In designing the floor plan of your home, there are countless ways in which you can organize the space. Depending on how you live and how you entertain, you should always design to cater for a home space that suits your own personalized living requirements. However, when integrating Feng Shui into the design, there are a few key points to acknowledge before letting the design intent take shape thereafter.
Step 1 ： Identify the key areas
Always be aware that the Northwest sector of the home is the sector of the patriarch or father, and is ruled by the element of Metal. As a result, always take note that this area holds much significance to the head of the family, so it is important to avoid using this area as a toilet or kitchen. The kitchen represents the element of Fire, so having it in the Northwest would affect the luck of the household quite adversely.
Next, look at the charts of your home. Every piece of land will have a general facing direction based on a set of compass degrees. Depending on the lay of your land, sometimes it is possible to choose which subsector of the compass you would like to use to build your home, and thus generate a flying star chart that would suit the layout you design for your house.
Once you have generated your charts, look at the key areas of the home that are deemed auspicious. In every chart there are always lucky sectors, and you should always aim to place the key areas of the home in these lucky sectors. Saying this, I refer to the main door, the living areas, dining and master bedroom.
For example, a Period 8 East 2/3 facing home would have good areas in the Center, North and East corners. At a glance, the ideal space plan that comes to mind is an open plan concept whereby the center of attention is the center of the home, and therefore the main living area should occupy this area. The North and East corners have good stars so this should be where the dining and main doors are located. All other areas may be used for secondary spaces such as the kitchen, service areas and games areas.
Let’s be honest with ourselves. We have to use the entire house, and just because a certain sector may have bad stars does not mean we cannot use it. We just have to use the elemental theory of Feng shui to control the effect of such stars. So, for example, the South has the 5,2 stars which are Earth stars which represent misfortune and illness; so we make sure that we do not introduce any earth elements such as marble flooring or stone features here, but more, we also need to increase the element of Metal through accents of metal, or the colour white or grey, as these elements are the visual representation of Metal.
Likewise for a SW 1 chart; the key areas are Southwest, Northwest and Northeast. From here we start to chart the areas of the home to suit this template, bringing a practical solution to the home design. I refer to this a ‘lateral thinking’ where we resolve problems or situations through a creative approach, and then consider the different options we have to solve any “problems” that arise.
Step 2 : Creating the Bubble Diagram
The Bubble diagram allows us to capture an overall glimpse into how the areas of the house are to be allocated. Through the chart, we want to use the SW and NE corners as key areas of the home due to the auspicious star combinations present. So ideally, we allocate the main door in the Southwest. By any standard, the living room is typically placed annex the main entrance area to serve as both a private and public area, so therefore the next conventional area to locate in the NE would be the dining room. The dining room plays a vital role in the family mechanics as it serves as the venue for the family to gather for meals, occasions and discussions, therefore symbolizing a key yang part of the home.
The next area to consider is the NW corner, otherwise known as the Patriarch’s sector. With the 1,4 star there, the ideal choice for this sector would be the study chambers. The living room should be located near the main door for direct access, together with another room in the South, which can be used as the guest quarters or games room.
The remaining secondary areas such as the kitchen and service areas occupy the remaining sectors, but the organization of such spaces should be logical. In this case, the garage can be located near the services section to give direct access to the main entrance as well as the kitchen, thereby separating the formal entry from the home activities. The kitchen is the direct link between the dining and maid’s area, allowing the family to function without being interrupted by the backroom activities. Similarly, locating the sitting or secondary dining area in the North can serve as a link between the study and dining room.
Once we have the areas sorted out, we can then create lines of interaction by indicating how we want each space to interact with one another. This involves looking at how we want to live in the house and how we want the spaces to suit our lifestyle. If we love to entertain, the dining and living area should have direct links to every part of the home, or if we want a more enclosed plan, we can create more rooms to create privacy, yet focusing on the key areas as the main venue for the family to interact.
Step 3 : Creating the Plan
Once we have the bubble concept in place, we start to allocate real spaces to the floor plan. The house can take on any form and shape depending on what kind of design intent we are after, and the overall look then depends on the interior décor and architectural accents to give it taste and character.
Depending on what kind of style we want, the overall building model can be designed to suit our taste, but the one thing that remains intact is the basic thought process of how the family is to function within the home.
Step 4 : Construction tips
The next step is the actual construction of the design. While there are many things to look at during the construction stage, here are some vital points to consider.
• Remember that while the overall concept remains intact, the architecture and interior design can change along the way. Walk through the home during the structural stage to get a feel of how the spaces are formed. Sometimes during the concept plan stage, what may look right on paper may not look right in its physical form. This can be due to reasons such as exterior views that we never thought of before, or the size of the room could seem constricted and you want to open it up further.
Look at the surroundings to see if there is a view you missed or something you wish to cover up. If you find an area where you want the view blocked but yet you require windows for light, design a mosaic pattern on the window with a combination of frosted and clear glass to block off the undesired views and to maximize the visual impression on views you want to highlight.
• The main door plays a vital role in how energy enters your home and its direction is a major factor here. So when you start to erect the frame for the main door, be sure to allow ample time for the structure to settle. Remember that steel and mass concrete are the key ingredients for the structure, and during construction, the steel may become magnetized thereby affecting the compass direction. So it is best to allow time for the energies to settle before taking that vital reading. Also, allow space for the wall and doors to be aligned so if you need to angle the door ever so slightly, the design has already accommodated
• Don’t take directions to the extreme. Remember we have 4 auspicious directions so there is usually 1 direction we can tap without having to orientate beds and tables in awkward directions that place the entire furniture setting out of sync. Imagine having a room where the furniture is angled at 10,15 or even 30 degrees to the walls just to achieve that 1 direction, when what you are left with is a room filled with sharp corners at the end of the day.
• Finally, if you are renovating your home, be sure not to bulldoze everything in your path, unless that is your intention. Take note of the existing structure and look at ways to integrate it into part of the design. For example, free standing columns give us an opportunity to create display windows and portals, thereby creating feature pieces within the home. This adds to the character of the space and enhances the value of the design further.
When designing your home using Feng Shui, always look into the flow of your thought process, and see how through the Feng Shui charts you can create the essential bubble chart that can be translated to the ideal design to suit your tastes and desires.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (March/April 2011)". To subscribe, please click here.