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Article: Feng Shui Interior Design: The Principles and Room-by-Room Tips

Feng Shui Interior Design: The Principles and Room-by-Room Tips

Written by Henry Phan Update
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Did you know that just by rearranging and positioning your furniture, you can enhance the energy in your home? This concept is at the heart of Feng Shui, an ancient Chinese practice celebrated by interior designers and wellness experts for many years.

Feng Shui interior design aims to bring harmony and balance to your lifestyle by aligning your living spaces with the natural world. Curious about how to incorporate Feng Shui into your home? Let’s delve into some effective tips with Rowabi in this article.

Introduction to Feng Shui Interior Design

Feng Shui isn’t just among new interior design trend for 2024; it is a time-honored tradition grounded in ancient Chinese philosophy. Unlike Western interior design, which often focuses on visual appeal and comfort, Feng Shui is about creating a flow of positive energy throughout a room.

In this section, we will uncover the essence, historical roots, and foundational principles of Feng Shui, providing you with a thorough grasp of how to implement its concepts in your home.

What is Feng Shui interior design?

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice that aims to harmonize individuals with their surrounding environment by optimizing the flow of Chi, or life force energy.

Originating over 3,000 years ago, it involves arranging objects and spaces to facilitate this energy flow, drawing on natural elements such as fire, earth, metal, water, and wood, as well as the primary energy forces of wind and water.

for millennia feng shui has improved lives by enhancing living quality
Feng Shui has been utilized by people for thousands of years to enhance the quality of life. Source: Parachute Home (1)

This practice is deeply rooted in Taoist principles and closely relates to the balance of Yin and Yang, reflecting the fluid and interconnected nature of the world.

The history and basics

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese practice dating back to around 960 B.C., originally linked to astrology and the alignment of burial sites with celestial bodies. Over the centuries, it has evolved, significantly influencing historical Chinese provinces and modern interior design worldwide, including a strong following in America.

Feng Shui interior design aims to harmonize individuals with their environment by manipulating Chi, or life force energy, through natural elements like wind, water, earth, and light. This practice employs various methods, such as the Bagua map and wind chimes, to enhance energy flow and promote well-being.

It includes different schools of thought, like the Form School, which focuses on natural elements, and the Compass School, which uses the eight cardinal directions to create a balance between Earth and Heaven. Despite adapting to contemporary lifestyles, the core principles of Feng Shui remain vital for optimizing spaces with positive energy and harmony.

The five feng shui elements

Feng Shui interior design principles focus on balancing five essential elements: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Each element symbolizes specific qualities and should be incorporated into your home’s decor to ensure optimal Qi flow and harmony.

  • Metal: Metal stands for logic, efficiency, and precision. Enhance the presence of metal with spherical and round shapes, and decorate with metallic colors like white, silver, and gray. Position metal elements in the west and northwest areas of your home to promote clarity and focus.
  • Wood: Wood represents creativity, growth, and vitality. To incorporate this element, use natural shapes like trees, trunks, leaves, and flowers. Decorate with green and blue tones, and add wooden furniture, plants, and nature-themed artwork. Position wood elements in the east and southeast areas of your home to enhance growth and creativity.
  • Water: Water embodies spirituality and wisdom. Incorporate this element with irregular and wavy shapes, and use colors like black and dark blue. Place water elements in the northern area of your home to enhance relaxation and wisdom.
  • Fire: Fire symbolizes passion, transformation, energy, and enthusiasm. Incorporate this element with triangular and pointed shapes, and use vibrant colors such as red, pink, and purple. Place fire elements in the southern area of your home to boost energy and enthusiasm.
  • Earth: Earth signifies stability, physical strength, and balance. Use square and rectangular shapes to symbolize earth, and decorate with earthy tones such as brown, beige, and yellow. Position earth elements in the center, northeast, and southwest areas of your home to foster stability and balance.

colors and shapes corresponding to each element are vital considerations
Refer to the colors and shapes corresponding to each element. Source: Pinterest (2)

Fundamental feng shui principles

At its core, Feng Shui embodies foundational principles aimed at harmonizing and enhancing living spaces to foster well-being and prosperity.

These core principles provide clear guidance for practitioners, helping them shape environments that facilitate positive energy flow, maintain harmony, and foster a strong connection with the surrounding world.

every object position and addition should hold significance and adhere to rules
Each position of each object and any addition also need to have significance and should adhere to the rules . Source: MyDomaine (3)

Maintaining equilibrium and serenity

  • Central to Feng Shui is the quest for balance and calm in your environment. This balance promotes a serene atmosphere and enhances well-being by allowing Chi, the vital life energy, to flow smoothly and harmoniously.
  • Achieving this balance necessitates careful and skillful manipulation of the five elements - wood, fire, earth, metal, and water—when arranging furnishings and positions within the home, thereby nurturing a lifestyle that is peaceful and harmonized.

