When you think of feng shui, what comes to mind? For most, the term conjures up images of interior spaces. What many people don’t know is that you can actually apply feng shui principles to outdoor spaces as well as indoor ones. Like the inside of a home, the backyard is often a space where you spend time relaxing and connecting with friends and family, so it’s worth giving it some thought and attention. Taking some time to set up your outdoor space using feng shui can help you create a harmonious, supportive place where you and your loved ones can feel comfortable and at ease.
If you would like to use feng shui to set up your backyard, you’ll want to think about the significance and placement of different elements in your outdoor space. Here is a simple guide to walk you through some common backyard items, and how to think about them and set them up from a feng shui perspective.
Outdoor Seating and Furniture
Outdoor seating and furniture creates an area for your family and friends to come together. A well laid out seating area can promote family harmony and become an extension of the family room. One thing to keep in mind is that you want to have enough seating so that everyone in the household has a place to sit in equal standing. It’s also helpful to have a table or surface to gather around, and a round outdoor coffee table can help the qi to move more smoothly through the space. You can also consider having a focal point for the seating area, like a fire feature to create more warmth.
Outdoor Dining Sets
Like indoor dining tables, outdoor dining sets represent the friendships and family in your life. Having an outdoor dining set in your backyard is a great way to invite stronger friendships. To bring more of this qi (life force energy) into your home, invite neighbors and friends to sit around the table to share a meal with you. Think about the types of gatherings you want to have in your space, and use that to guide you as you are choosing the size of your table and the number of chairs.
- Green or blue: Family harmony
- Red or orange: Warmth and love
- Black or dark grey: Quiet, soothing energy
- White or cream: Clarity and reflection
- Earth tones: Nurturing, grounding energy
Pools represent the water element, and the backyard is one of the best places for a pool. Ideally, you want to avoid having a pool to the side or in front of the home. It’s also best not to have a pool too close to the house. Placing the wood element in the form of trees and shrubbery between a pool and your home will help to balance the energy if they are very close together.
Kidney-shaped or oval pools are preferable to square or rectangular ones, but don’t panic if this is what you already have in your backyard. To help soften the corners of a rectangular pool, try adding greenery, landscaping, or rounded hardscaping around the edges.
Like pools, hot tubs are connected to the water element. The heat of a hot tub also brings in the fire element. It is generally a good idea to balance all of this water and fire energy in order to create a more harmonious outdoor space. To do this, add the wood element by incorporating plants and shrubs around the hot tub.
Fire pits represent the fire element, and they can be used in an outdoor seating arrangement to add warmth and caring energy to a design. One great place for a fire pit is in the Fame area of the bagua, called Li in Chinese. This area is connected to the fire element, and it’s located in the center back section of the yard. You can also place a fire pit in the center of your backyard area. The center of the feng shui bagua is called the Tai qi, and it’s connected to the earth element.
Each of the five elements used in feng shui has a directly supportive relationship to another element, and fire supports and nourishes earth. Placing fire in the Li or Fame area will feed the earth energy of the center, which will support the entire household.