Ancient Feng Shui Wisdom for a Modern Home

Feng shui
Rick Friedman/Getty Images

Feng shui is more than decorating your home with soothing colors; it is a complex system of theories that are used to promote good energy. A good flow of energy (or Chi) leads to a happy and harmonious home, and feng shui is a practice that has been used for centuries.

Whether you are just curious or have already dabbled in feng shui and are looking for further direction, it's important to understand the basics. From the history of feng shui to the key elements like color and symbols, let's take a look at the fundamentals of feng shui. With a little knowledge, you can soon be on your way to improving the health and happiness of everyone in your home.

  • 01 of 06

    The History of Feng Shui

    Feng shui history is fascinating and complex. There are many things to learn, and even the simple fact that there are multiple feng shui schools can often lead to confusion for the new feng shui enthusiast.

    It may take you some time to understand the differences between feng shui schools. You may also have difficulty with the separation of essential feng shui knowledge from the Chinese culturally specific feng shui level.

    You do not have to comprehend all of it right away to get started fully. Instead, begin by focusing on the basic history and the fundamental ideas behind feng shui.

  • 02 of 06

    What Is Feng Shui?

    In order to create a happy feng shui home, you need to understand the basic feng shui concepts. There are a few primary elements and theories that will help you out.

    Among the most important theories are the five elements theory, the concept of yin and yang, and the theory of Chi and Bagua applications. These are all basic feng shui concepts you need to know in order to apply feng shui successfully. 

  • 03 of 06

    The Primary Tools of Feng Shui

    The basic tools used in the feng shui analysis of your home are the Bagua, the five elements theory, and the feng shui color theory (which is based on the five elements).

    In order to define the Bagua, you need to take the compass reading of your home. If you start with the basic feng shui tools and use them to build a strong foundation, you can gradually move on to other feng shui tools and levels. These would include ​the Kua number and birth element info, lucky directions, flying star feng shui, and more.

  • 04 of 06

    Where Do You Begin?

    When you're starting out, feng shui can be a bit overwhelming. You have your compass reading and, according to everything you're reading, you have a lot of work to do to bring harmony to your home. Rather than get overwhelmed, take your feng shui decorating one step at a time.

    To begin with, you need to clear your clutter. It's the first key to allowing good energy flow, and you cannot continue with feng shui without taking this important step. From there, you can begin to apply color and shape theories, perfect your lighting and air quality, and work on other elements that improve the flow of Chi in your home.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    The Importance of Color in Feng Shui

    The use of color is one of the easiest ways to shift the energy in your space. It is amazing what a little shift in color can do to improve your home's Chi and create happiness and harmony.

    The color theories are one of the feng shui aspects you should study deeper because it will be a foundation for all of your decisions going forward. You will do this by understanding how colors relate to the five elements and how it expresses light.

    With a little knowledge to back you up, you will then be able to choose appropriate colors to use throughout your home according to the energy you need. Everything from the color of your walls to the art, photography, and various decor items can be used to improve your home's energy. Even the color of your front door should be considered.

  • 06 of 06

    Feng Shui Cures and Symbols

    Stepping beyond color, there are many other ways that you can create good energy in your home. These are often called feng shui cures and remedies, and through the simple placement of certain decor items, you can change the flow of Chi.

    For instance, mirrors are powerful tools in feng shui. There are places that you want to avoid mirrors and locations where they can be very helpful. The same can be said for fountains, crystals, and plants. 

    Traditional feng shui schools also employ a number of symbols to cure feng shui. These include flowers, butterflies, and the mystic knot, and you can learn how to incorporate these into your decor. Each has a different meaning and purpose, so it's also wise to study these as well.