Feng Shui and Vastu Shastra (Sans the Spirtual Stuff)

08/04/2009 11:40
Clearing Clutter

Create an optimal passage for energy (and people) with a light-filled tidy foyer. “Clear the clutter from behind the door,” advises Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life. “Dust the furniture, sweep the floor, and clean the mirrors in the entry.” In short, housework is required to jump-start your chi.

This sleek and space-efficient cabinetry stores clothes and doubles as a combo headboard/nightstand with a built-in shelf. “A room’s simplicity reinforces the function of the bedroom and of sleep,” says Kathleen Cox, author of Space Matters. She adds that empty walls prompt the sleeper to empty their minds - the first step toward a restful sleep.

Grouping small accessories is more impactful and less cluttering than spreading them out all over the room.

Like building blocks for grown-ups, West Elm’s Modular Storage Collection ($59-$129 per section) can be assembled in a variety of configurations so it’s easy to create a custom look that efficiently organizes bathrooms of any size.

Color Cues

“A red living room activates energy and stimulates your pulse, promoting lively conversations, social interaction and family activity,” says Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life. But as you can see from this buttoned-up plaid wallcovering, red doesn’t have to mean fiery.

A change in fortune may be just a paint can away. “Traditionally, a red front door symbolizes good luck and financial abundance,” says Jayme Barrett, author of Feng Shui Your Life. And if nothing else, we think a red door shows cheer and confidence.

This cozy alcove surrounds its sitter in restful hues of green (harmony), violet/plum (peace), and brown (warmth) from the Feng Shui color wheel.

Not only would this pair of down-filled pillows ($75) add a luxe touch, they would fill the room with Feng Shui hues of happiness (pink) and harmony (green).

The Right Lighting

Create good chi and lively conversation with a stimulating red chandelier that, like the furnishings beneath it, has a rounded form. “Protruding sharp angles and corners are considered dangerous,” says Terah Kathryn Collins, author of Home Design with Feng Shui A-Z.

This intricately beaded chandelier is a Vastu Shastra-based example of the power and quality of changing light. By day, it’s a subdued artful unifier of color that takes a back seat to natural light that floods the room. At night, the shade diffuses light and gives the room a soft and soothing glow.

Not only does this light fixture hit the Feng Shui mark for its rounded shape, its positioning symbolically fills the sofa’s L-shape which, otherwise, would cast a sense of unbalance and incompleteness according to the spiritual philosophy.

Fire-resistant recycled fabric is crafted into Studio Lillica’s Dervish light sculpture ($550), which will add an artful touch to any room. It casts a calming glow.

Bring Nature In

A chandelier formed with cuttings from a neighbor’s tree, branches out as an artful tribute to nature. “Nature objects can be very ch’i-enhancing when they connect you to the special experiences you’ve had outdoors,” notes Terah Kathryn Collins, author of Home Design with Feng Shui A-Z. “The memories associated with nature objects keep you connected to the natural world even when you live in an urban setting.”

A dramatically scaled leaf creates a striking focal point as it infuses living energy into the room.

A mass of tulips fills the air with a heady scent and brings a muted room to life.

A spectacular display of light and shadows are cast from Roost Round pendant lights ($725 to $2,050 each) that are hand-woven of sustainably-harvested bittersweet vine, grape vine, hand-dyed reed, willow and datu.

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