Whether you are a Feng Shui newbie, or have been practicing this ancient ritual for years, Feng Shui is a functional practice that can be as practical or spiritual as you desire. It can be as simple as rearranging furniture and decluttering to make your space more comfortable for you, or it can become an intricate tool to help bring harmony between your mental and physical self by creating more joy, reducing stress, and up leveling your well-being.
Feng shui in a way cultivates mindfulness as you become more aware of your space. It allows you to observe your surroundings and take in the details of your environment so that you can create a unique area that enhances your practice of becoming consistently present.
If you are completely new to Feng Shui, it is an ancient Chinese practice that translates to “wind” and “water”, two crucial elements for life. The wonderful thing about modern Feng Shui is that it can be incorporated into various cultures and current living situations. This practice embraces how we feel in any given environment: the difference between how each individual feels in a small apartment in a dense city vs. a large estate in a rural nature ridden town, or a cluttered home vs. a well organized tidy one. We all feel different in various environments and Feng Shui is the practice of making our environment in our home or office optimal for our mental and physical health.
When you start to become aware of your surroundings and environment you will have a high chance of becoming more connected with your inner awareness (tapping into what makes you feel healthy, happy, and present). Feng Shui and the care for our living space is a HUGE part in how our environment affects our mental and physical self. So to get you started, here are some beginner’s principles starting with your family/living room!
Step 1: Obviously, clear the clutter!
When your space is clear, your mind feels clear. If you work from home or spend a lot of time at home, a house full of clutter translates to constant feelings of chaos, or incomplete projects, or not being able to dedicate attention to specific projects. When you clear your home of clutter, your energy becomes lighter and there is more space in your home for energy to flow.
Step 2: Focus on the power of intention
Feng Shui has a ton of principles based on intention. When you enter a room, everything you see smell and hear should be intentional in how you want to feel. This is why your furniture should always serve a purpose more so than just design, and rid yourself of any items that are simply there just for “fluff”. By finding furniture and home items that have more than one function, you are also opening up your space by having less items which allows more energy flow and a lighter feeling of self when you are immersed in this space.
Before you start rearranging furniture or sourcing new furniture, asses your room and really tap into what it is primarily used for. Think about what activities take place the most in your living room, and if you entertain frequently and who else besides yourself uses this space. This helps your figure out exactly what type of furniture is needed, followed by the best arrangement. You also want to make sure that the “flow” of the room is open and easy to navigate, so don’t place a random chair in the middle of where a walkway would be in this space.
Step 3: Think about functional design.
For us, our living/family room is where we watch TV as well as read, play with our babe, and hangout as a family after dinner. Having a baby is a major factor in how we arrange our space (AKA baby proofing) and the type of furniture we will now be sourcing moving forward. Ensuring that this space is both functional and designed to our aesthetic preferences is crucial. A few ways to ensure this space functions for us:
— Dedicated floor space that can easily be filled with baby toys, as well as easily cleaned up to reflect zero traces of baby. We created this space in the center of the living room in the middle of our two couches so that we can lounge while the baby plays while always being nearby. We also sourced an end table that also functions as a toy chest so that when play time is over, toys and mats are put away in two seconds flat.
— Family functional ottoman & couch. This one has been so incredibly important to me. Being a mom who also wants to ensure our home is modern and on trend, I have to be conscious of finding furniture that can EASILY be cleaned from both baby and dog accidents, can endure lots of bouncing/movement/scratches from both baby and dog, can fold into a bed for guests or as an extra play space, and doesn’t have sharp edges. Same thing goes for an ottoman. We needed something that is soft/doesn’t have hard edges, can easily be cleaned, and can also function as a surface where we can bring a tray of food if we decide to eat while we watch a movie.
I must’ve manifested the ideal type of living room couch because the *ultimate* furniture brand, Coddle, reached out to collaborate and they have exactly the type of furniture I needed. Pictured is our couch from Coddled which highlights the fact that baby/dog accidents can easily be cleaned up, and this was HUGE for me! It also folds into a bed (ideal for guests), has power/USB plugs so that you can charge your devices while using the couch (super functional), and is soft and perfect for when our baby starts walking around and bumping into things. The best part is that I can have white furniture without having to worry about messes and it brings brightness into our space with a modern chic design. Premium luxury functional furniture, if I do say so! So bottom line: source furniture for your space that serves a function for the whole family, so that you aren’t always stressed about messes or storage or whatever is happening the most frequently in this space.
Step 4: Bring in happy and uplifting energy.
We want happy and uplifting energy since we spend so much time here. You can achieve this by your color choices, furniture choices, and how you decorate this space. You can do this by ensuring that there is lots of natural light coming into this room, choosing lighter furniture colors to further reflect and bring in light, and finding decor/artwork that depicts scenes that evoke joy and happiness, whatever that is to you personally.
Step 5: Ensure good air quality/flow by bringing in nature.
I am a proud plant hoarder for many reasons. Not only is nature simply good for the soul, but house plants help cleanse the air in your space. This helps improve air quality, air flow, and a sense of calm serenity when you’re immersed in your own personal jungle or forest.
Step 6: Elevate your space by tapping into all of your senses.
Did you know that your five senses are pathways to creating the utmost harmony between your mind and body? We become so unaware of the power of your god given senses that we may completely forget that these tools can be utilized to tap into inner awareness, a higher level of consciousness, and a feeling of pure joy. When you create a space that caters to your five senses, or a multi sensory experience, you are creating the optimal environment for healing and happiness. If you don’t know where to begin, take a peek at our soon to launch 15 module program that helps you turn any space into your very own Sense Sanctuary.