Feng Shui – believer or sceptic, there’s no denying that a well-planned space is a vibe… and a good one, at that. Without delving too deeply into the ancient philosophical practice, just know that Feng Shui is all about ensuring a harmonious balance between nature, its energies and the effect it has on your life.
We’ve covered some expert Feng Shui tips from a master and how to correct the bad juju in your bedroom, and even if you’re not one to actively seek out a Feng Shui master, it doesn’t help to follow a couple of guidelines to make sure your house is at least welcoming all that good chi (energy).
Yet to start? Go down this list to see if you’re guilty of any of these biggest Feng Shui mistakes at home.
1. Hanging the wrong kind of art
Feng Shui is a little more nuanced than making sure you don’t have any scary-looking art pieces around the house. Without delving too much into the science behind it, just know that artwork also possesses certain energy, and based on what the art depicts, that energy can be positive or negative.
The general rule of thumb is to ensure that your home is free of any art that is too dark. This is because dark-coloured art pieces attract yin (masculine) energy, too much of this energy and you just might find yourself unusually restless and distracted in your own home.
Steer clear of paintings of wild animals or anything that is too rough or aggressive. Obvious symbols of death and wild animals are a hard no. Your safe bets are art pieces that showcase serene and calm scenery or floral blooms such as chrysanthemums, orchids and even bamboo which is a symbol of wealth.
Image credit: oh.eight.oh.nine
Pro tip: If the room in question is the bedroom, it’s better to have a pair of paintings hanging behind the bed as opposed to a lone one for positive vibes in your relationship at home.
2. Positioning your bed in the corner
Image credit: anewall
In the context of the bedroom, your bed should always be in a command position, which is somewhere central and diagonally across from your bedroom door. One of the biggest Feng Shui mistakes homeowners make is putting their bed in the far corner of a room.
Why is this so? When your bed is in the corner, the positive chi that flows through the room gets trapped. Conversely, it might also come to symbolise you being trapped in life. In the relationship department, it’s thought to be ideal when there are two access points to the bed. If your bed is in a corner, you might also be closing yourself off from relationships in reality.
An example of a bed in a good command position.
Image credit: @hellohomebodies
Pro tip: Always start styling by putting your bed in the command position and decorating your room around your bed.
3. Not planning your space in accordance to the Bagua map
Let me drag you back from that thought – no, we’re not talking about the edible bakkwa. A Bagua map a.k.a. the eight trigrams is one of the most revered tools in Feng Shui for mapping out the different energy sectors of your home. Without the use of a Bagua map, you might be following principles but still going about it all wrong.
If you want to do Feng Shui correctly, you should start with a Bagua map and compass to locate the true North of the room that you’re decorating.
Start off by dividing the room’s floor plan into nine equal squares where each square represents a different “category” of your life from health and family to fame and reputation. Then decorate according to the elements of each facing, this way, you’ll magically welcome more chi into that “section” of your life for it to flourish.
Pro tip: We all know that plants are like glowing beacons of positive chi, but there is a right corner to place it in, and that’s actually the South-East corner of your living room according to the Bagua map!
4. Decorating your home with dried flowers or cacti
Using plants in your Feng Shui favour isn’t as simple as peppering a couple of money plants around your home and calling it a day.
Image credit: Pinterest
While leafy and flowering plants are all pretty safe bets, you’ll want to avoid decorating with dried blooms or spiky plants such as aloe vera and cacti. Dried blooms are essentially dead plants, and you don’t want that negative energy looming around your space – no matter how pretty the bouquet.
Image credit: Etsy
Similarly, sharp-leaved plants produce negative energy called sha chi which can hinder the flow of good chi in your home.
Pro tip: Plants also symbolise life so you’ll want to swap out dying plants as soon as you spot them to prevent the same “fate” from happening to your luck.
5. Sitting beneath metal lamps with sharp corners
Sharp, decorative items can invite bad chi and accidents into the house. The same goes for metal standing lights and hanging light fixtures, these shouldn’t be too sharp around the edges; and you should never have your sofa, bed or armchair positioned under a metal fixture. This represents a bad omen and a weapon that can strike against you at any moment.
