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Landscape Feng Shui

Apartment Therapy: 8 Ways to Think When Designing Small Spaces

Good feng shui space is happy space, so fill your rooms with the things you love. Buy only furniture you cannot resist and everywhere, let there be a display of things that have meaning for you. Your living space should engage your senses. Remember, there can be beauty in imperfection, in things that have history, in symbols that make you think rich, and remind you of aspirations and reflect your personal idea of the good life. Living in high rise apartments is so much a part of modern life now that we need to come to terms with living in small spaces. We can be inspired by a new minimalist thinking, a new attitude towards furnishing that focus on the PEOPLE living in the space rather than on rules of design concepts. We can pare possessions down to essentials but also leave room for things that soothe our soul, touch our creative chord or arouse nostalgia and a memory of some grand moment we do not want to forget.

1Go for design simplicity or no design at all. Think of comfort, the love you share with those who live with you. Dressing up your apartment in a style that is all your own means using only things that bring good vibrations. When your space is limited, you must be scrupulous in making the most of what you have. So bring in only the kind of furniture and decorative items that you absolutely love. Do not clutter up your personal place with stuff that has no meaning for you, or worse, that you know is simply not right.

2Start with the “feeling”. When it comes to designing your apartment, go for a “look” and let your emotions have its way. This is best expressed in your living area, which can be as starkly modern and minimalist as you wish. Do not let small spaces constrain your desire for a truly modern feel. But you can also let your small apartment be a warmly personal space that has at least one deep sofa placed against a tight corner which you can sink into each time you come home. The way your living area is arranged sets the tone of your daily living. It can have a soft feel created by the presence of cushions, carpets and soft toys, or it can invoke a harder presence created by neutral colours and hard surfaces. You can go for the organized structured feel, or you can let your living area reflect a more relaxed view of life.
3Let the colour of your walls be white as this will visually expand your space. White also belongs to the Metal element, which is excellent for warding off the forces of excessive yin. It helps dissolve illness and misfortune energy brought by afflictive stars of the feng shui chart each year. White is also a great colour to provide the backdrop for your furniture and decorative items. It can be your blank canvas upon which to fill with shapes and forms that please you.

4HAVE one decorative wall painted in your favourite colour This can be used to create a dominant colour, or as a statement concept that engages your own preferences. Often, one bright red wall can release the inner spirit and bring out your inner warrior. A bright green wall brings in the energy of growth. A mustard-coloured wall emphasizes the presence of Earth energy; it is a very grounding colour, which brings out the practical side of you. And for those wanting to feel the embracing darkness of black, by all means create a black floor or wall or ceiling even. Just remember that black is a strong yin colour, which always works better with the balancing presence of yang white. If black is too strong, use blue instead.
5Let the colour of your walls be white
When space is small, use the air within to engage your sense of smell. It is a powerful way to create a familiarity that impinges onto your inner consciousness. Scents are a powerful way to lift the spirits and bring in a level of relaxed comfort that can be very soothing. Develop a familiar scent that is not too strong or overpowering. Lavender is a good safe scent to work with… let the smells of your home empower you!
6Inside your bedroom, indulge yourself
You can opt for a hotel feel – crisp white sheets, big bed, designer backdrop, carpeted floors. Or you can go for the chintzy, warm feel that cocoons you, like a nesting place of printed sheets and pastel colours. Everything about your bedroom should reflect the journey of your life. It can be a quiet place to withdraw from the world, or it can be a room filled with the music you love, pictures that evoke a smile on your face, favoured possessions, or meaningful gifts from someone you care for. Modern bedrooms are no longer just a place to sleep. For many, the bedroom is also a retreat space, a home office, a relaxation zone or a private library. You can design your bedroom to be all of these things.
7Let your room have at least one window
Hearing morning birds sing these days is a precious luxury. If you live high up in the skies and your window opens to panoramic views of the city, keep your curtains open to make the view available to you when you open your eyes! Your bedroom may have no view at all, or a view that offends you, in which case block it off with curtains. Whatever you do, let it feel right for you at the stage of life you are at. Younger people need more sunlight, while older folk prefer the muted feeling of darker rooms.
8Position your bed to capture a lucky direction
Let your bed be oriented to where it can get the most daylight in the mornings. Natural light is the most auspicious kind of wakeup call, so do go to sleep with curtains open or with only light curtains or with no curtain at all! Dark curtains extend your sleeping time, but you also miss out on the best time of the day, which is the hour of the Dragon… the early morning time.

The following article is taken from the "Feng Shui World (May/June 2013)". To subscribe, please click here.