Feng Shui for Everyday: Homebuyers Feng Shui Guide
Look for these signs of helpful feng shui energy in the new home you are buying.
My wife and I are starting the search for our first home! While there must be hundreds of details that someone can pay attention to, we know there must be some basic feng shui guidelines for buying a good home.
Congratulations as you embark on this wonderful journey! Yes, there are entire volumes dedicated to this huge feng shui topic, but it’s very important to keep in mind that there is no such thing as a perfect house. As in life, there are always challenges to address and work with.
The goal of feng shui is to attract, disperse and ground balanced chi throughout a space. Energy should move in a gentle, meandering way without being overly yin (stagnant and still) or overly yang (too fast or threatening). A house with one or more of these conditions may compromise the quality of life for its occupants, much the same way we are affected by polluted air and water, driving in an unsafe vehicle needing repairs or being in the presence of a violent or confrontational person. Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind as you search for your new sanctuary.
- Pay attention to the quality of chi in the neighborhood — trees and vegetation are thriving, no evidence of dead birds or animals, piles of trash, rotting and uncared for buildings, abandoned vehicles. Does the energy feel nourishing?
- Does the house you are looking at have good natural barriers to the street in the form of trees or foliage without blocking the chi to the front door? Look for a front door that is easily seen and accessible. Ideally, a curved or meandering pathway leads to the front door, which encourages balanced chi into the house, instead of a non-stop flow straight from the street.
- Check to see if there is sha chi (attacking chi) around your potential new home in the form of pointed, barbed structures, and that the house is not overwhelmed in size by larger nearby structures.
- Ideally, the back of the house should not be lower than the front or drop off in a downward slope.
- Look for a house that is a complete shape — square, rectangle, circle — with as few missing pieces as possible. A complete house equals a balanced bagua of supportive energy with no missing areas. These eight aspects (or guas) include Wealth, Fame, Love, Children, Travel/Helpful People, Career, Knowledge, and Family/Health.
- The main entryway of a home holds much potential for encouraging positive chi once inside the door. Is it tiny? Do you feel squeezed? What is the first thing you see as you enter? Red flags may be an immediate wall (you may find yourself continually “hitting a wall” somewhere in your life), seeing the back door from the front (chi moves rapidly out of the house as it enters), a staircase (chi entering the front door clashes with chi descending the staircase) or a bathroom (draining chi).
- Look for a house layout where chi is evenly channeled into all of the rooms. Do some areas feel stagnant or look dark and unused? Visual clues that stagnant energy is present include plants, fish, or animals not thriving in a particular space, the presence of ongoing, unsolved electrical or mechanical issues, peeling painted surfaces, or mold and mildew present.
- Check out the "feng shui trinity" — the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom — where the most positive chi is anchored. Do they allow for optimal use and flow of energy? Bedrooms are more yin spaces and ideally located toward the back of the house. In the kitchen, can you cook at the stove from the command position where your back is not to the front door? Bathrooms placed at the entranceway or in the guas of Wealth and Fame located along the back of the house would not be supportive feng shui influences as the water drains away money and squelches the fire of fame.
- Determine what, if any, predecessor energy is still present in the house surrounding traumatic events. All structures retain memory of previous occupants and events.
Feng shui is the art and science of intention above all. Be sure to set your intentions to easily find the house of your dreams. Look to the most yang area of your existing space, which is called Helpful People and is located to the right of your front door from the outside, and place your intentions here. Write a mission statement, have pictures of your dream house and desired location. This is the most auspicious area to really fire up your wishes and get the energy moving where you want. Good luck!
Dear Karen, I love plants and have about ten in my bedroom, but I recently heard that plants produce too much CO2 at night, as well as energy that could disrupt sleep. Do you have any feng shui information about the benefits or disadvantages of plants in a bedroom? Thanks Karen. Love your column!
This is such an excellent question, and one that I am frequently asked. According to feng shui teachings, plants belong to the wood element and represent growth, upward energy and movement. As such, they carry a strong yang or active energy.
Ideally we use the bedroom for restful sleep and as a place of quiet sanctuary, so this space is considered very yin or still. Having plants in the bedroom would not be supportive of that intention, and having ten — well, let’s just say this is a lot of opposing energy being infused into this room! A small plant or two is certainly fine, especially in a large bedroom. For couples, a small orchid with two stems or a pair of orchids is also quite helpful without overdoing it.
You might remember in last issue’s column I also advised that a few plants in the bedroom of a recovering patient might be quite helpful to boost their lowered chi and encourage healing. Long-term illness can create a yin condition in the body and the wood element might bring much needed yang energy to support a positive outlook and good health.
However, plants are most suitable in areas of the house favorable to the wood element — mainly the quadrants of self-knowledge, health and family, and wealth located on the left side of your house from the outside. Excluding the bedroom, plants really can be used freely anywhere in the house or office to purify the air and provide vibrant, living energy for the occupants.
Regarding CO2, it is well known that plants do release CO2 at night. However, all animals and humans do so as well. During the day, plants burn energy and release oxygen into the environment in a light-dependent process known as photosynthesis. At night in the absence of light, plants release CO2 as they burn energy, defined as respiration, however scientific study has yet to suggest any amount of CO2 released is harmful. Assuming we are healthy, the benefits of the daylight oxygen release are diminished by the overly yang energy of plants in a bedroom space. So enjoy a few lovely plants, but moderation is truly the key.
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 email@example.com or visit www.karenfeldmanurbaneden.com.