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Designing With Qualities of the Rat
You might be thinking why in the world would I decorate my entire house or even a space to the aesthetics of a rat?
I'm not going to make your home look like a sewer or plague infested ship. We're looking at the Chinese Zodiac and what it can do for your home.
This hub will also use feng shui to better your home, living space, or office. A rat home will look magnetic, Shakespearean, magical, smart, Victorian, Steampunk, presidential, and believe it or not, lovely.
Born in the Year of the Rat
The Rat is sometimes referred to as the Mouse. The Chinese Zodiac goes through a cycle of 12 years, so every 12th year we'll be back at the Rat. People who are born under the rat are in the years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032, 2044, 2056, 2068, and 2080.
Rat Interior Design
When we think of Rat interior design we think of:
- Art related to cheese and wine
- Lilies in pretty colors
- Bold usage of blue, green, and gold
- Flowing, open space
- Circular furniture
- No pottery or earth like elements
- Hidden nooks, secret hiding places
- Walk-in closets
- Rooms hidden behind bookshelves
- Nothing too high and out of reach
- Intelligent pieces that promote and inspire logic
The Den of the Rat
The Rat is known for beginning and repeating the Chinese Zodiac. The Zodiac is a cycle of 12 animals. The Rat itself is based in the water element and yang energy -- there are an even number of yang and yin energies for each element. 2 water, 2 metal, 2 wood, 2 fire, and 4 earth.
The Chinese Zodiac doesn't just go through 12 years; each animal will go through a different element when their year is repeated. For instance, there will be a Year of the Water Rat, a Year of the Fire Rat, and so on. (It's overall a 60 year cycle.)
The nice thing about the Rat is it mixes water (yin) with its yang energy. Your home can incorporate a span of elements while still giving due respect to the Rat.
The other water element, the Pig, is based in yin energy. The Pig's home will incorporate more water elements and avoid sharp yang energy.
I would encourage in the Rat home or space to first do a mix of yin and yang energies, and then add or subtract items until you feel balanced.
Here are some pointers on whether you have too much yin or yang:
- Too much yin: issues with depression, sadness, lethargy, greasy hair and skin, trouble forming sentences, trouble remembering things, constant urination, sedentary tendencies, extra water weight, constantly feeling cold, randomly crying, tendency to hide from problems rather than confront them, sleepy.
- Too much yang: bouts of anger, insomnia, anxiety, restless thoughts, dry skin and hair, constipation, always feeling hot, headaches, irritable, cranky, annoyed easily, trouble focusing because you're overwhelmed, high resting heart rate, overly passionate, narcissism, egotism, rage, higher than normal temperature.
The chart below describes yin and yang qualities you can use throughout your desired space.
Yin and Yang Elements
Square, Rectangle, Diamond, Triangle
Lines, Sharp, Corners
Black and Blue
Red, White, Yellow
Moon, Asteroids, Comets
The Sun, Stars
Dark / Dim
Bright / Light
Water / Earth
Fire / Air
Flowers, Gentle Leaves
The Rat Soul
The Rat is associated with keen intelligence and cunning. They're not always brave, but they will do what they can to survive. Your home shouldn't look militant. It should look like a place to embrace thinking.
Famous rats include: Shakespeare, George Washington, Richard Simmons, Al Gore, Lebron James, Rosa Parks, Richard Nixon, and T.S. Elliot.
The Jade Emperor's Contest
The Rat is said to have won the race for the first Zodiacal position. There is an old legend that the Jade Emperor held a competition to determine the order of the signs.
The emperor's adviser selected 12 animals based on their types, including the rat and the cat. The winner was selected based on their merit, appearance, and contributions to the world.
The rat was apprehensive of the competition and didn't wake the cat. The cat ended up becoming a ratter and mouser for this reason. The Jade Emperor was confused as to why only 11 animals showed up for the competition.
A pig was added into the contest to bring things back up to 12. The rat achieved first place by playing the flute on the back of an ox. The ox was given second place for generously giving of their body to the rat.
Qualities of the Rat
The Rat is known to be quick-witted yet it lacks courage. They're sharp and take advantage of opportunities before them. Rats in China represent diligence and thriftiness. People born in the Year of the Rat are rumored to have prosperous and wealthy lives. For your decor: add coins and shiny things to symbolize the natural prosperity rats' embrace.
Rats are crafty, but they can easily abandon things out of fear. They like places where they can hide. They like to multiply rather than be solitary. They're optimistic about their futures. They learn quickly and thrive in various settings. Your home should have plenty of spaces for learning new subjects and the like. The rat should learn to play instruments, learn new languages, and how to be an expert chef.
The rat enjoys having a wide circle of friends. They are interested in different social occasions and parties -- and food. They like making friends, but not necessarily deepening those friendships. They can be fickle in romantic relationships -- they like to start relationships, but they don't always like commitment. (This is similar to their counterpart Sagittarius. Both are also smart but unpredictable.)
