It can be hard, if not impossible, to keep up with the latest living room decor trends. As soon as you’ve redone your colors or bought an eye-popping piece of statement furniture, the design magazines are touting something totally different.
We’re talking about feng shui, the Chinese philosophy of living in harmony with your surrounding environment. And your living room is perhaps the space where it’s most crucial to adhere to this design concept. That’s because, according to feng shui, the living room represents a microcosm of your larger home.
“The day-to-day experience of life happens here, where you’re united with loved ones, so providing the right support for them benefits everyone,” she notes.
1. Stay away from ‘muddy’ colors
Every color expresses a type of energy—red equates to fire, orange conveys sociability, yellow is uplifting, and white is purity and innocence. So your palette should reflect these “good” energies, she says.
“Stay away from muddy colors, and go for any shade you see pouring out of the cornucopia, such as tomato red, eggplant purple, and pumpkin orange,” says Keel, who adds that these bright colors echo a fresh energy that’s full of life.
“Just as you wouldn’t eat a fruit or vegetable that had gone brown, the purity of these colors has to do with a lack of brown,” she says.
Not into bold hues? Yellow and white make for a happy yet quieter combination, Weber offers.
2. Avoid sharp edges
“Triangles and sharp edges, including spiky light fixtures and picture frames, make visitors and family members feel uncomfortable,” Weber explains.
Pick a round or oval coffee table, recommends Kim Julen, a feng shui coach. But rectangular side tables are OK because no one usually sits across from them.
3. Make magic with mirrors
4. Create conversation zones
“Keep it intimate,” Keel urges.
“This way, it encourages conversing and game-playing,” she says.
Don’t place sofas directly against walls—the energy needs space to flow. And avoid an L-shape arrangement with your pieces, as it puts guests at odds and leaves their necks craning from an awkward position.
5. Opt for natural materials
6. Banish the clutter
7. Ditch the overhead lighting
Natural light is the best kind for this space, experts say.
“At night, burn candles or use the real element of firelight instead of battery-operated devices,” Keel suggests.
Avoid glare and try not to use overhead lights. The reason is rather unsettling: In feng shui, overhead lights can cause shadows to form beneath your forehead, leaving your eyes in darkness, Keel says. And when people can’t see your eyes, they are less likely to trust you.
“This light is never flattering or as pretty as morning, twilight, or any angled light,” Keel says.
8. Manage your mantel
And skip a clock in this spot.
“A timepiece isn’t good feng shui as it’s a reminder of how life is fleeting,” Weber says.
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