You’ve likely heard of feng shui — over the last few decades, the ancient Eastern Asian practice has become a household ritual for many. At its core, the art of feng shui is balancing your home’s energy to allow for prosperity and good energy. It’s also about being intentional of how you arrange certain pieces in your house and what you choose to decorate your interiors with. But for anyone who is just now learning about feng shui, it might feel overwhelming or confusing. According to feng shui expert Anita Rosenberg, it’s an environmental science. To understand the basics, we talked to Anita about what everyone should know about feng shui.
What is the significance of the entry way?
The front door or the main entryway is one of the most important areas of feng shui in a house. It is called the Ming Tang or Bright Hall. We take the energy from outside and we open the door because then we want to bring it into the house. When you first walk in the front door, you want a foyer or an entryway because this is where your QI — a force of energy — (pronounced chee) hangs. It brings good energy into your space and then it moves throughout your house. That’s why they say the entryway is very important.
I like to have a side table where I call base camp — where people put their keys and their purse and things — flowers, greeters, a Buddha, some crystals, anything that makes you smile when you walk into the house and say hi, welcome. I do like shoeless homes because we take in a lot of stuff in the outside world in our shoes. I like having a little bench just take off the shoes when you come in. What you do not want is your mirror to be right there when you walk in because the mirror is very energetic and it will push your energy back out the door.
What is the best arrangement for a bedroom that creates calm and promote sleep?
Bedrooms have only two purposes: to recharge your battery through sleep, rest, and relaxation — and sex and romance. That’s it. You do not want your office, your computers, your workout equipment, or your televisions in your bedroom. The room is about the bed and you want two bedside tables for yin and yang (they do not have to match,). You also should have two bedside lamps, which also do not have to match. I like extending the bed with a bench or a loveseat or something that just makes the bed more grand. You also want is to decorate with romantic imagery. If you are in relationship or married, you can have photos of you and your significant other. You do not want pictures of your children and your-in-laws, they are not part of the bedroom situation. If you are single, you don’t want any photos, so it’s best to just anchor your intentions with pairs of things.
Does feng shui help with mental health?
If a house has applied feng shui principles, it should not look like a Chinese souvenir shop. It should not have hanging dangling coins and red things and magical stuff. It should just feel yummy. It should feel balanced. It should feel calming. When your space feels good and you like the energy in it, you’re going to be happier, you’re going to be healthier, you’re going to be emotionally better, you’re going to be mentally better, physically better, and spiritually better.
What are some good things to keep in your house?
Plants inside are really lovely to have because you feel like you’re bringing nature inside. A little fountain in your front door actually is not going to do that much in terms of bringing a lot of money, but it definitely stimulates and moves energy around. Be aware that just having a little bubbly fountain in your front door is not going to all of a sudden make you rich overnight, but I do like having a water feature in the house.
Is it important to keep your home tidy?
When your house is full of clutter and it’s chaotic, it can be very aggravating and it is not a very healthy environment to be in. In the world of clutter, there is active and passive clutter. Active is when you make a mess and you’re creative and you clean it. Passive clutter is when you’ve got piles of stuff you have not moved in months and months. That’s stuck and stagnant energy. One of the things you do want to do is kind of keep things moving.
How can feng shui help with work life balance?
You need a designated workspace. You need a power center. The rules of an office apply to a home office. It’s an office. It is your base power center. The idea of working on your laptop from your bed is not empowering. It’s also nice to shut it down.