Chinese connection

Chinese connection

Decorating your home according to Feng Shui principles can be quite an experience. Ruth Dsouza Prabhu offers tips on how to design your home according to this ancient Chinese art.

Good energy Place healthy plants all over the house. (Left) Placing mirrors can also help in balancing energy. Getty Images

There seems to be a little bit of China all around us. Feng Shui, the Chinese equivalent to Indian Vaastu is a rage. The Rs 20- shop-till-you-drop Chinese bazaars dot the shopping centres of our cities.

For those who need a refresher course on what this ancient art is all about, Feng Shui (pronounced ‘fung schway’) helps you manipulate and organise your surroundings such that it attracts positive life energy or chi, allowing it to flow unobstructed through your body and environment. The premise of Feng Shui is that people are affected by their surroundings in positive and negative ways.

When you decorate with Feng Shui, you work on the movement of energy and unblocking of areas so that energy is able to move in a balanced manner around your entire home. There are a number of Feng Shui decor pieces that can be used for this and they include decorative mirrors, water bodies, plants, colours, sound, smells and more. Sit back and think a bit – is there a room in your home where arguments tend to spark off? Take a look at the decor of the room – are the colours loud?

Is it crowded with too many objects? Take a step back and think of a room which comforts you the most – could be in your parent’s home or at a friend’s. Try to replicate the colours and decor that you remember in this room. Try and work with your sensibilities and get a “feel” for the room with Feng Shui.

When you are taking Feng Shui principles into consideration, make sure that they correspond to the bagua, which is a set of eight diagrams related to Taoist cosmology. This is a colour scheme that you will need to correspond your decor to. When it comes to wealth and family, you will need to include elements of wood in your decor. This means having plants with broad healthy leaves. Never ever use dried plants because they are a symbol of bad health.

Warm tones, soft tones

Using blue wallpaper and carpeting or soft furnishings is a good idea as they are representative of water and water nourishes wood. Using fish in Feng Shui as a decorative element is symbolic of wealth.

Fame and reputation area is represented by fire, which of course doesn’t mean that you set the place on fire.

Rather, including a touch of red would be nice. Using red and fire elements will bring you luck and recognition. You could use a warm peach or maroon shade on your wall and have decorative furniture with shades of red. Tone the colours down according to your taste and requirement as they don’t really need to be all that bright. Use multiple light fixtures such as floor lamps and decorative candles.

Use natural crystals, terracotta and tiles in your decor to encourage better relationships and enhance your knowledge areas. These are representative of the earth element in Feng Shui. Hues of orange, yellow and browns will work ideally. Mixing fire elements with earth will give your decor an added punch.

Metal matters

Including metal chimes is good for children and for enhancement of creativity. Wrought iron is a great choice. In Feng Shui, it is believed that gold and silver bring good fortune as well. For rooms related to this, use white or metallic colours and include a few earthy tones. Always have music of some sort playing in the background.

The area in your home where you work out of can be characterised by a water body. A small one, as too much water is representative of flooding a bank. Have a small water fountain or an aquarium near you. Add a painting of a water scene as well.

Some basic Feng Shui ideas for decorating and designing rooms and houses include:

* Avoiding cramped rooms and having a free-flowing design.
* Avoid long hallways to stem the rapid flow of energy.
* Do not have too much overhead lighting. Stick to warm lighting.
* Reduce the number of sharp corners you have.
* Place healthy plants all over the house.
* Arrange couches and chairs to always have the door in view.
* Take away unnecessary curios
* Decorating through Feng Shui principles is all about feeling the space and making way for good energy. You will then have a home that becomes a pleasure to live in.

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