An average person spends about 12 hours a day at home. According to the 2014 American Time Use Survey of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, majority of time spent in the comfort of our abode goes to sleeping (8.80 hours) followed by household activities (2.38 hours). As we welcome another year of possibilities, we might as well maximize its potential by starting at the place where we spend half a day.
When it comes to bringing in good luck and harmony, many believe in the ancient art and science of feng shui. On his website, leading feng shui expert Master Hanz Cua says feng shui “deals with the placement of buildings and other objects to accentuate the auspicious positive energies and to minimize those which are negative.”
Many attest to the effectivity of this Chinese practice while some remain skeptical. But there’s no harm in trying, right? In 2016, the Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) starts on February 8 and feng shui cures should be in place by February 4 (Solar New Year), so here’s a few basic feng shui tips and practical ways to harness the potential of your home’s positive energies in the year of the Fire Monkey.
Welcome luck at the front door
Before optimizing the luck inside your home, make sure that luck comes inside first. Make sure the entryway is free of all clutter such as shoes and other personal things on the floor as they disrupt the flow of the energy or chi inside the house.
“Wash, sweep or vacuum the front steps, porch, entry hall, lobby—whatever the entry is in where you live. Make this area clean, well-lit and inviting,” says Susan Levitt (www.susanlevitt.com), a professional tarot card reader, astrologer and feng shui expert in the San Francisco Bay Area. The key is to make sure everything is in its right place and nothing litters the floor. Make use of wall shelves.
To welcome a truly prosperous new year, Levitt adds to “check the entry’s lighting fixtures, make sure the doorbell works, and touch up scuff marks with a fresh coat of paint or add a new rug.”
Keep things tidy
Fire brings a lot of activities so make sure to start the year with an organized home. Start at the area or room first seen from outside, then work your way to the other rooms. This allows the chi to flow freely once it’s inside. “Make sure that the first thing seen in each room is clean and inspiring,” says Levitt, so piles of paperwork or any type of mess is a big no-no.
Fix everything that’s broken
As with the front door, make sure to fix the things that are broken inside—from the lighting fixtures to the walls and furniture. Experts say the absence of brokenness creates harmony in the house.
Paint rooms according to the five Taoist elements
Fire and Metal are two dominant but conflicting elements this year, and if majority of walls in your home is white (Metal), Levitt says this could lead to arguing and bickering. Hence, paint at least one room with color; best if you paint the room according to its Taoist element (Fire, Earth, Water, Metal and Wood).
Living room – Fire
The living room is said to be the heart of the home and is best painted with bright and lively Fire colors such as all shades of red or purple. Levitt says vibrant colors and accents help stimulate conversation and activity.
Dining room – Earth
“The dining room is best in earthen tones of gold, terra cotta or other soft yin colors,” suggests Levitt. Skip painting the dining area red as its stimulating effect makes people eat fast.
Bedroom – Metal
In the room where we sleep and breathe deeply, the best colors are white, cream and soft pastels. “Avoid big prints on beddings and drapery, especially in a child’s room” because it’s “too yang” and does not promote restfulness.
Bathroom – Water
For a soothing bath experience, Levitt recommends painting the bathroom with soft, quiet and calm colors such as light blue.
Kitchen – Wood
“The kitchen must be kept very clean because this is where food is prepared, so white walls are best.” To introduce the Wood element, put plants and/or green accents in safe areas away from fire or anything that is burning.