With a history stretching back to the 9th century BC, it’s safe to say that Feng Shui is one of the oldest interior design guides around. Stemming from the Taoist belief in Chi, the life force that is said to inhabit everything, Feng Shui has been used to help balance and design Chinese homes for millennia.
In recent decades, the guiding principles of Feng Shui have made their way into Western interior design. Often used to help create spaces that flow well and have a good energy to them, these principles can be used to great effect when thinking about the layout of your home.
If you’re currently looking for new ideas for your living room, planning it according to the rules of Feng Shui could be the perfect choice. Here are 10 of our favourite Feng Shui tips to get you started.
1. Air it out
One of the first things you should do when applying Feng Shui principles to your living room is open the windows. Fresh air is very important in Feng Shui, so open your windows for at least nine minutes (nine is an auspicious number in Feng Shui) to let the stale air out and give your living room a literal breath of fresh air.
You can make the room feel even clearer by burning a scented candle or placing essential oils in the space. Some Feng Shui experts also use chiming bells to help clear a room and give it a new lease of life.
2. Keep your entrance clear
Keeping the entrance to your living room clear and clutter free is very important in Feng Shui. Avoid placing any pieces of furniture in the way or your door or walkway. This will help the energy to flow seamlessly into your lounge and create a welcoming living space.
Think about moving any coffee tables, chairs or plants out of the way to create a clear run into your living room. If necessary, reduce the amount of furniture in your lounge to ensure there’s enough space to move easily around.
3. Your door should be visible from your seating area
According to the principles of Feng Shui, your door should be visible from your living room seating area. This allows you to see who’s coming into the room and give visitors a proper welcome. Where possible, avoid placing the back or your sofa to your door. As well as blocking the entrance to the room and restricting the flow of Chi, this will stop you from seeing who’s coming in.
4. Clear the clutter
Clearing the clutter is an important part of Feng Shui. Not only does decluttering help to calm the mind and boost mental health, it also makes for a more spacious and relaxing living area. Try to remove as many unnecessary furnishings and ornaments as possible and give all the items left behind a deep clean.
One good technique is to take everything out of a space before cleaning it and putting it back again. This gives you a real opportunity to evaluate your belongings and decide what deserves a place in your living room and what can be put elsewhere.
5. Separate your work and living space
Separating work and living spaces is another core principle of Feng Shui. If possible, create a dedicated workspace in another part of your house. Spare rooms, dining rooms, large cupboards and even hallways can all work well as home office areas.
If you can’t put your desk anywhere else, try to section it off from the rest of your living room using a screen or large plants. The more division you can create between your living and work spaces, the better, so try to get creative when it comes to separating these two important parts of your life.
6. Add plants
Whether you’re following the principles of Feng Shui or not, plants will make a great addition to your lounge. Living plants bring energy and life into your home, two things that should help your living space to feel more vibrant and more welcoming.
Placing plants in the corners of your room can work especially well as, according to the rules of Feng Shui, this is where Chi, the life force, can become stuck and begin to stagnate. Bringing life to these areas with plants is the perfect way to get your Chi flowing again and create a positive atmosphere in your living area.
Our living room plants decor guide is packed full of ideas on adding greenery to your home, giving you plenty of inspiration for your interior.
7. Choose your colour wisely
Colour has a big place in Feng Shui. According to the guiding principles, different colours will help to enhance and support different parts of your life. The best way to choose a colour for your living room is to consult a Feng Shui colour guide and then select the tone that reflects the area you want to promote in your property.
For example, if you want your living room to be a positive space, bursting with energy, select green or brown for your walls. If you want to create an atmosphere of passion and vitality, go for pink, yellow or red or, if you want to make your living room soothing and balanced, choose a neutral, earthy tone.
8. Provide plenty of seating
As the living room is the social hub of the home, it should have a comfortable place for each person who lives in the property. If there’s not currently enough seating for everyone, consider upgrading your sofa to a 3-seater or a corner sofa to create a generous, welcoming seating area. Adding an Ottoman can also help to ensure there’s plenty of space for everyone.
If you have pets, invest in one of our stylish and practical pet-friendly sofas and give every single member of your household a comfortable place on the couch.
9. Maximise the light
Creating a light, airy space is very important in Feng Shui. A bright, well ventilated interior will let Chi flow easily and prevent the air in the room from becoming stale.
The best way to maximise the amount of light coming into your living room is to replace dark or heavy curtains with light blinds or shutters. This will increase the level of ambient light in your living area and make it feel bigger and brighter. Hanging large mirrors on your walls is another good way to bounce light around the space and give your living room the perfect energy.
10. Balance the elements
Feng Shui is all about balance. Some of the most important things to balance in your living space are the elements. According to the principles of Feng Shui, each of the five elements – Earth, Water, Fire, Wood, Metal – brings its own qualities to an interior. Ensuring that these qualities are in harmony will help you to create a space that feels good and looks fantastic.