What does the modern day trend of being eco-friendly have in common with the ancient Eastern art of feng shui? Both promote a healthier, happier life!
My favorite thing about feng shui is that it's all about positivity. The ultimate goal is to enhance positive Qi (energy). In feng shui, Qi is balanced by the particular placement of basic elements -- water, wood, fire, earth and metal. For a double dose of harmony, ensure that these elements are brought into your home in an eco-friendly manner!
1. Fresh flowers bring luck and good fortune into a home. This design element is ideal for the green enthusiast. Red flowers promote love and passion, while if you are aiming to have children, add fruit, a symbol of fertility, to your arrangements.
2. Water isn’t just for drinking! To create a zen atmosphere, install a water feature, such as a fountain or basin. For ideal feng shui, place the fountain in the southeast corner of the room to promote health and prosperity. Choose a flowing water source that recirculates itself for eco friendly points!
3. Take advantage of decorative candles. According to feng shui, overly bright lighting brings harsh energy into the room, making it difficult to relax. Soft lighting creates a sense of calm for the space it fills. With candles, you’ll be upping your Qi and saving energy at the same time!
4. The wood element represents harmony, so help promote harmony while adding style by accessorizing with salvaged driftwood as a tablescape or centerpiece, or try wooden branches in those beautiful floral arrangements.
5. People call me the color diva, so I’m on board with the feng shui experts who believe in the emotional benefits of color choice for your (green) living space. To promote success and recognition, access the fire element in your workspace with reds and oranges. For a dining room or sitting room, try yellow, which inspires social interaction and joy. Calming colors like taupe and light pink are ideal for the bedroom, where energy should be softened. And of course, when selecting paint, be sure to choose eco-friendly paint options that do not contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds)!
6. De-cluttering is the most important feng shui rule! When we allow clutter to exist in a room, we are stopping the flow of Qi in that space. So rather than encumbering your shelves or under-bed space with boxes and bins, keep these areas clean and free of energy-blocking clutter. Keep your desk and kitchen table clear of loose items. Maintaining our focus has become an issue for many of us, so this will help you focus on each activity you take on…whether it’s eating dinner with your family or working on a project.
Feng shui is all about maximizing your own potential…and so am I! Take advantage of these opportunities to keep your home environmentally friendly while allowing positive energy into all aspects of your life.
Robin Baron is an interior designer and lifestyle expert based in New York City. Visit her website, www.robinbarondesign.com, and follow her on twitter @RobinBaron and Facebook.com/robinbarondesign.