I’m sure you would have heard of the phrase ‘Feng Shui’ in your life. Is it an art of a science? Do you know what it means and how it affects your home? Is there anything you can do if your house has ‘bad’ Feng Shui? What should you do to achieve ‘good’ Feng Shui, especially if you are selling and trying to attract as many buyers as possible?
What’s Feng Shui?
Feng Shui literally translates to “wind” (Feng) and “water” (Shui) in Chinese. It’s the art of positioning objects, space, life and building to achieve harmony and balance and enhance the flow of energy (qi). Feng Shui works on the belief that the health and wealth of human beings are a result of perfect interaction with natural elements.
Feng Shui involves 5 elements of Chinese astrology – fire, earth, metal, water and wood. You need to identify the elements in your birth date before you can decide either how to counteract them or introduce other elements that you are lacking to balance everything out.
It is said that each individual has different elements inherent in their personality and that we need to introduce a corresponding element to achieve a smooth and happy life. These 5 elements are an integral part of a Cycle of Production and Destruction.
- In the Cycle of Production, wood feeds fire, fire burns to give earth, earth produces metal, metal liqufies to produce water and water nurtures the growth of wood. Hence, by looking at this cycle, we would know what we need to choose to enhance an element – increasing the element itself or the source.
- In the Cycle of Destruction, fire melts metal, metal destroys wood, wood is taken from earth, earth overpowers water and water extinguishes fire. We would also know which element to pick to establish more control over an overpowering element.
Feng Shui is extremely important to many Asians, especially to the Cantonese/Hong Kong people. Just check out this article on how the skyline of Hong Kong is shaped by Feng Shui or how the house of Li Ka Shing (the richest man in Hong Kong) is influenced by Feng Shui.
Now that you’ve got the basics of Feng Shui, here are 6 easy steps you can take to achieve a happy and healthy home according to Feng Shui.
For this article, we’ll focus on the interior of the house as these are steps we can all take to make the home lovely and attractive. You’ll be surprised to learn that good Feng Shui for a home often just means good design – and this is something everyone, including potential buyers, can appreciate!
1. Let the light in
In Feng Shui, light is extremely important as it is one of the strongest manifestations of energy. Letting sunlight and fresh air in promotes positive flow in the house. So open your windows and doors, draw your curtains and blinds so that natural light can shine in and fill the place with warmth.
If you have a dark corridor in your house, like some of the old villas in Remuera and Parnell would have, installing a skylight can go a long way to alleviate the lack of light. This also helps a lot in making sure that the photos of your house are bright and airy – buyers are often put off by dark ‘soulless’ photos and associate that with old houses requiring maintenance. Sure, you can do wonders with Adobe Photoshop but nothing beats a natural non-oversaturated photo.
By letting ample light in, your own mood would also be lifted! If there are dark corners in your house (for e.g. due to being down a valley or steep slope, like some houses in Remuera, Meadowbank or St Heliers are situated) which do not get as much light, you could try to install more windows, have bifold doors or lighten up the interior using light paint and/or colourful furniture.
The cheap alternative is you can use mirrors to reflect light and make the space look bigger. Just be careful of what the mirror is reflecting – we don’t want it reflecting and doubling negative energy!
2. Put some love into your front door
The front door is the entry point for all energy in the house so you want it to be inviting to encourage positive flow throughout the house.
Wide double doors in some of the grand houses in Remuera, St Johns and St Heliers are the best. However, they are not strictly necessary so long as they are not too tiny and not in line with the size of the house. Make sure there’s nothing blocking the door (i.e. the door can open fully) so that you are welcoming all sorts of opportunities into your life.
Whether it be having lush planting on the front yard (good curb appeal), or just an attractive door, or a homely welcome mat, or calming artwork (maybe of your own pet?) or a vase of flowers, making the entryway appealing and auspicious-looking brings good energy and thereby is believed to attract good fortune.
Hey, that’s why we say first impressions matter. When the house looks good, it will make you feel good. Just remember to not place any mirror directly facing the door, that way you are reflecting any good energy that come in right back out the door. If you are keen on more about how to maximise the doorway to wealth, health and prosperity, have a read here!
3. Placement and orientation
How things are oriented in your house is also vital.
In a house, the kitchen is the focal point of good Feng Shui because all 5 elements are present here – fire (stove), water (sink), metal (appliances), wood (cabinetry) and earth (food). One point to note is that ideally, the sink and stove should not be directly across from one another as water and fire elements repel each other – diagonal is great.
