Whether you believe that the particular arrangement of furniture and decorations in your apartment home draws in or repels good energy or you’re just looking for great tips on keeping order and making your apartment stylish, we’ve got advice from the experts.
You’ve probably heard of feng shui, the Asian system that is taken into account when buildings are designed so that the qi, or flow of energy, is optimized. We’re not pretending to be feng shui experts—and there are numerous videos on YouTube that can show you what it is—but we’re glad to pass along some general tips about how to make your apartment feng shui.
Naturally, you’ll want to make sure that everything’s good from the first time you step into your apartment or a guest comes over. Your entry should be clear from clutter, swept or vacuumed the door mats are tidy. Is it dark? Find ways to brighten it, so it feels welcoming coming inside.
Clear the way
Once inside, make sure the paths within your apartment are clear. Walk from room to room, or from your bed to your bathroom or whatever your habit is when you wake up, etc. Pay attention to any obstacles in your way, not only objects on the floor or furniture in the way, but doors that are hard to open or close or areas that you avoid because they’re hard to navigate.
Just as in life, try being aware of the obstacles in front of you and adjust them, with gentleness and kindness, as feng shui advises.
We’re not going to go in depth about clutter here, because we all know that we need to declutter, right? Feng shui is no different. But feng shui also has space clearing or space blessing, meaning the energetic space can be cleared along with the physical space. That can be done either through visualization, imagining a bright, white ray on sunlight cleansing your apartment, “smudging” with smoke or diffusing with essential oils.
Take a deep breath
If you’re not familiar with smudging, most times, it’s done with sage and if you’re setting off the fire alarms, you’re doing it wrong. This ancient ritual, which comes from many cultures, is believed to be purifying because many types of sage have antimicrobial properties to keep infectious bacteria, viruses and fungi away. Some, such as white prairie sage and white sage, are thought to repel insects, too!
Smudging is also believed to be able to dispel negative energy away from your apartment home, everything from past trauma or bad experiences to those given off by other people. It’s also been known to be conducive to creating a positive environment for meditation. Some people use it when they bring new things into a house, especially if those objects belonged to someone else.
But, hey, some people think it makes your home just smell good, too. Nothing wrong with that!
There are other guidelines that designers use when arranging decor. Many times, they reflect the feng shui rules of minding the natural flow of the rooms, etc. If you feel drawn into a particular room, try to figure out why, especially if it’s in someone else’s home and you want to give your apartment the same, cozy feel. The opposite holds true, too.
What to do, what not to do
Here are some general guidelines in helping you to decorate your apartment home:
Three’s a charm: You might have heard everyone from landscape designers to interior decorators talk about grouping objects in threes. We don’t know why, but it works. If not three, then think about another odd number, otherwise, your objects might look too symmetrical. The key is keeping everything balanced. Other grouping techniques include:
- Rhythm, meaning the differences in height, shape, color, size and design to create a rhythm.
- Design composition and color consistency that creates continuity in different elements of your decor.
- Design repetition is good if you have a symbol of interest, such as a Kokopelli symbol or hummingbird, and repeat it in various ways, textures and objects throughout your room.
- Mind the texture: It’s good to have a variety of textures throughout a room, but be careful that you don’t have too much. Again, balance is key.
We would be remiss if we didn’t throw in a few “what not to do” tips:
- Size matters: Be careful to watch scale when you’re decorating. Just as you shouldn’t overwhelm a small room with too large objects, you shouldn’t have accessories that are too small, either.
- One-stop shopping: Don’t. Resist the urge to buy everything in one place and recreate the showroom space in your apartment. Shop around and mix up pieces from different places. Create some interest.
- Let go of college: Those bricks and boards that formed your bookcase in college won’t fly now. Sure, if there’s one object that has sentimental value (and maybe lava lamps will come back in vogue someday!), OK. But don’t recreate your dorm room in your luxury apartment home.
Most people find plants pleasing to have in a home. Plants embody life energy in feng shui. Plants make us feel vibrant and alive. But if you don’t have a green thumb, well, that’s what they make fake plants for.
Lastly, one more ancient ritual that we think is good to adopt (and it can’t hurt!). Show your home some gratitude. Be thankful you have a roof over your head and, hopefully, you’ve been able to fill your apartment with beloved treasures and beautiful new things. Feel the positive energy you’ve created around your home and emit that energy.