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Feng Shui – Practical Feng Shui, decorating, colours and flow


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Practical
Feng Shui 

Debunking
the myths and finding out what we can actually learn from the ancients.

Decorating

by Joey
Lewitin
of Pebblez.com

Most of
the information that is available concerning Feng Shui is highly
over-simplified. It often comes in the form of out-of-context eastern
principals, mixed in with basic interior design horse sense from the west,
to form a hybrid which many professional.

Feng
Shui analysts agree can be as harmful as it is helpful. Feng Shui is more
than just choosing certain colors, or “getting rid of clutter”,
as many books and articles will have you believe. It is actually an
extremely complex system of mathematical formulas that give highly
specific advice based on the type of home, its layout, and its time of
construction. There are no simple answers in Feng Shui, however there is
something we can learn from the methods the ancients used to derive these
principals.

Real
Feng Shui is a system that has been evolving over thousands of years. The
concept behind this design form is the idea that energy or “chi”
flows through everything. Feng Shui is an attempt to maximize the flow of
positive chi through a space to benefit the lives of the people within
that setting. Feng Shui is originally based on the I Ching, an ancient
Chinese text of mystical origins. Over the years successive schools of
thought have come to dominate this decorative philosophy. As each new
movement came to power, they refined the formulas and functions of
previous schools. In this ongoing process of refinement, every possible
arrangement of objects was tested against numerous people’s emotional
and spiritual reaction to them over thousands of years. These reactions
allowed the ancients to slowly improve their diagrams for the placement of
objects. 

This
ancient mathematical formula for laying out the design of a setting does
seem to be a sound method for improving the quality of a room’s décor.
While this may be due to the ancients having determined the way chi flows,
their real accomplishment might instead have been to develop a systemized
mathematical representation of a wide scale, long term psychological
study. While trying to determine the flow of energy, they may have instead
determined the basic principals of design that elicit positive responses
in humans, by experimentally testing and recording peoples reactions to
different object settings. 

ying yang symbolReal
Feng Shui is extraordinarily specific, and complex. The only way to do
real Feng Shui is either to become a student of this art, and
painstakingly learn the many principals and subtleties it requires, or to
hire a professional to do an analysis and work over of your home. Either
way, use of this design style requires a large sacrifice, and is outside
the realm of most people’s time and money budget.

However,
Feng Shui does teach us something that is very useful when decorating your
home. The ancient thinkers who developed this idea derived it by simply
paying attention to the feeling of objects in different spaces. This is a
process that every person has it within their power to do. Everyone has
taste, everyone has feelings. By simply getting in touch with your inner
critic, you can become the source for your own personal Feng Shui. No
matter how specific they were, a Philosopher from a thousand years ago is
not going to understand the spiritual and emotional nuances of you, your
family, and your home as well as you do. By using the strategy rather than
the formula of Feng Shui, you can develop a highly personalized design
that is a true expression of yourself.

Walk
into a room, and see how it makes you feel. Notice the colors, the
objects, and their placement. What do they evoke in you? Is the room
comfortable? Is it calming or invigorating? Maybe there is something wrong
in the room, even if you can’t tell exactly what it is, register that
feeling. If you are attentive, you will start to get sensitive to the
psychological influences that placement and design have on your own
mind. 

Color

Colors
have very strong and individual effects on people. Different shades will
have radically different results on people’s mental behavior. Dark
colors can either be relaxing or depressing, light colors can be uplifting
or annoying, and extreme colors can be exhilarating or aggravating. Pay
attention to how these colors make you feel. When you visit other peoples
homes, or even their shops or offices, pay attention to the effect that
walking into a room has on you. Sometimes you will enter a space and feel
naturally relaxed. Other places can have a negative effect, making you
feel uncomfortable or agitated for no apparent reason. Remember the colors
and the shades of these rooms, especially if you have a particularly
strong response to one.

Colors
also affect the nature of interactions, and when you enter a new space you
should always pay attention to the way people behave to one another. If
there is a room in your home where people tend to get into arguments,
reassess the colors in that room. Bright or extreme colors can irritate
people’s eyes and increase their metabolism, making them more likely to
fight. Darker rooms can put people in a bad mood and make them lethargic.
Color and placement are not the only things that influence interactions,
but by paying attention you may be able to understand the subtle influence
it can have.

Flow

In
traditional Feng Shui, the goal is to maximize the flow of positive chi in
an area. While you will probably not be able to detect the essence of the
energy of a space, you can increase the feeling of flow in a room by
paying attention to the way people and objects move through the
space. 

The
flow you want to achieve is in the essence of the room. You want there to
be easy access for people moving through the room, as well as in and out
of it. You want objects to be able to move from their storage, into use,
and back without adding to clutter. This kind of flow is a mixture of
organization and design that focuses on removing blockages and allowing
easy movement through every area.

You
will be able to feel whether a room has flow just by walking into it.
There are tiny currents of air that run through every space. We do not
generally notice these currents, however using your intuition you can just
barely perceive this air. The difference between greater and lesser
currents will be translated into your mind as greater or lesser flow. As
always, make yourself sensitive to the subtleties of the space. 


EXPERIMENT

ying yang symbol

It is
important to allow yourself to be wrong. If you don’t make mistakes, you
won’t learn anything. Pay attention to emotional variations you feel
from placing different decorations and colors in different spaces. At a
certain point, stop and simply exist in the room, remaining attentive to
the feel of the space. Occasionally, make small changes, and observe the
emotional and interactive differences.

If you
don’t have the time or strength to constantly move furnishings and
furniture around, then try visualizing different scenarios. Sit somewhere
quiet, close your eyes, and imagine the room in a different style. Imagine
yourself in the room, and try to incorporate every detail in the room into
the setting. Feel how your emotions respond to such a setting. Pay
attention to any problems you may feel. Allow yourself access to the
subconscious of your mind, and trust its natural inclinations, as it will
pick up on problems and solutions that you won’t consciously understand.
Use color charts and pictures to help with the imagination process.

Feng
Shui is a very respectable form of interior decorating with a long and
rich history. However, it was originally based on simple trial and error,
as ancient Chinese thinkers explored the many different ways that
positioning and design can affect the most subtle workings of the human
mind. Today you can try to recreate that method, by experimenting with
yourself and your surroundings to produce a room that will affect you and
your family in a positive way. While you probably won’t achieve the
accuracy of the ancients in your first attempt, each try will educate you
as to the style and design that suites you best as well as the way it
affects you. Exploring this further can allow you a creative outlet
enabling you to get in touch with the very basic nature of art that exists
within you.

 copyright
Joey Lewitin 2005

 

Joey
Lewitin has vast experience in interiors and design, and is a pioneer in
the design of unique home furnishings made from natural stone. His newest
designs can be seen at Pebblez.com
РThe Rustic Stone Home D̩cor Store
I


How to use Feng
Shui
to improve your home office

 

 

 

 

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