors And Materials
When it comes to decorating, focus on clarity and relaxation. Achieve clarity by avoiding ‘busy’ patterns, such as paisleys and chintzes, on carpets, wallpapers and sofa coverings. Use simple one tone colors that are neither distracting nor overstimulating, to enhance the relaxation.
The best colors for a living room include white, off-white, peach, cream, beige, lilac and soft shades of green or even blue. A throw in any of these hues can easily transform that orange polka dot sofa!Materials should have an emphasis on comfort – floorboards may be in vogue, but are rather cold and hard to sit on without at least a cozy mat or rug, while curtains, wall hangings and upholstery should be made of natural warm fibers.
You can easily and subtly change the chi of the living room from one of formality to informality. Switch on central, bright lights for more formal occasions, use table lamps and free standing lamps to ‘earth’ the chi of the room, and wire up dimmer switches to wall lights to change the focus of the chi once the central, overhead light is switched off. In this way you have the flexibility to light the space according to either formal dining or informal lounging occasions.
Drawn To The Center
If you have large windows opposite the door of the living room, your guests’ eyes will immediately be drawn in that direction. If the view is breathtaking, stunning or unsightly, that will be their first impression. Generally, in feng shui it is advisable that you keep the center of the living room free to allow chi to circulate around the room but flowers, an unimposing coffee table or oriental rug will take the focus away from the view.
Locate and deal with any sources of cutting chi to encourage a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere. Take a good look around the room and observe any sharp angles that may aim ‘poison arrows’ at the occupants.
The usual sources are edges of shelves, the mantelpiece, furniture and the edges formed by irregular corners in the room. Sit in each chair and notice if you’re in the line of any cutting chi. You can either reposition the furniture, round off the sharp edges or hide them with pot plants. Use plants that overhang bookshelves or mantelpieces to hide their edges.
Another common source of cutting chi is the sharp point on any central ceiling light fixture. This can create a feeling of disharmony and disruption within the whole space. Either change the light fitting or hang 8cm of red ribbon or a tassel from the point.