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.
But there’s one design concept that never goes out of style—and, if done right, can bring you love, luck, and happiness.
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.
Plus, it’s where relationships with family and friends unfold, says Trisha Keel, a feng shui expert.
“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.
Don’t wait another minute for maximum peace! Here are eight ways to bring feng shui into your living room.
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.
Jewel tones are acceptable for feng shui, too, Keel reports: “Rich colors have an intense energy field that flows in the blood,” she says.
Not into bold hues? Yellow and white make for a happy yet quieter combination, Weber offers.
2. Avoid sharp edges
If you can, stay away from pointy tables and couch corners—safety first, when it comes to feng shui.
“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
A mirror doubles everything it reflects—including light and energy—so mount one in the living room for the best vibes.
“This piece is especially key in the main space near windows, because you’ll be inviting the outdoors in and enhancing a pretty view,” Weber notes.
Plus, a mirror is a good option over the mantel because it adds energy to compensate for what the fireplace “burns up,” she adds.
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
“Plastic is a petroleum product that enhances static and attracts hair and dust,” Keel explains. “And metal is cold and calculating and may be draining.”
6. Banish the clutter
It should come as no surprise that clutter is not feng shui’s friend.
“In this practice, clutter represents stuck energy, and when the energy can’t move, money won’t be able to flow toward you,” Julen points out.
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
Want a spot to proudly display your kids’ school photos? It shouldn’t be the mantel, according to feng shui.
“It’s not a good idea to place family photos or religious items here because they will burn, symbolically,” Weber says.
If you insist on that vacation shot on the mantel, at least house it in a frame that’s black or navy blue, which symbolizes water energy and can protect it from the fire element.
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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