The application of these feng shui living room ideas will ensure that your living room is a place of warmth, harmony, welcome, relaxation, and positive energy for your family and friends.
The living room is the most important room in the home after the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen. And, as a gathering place, it is the focal point of our social life at home.
And the goal of feng shui for this room is to achieve a balance between tranquility and vitality. These feng shui living room ideas will help you do this.
We discuss feng shui in some detail in this other post. But in summary, feng shui, meaning “wind and water,” is the ancient Chinese practice of arranging our built environment in such a way that we influence the flow of chi energy to our best benefit. Chi is the hidden, vital, and animating force of life that is everywhere around us.
Below we offer many feng shui living room ideas that you can apply to achieve the best for your living room. These ideas cover layout, decoration, organization, colors, and more.
Living room configuration
Feng shui favors some living room configurations over others. This goes both to its location within the home and the way it is built. Here are some examples:
Two exterior walls
Feng shui prefers to see a living room built to enjoy two exterior walls. This would ordinarily locate the room at a corner of the home. The reason is that this provides an opportunity for two sets of windows to bring into the room the positive chi energy associated with light and fresh air.
Not in the middle of the home
This is a logical extension of the feng shui preference for two exterior walls. A living room in the middle of the home lacks windows altogether. And at least one window is required for the flow of chi energy from outside the home. Having it channeled through other areas of the home before it reaches the living room will diminish it.
No slanted or low ceiling
Slanted or low ceilings reduce the expansion of energy in the living room and make the space feel constricted and unwelcoming.
Back in the real world
But in reality, we rarely get a choice in the location or configuration our living room. If we have the luxury of being able to commission a design/build home construction, we can have the exact living room of our choice. But in the real world, the norm is to do the best we can with the home we have.
However, this is not the end of the world. Feng shui almost always offers a “remedy” for any adverse situation. And we offer here multiple ways to attain great feng shui in any living room. We’ll start with the feng shui fundamentals and then introduce details.
The Bagua map
Before taking any kind of feng shui action, you need to understand where your living room falls on the Bagua energy map. We explain the Bagua map in detail elsewhere. And see above for an illustration.
You just place the map over a floorplan of your home with the North edge of the map over the outside wall containing your front door. You will then find the square or squares on the map that correspond to your living room.
The Bagua map displays the nine areas of life, together with their corresponding elements, materials, colors, and shapes. These will guide you in applying the feng shui treatment to your living room. If your living room lies in more than one of the Bagua squares, this gives you all the more opportunity and flexibility.
Using the Bagua energy map in this way will help you maximize the flow of positive chi energy through the room.
Determining the commanding position in the living room is the first of our feng shui living room ideas to apply in laying out the space. We explain elsewhere that the commanding position is a key concept in maximizing the feng shui of any room.
The importance of the commanding position derives from the primitive “fight or flight” instincts of mankind. These instincts are still with us. Even now “situational awareness” is a key concept in our learning self defense.
So the commanding position is that part of the room that is farthest from the door yet within clear sight of the door. It is the place from which you can see who or what may be about to intrude and “attack” you.
The logic is that the commanding position is the natural place for you to set your sofa. This is where you sit and is the most important piece of furniture in the living room. Similar logic places your bed in the commanding position in the bedroom.
And, just the same as with the bed’s headboard, you need to put the back of the sofa against or very close to a solid wall for backing support. You also need to make sure you have clear passages of “escape” on both sides of the sofa.
Feng shui “workarounds” for commanding position problems
It may be that it is not possible to put the sofa in an ideal position. So feng shui offers some workarounds or “cures.”
Lack of backing support
If it is not possible to put your sofa up against a solid wall, you can place a sofa table or screen behind it as a barrier to “have your back.”
No clear view of the door
If it is impossible to see the door from the sofa, place a mirror at a diagonal from the door so that you can see the reflection of the door when you are sitting on the sofa.
Clear room pathways
Plan the layout of the rest of your furniture around clear pathways. These will allow for the easy flow of positive chi energy throughout the living room. It will also make sure that family and guests can move around it freely and safely.
Once you have located your sofa in the commanding position and have mapped out the room’s pathways, the rest of our feng shui living room ideas, including furniture placement, are pretty easily applied.
In selecting furniture, make sure that you have seating for the entire family plus the number of guests you would expect to have. A good way to calculate this is to count the numbers you might seat for a dinner party and then entertain them in the living room after dinner.
If possible, place furniture pieces with their backs against solid walls. Having furniture “float” in the middle of the room can give people feelings of insecurity. The reasoning here is pretty much the same as for the commanding position.
Don’t “over-furnish.” Make sure each piece of furniture has a purpose. Don’t just put furniture around just because you have room for it. Feng shui likes to see purpose and function and dislikes clutter. This may bring a “minimalist” look to your living room but it does promote the free flow of chi energy.
Furniture with rounded corners
Feng shui likes furniture with rounded corners because sharp corners can block or deflect the free flow of chi energy. In addition, objects with sharp corners or edges are considered “poison arrows” in feng shui and can make people feel threatened.
Coffee table exception
Feng shui makes an exception of the coffee table to the rounded corner rule for furniture. This is because the proper function of the coffee table requires a rectangular shape. A round coffee table would be awkward to use and this would make it inhospitable and uncomfortable to use. Feng shui favors practicality.
