The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Interior Design Tips: Finding Your Home’s Feng Shui

 July 24, 2023 |  Home Decor, Just for Fun |  living room, kitchen, office, lighting, painting, organization

Homeowners put so much thought into their home’s interior design, whether they go for French curls and filigree or Mid-Century modern. If you’re a serial redesigner yourself, you feel frustrated when a space just isn’t quite coming together like you’d hoped. Maybe it’s something about the color of the walls, or the lack of natural light, or maybe you can’t quite put your finger on it. Rather than grabbing a paint roller for yet another new coat, maybe it’s time to look at your home from a completely new angle.

Many have heard of feng shui in association with interior design as a concept, but most are unaware of the positive effect that it can have on their home. Let’s take a look at the origin of this term and how its concepts can be used to finally make a home come together.

What is Feng Shui?
Feng shui is an ancient term with roots in Taoism which can loosely be translated as “wind and water.” As this translation might suggest, feng shui teaches that people are directly impacted by their environment, and this environment should be intentionally designed to not disrupt life’s “flow.” There may be some debate as to the authenticity of feng shui’s mystic nature, but its overall principles tend to make a home feel more focused, relationship-oriented, and career-friendly.

Applying feng shui’s laws to a room starts with learning its five elements: wood, fire, earth, water, and metal. Each element governs a sector of life such as family, career, or fame, and each is closely associated with a color that encourages success in these areas. Another facet of feng shui is known as the Bagua, which translates to the “eight areas.” In interior design, feng shui experts recommend translating the Bagua directly onto the floorplan of a home or apartment in order to dictate how the space is organized, but this practice may be too limiting for some.

One of the most important concepts of feng shui (and probably the one most easily applied to an existing design) is the “Commanding Position.” This term is used in reference to the space within a room where the most time is spent. For the living room, this might be a sofa, or it might be a favorite chair. Once this area is determined, the room should be rearranged so that this Commanding Position is in the farthest point away from the door and at an angle.

Note: While the Commanding Position should have sight of the door (without obstructions), it should not face the door directly! To learn more about the Bagua, or other elements of feng shui, check out this great overview by certified feng shui consultant Anjie Cho over at

Using Feng Shui in the Living Room
Within the living room, there are many ways to apply feng shui principles to create a new look. As previously mentioned, starting with the Commanding Position makes sense, so push that favorite lounger or loveseat away from the door and against the wall! From there, reorient the room for comfort and to encourage conversation. Support this design philosophy by making sure each seat has its own table or surface, and ensuring that no one would be too separated from the action.

Living rooms are all about family and friends, which can be reinforced with earthy tones or blues and greens. Bringing additional plants or other greenery indoors will also be a plus, though it is important not to become too cluttered! The best interior designs that use feng shui are actually minimalist by necessity, since unused or broken items create a chaotic atmosphere that disrupts the natural flow of life. In short, you’re running out of excuses to not clean out that junk drawer.

Using Feng Shui in the Home Office
In the home office, the desk is the natural choice for the Commanding Position, but complimentary colors are likely different than they’d be in the living room. The office is a space largely dedicated to career efforts, meaning dark blues and blacks are strong choices to incorporate into the space, and mirrors should be used strategically to contribute to focus and productivity (watch what mirrors reflect when seated at your desk).

Other colors that are said to focus the mind are yellows, greens, and blues. Again, bringing in an office plant isn’t a bad idea as getting closer to nature reinforces many positive principles in feng shui, and reducing clutter within the home office may be more important than any other space in the house. For more ideas on how to make your home office your dream work space, check out these quick tips!

Using Feng Shui in the Bedroom
Finally, the bedroom is perhaps the most important space in the home when considering feng shui principles. That’s because the bed represents the self. Start by placing the bed in the commanding position of the room, then ideally place nightstands on either side with matching lamps. Headboards are also said to be important in establishing a secure zone surrounding the bed. Rounded corners, symmetry, and minimalism are central ideas for a bedroom that is fully in line with feng shui ideas.

An additional important point is to ensure that the bedroom is completely lit, since dark corners are said to suggest that there are neglected areas within the person’s life. Regarding clutter, storage beneath the bed is particularly frowned upon and should be avoided as well, as it suggests a lack of resolution. Implementing a few of these ideas into your home design could be the breath of fresh air that you’ve been missing, or at least another opportunity for an interior redesign.

How is your home’s feng shui? Follow us on Facebook and let us know! Did you skip your buyer's inspection? Call your local NPI inspector to schedule a post-purchase inspection today!

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