How does Zeus design for the modern business traveler? These individuals seek comfortable living spaces that are conducive to relaxation and productivity, which may not appear to go hand in hand. A key element to achieving this kind of balanced design has to do with the incorporation of feng shui - a term that many may recognize, but may not fully grasp. In this post, we’ll distill the basic elements of feng shui and share how these elements can be applied to interior design.
So, what is Feng Shui? @section_title
Feng shui is the Chinese art of harmonizing your space to maximize the flow of positive energy. The feng shui practice believes that every object in a home carries an inherent energy, or “chi”. To understand what kind of energy an item offers, you must also explore the theory of the five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Each element is represented by certain colors. For example, the earth element corresponds to, you guessed it - earth tones. Introducing the earth element to your space can create a feeling of grounding, balance and stability.
1. Pay Attention to Space @section_title
To maximize the flow of positive energy within the home, consider spatial relationships. A cluttered and crowded space hinders the flow of energy and can disconnect you from your intended activity - socializing, working, or just aiming to relax. On the other hand, an overly spacious home can feel sterile and energy deficient. So, how do you strike a balance?
2. In Praise of Color @section_title
In the feng shui practice, every color has its own meaning. For example, red is associated with power, while brown embodies balance and stability as mentioned above. Color can be applied to uncharacteristic places to instill energy throughout the space, such as the backside of the front door for a small but vibrant accent wall. To incorporate color according to feng shui practice, consider the mood it will stir and how this relates to the function of a given room. Zeus designer, Antonia, follows the feng shui technique of carefully incorporating bright, energizing hues juxtaposed with a largely monochromatic palette for a balanced space.
3. Hide (or try to hide) Technology @section_title
Concealing technology throughout the home is a key feng shui technique. With technology removed as a focal point, you will be less distracted or lured by its possibilities, and more in tune with the energetic nature of the space. The bedroom and the workstation are two particular sites where technology, such as televisions, should be concealed to allow for necessary relief. Most hotels do not practice this feng shui technique, as they position televisions directly in front of the bed. While it may sometimes feel impossible to eliminate technology in certain spaces, simply concealing technology behind closed doors can restore the balance of energy.
4. Be Picky about Accessories @section_title
Be mindful when selecting accessories for the home to avoid a chaotic imbalance of energy - or in simpler terms: clutter. Antonia explains, “Comfort is the most important thing for our residents. Clutter can diminish comfort very quickly. At the same time, you don’t want a home to feel too bare.”
To help achieve harmony through accessories, consider incorporating a healthy mix of the five feng shui elements. For example, our designers incorporate plants which embody wood and reflective surfaces such as mirrors which signify water. Accessories act as energy anchors throughout the home, so be selective when choosing what to incorporate and consider which of the five elements an object embodies.
5. Maximize Light Sources @section_title
Last (but certainly not least), light is essential to the feng shui practice. Symbolizing warmth and heat, light increases positive energy throughout the home to improve one’s mood. Light also works its feng shui magic by opening up the living space to invite the harmonious interaction of energy between objects.
Antonia shares that while soft, natural light is favorable, various feng shui techniques will help achieve optimal lighting within the home. For example, strategically placing mirrors in darker parts of the home can reflect light from across the room and create the illusion of a larger space. Placed opposite a window, a mirror can also amplify an outdoor scenery, increasing exposure to natural energy sources outside the home. Table lamps or floor lamps provide soft, ambient lighting that encourages conversation and relaxation while harsh overhead light sources can confine the energy to a single spotlight or concentrated area.
By exercising mindfulness as part of our interior design strategy, we can create living spaces that are intimately connected to our residents’ health, happiness, and quality of life. As you think about your next home, or home away from home, we hope these feng shui techniques will help you design more intentionally and connect more deeply to your space. After all, it’s said that home is where the heart is. We certainly believe this!