5 Quick Tips for Energizing Your Home for the New Year
We're only days into the new year, and you may already be well on your way to a newer, better you. But what about your home? It could be time to freshen up your interior, and you can do this on a tight budget through feng shui.
Nancy Canestaro, D. Arch, is a certified astro feng shui practitioner and believes feng shui promotes wealth, good health and peace of mind.
The serene gardens and architecture were the inspiration for this beautiful meditation area. The area is partially enclosed with rope and rocks.
Feng shui is an ancient art and science developed more than 2,000 years ago that helps align living spaces to a natural energy field to promote this wealth. If you've ever felt at peace as soon as you walk into a tranquil garden or sitting next to crystal clear water, that's feng shui at work. Nancy shares ways you can bring this practice into your own home.
Start at the Front Entrance
Natural Stone and Wood Covered Front Porch With Wood Rocking Chairs, Sconce Lighting and Potted Plants
Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images
The front entrance to your home should be inviting. "Rocking chairs are great because of movement," Nancy says. "The image of rocking on a porch brings a smile to everyone's face and consciousness." To enhance a welcoming impression, keep the area around your front door clear, bright and uncluttered. Plant flowers, specificially white, along the pathway to your door.
Keep Your Landscape in Check
Choose your favorite plants, but be sure they're scaled to the size of your house. Some shrubbery can grow too tall and wide, and some trees and evergreens have prickly branches. Prune them, and don't let them block the entrance to your house.
Declutter Your Foyer
White, Contemporary Foyer with Window-surrounded Front Door and Plaid Rug
This gorgeous foyer provides a bright and cheerful first impression for large groups of family and friends that feels open and welcoming. The pink rug and upholstered bench cushion add a touch of color and whimsy. The hanging lamp gives a rustic touch to the space.
Gridley + Graves Photographers
Spend time decluttering the entryway of your home all the way to the living area. You and your guests will feel more relaxed with less stuff to clutter your mind.
Create a Peaceful Bedroom
Art Deco Gray Bedroom With Mirrored Sconces
"I have a go-to trick I love to help make any space feel instantly luxe. While I love the look of fur blankets and throws, I don't love the price and prefer to go faux anyway. So, one of my favorite tricks is to buy 2 or 3 faux fur throws and get them sewn together at my local dry cleaners. Then, voila! You have a custom fur blanket to drape over your bed." -Erica Reitman, Design Blahg
Soft, monochromatic color schemes in gray tones add tranquility to any room. Make sure your bedroom doesn't have any contrasting colors and that your sleep area is completely decluttered. Don't bring any electronic devices into the bedroom.
Choose Colors Wisely
Paint the main rooms in your home colors that support their function. The kitchen should include food-related colors, the bedroom neutral and work areas in contrasting colors to promote energy.
Attracting Love: Put Furniture Legs on Rugs
"Never put all your furniture against the walls," says Karen Rauch Carter, feng shui consultant and author of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life. "Furniture should be arranged to support communication, so forget where the walls are. Put at least the front legs of all furniture on the rug — not just around it — and people will sit there and talk."
Attracting Money: Keep the Kitchen Clean
"Your kitchen is directly related to your ability to attract money," says feng shui consultant Suzanne Metzger. Keep your pantry and refrigerator organized and full of fresh food you actually use. To attract more money, keep the stove clean — every burner must work and be used equally. Lastly, remove all clutter from the kitchen table.
Attracting Love: Add Doubles to Every Room
"If you want to start a relationship, don't surround yourself with single imagery", says Laura Benko, feng shui and holistic design expert. "Avoid a single chair in the corner, solitary images in artwork and solo photographs. It's important to create the energy of partnership around you, otherwise you are continually enforcing singularity." Add a second chair to a sitting area, double up on nightstands and surround yourself with pairs of everything.
Attracting Money: Decorate in Red, Purple or Green
"Color has a powerful impact on mood, and red is considered auspicious and powerful. Think of walking the red carpet or wearing a red power tie," explains Laura. Purple and green are also key colors for attracting prosperity but there's a hitch. "If you really can't stand the color green, it won't work for you. But if you do love purple, paint a wall lavender or add a violet throw to your couch. Then tune in to how your space feels. It's not just filling your home with stuff — it's about decorating with mindfulness and enhancing the vibration and power of your own home."
Attracting Love: Add Happy Family Photos
To improve your marriage, display smiling photos of yourself as a couple and your family in the hallways, kitchen or other high-traffic areas, suggests feng shui consultant Ken Lauher. Avoid putting family photos in the master bedroom, which should only include photos of the couple. Design by Cortney and Robert Novogratz
Attracting Money: Make Your Front Door Inviting
If it's hard to find your front door or it's confusing as to how to get in, it'll be hard for opportunity to make its way into your life as well, explains Karen. Put in an archway or gate to denote the front door if you need to, and make sure the doorbell works. The welcome mat should be bright and fresh. Sweep the steps and sidewalk in front, and add a potted plant to the entryway. Karen's rule of thumb: "If a trick-or-treater can't tell where to go, your front door isn't clear enough."
