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An Easy Guide to Feng Shui Decorating

Promote positive energy by clearing your entryway & painting your door a great color.

Promote positive energy by clearing your entryway & painting your door a great color.

Colorful and unobstructed front doors (Click to enlarge)

Colorful and unobstructed front doors (Click to enlarge)

Feng shui decorating principles have migrated from huts in China's Yellow River Valley to the mansions of House Beautiful. How can you use feng shui principles when decorating today? This easy guide gets you started! It includes:

  • The importance of your home's primary entrance,
  • A feng shui bagua or energy map of your home, and
  • Extra feng shui tips for beginners.

The Front Door: Where It All Begins

Feng shui decorating is about manifesting positive life energy or ch'i in your home. It's important to keep your doors and windows unimpeded so that ch'i can enter.

Make sure that your main entry area isn't obstructed by seasonal decorations, unkempt shrubs, footwear, toys or anything else.

Make a Colorful Entrance

It's probably a good idea to paint your door something other than white. Feng shui consultants sometime determine which color is best by considering the placement of the door. That's because each direction on a compass is associated with a different color spectrum and natural element.

Example: Experts often advise that a door facing south be painted a color associated with fire (i.e., red, orange, yellow, pink or purple). Greens and browns are also acceptable for south-facing doors because these earth element colors "feed fire" in the feng shui energy cycle.

Other basic feng shui door color recommendations are:

  • North-facing doors should be blue or black, the colors of water.
  • West-facing doors should be yellow, silver or white, the colors of metal.
  • East-facing doors should be painted green or blue, the colors of earth.

This all gets complicated by other principles of feng shui. Basically though, you can't go wrong by cleaning up your entryway and painting your door a cheery color. Red is especially popular regardless of direction because it's believed to attract prosperity.

A simplified bagua or energy map

A simplified bagua or energy map

A traditional bagua or pa kua.

A traditional bagua or pa kua.

The Bagua: Your New Best Friend

Stepping indoors now, we take out the bagua. This generic map shows how energy moves within any space. As you can see in the diagram to the right, your living area is divided into nine zones. Each zone is focused on a particular area of life such as family, health or creativity.

Hold the bagua while standing at your main entryway. You'll see that your door is located in either the career, knowledge or helpful people section of your home and life. Also notice how the map uses nine colors. Ideally, you'll incorporate each color into its corresponding zone.

Choose a Zone to Improve

Unless you're Jeanne, you can only revamp one zone at a time. Start by choosing one area of your life that could use improvement. For example, if your physical health isn't so good, focus on improving the center of your home (the yellow zone).

An easy first step for improving any area is to remove clutter. After that, add zone-specific color. For the yellow health area, a person might add fresh yellow flowers, yellow throw pillows or a bowl of Golden Delicious apples.

Feng Shui Decorating Tips for Beginners

Feng shui is complex. For one thing, you can't truly improve a zone in isolation. Your home is like your life: The crummy energy from one neglected area will creep into the others! Be sure to address each zone over time.

Also, applying feng shui isn't as simple as clearing clutter and using certain colors. Here are a few other ideas from feng shui:

1. Elements must be balanced. The energy in your home includes five elements: wind, water, fire, earth and wood. These need to be in balance. This helps explain why items such as water fountains, mirrors and wind chimes are common feng shui accessories.

Example: Let's say that the eastern part of your home is too fiery. You can add a watery balance with a small fountain or a mirror.

2. Crystals can attract positive energy. You might think that crystals are too "New Agey" and devoid of any inherent power. Even so, they do reflect light in a way that enhances interiors. Dangling a crystal in a sad, dark hallway can instantly create a lighter feel.

3. Ch'i isn't all good. The positive ch'i that I've mentioned is called sheng ch'i. There are also negative ch'is to fight off. Crystals, mirrors and other items can be used to this end.

Example: Slanted ceilings can look great, but they can also create an oppressive effect because they push energy downward. You can help deflect this negative energy by placing a mirror where it will face upward. Mirrored candleholders, for example, could help counteract the ceiling's low points.


I hope that this beginner's feng shui guide has supplied useful ideas. For more information about feng shui and decorating in general, check out the links & books below.

Happy decorating!



Sarah on February 16, 2013:

You made a good point about the crystals!

Thanks for this blog. I called it useful, funny and interesting!

SantaCruz (author) from Santa Cruz, CA on January 31, 2012:

Thanks for your thoughts, Vania! Good point about feng shui and business... The home office is my next bagua section to work on :).

So true about feng shui improving life in general. For example, one principle of feng shui is to repair or get rid of anything that's broken. Part of the rationale is that every time you see that object, you feel an unpleasant nagging sensation.

Feng shui-ing is addictive. Now I feel antsy if I don't move things around every day. Good thing I don't live with a blind person.

Vania on January 31, 2012:

Love it! I learned about Feng Shui when I was in high school and I always think about it when I move into a new place. Removing clutter is one of those things that I believe is hard for everyone, hence the show Hoarders. But having a harmonic living space is good for the flow of enrgy not only in your house, but in business, and life. Feng Shui is one of those things that can be done to improve your environment.