Is Feng Shui Real?

Exploring the Effectiveness and Myths of the Organization Practice

Planning an effective furniture layout involves both practical and aesthetic concerns, which can be a struggle for those looking for the best way to organize their home. That’s why many choose to follow a system or philosophy for guidance. Feng shui is a popular practice that people use to arrange their furniture, but the reason it works has more to do with common sense than mysticism.

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Feng Shui Principles

In a nutshell, feng shui focuses on the connection between people and their living spaces, promoting the idea that the arrangement of your furniture and decor can affect your creativity, prosperity, wealth and relationships, among other things. The goal of feng shui is to align people with their homes in order to improve the flow of energy, or chi, and create balance with nature.

The five elements, earth, metal, water, wood and fire, are essential to feng shui. Balancing these components in your interior design evokes harmony, and you can use them to enhance certain aspects of your life. For example, growth and creativity are the traits connected with wood, so adding an oak table to your layout balances the elements in your living room and boosts that aspect of your life.

Two more fundamental feng shui principles include the commanding position, which is the spot in the room where you spend most of your time. The other part is the Bagua, an energy map that feng shui experts superimpose on your floor plan to understand where to arrange the five elements and optimize flow and balance. Practitioners use these concepts together to map out the layout of your home.

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The Effectiveness of Feng Shui

There’s no scientific evidence to support that chi exists or that natural elements have any effect on people’s luck or prosperity. Spirituality aside, however, some feng shui principles are quite effective. This philosophy emphasizes decluttering and organization, which are proven mood boosters. A cleaner home improves your mental health, which in turn leads to a happier, more fulfilling life.

Preventing your furniture from blocking walkways and picking up dirty laundry from the floor may have nothing to do with chi, but it does decrease stress. It’s just simple logic. Opening up pathways and reducing clutter promotes organization and more movement throughout a room, so you can go about your day without the frustration of lost items or stubbed toes.

Additionally, organization solutions like shelving and storage benches help keep rooms tidy and maximize space, so you can create a furniture layout that promotes conversation and positive vibes. A more open floor plan may also prompt you to entertain family and friends more often, strengthening your bonds with others without needing to add a water feature or wind chimes to your layout.

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Feng Shui Myths

Feng shui as an artistic and architectural practice has been around for centuries, and it does work. However, the superstitions surrounding feng shui philosophy can be off-putting to those looking for guidance when designing their furniture layouts. The following are a few myths associated with feng shui and the common sense reasons why they work:

All You Have to Do Is Believe

Belief is certainly powerful, but the underlying logical concepts of feng shui are what make this a viable approach. For example, you can create a feng shui inspired patio layout and discover your family seems happier in general. But your patio sectionals may deserve more of the credit since studies show that spending time outdoors is good for you and being comfortable improves your overall mood.

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You Must Feng Shui Everything

Some feng shui enthusiasts bring this practice into all aspects of their lives, from choosing jewelry to boost decision-making skills to buying cars in auspicious colors. And, while wearing your favorite necklace can certainly boost your confidence, and decluttering and washing your car regularly is a good idea, it isn’t necessary to bring feng shui into all parts of your life.

It’s also perfectly okay to choose which rooms get the feng shui treatment and which ones are fine the way they are. You can integrate useful principles of this philosophy without going all-in. For example, feng shui’s commanding position concept encourages you to think about how you use parts of your home, so you can optimize areas where you spend most of your time.

Feng shui is useful to keep furniture layouts proportional and balanced in relation to room size and walkways, too. And, decorating with feng shui on the deck can help you bring natural elements into your design with patio accessories like lighting or garden sculptures to create a serene outdoor retreat. But does that mean your garage also needs feng shui? Probably not.

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Certain Plants Are Magic

Plants are a big deal in feng shui; you can grow aloe to avoid bad luck, add a bamboo plant for wisdom and peace or hang a philodendron by the window to add emotion to cold spots in the home. While there’s no scientific evidence to support such claims, there is proof that houseplants have several health benefits and can even reduce stress and increase your productivity and creativity.

So, while the idea that certain plants can affect different aspects of your life is questionable, the benefits of houseplants do have scientific merit. You can follow feng shui principles and add the plants you want to promote prosperity, and you’ll benefit regardless of your beliefs. Just make sure your greenery isn’t toxic to your pets before you bring plants home.

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How to Apply Feng Shui in Everyday Life

While the more superstitious aspects of feng shui may not have scientific evidence, the design principles themselves are logical. Whether you believe in chi energy and balancing elements or not, feng shui practices can help you create an organized space that promotes a better sense of well-being. Check out the following tips to bring these concepts to different parts of your home:

  • Front Porch: A clear, uncluttered path to the front door allows energy to enter your home. It’s also smart to keep entrances clear for general access and emergencies. If you have patio furniture on the porch, arrange it so that it doesn’t impede people’s ability to enter the front door.
  • Living Room: Avoid having the backs of the chairs facing the doors so everyone can see possible opportunities as they come into the room. Logically, people are also more comfortable with a clear view of entrances and exits without the fear of people sneaking up behind them.
  • Dining Room:. Feng shui principles suggest placing your dining table at the center of the room to allow the chi to flow. This approach also allows better access to seating and the potential addition of a buffet along the wall or curio cabinet in an empty corner.
  • Kitchen: A good way to use feng shui in the kitchen is by cleaning out the fridge. You can also clear off the counters so that the area feels open and airy. Decluttering in kitchens is cleaner and more efficient, so this really is a common-sense practice.
  • Bathroom: Feng shui experts believe that since bathrooms have several drains, they can be a source of downward energy. Keep the bathroom door and toilet seat closed to prevent good energy from flowing away from you. This idea makes sense from an aesthetic and sanitation standpoint, too.
  • Bedroom: Place your bed in the commanding position with a view of the doorway, avoid bringing a TV into the room and use a soothing color palette. Regardless of your beliefs in chi energy or balance, this approach promotes restful sleep with fewer distractions.
  • Balcony: Feng shui Bagua maps include these outdoor spaces as part of the home. When decorating a balcony, create a cozy atmosphere with outdoor benches or a bistro set that fits the space while allowing free-flowing movement. It stands to reason that overcrowding can be uncomfortable and even dangerous on a high balcony.

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