Springtime inspires us to get up and refresh our homes, particularly our living spaces, because that’s exactly what is happening outside in the natural world. Everything is starting anew. After the mini hibernation and cozy comfort of winter, we’re more than ready for a complete change by the time spring comes back around.
If you’ve heard the term feng shui before, you probably know that it’s about balance, and this is often achieved by removing unnecessary objects and opening spaces back up.
We’ll tell you all about how you can achieve a feng shui living room by looking at these key things:
Furniture and decor choices
Choices of colour
Contrasts of textures and materials
But first, we’ll delve a little deeper into the term itself, explaining exactly what feng shui means and how the practice came about.
What Is Feng Shui?
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy, and is specifically about achieving balance within a living space, as a way of improving general wellbeing.
Translating to “wind and water”, feng shui focuses on teachings from the natural world, in the belief that being closer to nature makes us more mindful and more relaxed.
In other words, it is about simplifying the spaces we live in, so that they are more like natural environments, where energy flows freely rather than getting trapped. Decluttering is certainly a part of the process, but there’s a little more to achieving feng shui than clearing a space of its possessions – a lot more, in fact.
That’s what this piece will explain, focusing on the living room, which is where everyone in the household congregates and spends time together as a unit. As such, it is arguably the most important room in the home as far as feng shui is concerned.
Feng shui colors should have a calming effect, so safe neturals and pastel palettes are always welcome. No colors are ‘banned’ per se, but bear in mind that anything too vibrant will likely upset the balance.
As well as the colors of your walls, also consider the other injections of color throughout the room: sofas and armchairs, throws and cushions, curtains and lampshades. All of these elements should work well together, without too much stark contrast.
You’ll want to let as much light into the room as you can, because that will maximize the perceived space and will also make for a happier room. A low lit, cosy den is ideal for winter, but becomes stuffy if carried over to spring and summer, so you need to let the sunshine in. All the better if the sun is hitting light-colored walls, so a lick of paint may be all you need to do.
The ‘command position’ is a key feng shui principle. It relates to a position that is furthest away from the door, while not being directly in line with it, from where you have full view (command) of the room, backed by a solid wall. In the living room, this would be the ideal place to position your main sofa or armchair, so that you can see who enters just by shifting your gaze, without surprise.
This is not always possible in living rooms, because there may be a fireplace, or a window, or even french doors, in the would-be command position. Of course, there’s nothing you can do if that is the case.
There are some non-negotiables, though.
First, you need to ensure a clear pathway through the room. Can you walk from the doorway to each of the seating areas without obstruction? If not, you ought to rethink the layout and remove those obstacles.
Second, there need to be pockets of space that people can modify and use freely: spaces to place beanbags, to sit down cross-legged, to sprawl out with a magazine, and so on. It needs to be a simple, fluid space.
A lot of the time, clutter is the problem: too much stuff in too little a space. If the space itself is just small, you’ll have to work with it. For example, let’s say you have a freestanding bookcase full of books, DVDs, ornaments and trinkets. You could invest in some under-sofa storage boxes to house all of this stuff and do away with the bookcase, which would simplify the room and create the illusion of more space (if not genuinely creating said space!).
If you’ve recently moved into a new home that was previously occupied by someone else, it can take a while for the place to truly feel like your own, especially in the living room. As a result, it might feel unbalanced – even if you’ve arranged the space optimally. To view it from a feng shui perspective, the energy is unable to flow through the room, perhaps due to its history lingering.
If that’s how your living room feels, some space-clearing rituals might be just what you need. Making use of home fragrances, such as scented candles, incense and essential oils will do a fantastic job of refreshing any living room. Even some room spray would be a great start.
Décor and Furniture
As we’ve already touched on, the positioning of furniture is all-important when it comes to feng shui. It’s important, however, not to view furniture as static: the arrangement can and should change regularly.
Experimenting with furniture placement keeps a living room fresh for everyone who uses it, and allows the free flow of energy, but we’re talking about more than just seating.
Sideboards, coffee tables and side tables can enhance the room’s character. When shopping for such items, whether online or in person, make sure you keep your existing furniture in mind. Will that wood finish suit the colour of your sofas and armchairs? Will it go with the carpet? Is it proportional in size to everything else?
Textural contrasts can work well, provided that the colours complement one another. Fabric cushions with a suede sofa. Linen curtains meeting wool carpeting. These details can give the room more depth.
If you feel as though the room looks empty, consider inserting some indoor plants rather than padding it out with more pieces of furniture. As natural creations, plants bring a room quite literally closer to nature, which has an inherently calming effect on the whole space.
There are plenty of houseplants that thrive in the shade, so you should be able to slot these in wherever needed. As well as freshening up the space visually, plants often have a genuine purifying effect – improving air quality, soaking up excess moisture, decreasing dustiness. And on a purely aesthetic level, a prominent plant serves as a focal point, whether centre-stage on the coffee table or nestled atop a sideboard.
Transform Your Home for Spring 2021 with PartyLite
A calmer, happier home is waiting for you this season with just a few changes. Whatever your home style, make it a place for tranquility and happiness today.