Have you ever walked into a home or office and instantly felt comfortable and relaxed? Can you recall an environment that made you feel uncomfortable or anxious for no apparent reason? An explanation for these positive or negative feelings in different environments may be found in the principles of feng shui (pronounced fung schway).
Feng shui is the ancient art of placement and design used to balance and enhance the energy flow in living environments. The Chinese have relied on feng shui for over 3,000 years to assure an abundance of wealth and love in their lives. Feng shui experts believe that by creating harmony and balance in your physical environment you will attract good luck and prosperity in all areas of your life
The practice of feng shui is based on the flow of ch’i (pronounced chee)—the life force or vital energy that links people with their surroundings. Ch’i is the medium by which energy moves into an environment. According to feng shui principles, ch’i is a tangible force that gives way to physical manifestations when it flows freely or hinders physical manifestations when it is blocked. A practitioner uses feng shui to read the energy movement in a home or office and restructure the movement to enhance health, harmony, and abundance.
So what does this have to do with your home office? By following some basic principles of feng shui, you may improve your productivity and career prospects as well as enhance your success, creativity, and wealth. Specifically, you can use feng shui to determine where to set up your home office, the best placement of your desk, the use of color in your office, and incorporate “cures” into your office to change the flow of blocked energy.
Home Office Location
If you have the luxury of choosing the location of your home office, these tips can guide you in maximizing the flow of energy:
- Since energy enters your home through the front door, you want to set up your home office in the front of the house to take advantage of the flow of energy. If you’re in the back, it’s more difficult to receive any energy. This will also be beneficial if you will be receiving clients and conducting business with others in your home office.
- Once energy enters through the front door it flows up, so it is preferable to be on the entry level or above as opposed to a level below the main floor of the house. It’s difficult for energy to move down into the basement.
- A rectangular-shaped room is best for a home office. If the room you choose for your office is L-shaped, use one of the areas for your desk and the other for a sitting area.
Suggested “Cures” for Less Ideal Locations
In the art of feng shui, a cure is a change you make in your environment to bring balance and harmony into the space. When the flow of ch’i or energy is blocked or stagnant, a feng shui cure can get the energy moving again to create change.
The following “cures” can be used to alter blocked or stagnant energy:
- If your home office is in your bedroom, hide the office area with a screen at night so that you don’t mix energies when you move from work to sleep.
- If your home office does not have a window, brighten up the room with yellow paint, bright lights, and pictures of the outdoors.
- If your home office is located in the basement, paint the walls and ceilings a bright white. Create as much light as possible with bright lighting. Install a fan to get the energy moving.
The Dos and Don’ts of Desk Placement
According to feng shui experts, the placement of your desk can impact how you feel while working in your office. If possible, follow these dos and don’ts in arranging your desk:
- Do place your desk diagonally across from the doorway-this will allow you a clear line of vision.
- Do place your desk so that you’re sitting with your back to a wall or corner-this will create a sense of security. If you absolutely have to sit with your back to the door, hang a mirror in front of you or angled above your desk so that you can see anyone walking into the room.
- Do position your desk facing into the room rather than facing a wall. If you decide to place your desk flat up against a wall, it is best if a window is to your left if you’re right-handed, and to your right if you’re left-handed.
- Don’t place your desk so that your back is to the door-this will cause you to be jumpy, easily startled, and distracted because you never know who’s behind you or you’ll feel like you’re being stabbed in the back.
- Don’t place your desk so that your back is against a full wall of windows-this position may make you feel as though nothing solid is backing you up
- Don’t place your desk in the center of the room-you will lose power and authority.
- Don’t place your desk directly in line with the door, either facing it or with it to your side–you will receive the full force of energy coming into the room and you may feel confused or agitated.
- Don’t place your desk flat up against a window so that you face directly out. The only situation in which it is good to place your desk against a window, provided no one can look in at you, is if you face due north-considered a prosperous direction-when looking directly out.
- Don’t position your desk where you feel cramped, confined, have a limited field of vision, or where there is a passageway behind you.
Using Color in Your Office
Color research shows that people are stimulated in specific ways by different colors. Feng shui uses color as a cure to promote the appropriate energy for a space. That’s why it’s important to pick a color based on the tasks you will be performing. For example:
- Yellow stimulates clarity of thought, creativity, and mental activity–making it an excellent color for a home office. Yellow also promotes discipline, which anyone working in a home office needs.
- Red is an aggressive color, so it’s a good choice for anyone making deals or selling, and for those who entertain clients in their office.
- A blue-green color can be soothing, yet creative–a good color choice for writers.
- Oranges and other warm desert colors stimulate socialization and collaboration–good for a small office using a team approach to management.
- Your ceiling should be painted a light color–a dark color will make you feel as if there’s a dark cloud hanging over your head while you work.
Using Feng Shui Cures
Placement of objects in a particular area or quadrant of your office or desk can enhance the energy to various aspects of your life. To understand where the various quadrants of your desk are, consider where you sit as the front of the desk. For example, as you sit facing your desk, the wealth quadrant would be the upper left corner. Here’s a few cures for your office:
- Get rid of clutter in your home or office. Eliminating clutter will begin to clear away certain problems in your life and make room for something new and desirable to enter.
- The wealth quadrant or upper left corner is the most important part of your home office or desk. Place a crystal bowl or a healthy plant in this area to enrich this area of your business.
- A red object such as red flowers placed in the upper left corner of your office or desk can bring financial success-placed in the back center portion of your office or desk can bring fame.
- Place a medium-sized rug in the center of your office. A deep blue, black, or other dark color rug in the middle of the office is like a deep pool of water upon which to rest the eyes and reflect.
- If you don’t have a view outside from where you sit, hang a plant or a picture of a plant in your line of view to bring the outdoors inside for a calming effect.
- Never place anything blue in the fame quadrant or back center portion of your office or desk—you will be drowning your fame.
- It takes money to make money, so pay attention to the quality of things you put into your office. You should only have objects that are truly meaningful to you in your home office.
Though a complex science and art, many of the principles of feng shui are common sense and based on intuition. When incorporating these principles into your home office, aim for simplicity, think creatively, and trust your intuition. Imagine being drawn to your office because you feel comfortable and relaxed. This results in a flow of creative energy which leads to an increase in productivity which ultimately leads to success and prosperity.
If you would like to know more about feng shui, check out some of the following books available on amazon.com:
The Complete Illustrated Guide to Feng Shui by Lillian Too
101 Feng Shui Tips for the Home by Richard Webster
Creating Sacred Space with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston
Feng Shui: Harmony By Design by Nancy Santopeitro
Feng Shui: The Book of Cures by Nancilee Wydra