Modern science tells us that clutter can affect our health. Clutter interferes with our sense of spatial harmony and this induces anxiety and stress. But feng shui was ahead of science on this.
Feng shui tells us that clutter interferes with the flow of positive chi energy. And we think all of this is related.
We should avoid filling our rooms and our lives with “stuff.” The rule is that if you don’t need or love any item you own, you should get rid of it. We offer home decluttering tips elsewhere.
Clearing the space
Over time, any space can accumulate negative energy. So, from time to time, it’s a great idea to clear it out by using an essential oil diffuser. And this has the great side benefit of making the room smell great too. So do this for your living room. Aromatherapy, feng shui, and science go hand in hand.
Light conveys the positive and energetic energy of yang. This is connected to health and vitality and is also associated with the element of fire, which we touch on later.
Feng shui wants you to have plenty of natural light from the living room windows during the day. And this should be supplemented by a properly designed tiered energy-efficient lighting system during evening hours. By tiered lighting, we mean a combination of accent, task, and ambient lighting. And you should consider including circadian rhythm lighting too.
Elements in balance
Feng shui incorporates the Taoist concept of the five elements. These are fire, earth, water, metal, and wood. Having all these elements represented in the living room is another way to enhance its feng shui.
Here is a summary of the elements, their meanings, and how to incorporate them.
The fire element symbolizes boldness, passion, leadership, and drive. You can bring it into the living room with candles or the lit fireplace itself. You can also do it with red in your artwork, wall paint, or other decor.
Earth is the foundational force of stability, strength, and protection. You can bring it into the living room with colors, including yellow, orange, green, and sand. Or you can use heavy or low profile furniture, landscape art, and pottery.
The water element represents calm, spirituality, and peace. You can incorporate it with an aquarium or fountain. Or you can use waterscape artwork. And you can use dark navy blue or dark green in textiles of paint.
The metal element symbolizes logic, analysis, and reasoning. Bring it in with silver, gold, white, or gray colors. Or you can include it with metal floor lamps or decorative items in oval or circular shapes.
The wood element symbolizes rebirth, growth, and creativity. Bring it into the living room with plants and wood furniture. Or you can use blues and greens in paint, fabric, and artwork.
All these elements should be included in the living room. But for enhanced chi, place emphasis on the element appearing in that part of the Bagua energy map containing the living room.
If a fireplace has been installed already, you don’t have much choice in its location. However, if you don’t have a fireplace, it is quite easy and fairly inexpensive to put in an ethanol or electric fireplace.
Feng shui tells us the following about the best placement of a fireplace:
- Put a fireplace in the south of the living room to promote romance and love.
- Put a fireplace in the northeast of the living room for calm, reflective, and clear thinking.
If you can’t install a fireplace, you can use lighted candles to achieve the same effect.
Mirrors are an important tool for interior designers. They enhance the perception of space and they reflect and augment llight. This can be essential in small rooms.
However, feng shui is careful with the placement of mirrors. This is because mirrors intensify the chi energy of whatever may be reflected in them. This includes negative chi.
The most effective place to install a mirror is where people looking at it are able to see a the view from the window. A landscape outside the window is a source of positive chi energy and the mirror has the effect of bringing it inside to the living room..
A TV that is not in use acts just like a mirror. So you don’t want it reflecting any kind of negative chi. The best way to avoid this is to have the TV in a cabinet, so you can close the doors over it when it’s not in use.
This eliminates the the possibility of a negative mirror effect. In any case, it is a bad idea to have the TV dominate the living room and disrupt a social gathering.
Choose living room artwork that brings in positive chi energy. So stay away from pieces that can cause any kind of negative response in someone looking at them.
Refer to the Bagua energy map for the selection of your artwork. See if you can find pieces that introduce the element that the Bagua suggests for your living room. And find pieces that have a harmonious or calming presence.
When placing your artwork on the wall, do not hang it too low. This can decrease the positive chi energy in the room.
Take guidance from the Bagua map when choosing the color to feature in the living room. But only do it with accent colors. There is no need to let the Bagua dictate the color scheme of the entire room. You can use the accent color in cushions, rugs, artwork, and accessories.
Everyone should feel comfortable and welcome in the living room and the colors used for its decoration should harmonize with the the overall color scheme of your home. They should also harmonize with the mood you want to create for the room.
Living potted plants should adorn your living room. They are ornamental and can be an asset to just about any decorating style. And from the feng shui perspective, they also provide their own sustaining life force and counter negative chi energy. What’s more, they contribute to the indoor air quality of the living room.
Large potted plants go well in the corners of the room . And you can add smaller plants as table accessories.
Include an aquarium
Our last living room feng shui idea is to include a fish tank. An aquarium has many positives to offer:
- Feng shui likes a rectangular fist tank because it attracts opportunity and wealth. It also augments the water element in the room.
- From the interior design perspective, an aquarium is highly decorative. And it is a novelty that will delight and intrigue your guests.
- Of course, the big bonus is that an aquarium is good for your health. It is well known to science that contemplating fish in an aquarium will quiet the mind and relieve stress.
The feng shui living room ideas we have set out here will make your living room a great place for the family to relax in an aura of positive chi. And they will also help you create a space in which your guests will feel welcomed and relaxed.
These feng shui recommendations will help you create a space in which cheerful and positive yang energy will flow. This will add to the positive feng shui of your entire home.