Optimizing the commanding position

  • In Feng Shui interior design rules, the concept of the commanding position holds significant importance when arranging furniture and decor.
  • According to this belief, key pieces such as your bed, working desk, bathroom, and kitchen should each have their designated positions to avoid conflicting energy and promote positive vibes for the entire household.

Clearing space for positive energy flow

  • As you may know, in Feng Shui interior design, the layout of the house must also be arranged sensibly to facilitate the free flow of positive energy throughout your home.
  • Clearing clutter and organizing your space are essential steps to eliminate stagnant energy, creating space for revitalized and vibrant Chi.

Harnessing the influence of colors:

  • In Feng Shui, colors play a crucial role, with each color being linked to a specific element and energy type. Depending on the homeowner's individual elemental characteristics and priorities, particular dominant colors are selected.
  • It's important to note that selecting and balancing colors in your decor should not focus solely on one specific hue.

Amplifying natural illumination

  • In Feng Shui beliefs, natural light is regarded as a potent source of positive energy. Therefore, a home that is well-lit with natural sunlight can amplify the flow of Chi and elevate your mood.
  • You can make the most of windows, mirrors, and lightweight curtains to optimize natural illumination. Spaces that are bright and airy, flooded with natural light, promote a dynamic and lively atmosphere.

Establishing a connection with the environment

  • Feng Shui interior design underscores the significance of forging a connection with nature and the world around us. This principle is realized by integrating natural elements into your living space, such as indoor plants, and water elements, and using materials like wood and stone.

How does the bagua map work in feng shui interior design? And how to use

The Bagua Map is a crucial tool in Feng Shui interior design, helping to balance energy flow and harmony within a space. It divides spaces into nine sections, each representing key life areas like wealth, fame, and health.

the bagua map is essential for initiating feng shui applications in homes
The Bagua Map is considered fundamental for people to begin applying Feng Shui to their homes. Source: QC Design School (4)

By overlaying the Bagua Map onto your home's floor plan and aligning it with the main entrance, you can pinpoint which areas correspond to each aspect of life.

Each section of the Bagua Map has specific associations, including elements, colors, and decor suggestions tailored to enhance its aspect of life. You can take these as examples:

  • Wealth quadrant: incorporate wood and blue accents to attract prosperity
  • Fame area: incorporate red accents and tall objects to ignite passion and recognition
  • Love and romantic partnerships: use candles and paired decorative objects to foster intimacy and connection
  • Health: apply earth tones and yellow hues to create a nurturing environment that supports well-being
  • Wisdom: use dark colors like grey and back as well as decorate spaces with books and greenery to stimulate learning and personal development.
  • Travel and helping people: advocate for a clean and organized space conducive to altruism and exploration

To use the Bagua Map effectively, ensure balanced energy flow throughout the space. This means incorporating decor elements and colors according to its guidance while keeping the space clutter-free. By following these principles, you can create a harmonious living environment that supports all aspects of life.

Integrating Feng Shui: Room-by-Room Tips and Examples

We're sure you're curious about the specific principles each room should follow to attract positive energy, aren't you? Well, Rowabi will share some tips and examples with you right away.

Strategic positioning of the living room

The living room is a vital area for socializing and relaxation, making it essential to design this space with a focus on comfort and positive energy. To foster a welcoming environment, the living room should ideally be situated where it can receive plenty of natural light, enhancing the sense of openness and warmth.

To ensure a free flow of positive energy, keep the living room tidy and organized. Clear out unnecessary items to avoid clutter, which can block the flow of Chi, or life force energy. Incorporate elements of nature, such as houseplants, to add a fresh and lively feel to the room.

place the sofa against the wall and arrange chairs to face each other
Place the sofa against the wall and arrange the chairs facing each other. Source: House Beautiful (5)

When arranging furniture, focus on creating an intimate layout. Place seating in a way that encourages interaction, such as arranging sofas and chairs to face each other. Avoid placing the main seating directly facing the entrance to create a sense of security and coziness. Instead, position the sofa against a solid wall, providing support and stability.

Optimal placement of the kitchen

The optimal placement of the kitchen is a crucial aspect of Feng Shui interior design, as it significantly impacts the overall energy flow and harmony within the home. According to Feng Shui principles, the kitchen should ideally be located away from the main entrance and not directly visible from the front door to prevent energy from flowing directly out of the home.

keep the sink away from the stove and utilize cabinets to fill empty kitchen spaces
Position the sink away from the stove and use cabinets to fill empty spaces, creating a sense of abundance in the kitchen. Source: aSweatLife (6)

Additionally, it is beneficial for the kitchen to be in proximity to the dining area, facilitating a smooth transition between cooking and dining activities and symbolizing the continuity of nourishment.

