Room for Living

Your “room for living” should reflect who you are, and who you would like to see yourself become. It's a place for dreaming and introspection and connection with the self as much as it is for connection with others.

If you have lots of hard corners in your living room, try adding triangular–shaped shelves in the corners; then add decorative items in various shapes and textures. This will soften the edges of the room, lessening the effects of harshly converging chi.

Incorporate your family traditions into your living room, too–even if it means you watch football every Sunday in your living room or have a Friday–night movie “date” with your significant other. The important thing is to create a warm, welcoming, and “safe” place for you and other members of your family to come together to share your hopes, dreams, and ideas in a receptive, caring environment. That's what your living room is really all about.

Bring in Healthy Chi

Use wisdom and power to enhance this meaningful room. First, you need to look at the direction the room is in. The best energies for a living room in feng shui come from the south, southeast, or southwest. These directions inspire creativity, lively conversation, and the positive exchange of ideas. West is also a good location for entertaining, so focus on that area of the room when having a party or get–together in your living room.

FIGURE 5-1: Cozy Conversation A sectional couch draws guests together for pleasant conversation in the living room. Note the geometric shapes of the lamp and candle accent pieces. In the far right, a water fountain greets guests at the door.

Position furniture so that it supports the main purpose of the room, which is to build a strong sense of family cohesiveness and community. That means you should have your sofa and chairs positioned so that they face the center of the room. Allow family and guests to choose their own best direction to sit, but be sure that no one is placed with their back to an entrance or window; angle the piece so that your guest's back is pro–tected by a corner or wall. You don't want your guests to feel open and vulnerable. Remember that your guests all need to be able to see an entrance to the room from where they are sitting, and you will be fine.

FIGURE 5-2: Living Chi Chi needs to move freely through the living room, but you also want to maintain some intimacy. 1. Position the furniture so that the pieces face each other to facilitate conversation. 2. A small desk or bookshelf will compliment your knowledge corner. 3. Note that the furniture should not directly face, or confront, your fireplace. 4. A large mirror over the loveseat eliminates your guests’ vulnerability from having their backs to open spaces.

With end tables, coffee tables, and the like, be sure to soften sharp angles or “poison arrows” by angling the softer pieces of furniture in a way that cushions or supports the sharper energy coming from such arrows. Watch for incomplete shapes in the form of furniture that is not well balanced. Use smaller pieces to complete square or rectangular shapes not accomplished by larger pieces grouped together.

Decorative Elements

The décor of the room should be warm colors, soft fabrics (such as velvet), and comfort–producing accessories such as plenty of soft pillows, blankets, or throws. Add an animal element such as a faux fur rug to add interest–or, better yet, let the real pets roam your living room so the chi is really moving throughout the house as animals move from one room to another!

FIGURE 5-3: Fame and Fire The desk here is located between the wealth and fame corners. The small lamp represents fire, as do the red panes in the stained glass window. Fire and the color red serve a dual purpose here, representing fame as well as encouraging a little extra wealth!
FIGURE 5-4: Balancing Art The mixture of circles (the round clock, mirror, and vase) and lines (the art deco and bamboo frames), as well as the mixture of metal, wood, and fire elements, brings a yin–yang balance to this mantel.

Fireplaces add the fire element to the living room nicely, but keep in mind that the furniture should not face the fireplace if you want to promote harmonious relationships. Facing the fire can bring problems in the form of fiery confrontation.

Speaking of fire elements, make sure there is enough light in the hallways leading to your living room. Doing so is much like making sure the arteries to your heart are clear and open: It will help direct the healthy chi to the heart of your home.

Accent with colorful art work to boost chi in the room, or you can use pastels to soften the room even more. The more colorful accent pieces work great for lively parties and entertaining, while soft pastels enhance the room's more peaceful meditative qualities. Choose whichever best suits your needs–the main idea is to have art and accessories that are pleasing for you and your guests to look at while you are engaged in meaningful conversation.

FIGURE 5-5: A Touch of Velvet Strong wood cabinets can anchor a corner and make the area a position of strength in a room. An antique velvet chair with a handcrafted pillow accents this corner and gives the hard wood a soft balance.

Ideally, the well–balanced living room will contain an invigorating mix of colors, shapes, and textures–a healthy dose of yin and yang opposites. The room should be connected to all other rooms in your home, since it is considered the hub of activity in the house. It's the room everyone congregates in before and after meals in the kitchen or dining room, and therefore deserves all the balance and attention you can muster in order to serve up the best in creature comforts to your family and your guests.

Engage people's interest by appealing to their senses as well. Add smell–enhancing aromatherapy items such as scented candles, oils, or potpourri; soft music or a water fountain to appeal to the sense of sound; and lighting in a variety of types to appeal to the sense of sight. Touch is covered by the soft fabrics in the room, and taste is represented by any food or beverage you choose to serve.

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