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Feng Shui and Interior Design – Another Tool For the Frugal Decorator

Feng Shui and Interior Design – Another Tool For the Frugal Decorator

What is Feng Shui? Feng Shui, at it’s most basic level, is nothing but a decorating style. In the more spiritual sense, it is a style to create an environment that will enhance your success in life.

To me it is just good basic decorating principles. Many of them can be accomplished without any expenditure of money. When there are Feng Shui problems in a home, there are ways to counter balance them. I won’t go into those- as I only look at this style from a decorating viewpoint that can help the frugal decorator make a more pleasant environment.

If you want more information on this subject, there are books available. Here are some of the basic principles of Feng Shui. Take what you will from it.


Basically, Feng Shui tries to control or channel the energy in a room. It tries to turn all negative energy into positive energy. While I have a little trouble with this concept, I have to admit that there is something intangible in rooms that could be construed as energy.

Ever walked into a house where a couple has been fighting? No matter how hard they try and “put on a good face”, you can feel it. I think the worst energy I ever felt was when I went into court with a friend who was getting a divorce. The room was full of couples who were divorcing. No one was speaking, but the negative energy I felt walking into that room was so thick you could have cut it with a knife.

Clutter also bothers me. I think it saps energy. I can’t even concentrate if I am surrounded by clutter.

So, with Feng Shui you do everything you can so that positive energy circulates around the room. This is where the good decorating principles come in. Pleasant surrounding are suppose to contribute to happy thoughts and moods.


We all know that color influences our mood. Yellow and other bright colors make us feel happy. Grey skies bring on the blues. Cool shades bring calm and restful feelings.

Feng Shui teaches you to be careful of the colors around you, and make sure that any influence on you is for the positive. You are suppose to use cool relaxing colors in the bedroom, more energetic colors in the office or other work areas.

Good color choices do not cost any more than poor color choices, so this is an area great for the frugal decorator.


Angular lines and hard corners are shapes that are suppose to either be avoided or counter balanced. Round shapes are more desirable and conducive to comfort and to a pleasant environment.

Furniture Arrangement

Open is the key word here. Furniture should be placed in the home so as to leave the space as open and airy as possible. For instance, you do not want to walk in the living room and face the back of your sofa.

It is also about balance. The weight of your furniture should be equally balanced throughout the home, and very dark areas, or very light areas should be adjusted.


It is considered a negative to have a home where you open the front door and have a wall in front of you. The wall is said to block the positive energy from circulating in your home, and hence act as a negative to your progression and success.

Hard corners are undesirable, and should be softened by the use of things like plants.

Another mention is the negative aspect of having a wall on the diagonal in one of your rooms. This is suppose to be bad also. Since I have one of these in my home, I decided I would give this a try. The remedy for a wall like this is to hang a mirror on it.

My diagonal wall is in my family room, and our fireplace is on that wall. I had a picture above it, and accessories on the mantel. I took down the picture, and hung a mirror. I have to say, that everyone who goes into that room notices the change immediately and really likes it. Of course, decorating with mirrors is almost always pleasant, but it did make a significant difference in that room. I thought I would miss that picture, as it is one of my favorites. I thought I would miss the colors of the picture in the room, since the mirror was bland in comparison. I was favorably impressed.

Another principle of furniture arrangement is what I call “power furniture arranging”. You are not suppose to sit in rooms with your back to the entrance of the room. You are not in control, and you feel vulnerable to people coming in the run without your knowledge. All desks in rooms or offices should be placed so that you face the entry.


An office that is cluttered is not conducive to positive energy. So goes it for a home also. This makes sense. What kind of feeling do you have walking to a kitchen with dishes stacked to the ceiling? I’m sure you give off a lot of negative energy. Feng Shui is organization and cleanliness.

Will the use of Feng Shui change your life? I don’t know. It is certainly interesting to study the basic ideas. They say if you are in a bad mood, yet put on a red dress, that you will cheer up from the reactions of the people around you.

Perhaps this works in the same way. With Feng Shui you are suppose to surround yourself with things that you love, and place them in such a way that they bring calmness and tranquility to your life. Not a bad idea-…..especially if it doesn’t cost money.