You might call it “architectural acupuncture.” Feng Shui, when practiced by a skilled professional, balances your surroundings and enhances energy flow. Based on age-old concepts of living in harmony with one’s environment, the goal of Feng Shui is simply to help keep you calm, healthy, and feeling at home. Another element of Feng Shui, which is consistent with modern goals of sustainability and use of natural materials, is choosing materials that enhance health and harmony.

Artist and designer Pablo Solomon has spent decades studying Chinese Feng Shui and Japanese Zen design and says that much of Feng Shui is based on solid design and environmental principles. He explains the comparison with acupuncture, saying “The same principles of keeping the flow of energy unclogged and moving in a way as to enhance health and harmony are shared by both acupuncture and Feng Shui.” He cautions against charlatans who go to extremes, however, noting that while Feng Shui can have dramatically positive results, taken to those extremes it can be the “architectural equivalent of reading tea leaves. When practiced by a skilled professional, it can balance things out and enhance energy flow. However, if practiced by an unskilled amateur or phony, you just get stuck.”

Solomon says that some elements of Feng Shui are easy to understand and utilize. He says these common-sense elements include “things like proper alignment to take advantage of sunlight and breezes, blending into the natural setting, creating flow patterns in your home which do not cause interference with lighting and maximize economy of motion, and making certain that all design elements are balanced and proportionate.”

Solomon says, “In Feng Shui, as in all good design, each design element is evaluated as to its part in the total picture. While Feng Shui can throw in a few factors that may or may not be more than good psychology, the basics of living harmoniously with nature and balancing design elements to create a peaceful and healthful setting are great goals towards which to work.”

1076 square foot Feng Shui home design. Image courtesy of The Plan Collection.

“We have been seeing home buyers looking for Feng Shui elements in new home designs more often,” said Tim Bakke, Director of Publishing at “Simple design elements such as prominent windows and natural lighting, together with neutral earth tones, are desirable elements in a Feng Shui friendly design, along with the placement, landscaping, and surroundings.”

From the home design itself to its natural surroundings and the furniture inside, Feng Shui – when done correctly – leads to a more balanced life, a sense of well-being. Often, the benefits of Feng Shui can be achieved simply, with conventions as simple as placement of furniture or incorporation of natural elements.

Dawn D. Totty, of Dawn D. Totty Designs, offers an easy Feng Shui fix that anybody can do. She says, “Let’s start with what designers call ‘the mouth of the house’ – your entry! Mounds of shoes, coats, and umbrellas will immediately indicate clutter and block the flow of energy. In this case, less is best! A small bench with a basket placed underneath for shoe storage will be functional and allow an unobstructed open feel to your guests’ first impression.”

Hamna Amjad, a blogger at, offers some good common-sense advice, saying, “Keep your furniture minimal. The key furniture pieces should be put in commanding positions in every room. Have excessive clear space in each room to boost the energy flow. Have a seating plan that encourages conversation and bonding. Keep your electronic devices, such as TV and laptop, out of the living area and the bedroom.”

Kelley Lauginiger, lifestyle blogger at American Freight Furniture and Mattress, weighs into the Feng Shui discussion with some solid advice for the bedroom, starting with placing the bed in the command position, explaining “The essence of this Feng Shui position is not about commanding others but about being the commander of your own energy so that you do your best in any situation. In any room, you are the least vulnerable and in your ‘command position’ in the spot furthest from the door, and not in a direct line with the doorway. Typically in a bedroom, this ends up being diagonal from the door, with the feet facing towards the door.” Lauginiger also says another aspect of bedroom Feng Shui is having a solid backing such as a headboard up against the wall, with no space between the bed and the wall itself.

Third-generation Feng Shui consultant Jessie Kim, from Ms. Feng Shui, often works with builders and architects as well as interior designers, recognizing that Feng Shui begins with the actual design – and often with the location of the lot. “Some of the tips I give my home builder clients are when designing a new development you want to avoid having your home’s front doors directly line up with the homes across from each other. Avoid placing homes in a T-intersections and end of Cul-De-Sacs. Making sure the front doors of these homes are easily visible, accessible, and not hidden away on the sides of the houses. When it comes to landscaping as well, you want to make sure there are soft and rounded leaf plants in front of the homes. The front of your home is represented with water energy, so a soft flowing, welcoming landscape makes a huge difference in the energy of the home. The front is one’s first impression of your home and the homeowners, so make it a pleasant one. The back of the home and back of the property is a fire element. You want the tall tress, sharp leaf plants, and red flowers. These are your prosperity, fame and reputation, and relationship areas, you want to make sure you protect these areas with landscape that will ‘protect’ your back.”

Whether you’re building a new home, or just want to incorporate a few elements of Feng Shui into your existing one, these common-sense design elements accomplish several things, not the least of which is simply using natural design elements to make the home look better – almost always leading to greater peace of mind.

Author's Bio: 

Dan Blacharski is editor-in-chief of and