In feng shui, one of the most important rooms in the house - and thus one of the first addressed in any feng shui investigation - is the Dining Room. This is the room that represents the harmony and quality of relationships within the family. Getting the dining room feng shui right is what brings excellent family relationships with spouses and siblings getting along well and being supportive of each other. Otherwise there could be needless envy and jealousy pulling the family apart rather than together. Also, when the dining table is filled with abundance, the family will eat well, live well and never want for anything. Success and good name comes easily to the family members. Take a look at some typical dining room arrangements.
The Long “Rectangular” Table
This long dining table looks spacious and suggests a large family with plenty to eat so it looks auspicious especially since the room also appears large enough to accommodate it. The windows by the side of the room allow yang energy to pour in bringing an abundance of cosmic chi. This dining room can thus be described as having potentially good feng shui.
Rectangular shaped tables are always favoured for dining tables, as they represent growth energy. The family that dines on this kind of table is sure to grow in many ways – in their personal development, in their careers and as people maturing beautifully. They always have more than enough to eat, and they can afford to live a very comfortable lifestyle and their good life also improves over time.
The chairs round this dining table are also auspicious as they have good solid armrests. This symbolizes that as you sit down to eat you are secure in your seat, and not “falling off”.
The unstable feeling of some of today’s art décor chairs sold in couture furniture showrooms do not give good feng shui even though they cost the earth. The picture window on the wall that connects to the kitchen is a nice addition. Food is easily served fresh out of the oven or off the stove. It is really good feng shui when the dining room is not too isolated away from the rest of the house.A “Draped” Dining Table
This dining table and its chairs are covered in satin brocade, and while some people like this look, it is not really very practical. Food stains on the satin covers will not only look unsightly, they are bad feng shui. Dining room furniture is better decorated with hard lines than with cushy, soft lines. While you should feel relaxed as you sit down to eat, the furniture should not feel soft and unstable. Food on the table signifies your wealth and authority, so the dining room furnishings should suggest this and not appear like the bedroom.
The “Stark” Modern Look
The black and white look has become very popular in recent years especially amongst yuppies that prefer the clean lines of a modern look. This is what such a dining room looks like and it is ultra chic, almost stark and looking rather grey. This seems to be the preferred look of upwardly mobile young couples who rarely eat at home, rarely cook and who sit at the dining room only to do work or for breakfast. This kind of dining area looks like it belongs more in a showroom than in a home. Everything looks a little too neat and tidy. The plum blossom stalks that decorate the tabletop look sparse and fake, and would be better replaced with a big bowl of fruit. A good thing about this dining room though is the lighting. It seems to be well lit and this balances an otherwise excessively yin feel to the room.
Another thing worth mentioning here is that the table looks pretty small, especially for six people (there are 6 chairs) hardly enough room for all the food to go on if you try to stick by the rule of abundance in feng shui.
Perhaps for Western-style dining this works, as each person has a separate plate and one needs minimal space for gravy, sauces and other condiments. Dining tables should however be spacious with enough elbow room to suggest an appearance of abundance.
The Oval Shaped Dining Table
This is a lovely dining table. The oval shape gives flexibility for family member to face their lucky personal directions – just as a circular dining table does – but saves on space, especially for rooms within the home that are rectangular rather than square in shape. While the exposed overhead beams are a little worrying, this is actually OK from a feng shui viewpoint, because first, you do not generally spend all your day at the dining table, only a small part of your day, and second, the beams in this picture look to be part of the overall wooden barnyard décor, and not a singular structural beam, which is far more harmful. Beams such as these ones are not bad feng shui. It is however still safer not to sit directly beneath them for extended periods of time, or you could develop headaches or migraines.
Dining in the Living Room
This dining room connects to the living room with only a half-wall separating. This is a good way to maintain the feeling of space in small homes. If you cannot afford to have a big dining room, it is better to merge it with the living area of the house, as you should have enough space around you as you eat.
Eating should not be an isolated event where you feel cooped up as inside a cage with no windows; there should be the suggestion of live bustling energy around you while you eat. Best is to sit down and eat as a family, but if family members have differing schedules and each person’s mealtime is different, at least keep the TV or stereo on while you eat so you do not eat in silence. It is an excellent idea for the family to dine together at least once a week, as this promotes the energy of family togetherness.
Bright Red and White
The first thing that hits you about this picture is that you get overwhelmed by all that red, and all that chandelier! The contrast is made even more pronounced with the white table and chairs. Even the basics of feng shui tells you there is a serious clash of elements here, making it difficult for those dining round this table to get along harmoniously. Mealtime conversations are likely to get particularly heated around this table.
The advice for this dining room would be to tone down the red, or contrast it with a more somber colour, like an oak or dark coloured table and chairs. Both bright red and white are very yang colours, much too yang to be used together. This dining room is crying out for some balance, which is not too hard to do. Even a dark tablecloth to conceal the bright white wood would be a good start to improve things here. We must applaud the wall mirror, however, which doubles the food on the table. The chandelier can perhaps be changed into a smaller less intimidating one.
The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (July/August 2007)". To subscribe, please click here.