By Erik J. Martin, CTW Features
“Feng shui” is a term you probably heard a lot more often years ago when it first began gathering momentum in America as a prominent design trend. But the truth is that this concept and its acceptance haven’t waned in the time that has elapsed, the pros concur.
“Feng shui is still very popular today, particularly in residential home design,” notes Chris Alexakis, an interior designer and the founder of CabinetSelect. “It has become a much more mainstream practice due to its focus on creating a harmonious atmosphere and promoting well-being through the use of natural elements, colors, and objects.”
Feng shui is actually an ancient Chinese practice that involves arranging objects in a home to promote harmony, balance, and good fortune.
“In terms of interior design for homes, it’s about finding a meaningful relationship between the environment and the inhabitants,” Chenise Bhimull, an interior designer and licensed Realtor, says. “It’s also about creating an atmosphere that allows positive energy to flow throughout the space.”
Practically speaking, feng shui involves making adjustments to the placement of furniture, decor, and other items after factoring in location, orientation, and relationship with home occupants. Often, less is more when it comes to feng shui adoption, which usually results in simpler aesthetics with less clutter.
“Other important aspects of feng shui include how elements like color, light, and texture are used to create balance, the use of symbols and objects to represent energy or luck, the implementation of natural materials, and the use of elements like water and plants to bring a sense of tranquility and well-being,” Alexakis adds.
Eddie Tee, a metaphysics consultant at Fengshuied.com, says more people around the world today practice feng shui than ever before.
“This is partly due to the ease with which information spreads via the Internet and how social media has become part of everyday life. People who have experienced how feng shui changed their lives often share their stories online. And as new age and spiritual pursuits become more common in modern times, many found answers in the study and practice of feng shui at home,” Tee continues.
Bhimull’s recipe for incorporating feng shui effectively in one or more rooms involves following several recommended best practices. Start by assessing your environment – paying attention to factors like orientation and location. Place furniture and decor items in a way that promotes the flow of positive energy throughout the space, and choose colors, textures, and materials that create a harmonious atmosphere.
“Try to incorporate some of the five key elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – into your design. Also consider the symbolism of certain shapes, objects, and colors when selecting items for your space,” she recommends. “Use natural elements like plants, crystals, and stones to promote a sense of balance. Make sure any artwork or decorations reflect your own personal style and preferences. Keep clutter to a minimum, as excess items can block the flow of energy. And don’t be afraid to have fun and experiment with different ideas to see what works best for you in your home.”
Michael Rubin, owner and principal designer of MR Interiors in Essex County, New Jersey, advises transforming your master bathroom into a feng shui sanctuary.
“You can install an inlay of rocks and stones in a border surrounding a freestanding tub to give the feel of bringing the outside world in while you are relaxing in the tub. I also love paneling the shower walls with wood or wood-like tile to bring in more natural elements,” Rubin explains.
Another area of the home amenable to feng shui is the family room. Rubin suggests adding attractive wood beams across the ceiling and bringing in plenty of greenery, including potted trees, moss art, and small succulents. Accentuate the decor with metal accents, including picture frames and light fixtures.
“Your foyer is a beautiful place to also incorporate feng shui. Centering a beautiful fountain on a round plaster entry table, being able to hear the flowing water right when you enter the house, sets the mood right away,” continues Rubin.
While feng shui can be used in any room or area of your home, bedrooms, living rooms, kitchens, and offices are particularly well-suited for this design approach “because these are the areas where people spend the most time and where the energy of the home is most concentrated,” Bhimull says.