How to Decorate with Feng Shui

5 strategies to decorate for maximized energy

Feng shui, the art of bringing a peaceful, flowing feeling into the home by the proper placement of objects and furniture, dates back to ancient China. But today, as more families, individuals and businesses are turning to feng shui experts for decorating advice, it's become a popular practice in Western culture too. Feng shui can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. For a detailed, in-depth look at feng shui, you may want to purchase a book or do some more research on your own. Here are some of the basics about decorating with feng shui to get you started.

Step 1: Be practical

If there's a piece of furniture you don't like, get rid of it. If a small table in your living room is unnecessary, put it somewhere that it can be used. According to Stephanie McWilliams, a professional feng shui consultant and host of HGTV's "Fun Shui" show, you should remove any artwork that looks depressing or gloomy, and lose any items that remind you of past relationships or bring back sad memories.

Step 2: Clear clutter

There's nothing worse for energy flow than a bunch of junk all over the floor and stacks of papers on the kitchen table. If it's time to pay the bills, and you have to dig through piles of expired coupons and old convenience store receipts just to find your checkbook, you'll be grumpy before you even start the errand. Take time to toss what needs to be tossed and put away what needs to be put away.

Step 3: Get some plants

Plants bring life into your environment. They incorporate an element of the outdoors inside your home, and they add color. Plants absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen, and for that reason, they may improve indoor air quality.

Step 4: Incorporate water

The sound of flowing water soothes the human soul and delights the senses. Fountains and fish tanks can make a home more pleasant. In addition to adding life — like fish, turtles or underwater plants — aquariums represent the circulation of prosperity, according to Jayme Barrett, a feng shui expert and author of Feng Shui Your Life, because water represents money in feng shui design.

Step 5: Soften sharp edges

Not only is it painful to run into the sharp corners of furniture, but it's not good feng shui to have them open and exposed in your home. Tables with sharp edges pointed at living areas should be "softened" by repositioning them or replacing them with rounded tables. Ken Lauher, a feng shui consultant who has appeared on TV shows like The Learning Channel's "Moving Up" and NBC's "The Today Show," recommends that columns or shelves with sharp corners be softened by putting plants in front of them.

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