Pro tip: Ex-NS men might be tempted to display their officer swords proudly in the living room as a badge of honour, but in Feng Shui, a sharp object in the living area is only setting yourself up for disaster.
6. Using water elements that are still or not moving
We’ve all heard about water fountains and their many Feng Shui benefits, but the main reason behind this is the fact that water represents wealth and prosperity and running water symbolises income. Yet, with all these benefits to its name, water can also breed inactive or negative energy if it is left stagnant and dirty.
If you have a pond or water feature of sorts at home, always ensure that the water is running and the “flow of water” leads inward, into your house, and never the other way out. Keep this water feature as clean as possible as well – it’s a reflection of the money in your life.
Theoretically, you want your income and money to flow in and not leak out of the home. You’ll also want to ensure that this water feature sits in the Career, Knowledge or Wealth squares of your Bagua-mapped room.
Image credit: Etsy
Pro tip: Never place a water feature or a picture of water in the bedroom, as the water element will douse the fire element that represents passion. In a worst case scenario, it could even attract problems in your relationships in the form of unwanted love triangles.
7. Having clutter around or dirty dishes in the sink
Mess isn’t pleasant on the eyes, but unbeknownst to many of us, it can also have a subtle psychological effect on our moods as well. You can probably attest to feeling more positive about your day standing in front of a spotless kitchen as opposed to a cluttered, greasy one.
The philosophy of Feng Shui is to create a positive environment for positive chi to meander through your home. Picture your home as a river and good chi as the water that flows through it. Clutter around your home, be it in the form of dirty dishes or a pile of unfolded clothes acts as a boulder that obstructs the flow of positive chi in your home.
Pro tip: Clear clutter as soon as it forms and don’t wait until the house is in an unbearable state before scheduling that cleaning sesh.
8. Keeping plants in the bedroom
Whether it was sheer boredom through the pandemic that sparked our green thumbs or trying to create more of an oasis of calm at home with all the WFH, plants have become an indispensable decorative element we can’t live without.
Image credit: Koala
But if you’re one to pepper every living space – especially the bedroom – with a couple of plants, you just might be messing up the good chi at home. Plants are considered positive live energies, but having this in the bedroom can disrupt a good night’s rest for the sheer fact that there is more energy than required for a wind-down.
To curb your restlessness at night, try removing those leafy greens from your bedroom to the living room. Placing them in the Bagua squares of wealth, career, and fame and reputation can also help these aspects of your life thrive.
Pro tip: While it can be tempting to transform your living room into an urban jungle, too much of a good thing can also be harmful in a Feng Shui sense. Plants represent the wood element, and too much wood will cause an imbalance and disrupt the flow of chi.
9. Using different types of flooring in a single space
Image credit: Pinterest
We’ve probably lusted over the concept of indoor balconies and their use of contrasting floor tiles to create a sense of an outdoor space, but in Feng Shui, this could be a huge mistake that would be extremely costly to rectify.
Feng Shui is all about harmony, and this also applies to your home’s floor tiles. A floor full of homogenous tiles is symbolic of strong chi in a home, and a home full of mismatched tiles diminishes the flow of positive chi in a home.
Pro tip: Try to avoid tiles that are too loud as these draw energies towards them and disrupt the peace of a home.
Avoiding big Feng Shui mistakes at home
Whether you fully embrace the age-old practice of Feng Shui or have previously frowned upon it, there’s no denying that there is logic embedded into its rules. Carving out a clear pathway for positive chi to flow through the house is also another way of ensuring good spatial planning and good vibes in and around your home.
Even if you’re new to the whole Feng Shui game, this list of 9 Feng Shui mistakes homeowners commonly make can help you avoid chi pitfalls and make small tweaks around the house to improve your work, romance and happiness prospects in the future.
Check out our other home improvement articles:
- How to decorate your home the Japandi way
- Home styling services in Singapore
- Rattan furniture ideas for Bali vibes
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