Feng Shui for Everyday: Cul-de-sac Houses


My husband and I found the house of our dreams! However, it is in a cul-de-sac. I have heard that cul-de-sacs can be an ideal location or areas of stagnant or chaotic energy on the other extreme. What do you think of cul-de-sacs and do you have any remedies for the problems they may pose?


Cul-de-sacs are a classic feng shui dilemma and there are literally dozens of factors to consider in determining whether the feng shui is positive or not. A cul-de-sac is a circular drive off a street with one or several houses facing the center “donut hole.” In feng shui, streets are symbolic of rivers, so the water carrying the chi can either be stagnant or fast-moving and chaotic as it attempts to make its way around the circle. This housing plan became popular in the 1960’s with the large scale use of planned developments and suburban tracts. Today, many city managers and urban planners oppose their use, some with bans in place, as they encourage isolated neighborhoods and an over reliance on cars.

A well-planned neighborhood with good, nourishing chi acts like a tree with all the houses in the neighborhood serving as branches that interconnect and support each other. Ideally the energy meanders in a gentle and thorough way from one house to another as it infuses life-supporting chi into each dwelling.

The flow of house energy within a cul-de-sac neighborhood can be quite variable depending on where it is located, how long the road is and how busy the traffic, just to name few considerations. Because there are so many particulars, a one-size-fits-all generalization may not be correct for your particular situation.

Cul-de-sac Challenges

1. Living on a cul-de-sac is likened to having a car’s headlights sweep into every house each time a vehicle enters and exits, sweeping away vital chi. Energy entering a cul-de-sac can often act like a sling shot as well, creating chaos and disruption.

2. The cul-de-sac can generate a continuous recycling of chi looping among three or more houses, starving the houses for more chi. The chi can become stagnant as a result and the residents may feel disconnected and isolated.

3. A house that sits at the very end of a cul-de-sac has all of the energy from the street pooling in front of it, pressuring the house energetically. This could create the undesirable effect of attracting drama or hardship to the house. The challenge with cul-de-sacs lies in properly capturing the energy that flows down the road toward your house. Attaining balanced feng shui requires that the chi is harnessed before it enters the home so you can effectively transform a negative effect into a positive one.

Cul-de-sac Cures

One of the best ways of transforming chi is to slow it down before it enters a space, much the same way a transformer steps down high voltage energy to a lower voltage so the circuits are not overloaded. Here are some good remedies to consider.

1. Chi slows down when it encounters a body of water. Adding any kind of water feature to the front of the house will keep the energy flowing in a more gentle manner. Consider using a fountain, a birdbath, or even some creatively designed waterfall. Be sure that the water flows toward the home rather than away from it, as water symbolizes wealth and abundance.

2. Chi energy will also slow down when it encounters an obstacle such as a wall, trees, boulders or shrubs. A small half-wall or fence with a good working gate will achieve this without stopping the chi altogether.

3. Use landscaping as a powerful tool to adjust and harmonize the intense oncoming energy. Design a curved pathway towards the front door that will attract a gentler, more balanced chi towards the house. If there is an existing straight path, symbolically cure it by planting shrubs and flowers along the sides. Plant a row of evergreens at the back of the house to further retain the chi that enters the home.

4. Consider landscaping a center island if possible with seasonal flowers and shrubs. This is a beautiful and powerful way to slow down the energy and prevent the rapid entering and exiting of the chi back out into the street.

5. If the energy appears or feels stagnant in front of the house (and therefore inside), remedy this problem by generating motion. You can achieve this by displaying a flag or decorative banner that harmonizes with the surroundings, or adding a moving sculpture or garden ornament. Chi is always attracted towards what appeals to our senses; the captivating look and feel of something moving brings welcoming energy to the front door.

Karen Feldman is a certified feng shui practitioner and interior designer, and the owner since 1994 of Urban Eden, a full-service holistic interior design firm in Providence, RI. Karen helps her residential, commercial and corporate clients to co-create spaces that are beautiful, functional and in alignment with the best interests of their well being along with the planet’s. Send your questions to Karen at  urbaneden@cox.net or visit www.karenfeldmanurbaneden.com.

See also:
Feng Shui for Everyday: Healing Space and Hiding Recycle Bins
Feng Shui for Everyday: Homebuyers Feng Shui Guide