Beams can be found in any room. If they can be seen then they need to be protected, because they symbolise the pressing down of chi onto whoever or whatever is beneath them. Incidentally, it is for this reason that bunk beds are not a good idea! Beams can be protected in the tradtional way by placing open fans on them, or bamboo flutes with the mouthpieces at the bottom of the beam and the tops slanting towards each other, or by more 'modern' methods such as postcards of birds in flight or a hot air balloon rising. Another good idea, somewhere under the beam is to have small uplighter lamps. Anything indeed which will make the beam feel 'lighter' and less oppressive.
Fireplaces can often help to give a very welcoming effect to a living room. If the fireplace is in the West or North West, a problem is caused [Fire/Metal clash in the Destructive Cycle]. Often the effect of a clash like this can be neutralised by the introduction of the other elements. For instance, a mirror in an ornate frame above the mantelpiece would help, as would trailing plants on the mantelpiece and plants at either side of the fire, and even one in front of the fireplace, when the fire is not lit.
As much natural light as possible should be allowed to filter into the living room and hanging faceted quartz crystals in the windows can be a good idea. Always check windows in any room to see if any 'poison arrows' are 'looking in'. These 'poison arrows' can include any roof apexes, corners of buildings, lamp posts, bus stops, T junctions, as well as doctors', dentists', hospitals, undertakers, churches and graveyards ----all bring unwanted nasty chi into the room.
Pa Kua mirrors, remember, can be used as a last resort, but only on the OUTside of the property, never inside, but crystals, crystal animals, or the Chinese Unicorn, the Qirin can all be used on window ledges to point at the offending edge. You can also use protector warriors such as Kuan Kong. Vertical blinds or net curtains can be used in a similar way as dispersers of harmful chi. Check every window.
Whenever possible the dining room should be separate from the living room. Once again, when thinking of decor, work out which Pa Kua location or locations are represented in the room. Remember that dining areas can be for just the family, family and friends plus sometimes, business colleagues as well. It is definitely a social area.
A good dining room, which has been decorated using Feng Shui principles, often brings strength to all members of the family. It was seen in Ancient China as a centre of wealth and also a place of deeply based strong relationships. The best place for a dining room then is where the earth energies are strongest so near to the tai chi, the centre of the property. If the tai chi is contained within the dining room so much the better. It is therefore best if the dining room is not part of the kitchen or the living room. It then spoils both rooms.
As big a dining room as possible is good. It should look welcoming and open and a relaxed atmosphere needs to be encouraged.
The lighting then, is very important, it should not be too bright, artificial or glaring. Wall lights and dimmer switches are a good idea. Mirrors too will help to soften the lighting and a large mirror reflecting the dining table is thought to immediately double the family's wealth---since in Ancient China, the more food you had showed the more money you possessed. Observe how Chinese Restaurants use mirrors and you will not go far wrong! The energy levels in a dining room need to encourage relaxing chat so should slightly favour yin. The colours can be brighter than pastel, as you would choose for a bedroom, but not strong. Ornaments and pictures in the room can bring in brighter colours. Pictures should be of bright flowers or of rounded fruit, but once again sunny happy landscapes could be used.
These ornaments may change slightly depending who is dining, friends, family or business colleagues. Wooden tables are always best and as large as possible is good. Best shapes are either oblong or round. If the table is oblong choose lots of other rounded shapes in the rest ot the room, and of course the opposite would be true. If the table is round, then some angular lines can be brought in around it. Decoration of the table including the cloth, the crockery and the cutlery will all depend on the sector of the Pa Kua the room is in. As a general rule go for simple shapes and plain colours.
Silk and real flowers are excellent, dried flowers represent decay--do not use them! Simple colours rather than heavily patterned wallpaper and dado rails are often best with walls in most rooms including the dining room and the lounge. Overpatterned wallpaper can have the same effect on the chi as mirror tiles and crazy paving.
Crystal glassware is a good idea as are candles in an appropriate colour, lit for the meal. A few large soft leafed plants can be good, as can a small water feature in an appropriate part of the room, or even a small aquarium. In the living room, I said that clocks were a good idea for movement and energy and for this very reason, keep them out of the dining room. You want a lazy, relaxed, meal with good conversation. A clock will just emphasis the time ticking by and will bring tension in just when you do not want it. This is especially important when dining with business colleagues, when of course you will have enhanced the North and North Western sectors of the room already.