Rats have many things in common with Sagittarius:
- They're cautious and meticulous about their work.
- They have wild energy.
- They can replicate and spread out with ease and randomness.
- They have good judgment and like to prevent unnecessary problems.
- They like to keep active and avoid illness, which can spread like wildfire.
Lucky Things for Rats
- Numbers: 2 and 3
- Days: 4th and 13th of every Chinese lunar month
- Colors: Blue, Gold, Green
- Flowers: Lilies, African Violets
- Directions: West, Northwest, Southwest
Interior Design for the Rat
The Rat home should have things that are in reach. Nothing should be too high to where you need a ladder -- but you should have a ladder just in case. There is nothing more annoying to a rat than something out of reach and that is impractical.
Use the color blue to add more yin energy and the color gold to add more yang energy. Green is another great color for the rat. Think blue walls and gold candelabras.
Your furniture should mostly be rounded. The rat doesn't want a challenging place to work nor to get jabbed by furniture with sharp corners. The Rat is constantly on the move, so there should be plenty of space. A good Rat home has plenty of hallways, hidden places, and a basement. This is the type of Zodiac to have bookshelves that lead to secret passageways, walk-in closets, spaces tucked under the stairs. The Rat needs a hideout, a cave, a damp place.
The Rat home should include water elements. The bathroom should be a palace of pampering. Throughout the house: add fountains, images of watery landscapes, and plenty of metal. Add mirrors for reflection and to mimic the properties of water. Glass is another material that mimics the properties of water -- it's like ice.
Add touches of Shakespearean lore: a skull Hamlet would use, a dagger from Romeo and Juliet, the magic from Midsummer Night's Dream. Classic literature is an excellent touch to your book collections.
Anthropology and archaeology finds are also a plus. Rats are known as survivors and have a long history. They survived when the dinosaurs and other species didn't. The small mammals met in caves and multiplied with ease. They're very cunning.
You could borrow from elements of Slytherin in the Harry Potter books. The Slytherins met in the basement and in an area somewhat like a sewer. Avoid the silver colors or the snake imagery. The Rat isn't trying to get killed; they just want to have an aesthetically pleasing home.
Lilies are your best friend. If you think a room is dull or needs more gentleness to it, add lilies. Select a glass vase where you can see the water. Add lilies in your favorite colors, place them by beds, in the bathroom, and on the kitchen table. Lilies are Rats lucky flowers. They're pretty, they're youthful, and they're not too hard to find. Do be careful if you have a cat -- lilies are poisonous to cats.
Add books and movies about rats and mice for inspiration. You may want to have these rat featured pieces of fiction out in a pubic viewing space.
- The Secret of NIMH
- The Great Mouse Detective
- An American Tail
- The Witches
- The Tale of Despereaux
- The Rescuers
- Mouse Hunt
- Stuart Little
- Mickey Mouse
- Minnie Mouse
- A Fox and A Mouse
- Once Upon a Forest
- Charlotte's Web
- The Mouse That Roared
- The Nutcracker
- Pinky and the Brain
- A Mouse Tale
- The Hairy Tooth Fairy
- Three Blind Mice
Rat Astrology Elements
Earthly Branches of Birth Year
Yin or Yang
Western Astrology Counterpart (approximation)
2, 3, 6, 8 (hates 4, 5, 9)
Gold, Blue, Green
The Rat Living Room
Your living room should have blue walls. I would pick a medium blue, nothing too dark and nothing too pastel. Add hints of gold around the room. Bring things together with an oval or circular carpet.
Opt for furniture in white and gold. Metallic furniture would look nice. A coffee table with a glass covering would be smart. Everything in the room should be easy to reach. Add books in your collection from Shakespeare. The living room should look presidential. It should look fit for a fine leader, for writing legislation, and for delegating matters.
Add chairs that are low to the ground. You don't want pieces that are too high up and cause your feet to dangle.
Add a golden globe in a corner, leave out a chess board between two chairs, and buy an old fashioned abacus. The room needs to look smart, charming, old fashioned, and cohesive. You should look like a Brain, not a Pinky.
A Victorian feel is perfect. Your Rat living room may look like it has jumped out of a Clue game board. The room should look like it is meant for adults, not children. The art is for an older, wiser audience. Add lilies in vases, especially in blue, green, and white. Add a statue to Athena.
The floor should be clear of stray objects. Keep things somewhat minimalistic with a good flow. Rats don't like to run into objects or feel like they're trapped in by a maze. The room should be communal, the furniture should be facing each other in a circle.
Count the number of seats in the room and make sure you have an even number. Rats often come in pairs; they're not the most single and independent of creatures.
