It’s been a year and a half since we bought our old house. We knew from the beginning it was going to take a great deal of work to get it to the place where we felt really comfortable living here.
I felt it was important to live in the space for a while. To get a feel for what worked and what didn’t. And mostly, nothing does. Work that is.
As we begin the planning for the changes we want to make, I want to incorporate the principles of Feng Shui. Designing and arranging our spaces to bring in positive energy and enhance all areas of our lives.
One of the first things I discovered as I began my research into Feng Shui was the importance of directions, as in west, east, north, south. Each compass direction has life areas, colors, and elements associated with it.
It can all become very complicated. But I want to keep it as simple as possible and be able to incorporate any revisions or design elements into our rural lifestyle.
Is There A Simple Way to Describe Feng Shui?
How I explained it to my husband in practical terms.
The Bagua Chart
Then I discovered the Bagua chart. (There are different spellings. I’m going with this one.) This tool helped me sort it all out in a way I could understand. More importantly, get my husband to understand some of the changes I hope to make.
I found two useful versions of the chart. One is a simple 3 X 3 grid as shown here:
The other version is an octagon divided into sections with an area left open in the center as in this example:
The classical interpretation
In the classical version of the Feng Shui Bagua chart, the directions are taken literally. Meaning you determine the direction your house sits and image placing the Bagua chart right over your house to simulate the position.
For example, your front door faces west and your living room is immediately to the left. Your entryway then would be associated with the future, children, and creativity while your living room would be the area of travel, fatherhood, and helpful people.
The western interpretation.
The western interpretation of the chart aligns your front door with the north. This is sometimes referred to as the front door method. This is the method I prefer. It’s just easier for me.
Imagine an overlay of the chart on your basic floor plan. If your living room is immediately on the left as you enter, knowledge, education, and learning would be the life areas affected.
Using the chart for a specific room.
Some people also use the grid type chart on specific rooms, designating areas of the room accordingly. If I were to apply the chart to my bedroom using the western interpretation my closet would like in the area associated with travel, father figures, and helpful people.
I’m thinking it’s time to declutter and organize my closet. I could use a few more helpful people around as I dive into this whole remodeling project.
It’s doesn’t always seem relevant.
When considering the entire house, the life area of a space doesn’t always fall in the sector or directional area that seems most relevant. For instance, we don’t usually think of the bedroom being related to the career area. Unless, well, I guess it could in the right profession.
It is good to know that direction and life area “compatibility” alone doesn’t guarantee good feng shui. It’s more about creating a balance of colors, elements, and flow.
Make the best of what you have.
Many people like myself have to make the best of what they have to work with. And forcing something to work isn’t natural and may cause frustration.
It is helpful, though, to gain some understanding of what different life areas the directions influence as well as the colors, and elements that could be used to impact the level of positive and negative energy.
For example, if you have a goal of achieving more financial security (most of us do), attention should be paid to the southeast corner of your home (traditional method) or the top lefthand corner of your house/room (using the western/front door method).
Keep the area clutter-free and arrange furniture to allow for good flow is a start. Then add live plants (wood)or accent the space with hints of purple (SE color), green, or blue (wood colors).
Here’s a (very) simple breakdown of the elements and colors for each direction:
- North — Water, black and dark blue
- South — Fire, red, orange, yellow, pink
- East — Wood, green, blue
- West — Metal, white, gold, metallic
- Northeast — Earth, turquoise, jade
- Northwest — Metal, gray
- Southeast — Wood, purple
- Southwest — Earth, yellow, pink, and burgundy
- Center — Earth, brown, tan, yellow, earth tones
Getting familiar with the Bagua chart has been helpful in the decision-making process of our remodeling project. I have time to take a deeper dive into the different directions and the life areas, colors, and elements associated with them.
The longer we live here the more intuitive it becomes as we just get a feel for what works and doesn’t for our lifestyle. Using the Bagua chart as a guide, I can incorporate Feng Shui philosophy into our home, stay within our budget, and bring in better flow.
No matter what direction your front faces or what room lies in your northwest sector, we can all use more positive energy.
Mikey is a high school teacher in north-central Washington. She has lived her life in small communities across Washington and Montana (her favorite place). An aspiring fisherwoman and avid gardener, she enjoys writing about life through the lens of rural living.