Feng Shui Living Room Layout

feng shui living room layout

Good feng shui living room layout transforms a living room into a place of welcome, warmth, relaxation, harmony, and positive energy for family and friends. 

After the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom, the living room is the most important room in the house. It is where family and friends gather to entertain and enjoy each other. And as such, it should exude a balance between vitality and tranquility. You can achieve this by applying feng shui principles.

Feng shui

In this other post, we go over what feng shui is in detail. But in brief, feng shui, which translates to “wind and water,” is ancient Chinese geomancy. It is all about arranging the things around us in such a way that it guides the flow of chi energy in such a way that we best benefit. Chi is the vital, animating, and hidden energy force that surrounds everything.

So we offer below a number of feng shui living room layout ideas that will help you achieve the goal of balanced vitality and tranquility for your living room. And by “layout” we mean the broad scope of design, organization, colors, and decoration.

Living room location and construction

Feng shui prefers some living room locations over others. It also prefers some forms of construction over others. For example:

Two perimeter walls

Ideally, feng shui likes to see a living room enjoying two perimeter walls of the home. This would typically place it at one of the corners of the home. The logic is that this arrangement maximizes the opportunity for windows in the living room and the optimum flow into the room of chi energy, fresh air, and light.

Not in the center of the home

The living room should not be in the center of the home. This requirement follows from the previous. A living room in the center of the home tends to be starved of positive energy because it has to flow through other rooms first.

Must have windows

This follows naturally from the perimeter wall requirement. The living room must have at least one window to allow for the flow of chi energy from outside, along with light and ventilation.

No low or slanted ceilings

Low or slanted ceilings compress energy and make the living room space feel cramped and inhospitable.

The real world

But in the real world, unless we are designing and building a home from the ground up, we don’t have the luxury of placing our living room in an ideal location or having it in the ideal configuration. So, obviously, what we do is do the best we can with what we have. 

In any case, feng shui almost always has a “cure” for every adverse situation. And we will set out here multiple ways to achieve great feng shui for any living room situation. We’ll start with the basics and then get into a bunch of details

Bagua energy map

bagua map

Before taking any positive feng shui steps, you need to know where your living room lies on the Bagua energy map. Elsewhere we explain the Bagua map in some detail and have included an illustration just above.

Lay the map over the floorplan of the home with the North edge along the exterior wall containing the front door. You will then find the corresponding location of the living room on the map.

The Bagua map lays out the nine areas of life and you can use the elements, colors, shapes, and materials listed in each area as guidance for the way you decorate the living room. If your living room falls in more than one Bagua area, so much the better.

Using the Bagua map in this way will maximize its feng shui and the flow of positive chi energy in the room.

Commanding position

Identifying the commanding position is the first step in planning your feng shui living room layout. As explained elsewhere, the commanding position is a key concept in the feng shui of any room. Its importance grew out of an earlier and wilder time in civilization when situational awareness was key to self-defense. And this instinct of self-preservation is still in our subconscious, no matter how advanced our civilization.

The commanding position is the place farthest from the door and with a clear view of the door. It is where you can best see who or what is “coming at you.” And it is in the commanding position that you place your sofa, which is the chief piece of furniture in the living room. By comparison, in the bedroom, the commanding position is where you place your bed.

And, just as with the bed’s headboard, you need to place the back of the sofa against a solid wall for backing support. Plus you need to make sure that you have clear avenues of “escape” through which to move from the sofa. 

Feng shui cures for commanding position issues

It may be that you are physically unable to place the sofa in the ideal position. So here are some feng shui “cures” or workarounds.

Backing support

If you can’t place the sofa against a wall, put a sofa table or screen behind it as a barrier.

Mirror placement

If you can’t directly see the door from the sofa, position a mirror diagonally from the door, in such a way that you can see its reflection when seated on the sofa.

Clear pathways

Before placing furniture, map out clear pathways that will allow for the flow of positive chi through the living room. This is also for the safe and comfortable movement of people.

Furniture placement

Once the sofa is in the commanding position, the rest of the furniture will tend to fall naturally into your feng shui living room layout.

In choosing and placing furniture, be sure to accommodate all the family and the number of guests you might consider hosting for a dinner party and then seating in the living room after dinner. Of course, you will not be providing seating for a large group, such as a cocktail party.

Ideally, furniture should back against solid walls and not “float” in the middle of the room. Such an arrangement is destabilizing and breeds feelings of insecurity. 

Ensure that all furniture has a designated function. Don’t spread superfluous furniture around just because you have space for it. This may bring a “minimalist” look to your living room but feng shui favors purpose and intention. It dislikes clutter.

Select furniture with rounded corners

Furniture with sharp corners can interfere with the flow of positive chi energy. And, in feng shui, sharp angles are “poison arrows” and can feel threatening.

Rectangular coffee table

The coffee table is an exception to the rounded corners rule. This is because its optimal function requires a rectangular shape. If it were awkward or uncomfortable to use, this would be inhospitable and poor feng shui.