The lighting shouldn't be too bright. Avoid fluorescent lights. Add lighting fixtures with golden frames. The room should have charming and enchanting objects: a gramophone, violin, music box, monocle, a deerstalker hat, golden lockets, golden ornaments. Rats are hypnotized by charming and shiny objects. The living room should have luster.
The Rat Kitchen
It sounds gross to base your kitchen off the Rat, but don't panic. Remember the movie Ratatouille? The kitchen should have shiny objects on display. If you made your living room look Victorian, then opt for a Steampunk kitchen.
The Rat kitchen should have plenty of storage space, multiple cabinets, lots of Tupperware, and plenty of cheese. The kitchen should have a dynamic layout: it shouldn't be too simple nor too straightforward.
Put silverware on display, magnetize knives to the walls, and add metal pieces. If you can show off some plumbing or pipes, then do so. Electronics should be stored away and out of sight to protect them from wear and tear.
Avoid pottery and other earth like elements in the kitchen. Don't leave towels hanging out on the stove or the sink. Have a drawer for clean towels and immediately put the old ones in the laundry or throw them away.
Opt for a round kitchen table with an even number of chairs, preferably 6 or 8. Add red or pink lilies to the table. You could use flora wallpaper in the kitchen. Lilies would look nice along the walls, although if you're going Steampunk lily wallpaper might look strange.
Display wine bottles. You should have a hutch or storage place for your collections of wine. You need to be ready on a short notice to serve guests wine and cheese. I recommend art of wine and cheese.
The kitchen needs some heat and yang energy: add in red and gold colored objects. Metallic looking colors will look nice. The kitchen should sparkle. It should feel clean. Add mirrors to the walls to reflect energy and light. Have out a fake fruit bowl. Have paintings on the walls of food.
Need more inspiration? Watch the show Fraiser and borrow from the Crane brothers.
The Rat Bedroom
The Rat bedroom should be dim, colorless, and smooth. Opt for black walls, gray pillows, and white sheets. If you can find a circular mattress, go for it. Add mirrors to the walls. Add circular furniture.
The Rat bedroom should look like a den. It should look like a place of rest, a hideout, a quiet and still place. It is the Rat person's cave, their retreat, and a place of meditation.
- Add white or black lilies in the room.
- Wood objects will be nourished by water elements. Metal objects will nourish water. Wood and metal and water all go well together, even though metal can destroy wood elements.
- Avoid earth elements like pottery and terracotta. Earth dries out water.
- Avoid having too many fire or yang elements. You want the bedroom to be about sleep. If you need a little bit of fire in this room, add a red throw blanket, add a red accent pillow, add roses. You only need a little pop of red.
The bedroom should look serious. It's not a whimsical place. It's where the Rat goes to reflect on their water energy. You could have a waterbed, a fishbowl, a miniature fountain, or snow globes. The Rat bedroom is for meditation, peace, quiet, protection, hibernation from the rest of the world, escape from sunlight, escape from disaster and meteors.
The Rat needs a place to go and hide that is cool, calm, and collected. The bedding shouldn't be too think. There should be moisture or mist in the air from technological devices.
The bedroom could have a secret door to a private room no one knows exist. It could be hidden behind a bookcase, it could be hidden with a trap door. The Rat needs a place for their secrets. Have a desk in the living room that you can lock up with diaries, letters, and classified information.
Fun tip: add board games related to mice and rats. Mice and Mystics is a popular one that would be fun to play in a nook.
The Rat Bathroom
Tile floors, pipes and noticeable plumbing, a shower and a bathtub, sinks with golden faucets, and gorgeous flora pictures on the walls.
The bathroom is a spa retreat for the Rat. There are lovely scents to be found here from real flowers, shampoo, candles, and the like. Add a rubber duck to the bath tub for fun.
The Rat bathroom should be on the colder side. Rely on shades of green if you haven't used green in your house yet. Green will look nice with flora arrangements and art pieces. Your bathroom should be shiny, there should be hidden treasures, and speakers to play soothing music.
This sign is allowed to be hedonistic in the bathroom. They should indulge in bubbles, they should lather up in scents, and they should feel pampered. The ceiling should have golden hanging objects, have figurines of mice and rats on the counters, and put together a basket of treats for guests or yourself. It should include: soaps, towels, robes, slippers, shampoo, tiny toothpaste containers, small toothbrushes, shiny things like tweezers and nail clippers.
Add fake flowers into this room if you don't want to take care of lilies. The bathtub should have steps to get into it. The bathtub should be round and not rectangular. Use the color white when in doubt: it looks clean, it is a warm but not overwhelming color, and it looks better than most neutral tones. (The Rat isn't fond of brown.)
The Rat would like a sauna. The bathroom should inspire the imagination. Don't go overboard with patterns, solid colors will look nice and speak on their own.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.