Feng Shui is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to dictate architectural creations and the spatial arrangements of properties, i.e their relationship with the sun and the orientation of furniture within.

Some see it as ludicrous – like wondering why on earth having a bathroom directly opposite your front door as you enter would symbolically and literally flush away your money –  and it does sound rather crazy, does it not? Others, on the other hand, see it as an absolute necessity in relation to abundance, wealth, success and a positive flow of energy in the home. We here at Lifestyle Asia are balanced in our views and will often find the golden mean and not get too ahead of ourselves. Yet simultaneously, we cannot deny the power of our surroundings and how important it is to position your home and its contents so that it works – and flows – best for you.

Your surrounding environment is everything and of course one of the central forces to your success; surround yourself in clutter and see how disordered your thoughts become; surround yourself in a white room with a more subdued décor, filled only with things that you love and see how easier it is to meditate or action those pressing matters. Less is not necessarily more, but how do you ensure that your “more” isn’t making you less, but more? It’s also no surprise that certain colours can induce the flow of good ideas while others can be the block of them; the list goes on. There is definitely reason to the madness – the unexplainable forces of Feng Shui

While we are not saying you should stop your weekly visits to Ralph Lauren Home or Casa Pagoda, we are saying you should pay more attention to your what you already have in your home. There may appear to be little logic to the pseudoscience of Feng Shui, but there are nonetheless laws you can definitely follow to ensure you are on the right side of the energy flow. Start with these three and see how better you – and your home – start to feel.

[Hero image: Toa Heftiba; Featured image credit: The Aquila Phuket]

1. De-clutter, but in a smart way 

Ralph Lauren Home

Your space is meant to promote vitality, harmony and joy so if you are surrounding yourself in things you despise i.e that leather arm chair that your ex-boyfriend bought you from IKEA – how could he! – then it sort of makes sense that you aren’t going to be operating at optimum levels, right? In the words of Marie Kondo, a Japanese organizing and decluttering expert who has been warmly welcomed by the world of Feng Shui, “only keep things that bring you joy”. Look at every single item in your space and ask the three following questions: Do I love it?; Is this useful to me? and Do I need it? Please note, you may despise something, i.e your tax return, but you most probably will need it, so just keep that locked away in a draw somewhere. Using these questions regularly in your home will really help you get rid of a lot of things that aren’t serving you and ultimately help your good Feng Shui chi sky-rocket. 

 

2. Avoid mirrors or TVs in your bedroom

A white-themed bedroom with no TV or mirror

Mirrors are considered to be the aspirin of Feng Shui and used in so many other areas of the home, but one place they certainly do not belong is in the bedroom. Why? Simply put, mirrors interfere with your ability to get a good night’s sleep. The mirror’s surface reflects every bit of light that bounces off it and of course magnifies every sound, disturbing the overall atmosphere of your room. Sleeping opposite a mirror is also bad for your health – I speak from personal experience by the way, I remember I used to get sick all the time when I slept directly opposite a mirror. Apparently it isn’t too good for your love life either… so all of you with above-the-bed-mirror-fantasies – or realities – re-think! TVs obviously also have the same reflective surface as a mirror, so get rid of it! You’ll find you sleep much better and your melatonin levels will also benefit.

 

3. Avoid spiral staircases (preferably altogether)

The Aquila, Private Luxury Villa, Phuket

Spiral staircases are actually one of Feng Shui’s biggest no-nos and it’s not completely illogical to understand why. They are so dangerous! For instance, you could slip off them any minute and fall through the sides. You can never see down all the way to the bottom so you have no idea what’s awaiting you and we all know that forewarned is forearmed. But actually, the main reason: the spiral staircase closely resembles a huge screw, boring down through the floor of your home. This symbolically translates into real physical discomfort in your body. If you do have a spiral staircase in your home, we recommend replacing it with a normal one. If you can’t, then another thing to do would be to add a wood element, which is seen as promoting health and harmony in Feng Shui. Placing a large plant directly underneath the staircase is one beautiful way of doing this; or, if the stairs are actually made of wood, then you are – sort of – okay.

This article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Bangkok on 16 September 2018.

Catherine Napalai Faulder
Catherine is Bangkok born and bred and knows the angles of the city and its people very personally. You'll often catch her writing about the upsides of Thainess, the richness and diversity of Bangkok's third cultures and the true meaning of wellness.