We’re here to tell you everything about feng shui. What is it and how can you use it to bring positive energy to your NYC space.
Feng shui is a practice that tries to bring harmony and balance to a space. Feng shui literally translates to “wind” and “water” respectively and in Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health. This practice is based on the idea that the land around us is alive and filled with energy (Chi). So feng shui relies on the flow of energies and seeks to form a space that creates positive energy that supports the person living in it.
Feng shui is not a new practice, but originated back to ancient China. It has a history of 2,000 years and some have even found evidence of it being practiced as long as 5,000 years ago. However, the earliest texts and recordings of feng shui dates back to the Tang Dynasty. These texts were written by Master Yang Yun Sang and he is even considered the founder of the landscape school of feng shui, as many of his texts talk about observing land formations in order to choose the more favorable site.
How is feng shui practiced?
The practice of feng shui utilizes an energy map called a bagua that is laid over your apartment or home’s floor plan. Bagua is a Chinese word that translates to “eight areas” and each of the eight areas on this map is related to different life areas: wealth, children, family, career, knowledge, fame reputation, partnership, knowledge, and helpful people. The center of the bagua, or “ninth area” represents you and your overall well-being.
However, there are many schools of thought for feng shui where different teachings will apply the bagua in different ways. For instance, classical schools will orient the bagua to the energy of the year and compass directions. This means feng shui energies change within each new year. On the other hand, Western schools will usually layout the bagua so the knowledge, career, and helpful people are aligned to the front door of your space.
Feng shui is an intensive practice with a lot of elements involved. However, there’s no need to do everything at once, but instead, choose just two or three areas you want to improve on and focus on those. For instance, it can be career, family, wealth, or any of the eight areas of Bagua and you can strengthen those areas by incorporating suggestions into your home. If you’re wondering which feng shui teaching to follow, the best thing to do would be to read up on both options and then choose the one that feels most natural for you and your home.
Choose a house based on feng shui
If you’re looking for a new space in New York City or even just interested in how to choose a house that will have a positive influence on your health and well-being, there are some simple things to look for. Alternatively, if you’re wondering what is bad feng shui for a house, then this list can help you learn some general things to avoid when choosing your space.
House direction feng shui
An easy thing to look for is to see if the house is placed so the front of the house is parallel to the road. Houses that are set at an angle to the street may seem nice sometimes, but a disconnect is created when the main axis of the house is at an angle to the street.
Feng shui house location on street
Location of your house on a street also matters. For instance, if your apartment or home is located at the top of a T-shaped street where the perpendicular street is a dead end facing you, it can send a lot of energy directly to you and its intensity can be harmful.
Check the floor plan beforehand
If you’re at the beginning of your apartment search, you can easily take a look at the floor plan of an available space beforehand. This will save you plenty of time and energy visiting places in person and realizing there are parts of the home layout you don’t like. An easy way is to utilize Localize for your home search. Our listings not only include pictures of the property, but also a floor plan so you can see exactly how everything is laid out!
Home look and feel
One important factor when choosing your house or apartment is how you feel when you look at it overall and how you feel when you entered it. The exterior of the place should feel safe and inviting. Additionally, it’s good to make note of how the place is cared for such as paint, greenery/grass, and roof. Following your intuition and feelings can help you find your perfect space.
Was the home or apartment easy to find
When visiting the home or apartment for the first time, was it easy to locate or difficult to find? If it was hard for you to find the place, it might not be the best place for you. This is because if you have a hard time finding the space, so will positive energy. If you search for a place on Localize you can click the transportation tab to know in advance how easy it is, or not, to find it.
The front door of the house is known as the mouth of energy force and can determine how energy flows into the house. In general it’s better to have the front door at the front rather than hidden on the side of the house. Houses with front doors that are easy to find indicates that positive energy will also easily find its way into your space.
Additionally, avoid spaces where the front door opens up directly to the foot of the staircase inside the house. This is because energy going down the stairs will run right out the door which drains energy from the house. This is the same idea of why you should avoid having the front door aligned with the back door. The energy coming into the house will leave right to the back and vice versa.
Surroundings and neighborhood
Take a look at the land surrounding your house as well as the neighborhood. If there’s a backyard, make sure the land is not sloping away from the house as it could create an energy sink. It is also ideal to have the backyard be slightly larger than the front. Additionally, check to see if the houses in the neighborhood are maintained and in good condition. Avoid living in a space where buildings nearby are in disrepair, near empty lots, and near cemeteries. These spaces tend to have energy that is “without life.”