Declutter

Clutter is one of those areas in which feng shui shows its origins in practicality and common sense. Science tells us that clutter, which impinges on our spatial harmony, induces stress and anxiety. Feng shui tells us that it obstructs the free flow of positive chi energy. These things are related.

Not every corner of your living room has to be filled with “stuff.” The rule is that if you don’t love or need an item, get rid of it. In a separate post, we offer home decluttering tips.

Clear the space

As well as decluttering, from time to time clear the living room space of negative energy by using an essential oil diffuser. This has the bonus effect of making the room smell great. Aromatherapy, feng shui, and science go hand in hand.

Light

Light brings with it the energetic, positive yang energy that is associated with vitality and health. It is also associated with the fire element, which we discuss later. 

And you want plentiful natural light from the windows during the daytime combined with well-designed energy-efficient lighting in the evenings. This is a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting. And you can include circadian rhythm lighting in your lighting design.

Balancing the elements

The five elements are earth, fire, wood, metal, and water. These are Taosist concepts revolving around the cycles of nature that are incorporated into feng shui. And incorporating all these elements into our living room in balance is a great way to enhance the feng shui of the room. 

Here is a brief overview of the elements:

Earth element

Earth is the grounding force of strength, stability, and protection. Bring it in with colors (orange, yellow, brown, sand, green), low profile, heavy or square/rectangular furniture, pottery, and landscape art. 

Metal element

Metal embodies the energy of logic, clarity, and analysis. Bring it into a room with white, gray, silver, and gold color paint. And add it with metal lamps and decorative items in circle and oval shapes.

Water element

The water element brings peace, calm, and spirituality. Bring it into a room with a fish tank or fountain. Or use artwork depicting waterscapes. And you can use the water-related colors of dark green and navy blue in paint or textiles.

Wood element 

The wood element embodies growth, rebirth, and creativity. Bring this element to the living room with wood furniture and plants. And use greens and blues in fabrics, paints, and artwork. 

Fire element

The fire element embodies passion, boldness, drive, and leadership. Bring it in with a fireplace or candles. And include red in your paint, artwork, and decor.

While all the elements should be represented in the living room, for enhanced positive chi, give emphasis to the element that appears on that part of the Bagua map in which the living room lies.

The fireplace

It may well be that you have a fireplace that has already been installed. In this case, you don’t have a choice as to its location. On the other hand, if you don’t have one, it is relatively easy and inexpensive to install an electric or ethanol fireplace

And this is what feng shui advises as to its placement.

  • A fireplace in the northeast of the living room is good for reflective, claim, and clear thinking.
  • A fireplace in the south promotes love and romance.

If you are unable to install a fireplace, use lighted candles for the same effect.

Mirrors

From an interior design perspective, mirrors can be an asset. This is especially the case if you have a relatively small living room because they enhance light and the perception of space.

However, from the perspective of feng shui, you need to be careful where you place mirrors. This is because they amplify the chi energy of whatever is reflected in them.

The best place to hang a mirror is where people looking at it can see the reflection of the landscape outside the living room window. This will allow it to enhance the positive chi energy entering the room from outside.

Television placement

When the TV is turned off it acts as a mirror. So you need to be careful where you place it. In fact, it is best to have the TV in a cabinet with doors that can be closed over it when not in use. 

This will eliminate any possible negative mirror effect. Besides, it is not a good idea to have the TV screen dominate the room and interfere with social interactions.

Artwork

Select the artwork for your living room with positive chi energy in mind. This means avoiding pieces that engender any kind of negative feeling in you or anyone in your household.

In selecting your artwork, see if you can introduce any of the elements that the Bagua map recommends. But do it in such a way that the subject of the piece has a calming or harmonious presence.

And in placing artwork on the wall, avoid hanging it too low. Doing this can reduce positive chi energy in the room

Colors

Let the Bagua map guide you in the selection of the color to feature in your living room but only as an accent. And the accent can be in rugs, cushions, and artwork and not necessarily as paint on the wall. Do not let the Bagua color dominate the entire decor of the room.

The living room is somewhere everyone should feel comfortable and the colors used to decorate it should be in harmony with the overall color scheme of your home. And it should also be in harmony with the mood you wish to create for the room.

Elsewhere, we have discussed room color and moods and how to use color in a home remodeling project.

Plants

Bring living potted plants into the living room. They are decorative in their own right. They also offer their own supporting life force, absorb negative energy, and contribute to the air quality in the room.

Place large potted plants on the floor in a couple of corners of the room. And add smaller plants as table accessories.

Include an aquarium

For our final feng shui tip, we recommend having an aquarium. It has a number of benefits.

  • From a strictly feng shui point of view, a rectangular fish tank attracts luck, wealth, and opportunity. It also enhances the presence of the water element in the room.
  • It also makes a decorative addition to the living room and is a conversation piece to delight your guests too.
  • And watching fish in an aquarium is well-known by science to relieve stress and quiet the mind.

Conclusions

These feng shui living room layout tips will enhance your living room as a place for the family to relax. And it will also be a space where your guests will feel welcome and entertained. 

What you do with these suggestions can add positive and cheerful yang energy to the living room space and allow for its free flow throughout the room. And all of it will add to the feng shui of your entire home.

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