Feng shui is an ancient form of Chinese art and science, and for those who believe in the practice, incorporating its principles in the design of their new home is important to allow good energy to flow through the house and promote good fortune. When undertaking such a build, it is important to select an architect that designs custom built homes, has an understanding of the importance of feng shui and has access to a Master to help guide the various rules and schools.
Chi is the term for universal energy, the energy that flows through everything around us, including the body and inanimate objects, and is a key aspect of feng shui.
Feng shui is based on the art of placement, understanding how the location of objects and structures within your space affects the flow of chi energy and ultimately your experiences. The aim of feng shui is to balance and harmonise the energies in any given space to bring good fortune. When building a new house, this practice takes the form of the aesthetics of interior design and the layout of the house.
The ancient sciences of architecture
Ben Grollo, Principal Architect at Grollo Homes, said the company has worked with many clients who require the rules of feng shui or other forms of ancient architectural systems such as vastu shastra, and each design takes into account the individual needs and aspects the clients want included.
“The design methods employed are different and specific to the individual, couple or family we are designing for. Most clients who wish to employ either feng shui or vastu shastra typically advise us as to what aspects of their preferred belief is important to them.”
Important considerations for a feng shui house
There are a multitude of principles that can be implemented to improve the flow of chi in a house and balancing the yin and yang energies.
Ben said there are some common principles that are requested when they are designing a house for feng shui or vastu shastra.
“Orientation of fixed objects, lines of sight and bed head positions are very common between both principles,” Ben said.
“The placement of a staircase so that it does not face the entry door to the home is also very common amongst many Asian cultures. The orientation of a bed can also be vital. Implementing these requirements affects the internal layout or parti of the design.
“Shape of the dwelling is also important; simple lines and symmetrical balance of façade elements are often preferred to asymmetrical design, but this is not always the case.”
While there are some design elements of feng shui that are well known, it is important that a Master is consulted as they will be able to do the calculations using birth dates and tests to determine what design elements are required based on the land and the people that will live in the house.
“We have met with and collaborated with several feng shui Masters over the years, both local and international,” Ben said.
“Most maintain a level of secrecy behind their methods as knowledge of feng shui is traditionally passed down from Master to Apprentice over generations.
“A feng shui Master not only assists people with the design of their house, but many help their customer make important life decisions as well, including the best times to invest money, buy and sell property, and health advice.
“There are different levels of assistance that many Masters are willing to provide and it is all dependent on the beliefs of the individual.
“We have had some clients fly in their preferred feng shui Masters from overseas to review plans and offer advice.
“Birth dates play a big part in determining the appropriate design choices surrounding the individual or family.”
Considering feng shui in the design stage
Ben said the team at Grollo Homes has designed and constructed a number of homes for clients who want the house to follow the rules of feng shui, and one of the most memorable experiences involved working with a Master from overseas who had concerns about the shape of the property.
“One of the most interesting projects involved working with an international feng shui Master who did not speak English,” Ben said.
“Together we considered every single aspect of the design, from the bedroom and living area orientations, to staircase and landscaping elements.
“The shape of the property was a concern to him, so together we developed a landscape design to offset any negative chi.”
Common elements to keep in mind when designing or decorating to improve feng shui
- Keep the house clear from clutter. The entry in particular should be inviting and clutter-free
- Use curved edges in the backyard
- Place a plant and a light at either side of the front door
- Have as much natural light as possible enter the house
- Don’t have the kitchen and bathroom doors facing each other
- Beds should be placed against the wall facing the door
- Don’t place mirrors in front of the bed
- Be aware of where certain colours are used. Red in a bedroom is often advised against, while deep blue, eggplant and red can be good colours for communal areas, and white or other light colours are best for bathrooms