Mazlan loves sharing ideas to improve home living and live sustainably.
Feng Shui Home Decorating
The biggest challenge of a small apartment is turning it into a livable area that is appealing, comfortable and functional. You can take several approaches when planning for this change.
Using the art and science of feng shui and its decorating rules is one of the approaches, and this article will show you how to do just that.
What Is Feng Shui?
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice to balance the energy, called chi, in your home, office, or garden. It attempts to correct negative energies and awaken energies that are more positive in order to improve, among other things, your wealth, health, and relationships based on the ancient Chinese philosophy.
It uses the five elements; fire, earth, water, metal, and wood element as a tool to understand and create balance in these spaces.
For an accurate assessment of how to achieve the optimum feng shui for you, consult a feng shui master. He or she will study your date of birth, home environment, and home design before offering solutions to your problems.
This can be expensive, and you may not have access to this master. So I've included all the information you'll need to know to DIY.
Transforming the Energies in Your Small Apartment
I have compiled a list of 'cures' to transform the energies in your small apartment to your advantage. It covers most aspects of the 'cures' that can be applied and used by most people.
These modifications for an apartment should not cost much and will add real and desired changes without major remodeling. This is done by applying several natural chi (which is light) color and scents.
What Kind of Environment Are You Seeking to Create?
You want to create an environment with good vibrations — a place with positive energies that your visitors can feel the moment they walk into your home or when you come home.
You're seeking to craft a space that is free of clutter, where the scents are pleasant. The colors and lighting should give that harmonious 'feel' to the place, to give you breathing room.
Your living area is the best place to achieve this, as it sets the tone for your daily living. Go for design simplicity, and let your emotions have their way. Let your small apartment be a warmly personal space.
Simplicity Encourages Harmony and Contentment
In feng shui, simplicity and minimalism encourage harmony and contentment. When you decorate an apartment with too much furniture and too many decorative items, it can create clutter.
Read More From Dengarden
Clutter in feng shui is energy that is stagnant and confusing. It continuously drains energy from you. Declutter your home, and you will experience simplicity. So, remove unwanted furniture to create open space for better energy.
In a small apartment, space is limited. So, be very thorough and rigorous in selecting what furniture and decorative items you want.
Color Can Facilitate Better Moods and More Positive Energy
Color is one of the most effective tools in architecture and interior design. It can transform a space to look bigger, define volumes and can even transmit light and add warmth to dark corners.
In feng shui, color is used to cure the energy and change the mood for success. It also represents the five basic elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. And each of the eight directions (north, northeast, northwest, etc.) is governed by one of these elements.
Though this might all sound confusing, what's important to know is that colors, if used properly, can help your living space be more conducive to positive energies especially for your work area such as a home office.
For small and studio apartments, you don’t have enough windows to brighten up the interior part of the apartment, especially the dining room, hence colors can play an important role here.
White Expands Living Spaces and Wards Off Negative Energy
In a small apartment, white will visually expand your living space.
White also belongs to the metal element. This is excellent to ward off negative energy, and it also disperses illness and bad fortune.
It's also a great color to emphasize the shape of furniture. So leave your walls white if possible, especially for the work area.
Paint One Wall a Dominant Color
If you want to avoid a dull, all-white look, you can apply a dominant color to one decorative wall. (See above photo.) This application of accent color for a small apartment will add depth to your interior space. This can also be the apartment's focal point.
To choose a suitable color for your decorative wall, check out this Feng Shui Bagua Color Chart or check out the video on 'Feng Shui Living Room Color' below.
If you don't like the recommended color, choose one you are comfortable and happy with. The color chart serves as a guide. If your instinct tells you it is not your color, however, then that color is not feng shui for you. Feng shui is about emotion and a good feng shui space is a happy space. You have to be happy with the results.
Use Scents and Smells to Foster Good Energy
If your space is small, consider using scents to lift the spirits and bring a relaxed, soothing level of comfort to your apartment.
In feng shui, scents are subtle energies that can 'cure' and create good energy.
Try Different Essential Oils in Your Home
Although it is a good practice to develop a familiar scent, you can use different scents for different purposes.
For example, you can use chamomile or lavender essential oils in an oil burner when kids are too active. The smells might help calm them down.
Lemongrass, ginger or cinnamon oils are also some examples of 'eastern scents' that you can try.
Turn Your Bedroom Into a Sanctuary Through Balance
In feng shui, bedrooms are one of the three most important parts of your home. They affect your personal energy relating to emotional and mental capacity, wealth, creativity, and fertility.
Follow these basic feng shui principles to help bring balance to the room. These principles can also help create a quiet place or sanctuary, should you need it.
Bed and Headboard Positioning
- Position your bed in such a way that it is not in line with the main door. Ensure there is sufficient space of at least 12 inches on each side of the bed for easy access.
- Your bed headboard must be solid and fixed firmly to the bed. Avoid buying slatted headboards or those fancy designs with cutouts. A solid headboard symbolizes stability in your marriage or relationship.
- Avoid placing the bed under a ceiling beam.
- Get a reasonably sized bed that will fit both of you comfortably.
