have ever wondered why some people seem to have energy, luck and happiness,
while your own life seems cluttered and confusing, it is time to consider your
Hastings, interior designer at Woods Furniture and Design, believes the
principles of feng shui, which has been developed over 3000 years, could help
you organise your life.
shui is about being complete, not being in parts,” Livier explains. “You need
to create an environment for yourself of wholeness, wellbeing and harmony.”
can be achieved by using furnishings and architectural features to ensure a
balancing flow of Chi – vital energy, often known as the life force.
there is a proper balance of the five blocks of everything that is physical on
earth, water, fire, metal, wood and earth–people will enjoy healthier and
happier, and more peaceful, lives,” Livier says.
shui translates as wind-water. It is estimated that early techniques were first
used in 4000BC, when the Banpo built doors oriented to a certain star, Yingshi,
in order to increase solar gain.
in the Zhou era, Yingshi was thought to influence the best time to construct a
capital city. The Chinese skill with star maps and astronomy led to accurate
north-south axis in a developing cosmographic system that predated full feng
shui rules. In terms of design and layout, all capital cities followed the
practices of feng shui.
principles continued to develop, with techniques for calculating angles and
orientations, it also prompted the invention of the magnetic compass, a
to the process is the ba gua, a map that divides the home into nine areas.
are: wealth, prosperity and abundance; fame and reputation; relationships, love
and marriage; health, family and community; centre; creativity, children and
projects; knowledge and self-cultivation; career and life path; and travel.
should be addressed with equal importance.
how do you put the principles of feng shui into practice?
it may seem like common sense, it is essential to ensure the entrance to the
home or office is welcoming and pleasant.
bedroom is a very important area,” Livier says. “It is where a good portion of
your life is spent getting your rest.”
good flow of Chi, ensure your bed is not in a direct line with doors or windows
and that there are items that bring tranquillity and harmony.
place anything in your bedroom that is negative. Mirrors do not belong in a
bedroom. You do not want reflections that might startle you when you are half
asleep,” Livier explains. “If you are married, make sure that the artwork in
your room appeals to both so is that there no conflict.”
bathroom adjoins the bedroom, keep the door closed – you don’t want good Chi to
go down the drain, Livier says. Similarly, ensure the toilet seat is closed, so
good things in your life are not flushed away.
eliminating clutter and keeping your home organised with clear pathways is
have ceilings higher than 15 feet, make sure it is broken up with windows,
tapestries or architectural details. Soften sharp corners with plants or some
other furnishings. All of these things will create a better environment and
good energy will flow freely,” explains Livier.
is not only essential in the home; the office can also benefit from feng shui.
It’s all about balancing those five core elements.
bowl will take care of your water, desk and chair (metal and wood), a live
plant (the earth). And never have your back facing a door,” Livier says.
yourself with items that are associated with wealth and prosperity, like a
change bowl, a calculator and a crystal paperweight placed on the left corner
of your desk or the first dollar bill earned in your business, and pictures of
what you sell.”
diplomas, certificates and awards can symbolise fame and reputation, too. And
remember to avoid fluorescent lighting. It’s all about creating an environment
that feels like home.
you do, keep your desk clear of chaos so that your work Chi does not become
stagnant. Everything should move along, in and out, taking care of business.”