The Living Room

The Living Room

Traditional Harmony

The living room, the most public part of the house, juggles myriad functions. It's a space to relax, discuss, entertain, listen to music, watch the daily news. Given the living room's pivotal role within our lives, its arrangement, adaptability and feeling are crucial to good Feng Shui. Where the living room has a dining or work space attached, as is the case in many modern apartments, the application of good Feng Shui becomes even more important. It's important to screen off the study or office areas, so that work is not preying on your mind while you're trying to relax.

The energy of the living room is predominantly yang, given the activity and movement within the space. To ground the energy, apply yin additions such as fabric-covered seats, scatter cushions, ottomans, muted tones or cool, leafy plants. A suitably oriented living room is one which captures the sun at the right times for those who use it - an easterly aspect is good for early risers, and a westerly aspect is good for those of us who are night owls. Generally, keep living spaces well ventilated, with lots of natural light.

Where possible, make sure the living room is not positioned at the end of a long corridor - a spot which suffers from hard - hitting poison arrows.
Externally, check for sharp lines from a neighbor's roof line or telephone pole, which may produce the same effect.

Furniture is best placed against the room's four walls, and its size and shape should mirror the size and shape of the room. If the pieces are too large, the flow of Qi will be disrupted, making you and your guests feel uncomfortable. For a square room, use a square, round or octagonal table. A rectangular table is best in a rectangular room. In rooms where chair sand tables are not backed by a wall, create stability behind the seating by placing a table, screen, storage unit or bookcase there.

To encourage the free flow of movement, for people and Qi, there should be an even number of chairs, and they should be positioned appropriately. Seating a person so that their back is toward a full - length window or door will make them feel insecure, so avoid placing chairs in this position. Try to make sure that the main entrance to the room can be seen from each seating position, and avoid placing chairs between two opposite openings or under exposed beams. Also, as sitting face to face can be confronting, it is best to slightly angle chairs to one side.

Keep doors from the living room closed. If a bedroom leads off the main living area, make sure the living room furniture is not sending poison arrows into the bedroom from a corner.

Modern Design

In warehouse conversions with large open plan spaces and high ceilings, it is better to create small groupings of furniture than to attempt to create a single room within the space. The feeling should be welcoming and warm; both color and proportion can greatly assist here. In constrained living rooms, keep bookcases and built - in wall units low, otherwise the room may feel top - heavy. Brightly painted feature walls and colorful insertions such as ottomans, rugs, wall tapestries and screens can significantly add spark. Artwork, sculptures and decorative motifs should have good symbolism such as landscapes, flowers or groups of friends.

The golden rule with furniture is avoid sharp corners. Furniture is always best if it has rounded edges. When selecting a coffee table, go for an oval shape, as it produces no poison arrows. Natural woven sea grass designs are great Feng Shui - friendly options here. If you've invested in furniture with sharp edges, don't despair. Remedies include covering your couch or armchair with soft fabrics, mohair throw rugs or using cushions with abandon. Also placing plants nearby will diffuse poison arrows.

Use a screen if the living room merges with the kitchen or dining room. Try to arrange seating so that the television is not the main focus in the room. Use yin-colored cloths to cover electrical devices, badly placed mirrors or reflective surfaces at night or when not in use.

Avoid angular lighting-where possible, opt for candles or paper-covered lanterns. Add flowers for color. And just for fun, add a central chandelier in a living room-it's excellent Feng Shui.

Having skylights which allow natural light into the living area of your home is good Feng Shui. A suitably well - oriented living room is one which captures the sun; it should have an easterly aspect for early risers and a westerly one for those of us who are night owls. Air-flow and good ventilation in any room allows positive Qi to circulate.

The color, shape, proportion and aspect of this living room are welcoming and warm. Bookcases and wall units have been kept low, to avoid a top - heavy feeling. Against a more tonal yin backdrop, colorful and textural insertions -purple fluffy rugs, paintings and flowers - have been added for yang energy. The coffee table, couch and light are good shapes, as they produce no poison arrows. The ventilation and natural light are also good.

This woven sea grass coffee table is a wonderful Feng Shui -friendly option for a Living area, particularly one where there are children. Firstly, it has rounded, soft edges and there are no sharp corners. When selecting a coffee table (or any furniture for that matter), it's advised, where possible, to go for oval or rounded shapes. Secondly, if you want to complete the look, add a custom cut glass top.

Bad Feng Shui - Living Room
• Uneven number of seats
• Metal objects, such as music system and television, destroy wood element of south -east corner
• Bookshelves in corner where door opens are cluttered and stagnate space
• Sofa placed against permanently closed door makes occupant feel insecure
• Heavy painting over sofa
• Square furnishings
• Side table and armchair send poison arrows through front door; since this leads to the bedroom, this is particularly bad
• Spiky plants
• Picture of single person creates lonely atmosphere

Good Feng Shui - Living Room
• Adding two figurines stimulates romance corner
• Even number of seats
• Slightly angled armchairs - all occupants can see front door when seated
• Prosperity and wealth corner in southeast improved by water feature
• Colorful rug in center of room is good Feng Shui
• Cushions and soft fabrics used
• Fresh flowers on round sea grass coffee table
• Chandelier hanging in center of room
• Books in enclosed shelving
• Television is not main focus of room