Specific tips for optimizing the Feng Shui of the kitchen include avoiding clashes between elements by positioning the sink away from the stove, filling the space between cabinets with decor to prevent the accumulation of negative energy and dust, and incorporating plenty of metal and wood accents to promote productivity and strengthen family bonds.

Feng Shui bedroom arrangement

In Feng Shui interior design, the bedroom's layout is crucial for promoting positive energy. Placing the bed in the commanding position, with a clear view of the entrance but not directly in line with the door, instills a sense of security and aids restful sleep.

balcony windows introduce positive energy into the bedroom
Adding balcony windows is also a way to welcome positive energy into the bedroom . Source: MyDomaine (7)

Incorporating a headboard made of solid wood or upholstered with natural fibers enhances feelings of protection and comfort. You can also choose bedding in soothing earthy tones and arranging items in pairs contributes to the tranquil ambiance.

Additionally, following Feng Shui principles like decluttering, concealing electronics, and maintaining a tidy environment fosters a harmonious atmosphere conducive to overall well-being.

Home office Feng Shui tips

When setting up your home office using Feng Shui principles, remember that less is more. Begin by decluttering and organizing your workspace, leaving only essential items that contribute to productivity and goal visualization.

this positioning enhances productivity and workflow efficiency
This positioning helps make our work productive and smooth. Source: MyDomaine (8)

Consider the placement of your desk carefully, aiming to position it facing the door with a solid wall behind you. This commanding position fosters a sense of security and control, vital for facing future business opportunities confidently. Opt for a wooden desk and  calming colors like yellow, green, and blue to promote focus and creativity.

The front entrance/ front door

Creating an auspicious and welcoming front entrance is fundamental in Feng Shui interior design, as it serves as the gateway for positive energy to flow into the home.

Keeping the front entrance clean, well-lit, and clutter-free is essential to ensure a smooth and unobstructed flow of Chi.

taking care of front door surroundings including plants is crucial
Taking care of everything around the front door, such as plants, is important. Source: Pinterest (9)

Attention to detail, such as polishing hardware, replacing blown lights, and maintaining the landscaping, contributes to the overall positive impression and energy of the entrance.

Additionally, the choice of front door color and design can significantly impact the energy entering the home, with colors like red symbolizing abundance and black representing a sense of security and stability.

Harmonizing bathroom energy with Feng Shui

To infuse positive energy into your bathroom, Feng Shui offers several practical tips. Mirrors play a key role in disrupting negative energy and fostering a harmonious atmosphere.

Ensuring the toilet lid is always closed when not in use is not just about cleanliness; it aligns with Feng Shui's emphasis on maintaining purity and hygiene. This practice also helps contain potential germs, promoting a healthier environment overall.

bathrooms require specific guidelines to maintain purity and hygiene
Given that the bathroom is a space dedicated to cleanliness, it necessitates specific guidelines to uphold purity and hygiene. Source: Pinterest

Additionally, keeping the bathroom door closed at all times is advised to prevent energy from escaping and to maintain a sense of privacy. Installing a reliable lock or latch ensures the door remains closed.

Applying Feng Shui principles to stairs

Applying Feng Shui principles to stairs involves careful consideration of their design and placement within the home. Experts in Feng Shui interior design discourage the use of winding staircases and recommend avoiding rooms that directly open onto staircases.

Ensuring the presence of a sufficient landing area is paramount to mitigate accidents and uphold safety standards.

stairs guide energy flow and need attention
Stairs also require attention as they guide the flow of energy. Source: MV (10)

Feng Shui tips for windows and doorways

Ensuring that windows and doors remain unobstructed by furniture or clutter is essential for allowing energy forces to flow freely throughout the space.

Additionally, maintaining clean window frames and glass, as well as properly hinged and oiled doors, plays a crucial role in facilitating this energy flow. Accumulated dirt or dust on these surfaces can obstruct the circulation of positive energy within the home.

windows play a vital role in transmitting light and energy
Windows plays a crucial role in transmitting both light and energy. Source: Good Housekeeping (11)

By adhering to Feng Shui principles, such as those from the Form or compass schools, individuals can harmonize yin and yang energies, thereby nurturing the chi within their households.

The importance of lighting in Feng Shui interior design

The importance of lighting in Feng Shui interior design cannot be overstated, as it greatly influences the energy of a space. Bright and vibrant lighting can enliven a room, fostering positive chi circulation, while harsh or dim lighting can disrupt it. By understanding each area's energy, we can select appropriate lighting to optimize flow and create equilibrium.

