How to Use Feng Shui to Transform Your Home Into a Cozy Space

Learn how to reorganize your abode from modern feng shui consultant, Meghan Wallace James.

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So, you finally managed to declutter your home by parting ways with possessions that feel more like a burden than treasured belongings, what now? Scaling down on the things you own may be the natural first step when reorganizing your living space, but rethinking the placement of your bed, decor and even your sneaker collection are just as important in order to build a cozy abode.

Here’s where feng shui comes in for those who believe in the philosophy of the ancient Chinese discipline. A complex knowledge about creating harmony among the energies in our surroundings, feng shui could serve as a useful tool when you’re looking to rearrange your space.

We’ve got modern feng shui consultant Meghan Wallace James to answer all the questions you have in regards to the practice as well as how it could be utilized to achieve a welcoming home, and ultimately better ideas, relationships and even sleep.

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What exactly is feng shui? What are the benefits of organizing your home according to it?

Feng shui is an ancient, scientific art form that originated in China as a way to honor ancestors. Fast forward four or five thousand years, I interpret feng shui as a primordial feeling of inspired relief upon coming home. Feng shui is a way to manifest your ideal lived experience, within your space — yes, yet more-so in the world at large. I am prone to say: a beautiful house is a byproduct of feng shui, though it’s true aim is a “life in flow.”

When approaching feng shui for the first time, what should you start off with?

First things first, present a welcoming, delightful entrance experience. The energy needs to get in before you may play with it. Secondly, shoes off my friends. Our daily rounds do not belong in our sacred space. Systemize a way to transition between the outer world and your inner world with easy grace.

Is light important for feng shui? How can you bring in brightness if your room doesn’t get much sunlight?

Bring the sunshine into your space, literally or figuratively, to boost the life force. Dark? Buy a fresh batch of lightbulbs — change every single bulb in your home. A warm, consistent quality of ambient light will make a world of difference. Any resulting “bright ideas’” will be a delightful bonus.

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Is there any rule where you should place mirrors in your bedroom? Is it bad to have a mirror in front of your bed?

Bedroom mirrors can lead to increased anxiety, nightmares, insomnia and infidelity — literally doubling the people in your bed — yet make for steamy sex. Proceed with caution.

For those who struggle with sleeping problems, how can they improve their bedroom with feng shui to get a better night’s sleep?

My Private Practice is all about empty, sensual bedrooms. You should walk into your room and have one of two thoughts: sleep or sex. No trappings of daily life (so move your hamper).

Where is the best place in the room to put your bed?

You should sleep where you feel safe and in control of the room. The best place for your bed, or any high-use furniture, is in a “power position” — meaning against a solid wall, with a clear view of the door, yet not in line with the door.

What are some things you should and shouldn’t place on your bedside table?

A bedside table is an opportunity for an Incognito Altar. Would you be turned on, or embarrassed, if a lover saw what it contained? Curate beautiful necessities to pre-pave dreamy experiences — solo or in tandem. ’Tis not the place for a junk drawer.

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Sneakerheads often find themselves running out of storage space for their shoe collection. Should one avoid storing footwear in their bedroom? 

I had a client who was battling insomnia. During our consultation, I pulled bin after bin of old shoes out from under her bed. Dusty and clunky. Outdated. And miles of trekking – think of all the places those shoes had walked. She started sleeping better and to boot, met an emotionally available partner, shortly after we cleaned and cleared.

Keep only what you love. Store it with pride and order. Possessions without dedicated homes are sad and aimless.

Could you, would you, declare a whole closet for sneakers? Some fresh pine, a handy individual, a few hours… a whole new world. Never use renting as an excuse not to make your home work for you. Invest in yourself and in your passions.

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For those who live in a small apartment, what are some things they could do to make their home feel more spacious and cozy?

Small spaces are amazing opportunities: they become living, breathing mood boards. Be savage with what you keep in your home. Have a strong, clear point of view. Emptiness is the new opulence. And no storage units please, for that extra stuff will weigh you down no matter where it lives.

Are there any guidelines about placing furniture around windows?

Windows and doors like to do their job, which is to open and close sans impediment. Allow the home to breathe to avoid claustrophobic vibes.

Any tips on incorporating personal, sentimental items in one’s home without making it look random or cluttered?

If you are keeping or displaying something because you think you should  — let it go immediately. What a drain on your energy. If an item is a conscious choice, an absolute yes, go forth. We are not all minimalists, and certainly do not need to be to practise feng shui. Consciousness trumps minimalism.

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What are the best places to display family photos?

Do the pictures make you feel good? Are they all from one moment in time? Scattered energies — such as family snapshots spread all over the place — feel scattered. Declare a set space, perhaps a wall in a more private area of the home, and have at it. The only place I advise against photo placement is in the bedroom — for they watch you in bed – a tad creepy, no?

What are the best type of plants to have in your home? Do plants and flowers make a difference?

Say goodbye to anything faux or dried — most particularly if you are calling in romance or family expansion. Life fuels life. The bigger and more exotic the plant, the better, as long as you understand how to properly care for it. Why have seven tiny plastic pots when you could have one epic Kentia Palm, gorgeously nestled in glazed terra cotta? Earth is the most predominant element in feng shui, so keep your home earthy and real.


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Meghan Wallace James

To learn more about James’ work, head over to her website meghanwallacejames.com.

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