Finding calm and positive energy at home has never felt
more important.

With a growing focus on finding comfort at home and turning our living
spaces into calming sanctuaries, this year has reignited our interest in
Feng Shui.

The ancient Chinese practice is all about creating harmony in a space –
but goes far beyond using colour and light to create the right ambience,
for instance.

Strategically placing furniture to promote wellness, using artwork and
living plants to get the right vibes and keeping rooms clear of clutter
all factor.

Based on the belief there’s a continuous flow of ‘chi’ – or energy –
between an individual and their surroundings, thinking about how to
arrange our objects to promote good work-life balance has additional
appeal right now, with so many more of us adapting to life without a

There’s plenty of scope for Feng Shui to feature in gardens and patios
too, for an extra boost when you throw open the doors or look out the

“The practice of Feng Shui aims to strike a balance between the self and
the natural world. It can be applied to any room of the home,
particularly outdoor spaces, where there’s already a connection with
nature,” says Rosheen Forbes, commercial activity & events leader at
IKEA UK & Ireland.

“Adding plants and greenery is an easy place to start, and depending on
the ‘bagua’ (centre of energy), the colours you choose can increase the
energy in certain areas. Calculating your bagua map is simple but needs
approaching differently depending on your home,” Forbes adds.

“If you live in an apartment, align the bottom of the bagua map with the
front entrance wall. If you live in a house, use a compass and place the
‘career area’ (bottom middle on the bagua map) where your compass
indicates the north.

“So, when planning your garden, think about planting blue and purple
flowers in your ‘wealth corner’ (south east), and pink, white and red
flowers in the ‘relationship corner’ (south west) to increase the energy
around love and partnerships.

“Furthermore, outdoor mirrors can be used to attract abundance. With its
curved shape and smooth flowing lines, an oval mirror can be used to
reflect the light from the sun, making the space feel bigger and
brighter. For smaller spaces, place two mirrors to face each other so
the light bounces off, creating beautiful brightness.”

Fancy giving your home some Feng Shui magic? Read on for more tips on
how to go about it…

Think about muted tones and textures

“When introducing the tools of Feng Shui into the home you need to think
about adding balance and drawing energy into the room,” says Wil Law,
home design stylist for John Lewis.

“You can start with colours – using muted tones mixed with natural
materials and soft furnishing accessories immediately creates a calming
effect. Try a natural wooden armchair (like our Croft Collection Frome
Leather Armchair, £899, John Lewis), with muted colours on the walls and
textured vases and ornaments with a soft rug or carpet underfoot,” says

Keep colours positive if you’re not into neutral

Of course, colour is subjective, and what’s positive and calming to one
person may be undesirable to another. Alex Whitecroft, head of design at
I Want Wallpaper, suggests using colours that reflect your personal
happiness – but try to avoid darker colours or too much black, as these
can sap positive energy flows throughout the home.

“Brighter colours will have an immediately uplifting effect, so this may
be the perfect opportunity to create a feature wall. You might even want
to go so far as using your ‘commanding position’ (the spot furthest from
the door and not in direct line with it) wall as the accent – and earn
yourself double Feng-Shui points while you’re at it.”

If you’re not sure where to start, check out I Want Wallpaper’s Erismann
Paradiso Tropical Leaves Pattern Wallpaper in Jungle Leaf Forest, £12.99
per roll. In Feng Shui, green is the colour of renewal, fresh energy and
new beginnings and is believed to help relieve stress.

If going green with walls isn’t possible, Whitecroft says to look for
accessories to enhance good energy. Living plants, brightly coloured
cushions or a wall decoration will brighten a room and tie the look
together in one fell swoop.

Try to separate work and relaxation

Another key Feng Shui tip is to keep your work space separate from your
relaxation area, to help balance your work and home life and enable you
to properly ‘switch off’ while working from home. Out of sight, out of
mind can only be a positive move on many levels – signalling when it’s
time to end those video conferencing calls, light a candle and chill

And just in case you’re wondering, candles should be placed in the bagua
of your home – as well as releasing daily stress, their glow brings
fiery energy and will keep the ‘chi’ harmonious and happy.

But back to the business of a work station: slim, movable tables, deep
enough for a laptop and bits and bobs will maximise your desk area,
while taking up less room – and they can be rolled away when it’s time
to log off. Ikea’s FJALLBO Laptop Table, £55, ticks all the right boxes

  • and can even double up as a drinks trolley in the garden.

Aim for minimal clutter

The starting point for any positive environment is to keep kitchen work
surfaces and table tops as clear as possible. This might mean having a
good sort-out, and investing in some suitable storage solutions. “Old
magazines, dusty ornaments and general bric-a-brac once placed in haste
and never removed will not contribute to a positive energy environment,”
says Whitecroft.

“If you find it hard to part with sentimental clutter, find a box to
neatly pack it away. Do be cautious though – simply moving clutter from
one spot to another won’t do much to aide your energy flow. Donate to
charity shops or find a way to bid farewell to items in order to clear
your space, and ultimately, your mind.”

Bring the outside in

If you’re short on outdoor space, stress not. Think about bringing the
outside in with some greenery. “Plants are a brilliant way to bring
energy into the room, add colour and cleanse the air. They look great in
natural baskets or ceramic vases and succulents are easy to care for,”
says Law.

Last but not least, another important Feng Shui tool to build a soothing
environment is to consider carved furniture with smooth edges, over
angular and sharp designs. Sharp edges and corners, otherwise known as
bad energy ‘sha’, could have a negative effect when you’re unwinding –
and right now it’s all about maximising the feel-good factor where we
can and letting positive vibes flow!