Design can be used for more than just aesthetics; it can be used to improve the energy flow of a room. Learn how with Groupon's guide to feng shui.
According to Taoist belief, nearly everything radiates an invisible energy, known as chi, that binds both people and objects together. The design concept of feng shui is centered on this concept, and particularly the belief that realigning objects?and their chi?can create a harmonious, balanced living space. As with open-heart surgery, feng shui is all about where things should be. An accent wall, mirror, vase, or piece of furniture in the right spot is thought to promote everything from inner calm to professional success.
But where to put things? The first step in any feng shui project is to analyze the energy of a space. Mapping energy can be somewhat complicated, as it requires a special feng shui compass called a luopan, but the result is an insight into what a given space?and, by extension, your life?is lacking, whether it be stability in relationships or a sense of focus. Bringing in items that represent one of the five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) balances out these inefficiencies. For instance, if you?d like to enhance your career, you might break out the red paint to create an accent wall in the south area of your home. This brings in the fire element, which is thought to activate your personal energy and help you achieve recognition. Alternatively, a green houseplant or walnut armoire in the east area of your home brings in the wood element, believed to improve health.
But feng shui is about more than just color. Clocks, mirrors, and electronics also play an important role, and depending on where they are placed, they can either block energy or improve its flow. For instance, mirrors should never be hung facing the front door, as they take the energy flowing in and push it out. They also should not reflect your bed or be hung behind your bed as this brings worries into the bedroom, which should be a place of calm and relaxation.
Equally important to the feng shui process is a lack of clutter, good air quality, and a balance of light. Tidying up your space, using an air purifier, opening windows, and installing dimmer switches are all ways to improve the energy of your space.
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Hands On Pottery equips artists with an assorted stockpile of unmarked pottery and food-safe paints so they can fill china cabinets and gift boxes with hand-decorated dishes. Feel free to pair up lonely flatware with plates of multiple sizes ($13–$19), give flowers a place to rest their laurels in a glazed vase ($13–$32), or let incontinent coffeepots drain into one of several styles of mug ($13–$17). Guests can also affix a refrigerator magnet ($3) to prop up reminders to close the refrigerator, or decorate a piggy bank as a reminder to save up to buy a real pig ($13).
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An interior-furnishings emporium, Design Solutions houses a cache of wares that can embellish walls, floors, and ceilings with a fresh vibe. Cushion a spontaneous backflip with a solidly colored Fatboy ($284), a sleek update on the classic beanbag, or punch up a drab wall with the Dottlicious designs by Wallcandy ($59)⎯80 removable dots ranging from 1 inch to 10 inches in diameter and ideal for a game of antigravity Twister. Continue the colorific cacophony in the kitchen with melamine plates ($10), trays ($23), and salad bowls ($24) by French Bull. Design Solutions also campaigns against interior doldrums by purveying pottery, toys, and lamps, which, like rays of sunlight or a 15-foot-wide heap of glow sticks, can light up a room.