Feng Shui for your Home Exterior
Written by Angie Bersin.
While it may seem like a bit of a buzzword remnant from the 1980’s, feng shui is here to stay, with proponents including architects and interior designers. But while we are all familiar with practicing feng shui in the home, it is important to recognize that this is a modern use of the philosophy. In fact, feng shui has been used almost exclusively for outdoor areas since around 4000 B.C. So how can you practice feng shui outside your own home?
Feng Shui Fundamentals
While feng shui may seem daunting at first, it’s relatively easy to practice throughout the exterior of your home. The simplest areas to apply feng shui to are going to be your exterior paint, front door, porch, garden, and any landscaping elements you may have.
Feng shui recognizes five different elements that comprise all of nature, each corresponding to their own colors:
The goal is to balance these elements and promote a proper flow of chi (which is a universal energy which Taoists believe exists in all things) in order to achieve a unity between yin and yang. When this balance is attained, it is believed by practitioners to promote positivity, health, and prosperity.
What is the Bagua Energy Map?
These five elements correspond with the Bagua, which is an energy map consisting of eight different symbols with three lines each. These lines are either broken or unbroken, representing the balance of yin and yang that feng shui ultimately tries to achieve. Mostly used in the western schools of feng shui, the various sections of the bagua all correlate to the different areas of your life, such as creativity, inner knowledge, health, relationships, etc.
Designing Your Front Door
Representing both the threshold to your home, the front door is thought of as one of the most important elements of modern feng shui. Depending on the direction in which your home faces, there are different colors which are either compatible or incompatible with the proper flow of chi. Each one of these colors is associated with one of the five elements. Below is a chart to help you determine the right color for your front door.
- If you're facing East your compatible colors are: Green, Brown and Wood tones. Your incompatible colors are: Black, Blue and Purple.
- If you're facing South your compatible colors are: Yellow, Purple and Orange. Your incompatible colors are: Green, Brown and Wood tones.
- If you're facing West your compatible colors are: White, Grey and Metallic colors. Your incompatible colors are: Yellow, Beige and Earth colors.
- If you're facing North your compatible colors are: Black and Blue. Your incompatible colors are: White, Grey and Metallic colors.
Choosing Landscape Features
Like most of feng shui, landscaping depends much more on quality than it does quantity, so don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of space to work with. Here are the basics of landscaping and gardening with feng shui in mind:
- The North is associated with your career, as well as the water element. So to get the most of this area, try placing a water feature like a fountain or pond in this part of your yard. You can also utilize blues and blacks to activate this energy.
- In the Northeast is the area corresponding to both spiritual growth and the earth element, making it a great home for your garden.
- Linked to health, longevity, and wood, the East is a good spot for a long-living tree like an oak, hickory, or cypress.
- Purple and gold are great colors for the Southeast, which is where that financial energy resides.
- As it is associated with the fire element, the South is the best place for your grill or a fire pit.
- The Southwest correlates to love and relationships so focus on making this a comfortable area of your yard and fill it with pink, red, and yellow shades.
- The West should be reserved for children or artistic endeavors as it is associated with creativity.
- A great spot to keep open for entertaining and letting old and new friends mingle, the Northwest is home to new people and travel, as well as the metal element. Shades of grey are best for this region.
As well as these tips, be sure to steer clear of having any harsh edges or straight lines when you’re planning your garden. Instead, try implementing a winding, flowing shape similar to a river to allow for the proper flow of chi outdoors.
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