How to Use Feng Shui to Set Up Your Living Room

To harmonize your living room according to feng shui principles, you need to pay attention to color, furniture placement and room features, such as a fireplace, an extra door or a high ceiling. It's best if you can apply feng shui principles during the building phase; if not, you may have to apply remedies to cure some undesirable aspects of the space. In the best of circumstances, you'll achieve a balance of the five elements in your room design.

Color and Compass Direction
According to feng shui, the best color for the living room depends on its compass direction relative to the rest of the house; to determine it, stand in the center of the house and hold a compass. Generally, each direction has a corresponding color, but the colors for south -- red (fire) -- and north -- blue and black (water) -- aren't the best choices for a living room. If your living room is on the south part of the house, consider painting the walls a shade of green, which is a wood color; if it's in the north, use gray, the color of metal. White and beige are safe colors no matter which direction the living room faces.

Furniture Placement -- Create a Focus
The furniture in the living room should create a center of focus, and to help those who come into it feel more comfortable, the sofa and chairs should be in the empowered position. This means that they face the door, but aren't directly in front of it. Feng shui frowns on placing a television in the living room, because it destroys the focus; if you must have one there, cover it with a wall hanging or use a DVD player to display a scene, such as an aquarium or a fireplace, when it isn't in use. If you display a scene, choose one that balances the energies; for example, an aquarium can be a soothing influence in a south-facing room with a prominent fireplace.

Positive Flow of Chi
Ideally, chi -- or energy -- should flow in the main entrance and circulate in a positive way, and features that mitigate against the flow include doors that face each other and high ceilings. If you can see another door straight in front of you when you come in, it's best to keep the door closed or to use screens, plants or furniture to interrupt the energy flow; otherwise, all the good energy that comes in the room goes right out again. High ceilings function in the same way; bring them down visually by using low-hanging pendant lighting or placing artwork low on the walls to draw down attention. Avoid displaying weapons in the living room; they introduce negative chi.

Balancing the Elements
Some problems arise from an overemphasis on a single element, which can be corrected by introducing a balancing element. For example, a south-facing living room with a fireplace on the south wall has a preponderance of fire energy that you can counter with an active water feature, such as a fountain, or by placing a mirror -- which symbolizes water -- over the fireplace. On the other hand, a living room with white walls, which is a color that symbolizes metal, may need the balancing influence of growing plants -- which symbolize wood -- and furniture with earthy color tones, such as cream, yellow, beige or light brown.


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