- The bedroom is strictly for sleeping and rest. So do not place a television, children's toy area, or study area in the master bedroom or at other sleeping spaces.
- If photographs are part of your decorative items, then limit them to only photos of the couple that sleeps there.
- Create a balanced room with two of everything that you intend to have. Examples include having two armchairs or two bedside lamps.
- Don’t hang a mirror behind a sofa or a bed. Feng shui is also about safety and it is not a safe feeling when something heavy and sharp is hanging over your head.
- Your room color scheme should be subdued and not too bold or dark to give good vibes.
The Importance of Lighting
One cannot doubt the importance of light, especially natural light. It is used in light therapy to treat depression and other seasonal affective disorders.
In feng shui, light is energy and has a great influence on the quality of your home energy. This will then influence your well-being and health.
Hence, ensure all rooms have at least one window for natural light, ventilation, and fresh air. Hearing morning birds sing can lift your spirits. Even if the view from the room is not that great, the important thing is that you have access to direct sunlight.
Make Sure Your Room Has Natural Light and Proper Ventilation
In your bedroom, position the bed to get the most from morning daylight. Natural light is the most auspicious kind of wake-up call.
The main entrance is another important space that must receive proper ventilation and light. Make sure it is airy and well lit.
Declutter and Organize Your Kitchen
The kitchen is another important part of the home, as it is a symbol of wealth. Creating positive energy will also create a harmonious place to prepare meals.
White or yellow is a good color for a kitchen. Keep it clean, bright, and well ventilated. Do not clutter the kitchen area with gadgets.
For a small kitchen, finding storage space can be challenging. In feng shui, you can have kitchen cabinets with a combination of closed and open shelves. This will allow a better flow of energy— just be sure to keep the open shelves free of clutter.
Keep Your Bathroom Clean and Free of Clutter
In feng shui, the bathroom is a space that tends to be cluttered and has the potential to sap energy from other rooms.
Follow these simple tips to eliminate the negative effects of a bathroom:
- Paint It White: White is a good color for the bathroom, and it will also make it look bigger.
- Close the Toilet Cover: Always keep the toilet cover closed after using.
- Bring in Good Lighting and Ventilation: Bring natural chi to your bathroom from natural light and good ventilation. If you do not have a window, then ensure the space is well lit with artificial lights and fan extractors for ventilation.
- Add a Potted Plant: Include a potted plant in your bathroom to bring in good chi and to cleanse the space of bad chi or energy.
- Keep Everything Organized: De-clutter your bathroom with good storage space and keep items organized (perhaps in baskets).
- Avoid Heavy Materials: Avoid heavy rugs, wet towels or bathrobes hanging in the bathroom, as they tend to trap bad chi. Keep towels and bathrobes in the storage cabinet or outside the bathroom. If you need heavy rugs for the bathroom, clean them regularly.
- Fix Any Leaks: Fix any leaking pipes or faucets, as this tends to create bad chi.
- Keep It Fresh: Always keep the bathroom clean, and use scented candles or essential oil burners for fresh scents.
Minor Feng Shui Tweaks Can Lead to Major Changes in Your Life
When you apply the above tips based on basic feng shui principles, it can give you material and mental comfort. These minor changes and additions to your small apartment spaces can truly bring about major changes. Changes that can translate to a harmonious life. Give it a try.
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.
© 2013 Mazlan A
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on September 19, 2018:
Adam, thanks for dropping by and for commenting.
adam on September 19, 2018:
Hi Mazla! A nice article. This small apartment set tips useful for those of us who have a small apartment to a spacious look fixed, thanks. kuhlhome.com
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on January 21, 2014:
@Sage, thanks again for stopping by and I hope you have fun re-arranging your deco
Mackenzie Sage Wright on January 19, 2014:
Great ideas here to keep in mind. I can see I'm making a few mistakes and need to do a bit of re-arranging in the house, I'm going to give it a try. Nice hub, voted up.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on July 24, 2013:
Nell, when it comes to Feng Shui, there will be people that are skeptics and those that are fanatics. The fanatics will go through such length as to arrange and organize their stuff to improve their health, relationships, and financial status. That's where your friend belonged. It is good to believe in something and the Chinese have practiced this for the last 5 centuries and I guess there must be some truth in it!
Thanks for dropping by and for your continuous support; really appreciate it.
Nell Rose from England on July 23, 2013:
Fascinating look at how Feng Shui works, I had a friend who swore by it, she would change her room around at least ten times to make sure she got the right 'vibes' as she called it! lol!
Andrew Webber from Pretoria, South Africa on July 15, 2013:
No problem greatstuff. It brings to mind the ancient Hermetic axiom, as within, so without.
Mazlan A (author) from Malaysia on July 15, 2013:
Andrew, yes you are right. In fact, Feng Shui is about having good energies and one example is clutter. Even without Feng Shui, a cluttered room tends to give us a negative feel to our environment. It is all common sense. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.
Andrew Webber from Pretoria, South Africa on July 15, 2013:
It's so easy to overlook the positive effect that your environment can have on your psyche. I should maybe look into this.