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Feng Shui: the living room

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by Samantha Wong

One of the reasons minimalist design schemes appeal to so many of us is that they radiate sheng chi (beneficial energy). A pared-back, clutter-free room is harmonious and well-balanced, it’s calming without being dull and it has a sense of flow – all essentials for good feng shui.

So if you are reworking your living room to improve the feng shui, start by decluttering it. Throw out what you can (that pile of old magazines on the coffee table) and find storage solutions for things you use on a regular basis. It’s worth investing in a few simple pieces that will free up space – perhaps you need a bookcase or a couple of side tables with in-built storage.

You’re aiming to fill your room with only the (attractive) necessities, and this goes for larger pieces too – get rid of the chair you never sit in and the painting you no longer look at.

Paring down will immediately up the feel of any living room, as will giving some thought to furniture placement. Group chairs to promote conversation and togetherness, and put the TV in a cabinet so that you can really switch off from it every now and then. Work with scale and proportion to create harmony between pieces of furniture, and make sure the chi can flow.

Playing with fire

Chi can’t flow in a room with stagnant air, so be mindful about opening your windows. You can also freshen a room by burning incense sticks or, better, using an aromatherapy diffuser. The healing power of essential oils works on many levels, making a living room smell good, while purifying its energy.

Good lighting is another must. Don’t limit your living room to a single ceiling lamp because si chi (bad energy) breeds in spaces that are harshly or dimly lit. Layered lighting works best, meaning you have a number of fixtures – ceiling, standing and table – placed liberally around the room. Fire up some candles too.

Mirrors are a great way to bounce light around, while also making a space look bigger. They introduce a calm, fresh energy but they possess a lot of magic, so you need to be a little bit cautious with them.

Mirrors literally and metaphorically double what they reflect, which means they need to reflect something positive, like a beautiful view or favourite piece of furniture. A mirror above the sofa might look stylish but if it’s reflecting a neglected corner, that feeling is likely being doubled in your life.

Mirrors are also linked to self-esteem, so stick to full-length ones in which you can see yourself completely. If your body is ‘cut’ in your reflection, your energy is cut, and you’re telling yourself that you don’t measure up.

Lastly, it’s time to throw caution to the wind and play with fire. You can brighten any space with a splash of red and in so doing you introduce the fire element of joy, warmth, love and excitement. Good feng shui is all about balance, so you’ll want a good mix of colours in your living room, but pick up a rug or a throw in a warm and nurturing shade of red and you’ll feel the benefit.

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