Summer: Focus on Communication
Communication is the focus to facilitate good Feng Shui as we have moved from Spring (the Wood Element) into Summer (the Fire Element.) This is a great time to ensure that seating arrangements throughout your home aid in pleasant interaction between inhabitants, as well as when entertaining guests. Whether it’s the living room, family room, dining room, or outdoor entertaining spaces, your furniture should facilitate good conversation during this most Yang season.
The Living Room:
Since this is most often the first room beyond the main entrance to a home, the living room is the first impression of you that your guests who arrive at your door receive.
If you are considering painting your walls, consider hues of blue, green, crème, yellow, muted orange or earth tones of beige, tan or even brown. If you utilize earth tones, be sure to enliven the space with a variety of shapes, textures and finishes to provide interest. Professor Lin Yun Rinpoche said in his book, Living Color (ISBN 1-56836-014-2) that “The living room should be full of many colors, shades and patterns.”
Seating arrangements are an important means of facilitating conversation. L shaped couches are so popular today, but, like a very long bench or couch (see left) do not really facilitate a good conversation. Make certain that everyone in the room can make eye contact with one another when seated in your living room. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that people, when seated are no more than 12 feet apart. Any more than that creates a distance that can cause people to disengage with one another. Below are some examples of classic furniture arrangements:
- The “circular” shaped arrangement on the left facilitates lively and diverse communication.
- The “U” and “L” shaped drawings work best when there is more limited space or furniture.
The Family Room
This less-formal room is reserved for family activities, although it can be organized in a similar fashion to the arrangements above. This room usually has more casual furniture, with practical comfort being a primary focus. (Consider microfiber or leather for durability and low maintenance if purchasing new pieces of furniture for this room.) Pictures and accessories that evoke memories of happy times and family vacations are a wonderful addition to this room. Try to utilize extra storage with doors (or baskets) that hide any possible clutter of games, toys or reading materials. Great colors for this room are blue, green, warm pastels, brown, beige and multiple colors.
The Dining Room
Blues, greens, and colors seen in nature are the best colors to utilize when dining. Professor Lin Yun Rinpoche said in his book, Living Color (ISBN 1-56836-014-2) to avoid black, white or a mixture of black and white. These colors are less conducive to digestion and the enjoyable consumption of a meal. Research shows that red stimulates one’s appetite, so avoid using it if you struggle with your weight.
Using the dining table as your desk can make you feel detached from your family, so avoid this.
You truly can set up your deck or patio space as if it’s a room- just an extension of your home. Divide larger spaces into varied areas: 1) dining at an outdoor table, a living area with modular outdoor seating, and/or 3) food preparation including a refrigerator, barbecue, and countertop. Hanging “window” coverings (using outdoor fabric) in a pergola or covered porch gives the sensation of separating spaces, as can a “wall” of taller plants/hedge, but arranging furniture to divide up the space can also work.
Move 27 pieces of furniture/plants/decor in your home today. Maybe you could do this because you are cleaning, and you move it back when you’re done, or maybe just lift it up and set it down again. See if the energy doesn’t change with this simple feng shui technique.
So, get out there and make some improvements to facilitate better communication in your home. Once you’ve made some positive changes, start noticing other good things that seem to magically occur in your life and of other family members. If you need assistance, contact me through this website, call or send an email (shelley@TFI.design)- I’d love to help you improve your home’s Feng Shui.