However, if in any case you do have that kind of configuration in your kitchen, please do not rush out and spend money to renovate the house before selling just yet. That would be over-capitalising. Instead, consider having a mitigating element – in this case wood to alleviate the situation. In Feng Shui, the colour green represents wood so that can be used too instead of the actual material. So if you are thinking about renovating your kitchen, perhaps take this into account! (P.S. you of course want to make sure that the colour aligns with the rest of the space.)
The living room should be a warm and cozy environment to encourage conversation, for e.g. placing your couch and tables in a circle. You could also add mirrors and plants to help the energy bounce around all corners of the room.
Other ‘pro’ tips for you to consider:
- Your desk should face the door in your office
- In the bedroom there should be room to walk around either side of your bed and bedside tables should be placed on either side
- Mirrors should not face your bed or the main door – consider moving any mirrors elsewhere
- Do not place TVs in your bedroom (I’m guilty of this – so I use a cloth to cover the TV.)
In Feng Shui, there is an auspicious colour for each household which is usually determined by the homeowners’ elements.
Here’s a simple guide as to what colours to incorporate depending on your elements. You should include your own element colour plus the element feeding it.
- Colours associated with Earth: Light Yellow, Light Brown
- Colours associated with Fire: Red, Purple, Pink, Orange
- Colours associated with Water: Blue, Black
- Colours associated with Metal: White, Gray
- Colours associated with Wood: Green, Brown
However, without figuring what your element is, there are some common colours which are considered auspicious and can be easily added to your home.
For example, red promotes prosperity and balance while gold and purple boost wealth, and yellow encourages a high energy flow (great in kitchens – I happen to know a yellow kitchen in Mission Bay, which is absolutely stunning!).
Try to incorporate these colours into your home. This can be a cushion, rug, painting, furniture or pillows. However, the crucial thing to remember is that you must like the colour or thing you are actually introducing into your home! If you do not like it, then it will cause negative energy as these items are not harmonizing with your energy.
5. Declutter like Marie Kondo!
As Feng Shui focuses on good energy, you need to make sure that the house is clear of clutters. This is because when the house is cluttered, it prevents the energy from circulating without obstacles. It also prevents you from having clarity of mind and will make it difficult to make the right decisions.
If you need help decluttering, I have the contacts in the Eastern Suburbs to guide you through this therapeutic journey, so let me know!
You will be surprised that once the process is completed, you will actually feel a lot more refreshed and efficient! You don’t have to throw everything away. You could hold a garage sale (advertise it on Neighbourly or Facebook), donate the items to the hospice shop at Remuera or even to schools like Meadowbank School/St Heliers Primary/ Glendowie Primary which might be happy to take in some toys that your children are tired of playing with.
At the same time, you need to make sure everything in your house functions properly. I’m not saying be extravagant and throw out anything that is old, but rather fix what you can and throw out anything that is beyond repair.
6. Good Luck Charms For Your Eastern Bays/Remuera Home?
On top of making sure that the house itself promotes positive energy, there are also lucky charms that you can bring into your house to enhance the Feng Shui.
Fish is considered a symbol of prosperity, and there are certain types of fishes that bring good fortune – ask me if you are keen! I’m not sure if Animates down at Glen Innes or Pet Stock in Newmarket sell them – but specialty shops might!
You can also add plants as an easy way to promote good energy. This is because plants embody life and connect us to nature, thereby bringing in the vibrancy into our homes. There are some gorgeous indoor plants that you can get at Kings Plant Barn down at Remuera/Orakei that not only will make your house’s energy good but also makes your house look absolutely stunning. Do remember to water them though – dying plants are not a good thing. However, do not add these plants into your bedroom as plants produce a growing kind of energy which might make you sleepless! I’m not going to be responsible if you start complaining of insomnia.
Another good item to bring into your home is a water fountain – no, not the drinking one. You can get these from Stone and Water World on Marua Road in Mt Wellington. Water is an ancient Feng Shui symbol for wealth and prosperity so having water flowing in your house might make you a multi-millionaire (if you are not already) one day. The best areas for water flow in your home is either East, Southeast or North.
Whether you believe in Feng Shui or not, why not give it a go? These are great for just making your house a zen and lovely place – and buyers can often appreciate these little touches. Many buyers often ‘feel’ that a home is the right (or not) one for them – and I believe that the little things matter and can contribute to maximising buyer appeal.
Importantly, before you go on the market, does your real estate agent understand the importance of Feng Shui and its fundamental principles? These are often critical to the Asian (and often buyers from other cultural backgrounds) buyers, but many possible objections can be dealt with if your agent understands them.
I would love to hear if the transformation made a difference to your life.
Found this post about Feng Shui useful and have more questions?
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