Feng Shui --literally translated as "wind" and "water" --are the forces believed responsible by the Chinese people for determining health, prosperity, and good luck. Feng Shui is the Chinese art of placement of buildings, tombs, and furniture to improve ones health and financial well being. This ancient Chinese practice was started over four thousand years ago. It is based on principles from design, ecology, architecture, mysticism, and common sense, and implies not only to the layout of a building but the arrangement of furniture within a room, and within an office space.
Feng Shui is the Art of Placement, an ancient art that has been practiced in China for millenia. The idea is to create a harmonious atmosphere in your household: to create themes for key rooms, ranging from small libraries, to meditation rooms, family room, formal living and dining rooms and so on. Looking at the Art of Placement is very important for determining how your household flows.
Interestingly enough, Applied Psychology, in particular Industrial Psychology, goes into some of the same concepts for corporations and work places. Is the lighting good or does one have to strain their eyes? Is the furniture comfortable or torturous? Is it too hot or too cold? Are there pleasent smells or noxious ones? Is it hard to work in the environment?
How much more important is our home, where we have to live and regain ourselves, to receive warmth from the home hearth, to restore our inner selves as much as anything. To enjoy our families and comradery. A place of celebration and poignant moments. Truly our home is our castle.
Feng Shui looks at how furniture is placed, mirrors and much more. Is there a free flow of energy, are there obstructions around the front doorway? While much of this may seem like a matter of belief systems, much is symbolic psychology. In some systems one finds it important to place symbols most appropriate for what you are doing in that room. So obviously a library has books, a writing desk and much more. Deciding on the color scheme should be conducive for relaxed study and contemplation. Color schemes can be very important for each room of your house reinforcing other symbolic elements. Choose colors and symbols that are meaningful for you and have an impact on your psychology, of course consulting family members who share those spaces.
Living plants are also important for a household. Not just plants but anything alive ranging from fish to animals such as birds, ferns, potted flowers and bonsai trees. Feng Shui indicates that the energy level is increased with living things in the household. Lighting and music as already briefly discussed can have a major impact on ambiance. This would include rose colored light bulbs and other enhancers of atmosphere for lighting. Chimes, fountains and waterfall are also all good ideas for improving your household environment.
Perhaps most importantly we should look at some of the psychological ramifications of decoration. Why do you keep that old clock which looks like a belly dancer with the clock in the stomach? Is is because Uncle So and So or Aunt So and So gave it to you? Do you get angry every time you look at it? Well, get rid of it. It is a negative symbol. Get rid of old pictures of past boyfriends that might cause you problems or sorrow, or past girlfriends. Consider carefully the symbols in your household and how they make you react.
Most importantly remember that you are creating for yourself a place of harmony. A special sanctuary of growth and peace and enrichment for you and for those who live with you, for family, and friends. When we look at it from this perspective, then indeed we know how important is the Art of Placement for the good health of all we welcome to our homes.
The essential aspect of Japanese interior decorating design is its simplicity. When we try to achieve Japanese design style, the most important thing to do is, get rid of all the clutter. The essential aspect of Japanese design is its simplicity. When we try to achieve Japanese design style, the most important thing to do is, get rid of all the clutter.
Japanese interiors are restrained and orderly. Japanese houses are not stuffed with many decorative items. Unlike the western interior style, Japanese style encourages living with bare essential furniture. The main feature of Japanese design is pure lines and uncluttered spaces.
It is very natural for you to wonder about how to achieve Japanese design when the house is full of furniture. If you have lot of furniture and yet want to achieve Japanese design, concentrate only on one room or a portion of the house. Just remember that you can not have serenity of Japanese style with all the big furniture pieces around you.
Just empty one room or one corner of the room where you can introduce Japanese design elements. It is better to choose a room or a corner with a large window, preferably with a view. Due to lack of space Japanese use the concept of borrowed scenery. There is atleast one glass window or door overlooking the garden or the sky, giving feeling of openness.
If you are confined to just a corner or a portion of the room, use shoji screens to divide the room and get some privacy. These screens are made of rice paper and wood lattice. They permit light and ventilation in the room, yet give the privacy needed. Introducing shoji screens can transform the room dramatically, from western to eastern.
Use bamboo chicks or shoji curtains on the windows in Japanese style rooms. They can be rolled up when the view is needed. Another feature of Japanese style is low-level sitting. Japanese style encourages the use of tatami mats to sit or sleep on. Few cushions on those mats provide quick sitting. If you already have a floor covering and that can not be changes, then invest in big pillows that can be used to sit on. Try to have sitting arrangement next to the window with a view.
The view should be at eye level. If the window is higher from the ground then arrange some low-level bench or futon frame to raise the sitting level. If you are lucky enough to have French windows from ground to ceilings, then use a futon mattress and pillows for sitting.
Another feature of Japanese design is asymmetry. For them symmetry is stagnant and asymmetry is creative. Whatever display you have, arrange it asymmetrically. Do not have too many items in a Japanese style room. If possible get some Japanese items, like dolls, paper lantern or a painting and keep minimum items in the area.
No Japanese arrangement can be complete without Ikebana, a Japanese flower arrangement. It is desirable to learn the basic principles of this arrangement. This arrangement pays close attention to the balance, lines and the number of flowers or branches used in the arrangement is always an odd. If you can not learn it and yet want to achieve the similar effect, arrange 1 or 3 flowers of different height in a vase. Do not stuff the vase with many flowers. Use one dry branch if possible, but remember to keep the number of elements odd.
To achieve Japanese design, use minimum items; place them independently, away from each other so that each item can be admired for its beauty. Achieve serenity by creating oneness with nature.