5 Feng Shui Tricks That'll Make A Small Space Feel Way Bigger
Feng shui is an approach to home design that prioritizes the unseen as much as the seen. It's a collection of practices thought to help positive energy to settle in a space, and it's one we reference a lot here at mindbodygreen (ahem, we even offer a whole class on it).
Before your feng shui touch-up can begin, it's worth asking what you're hoping to create at home. Blame it on New York real estate, but when mbg's editors were tasked with thinking about what they could use more of, "space" was high on the list. If you, too, are eternally short on square footage, we compiled some of the top ways to use feng shui to help your home feel more expansive:
1. Hang artwork of far-reaching nature scenes.
"Artwork is so powerful, especially if you're in a confined space," says feng shui practitioner Patricia Lohan, adding that the art on your walls can serve as a vision board for what you want your life to look like. Because of this, she says that expansive nature scenes portraying vast forests or oceans can serve to make your home feel bigger and attract abundance across all areas of your life.
2. Opt for light, neutral colors.
This is a practical design tip that feng shui vouches for too. Lighter colors tend to open up a space while harsher tones like red, blues, and browns make things feel more cramped. "Having a very cohesive, monochromatic space is calming because there's not a lot of contrast, and it looks more expansive," says NYC-based architect and feng shui expert Anjie Cho.
3. Place your mirrors strategically.
According to feng shui, mirrors serve to amplify the energy of whatever they reflect. So if you live in a small home, it might be a good idea to hang yours across from your artwork or windows—anything that has an element of spaciousness.
Something else you'll hear a lot about in feng shui is the "command position," and mirrors can help you achieve this, too, if you're strapped for space. According to the philosophy, when you're lying in bed, sitting at your desk, or cooking on your stove, you should be facing the room's entryway since having your back to it might subconsciously make you feel on edge. If your home is set up in a way that doesn't allow this, you can strategically place a mirror to reflect the door instead.
4. Be extra mindful of what you're letting in the front door.
"Often people will buy things, keep things, or save things based on one day in the future," Cho says of the thought pattern that can lead to clutter at home. "Especially if you live in a small space, be present and feel abundant with what you have right now. Believe it's everything you need." If you do find something that deserves a spot in your home right now, get rid of something else to even things out.
"If you want to attract something new into your life, always give something away first. When you give, you can then receive," says Cho.
5. Use expansive elements.
There are five elements central to feng shui: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Wood and fire are thought to be the two most expansive ones. Wood is represented by blue and green colors and tall, thin furniture or lamps, while fire is associated with red accents and triangular shapes. Bring any of these into your space, and feel its energy expand.
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