In addition to maximizing natural light, which is often emphasized, other types of lighting play vital roles based on specific needs. For a well-lit space, ambient lighting provides overall illumination and sets the room's mood. Modern and minimalist pendant lights are often recommended to fulfill this role effectively without overwhelming the space.

opt for simple modern uncluttered designs like the fractal pendant light
Select simple, modern, and uncluttered designs like the Fractal Pendant Light. Source: Rowabi

Check out more options for modern pendant lights. And guess what? Rowabi's running a special deal - you can get a 30% discount on pre-orders! Don't miss out, take a look now!

Faqs: Feng Shui Interior Design

How to design a house with Feng Shui?

  • Crafting a Feng Shui-compliant house entails fostering a harmonious atmosphere conducive to positive energy flow. Essential steps encompass leveraging the Bagua map to strategically position rooms and furniture, as well as integrating the five elemental forces: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.

How do I make my room good Feng Shui?

  • Maintain cleanliness and organization to facilitate the free flow of Chi. Arrange furniture thoughtfully to cultivate balance and use appropriate colors and add natural elements like plants for vitality.

What is bad Feng Shui for the living room?

  • Clutter, poor lighting, and awkward furniture arrangements are the main reasons that block energy flow. You should also take every detailed into considerations when position furniture in your room such as avoiding placing seating directly in line with the front door, having sharp corners pointing at seating areas, and over-accessorizing shelves.

What are the principles of Feng Shui design?

  • Balance the five elements, use the Bagua map to guide layout and decor, maintain a clutter-free environment, maximize natural light, and ensure proper furniture placement for optimal Chi flow.

What color house is good Feng Shui?

  • The best color depends on the house's direction and desired energies. Earthy tones like beige and tan promote stability, green and blue enhance growth and tranquility, red attracts fame, and white and metallic colors support clarity.

What is the best shape for a house in Feng Shui?

  • A square or rectangle is considered stable and balanced, promoting harmonious energy flow. Irregular shapes can create imbalances in various life aspects.

What not to put in a bedroom Feng Shui?

  • Avoid mirrors facing the bed, electronics like TVs and computers, and clutter under the bed. These can disrupt sleep and create negative energy.

What direction should your bed face?

  • Place the bed in the commanding position, facing the door but not directly in line with it. Favorable directions include North, East, or Southeast, depending on personal energy and room layout.

Which position of bed is for wealth?

  • Position the bed diagonally opposite the door, in the commanding position, symbolizing control and stability, which positively impacts financial well-being. Avoid aligning the bed with the door.

What are some things that totally ruin the Feng Shui in a house?

  • Clutter, poor lighting, blocked doorways, and broken items. Sharp corners pointing at seating areas, mirrors facing the bed, and placing the bed or sofa directly in line with the door disrupt energy flow and harmony.

Should my couch face the front door?

  • Ideally, the couch should not face the front door directly. Place it where you can see the door without being in line with it to promote security and better energy flow.

What is a bad Feng Shui layout?

  • Irregularly shaped rooms, long hallways with poor lighting, and blocked entrances. Rooms without windows, cluttered spaces, and obstructed pathways contribute to negative energy flow.

Do interior designers follow Feng Shui?

  • Many incorporate Feng Shui principles to create balanced and harmonious spaces, optimizing energy flow and promoting well-being through design.

What does the bathroom represent in Feng Shui?

  • The bathroom represents water flow, associated with wealth and prosperity. Keep it clean and well-maintained, with the door closed and toilet lid down, to contain energy.

What plants are good for Feng Shui?

  • Plants like money plant, bamboo, peace lily, and jade plant bring positive energy, prosperity, and harmony. Avoid plants with sharp, spiky leaves as they create negative energy.

Do you Feng Shui each room or the whole house?

  • Both are important. Consider the overall energy flow of the house and individually assess and arrange each room according to Feng Shui principles for balance and harmony.

What to put in the foundation of a house for good luck?

  • Traditionally, coins, crystals, or symbolic items like a red envelope with a wish for prosperity can attract good luck and positive energy, setting a positive tone for the home.

Which direction should the front door of a house be in Feng Shui?

  • The best direction depends on the individual’s Kua number and the Bagua map. Generally, south-facing doors attract fame, while east-facing doors promote health and family harmony. Align the direction with desired energies and elements.


In summary, Feng Shui offers a valuable approach to interior design, fostering harmony and balance to enhance positive energy flow in your living spaces.

Rowabi has covered everything you need to begin integrating Feng Shui into your life, from foundational principles to practical tips. Why not give it a try and observe the potential changes it brings?


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