7 easy ways to feng shui your NYC apartment
If you’re just getting into feng shui, it can sometimes be confusing and complicated. However, there are plenty of easy ways to feng shui your current space to make it feel more harmonious and a more relaxing space to live in.
1. Declutter your space
If your New York City living space is small, having lots of stuff can make your apartment feel cluttered and cramped. While it may be difficult to get rid of stuff and even tiring to clean, it’s a good idea to place your furniture and items with certain space between them. This gives a sense of space to breathe and gives you a feeling of more openness and less stress.
2. Add in greenery
The main purpose of feng shui in a home is to bring in positive energy and life. A home should be where life energy is and plants are a great example of this. Plants are symbolic of health and life. Not only are greenery and nature great for purifying the air, it also brings tranquility to a space. Checkout our previous blog to see how you can easily find the perfect plant for your NYC apartment even if your space is limited!
3. Front door maintenance
The front door is an important part of feng shui as it’s the area where energy enters your house and life. So make sure your door is well maintained, such as the paint. Additionally, try to clean up the foyer or entry area of your house so it’s not cluttered and try to have the area lit.
4. Bed placement
Make sure your bed is placed in what feng shui calls, the “commanding position”. This is where the bed (or the main furniture piece in a room) is placed so that you are able to see the door without being in direct line with it. It’s usually the spot furthest from the door. By having your bed in this position, it conveys that you command your own energy which translates to doing your best in any situation. It also creates a feeling of security since you could feel more vulnerable if your back was to the door and you’re unable to easily see who enters.
5. Home office tips
Similar to the bed placement tip, it’s best to have your desk placed in the commanding position. Additionally, make sure your desk chair has a back. It not only supports your back, but symbolizes support in your career.
6. Bathroom tips
Since the bathroom is a space with a lot of water, it can lead to the “drain of wealth”. A few tips for this space would be to keep a houseplant on the toilet tank to contrast the drain of water as plants thrive and grow from it. Additionally, keep your toilet seat closed when you’re not using it. Overall, the best general tip for this space would be to keep it clean so it’s seen as a space for relaxation and unwinding.
7. Keep hallways decluttered
Although hallways are probably the most easily overlooked space in a house, they can act like spaces that transport energy from one space to the next. The best tips are to keep the space decluttered and easy to walk through. Having lots of things in the hallway can make it hard to walk and represents obstacles in life.
3 homes with good natural feng shui to rent right now
If you’re looking for good feng shui apartments in NYC, there are plenty of New York City apartments for rent that already have great energy. Here are just a few homes you can take a look at:
Space: studio, 1 bath, 491 sqft
Neighborhood: Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
This is another studio space that has great natural feng shui. This Brooklyn apartment is nicely lit and gets a moderate amount of natural light during the day. It gets about 7.5 hours of direct sunlight during the summer and 3.5 hours during the winter. Additionally, the main living area has good natural feng shui because the bed and couch, or any other main furniture can be placed in the commanding position.
In this position, you are able to see both the hallway area, kitchen, and also out the window. By having the window in front of you rather in back, it will make you feel more secure and at ease.
Space: 2 beds, 1 bath
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, Manhattan
This Upper East Side apartment can be a comfortable space to call home. First, the front door opens up to a foyer area that leads directly to the living area. The space also gets plenty of natural sunlight with 7.5 hours of direct sun during the summer and 3.5 during the winter. This will ensure the space will stay well lit during the day and can even be great for houseplants and greenery to thrive.
The building also has no violations and no complaints so the building is well maintained and cared for. The apartment is also located in a neighborhood with below average crime rates and is near Central Park. This can indicate that the neighborhood is well cared for and living near nature can be great for your well-being.
Space: 1 bed, 1 bath, 1,063 sqft
Neighborhood: Upper East Side, Manhattan
This Manhattan apartment is another space with good natural feng shui. This is because its high ceilings are not sloped or slanted and while it has large floor to ceiling windows, the couch can still be placed in a commanding position. There are also large windows in the bedroom, but similarly to the living room, the bed is able to be placed in a great position. These large windows can also be great for growing indoor plants in the space.
Additionally, the front door opens up into a foyer area that leads to the dining and living area. So once you open the door, you’re greeted with your open space. The building also has no violations, no recent complaints, and no elevator issues so you can feel confident that the building is well maintained.
Feng shui is an intensive practice with a lot of elements involved. However, there’s no need to do everything at once, but instead, choose just two or three areas you want to improve on and focus on those. For instance, it can be career, family, wealth, or any of the eight areas of Bagua and you can strengthen those areas by incorporating suggestions into your home. With these simple tips, we hope you can create a comfortable and harmonious space to live and thrive in!