Creating a Zen-Inspired Home with Feng Shui

Feng (wind) shui (water) originated from Chinese Taoism as a method of harnessing chi -- an invisible force which is believed to permeate every aspect of the universe. Taoism teachings state that you can balance the yin (shade) and yang (light) components of chi to promote good health and wellbeing. 

Feng shui has a degree of personal preference and doesn't always adhere to a strict set of rules. However, there are certain techniques that are standardized across each school of thought, such as the concept of minimalism and clarity. The following are ways to incorporate feng shui principles into your home styling.

Create a Breathable Space

The flow of chi around and throughout buildings is a big part of feng shui, which makes clutter the bane of the discipline. Practitioners believe that disorder inhibits positive energy (chi) and signifies an inability to progress in life. Remove ornaments, pictures and anything that does not have a practical purpose. This will give your interior more space to breathe and allow you to focus on the things that make your home more visually pleasing. 

Decorate with Harmonious Colours

While an earthy colour palette is always the "safe" option, there are other ways to create chromatic harmony. When in doubt, seek the wisdom of Mother Nature: leafy green, taupe, mauve, tan. Don't be afraid to use bold colours if you believe that you can pull them together in a cohesive manner.

A common feng shui technique is to use your birth date to determine which of the five elements -- wood, water, earth, fire and metal -- you relate to, and then use that colour in your decor. For example, teachings state that "water people" should decorate around whites, blues, blacks and greys, and avoid excessive use of reds, purples and greens. 

Use Geometric Furniture

If you're the type of person who stresses out when a picture frame is knocked over or a chair isn't neatly tucked under the table, try to create symmetry with your furniture. Geometric furniture is designed to slot together and often utilizes basic shapes such as squares and rectangles. Rounded or oddly shaped furniture may have character, but it's much more difficult to place. 

Feng shui teachings can be incorporated into any home styling project. These "rules" should be used as a guideline, so feel free to break the mould and adapt the techniques to your own resources and lifestyle. 

Remember, feng shui isn't all about décor, it's also about cognitive development. Immerse yourself in your passions, don't multitask, and try to schedule your eating. If you've got lots on your mind, get out a pen and pad and start trying to organise your life. Keeping your décor in check is one thing, but unless you have the right headspace, it'll all go to waste.