Attracting Love: Arrange Dining Table in a Circle
When it comes to creating more love, the dining room is the second most important space in a home, the master bedroom being the most important. Arrange the dining table so everyone can see each other, and set out enough chairs for everyone even if the family doesn't eat together every night, says Karen. Symbolically, it's important to include the whole group.
Attracting Money: Lose Clutter, Add Plants and Water
"To bring in more prosperity, it's important to create a vibrant, healthy, inspiring and clutter-free home," explains Laura. "Clutter jams up good energy and leads to procrastination. Bring in vibrant life forces such as plants and flowers, and don't forget to have fresh air circulating. Fountains are important wealth adjustments in feng shui because they stimulate prosperity and energy, and symbolize money."
Attracting Love: Create a Cozy Master Bedroom
Oversized master bedrooms need to be cozier in order to have good relationship feng shui. Start by closing off any adjoining rooms, including a bathroom, office, patio or gym, suggests Karen. If there's no door, install curtains. If you have a sitting area, arrange the chairs toward each other, and downsize with a smaller bed — go from king to queen or queen to double. "When the space gets bigger and bigger, people tend to live further and further apart emotionally."
Attracting Love: Arrange Kids' Beds for Better Harmony
"Feng shui applies to all the occupants in the house," explains Laura. "Children can be even more susceptible to their surrounding energies, so it's very important to make sure their beds are placed in the commanding position. They will feel easily startled and vulnerable if their backs are to the door." Laura also says electronics should never be stored or charged near a child's bed.
Attracting Love: Leave Room for Someone Else
"Single people build rooms for single people," says Karen. "They have one chair, one nightstand and so on. Add another nightstand for your future someone." That goes for the closet too. "Don't fill it up with your stuff — honor the space and carve out a dresser drawer or a shelf that's not yours. You don't need to literally have enough room for two people to live there, just leave room for opportunity."
Attracting Money: Bring In New Opportunities
Sometimes it doesn't take money to make money — just a yard sale. "This is a zero-cost fix," explains Karen. "Take out clutter to increase prosperity; what you don't use, don't love, don't need. Space equals opportunity."
Attracting Money: Add More Fun
If your bedroom is too neat or stuck with a sterile feel, "add something whimsical that makes you smile," suggests Suzanne. It could also be artwork or a photo of a couple laughing together. This can bring positive energy into the room, and in turn, improve the relationship.
Attracting Money: Don't Use Water Symbols
"Drippy faucets are a sign of money going to waste," Karen says. "Whatever the state of your water, your finances mirror those." To increase your bank account, repair broken fountains and remove all stagnant water from your property. "Ever heard the expression, 'I just can't get my head above water'?" Karen asks. It's best not to display water-based artwork or mirrors higher than your nose, which carries the same significance in feng shui. For most of us, that means no mirrors or water scenes above the bed.
Attracting Love: Remove Negative Symbolism
"To decrease stress and arguing in your home, check your surroundings," Laura suggests. "One couple that fought constantly had crisscross swords over their bed, and another couple had guns on their living room wall. Keep photos and artwork pleasing, inspiring and uplifting."
Attracting Money: Set Up a Sophisticated Home Office
"Many people who work from home have a lack of dedicated space for doing business," says Karen. Take yourself and your business seriously if you want to attract new clients and bigger opportunities. Picture a CEO's office, with a large desk facing the door and windows. "You've got to have space for people to come in, sit down and hand you a check. Putting a desk against a wall is a cubicle type position. It's subservient, which is not assuming respect." The amount of space in front of you relates to the amount of opportunities available, so arrange your chair so you have a view.
Attracting Love: Focus On One Another
When it comes to the master bedroom, it's not about the view or TV, explains Karen. "The bedroom is about passion and rejuvenation." To increase intimacy in your home, install heavy, cozy drapes over large windows, remove the TV and never sleep with a laptop, iPhone or other electronics buzzing near your bed. The bedroom should be low-tech and romantic. Avoid pictures and decor featuring anyone other than the people sleeping there — wedding pictures work, but family photos don't.
Attracting Love: Add a Splash of Pink
Because it's the color of relationships in feng shui, pink is one of the best colors to decorate a bedroom with, says Ken. Pink represents love, joy, happiness and romance. It doesn't need to be a whole room, even a splash will do. Alternatively, light blue is a positive relationship color.
Attracting Money: Choose Your Favorite Colors
Make sure your home speaks to you, or the feng shui updates won't work. "The biggest feng shui money mistakes people make are choosing adjustments they don't like," explains Laura. "For example, red is considered a lucky color and you might hear that painting your door red will attract wealth. The bottom line is, if you don't like red you will hate coming and going through it every day."