Find similar themes and group items together to add interest. And always bring in nature!
5. Balance the yin and yang. This is about working with the forces of opposites. It is about mixing complexity or detail (yin) with simplicity of line and less detail (yang). For more on this see my past article: Yin and Yang for a Balanced Home. An example of yin items would be small collections of objects. Put these collections in curio cabinets, or store them in a box, displaying only some of them at a time and rotating them periodically with new ones. We don’t see items that sit in one place for too long, so move them around and freshen them up and the vibrant chi will be restored. This goes for everything in our homes. Freshen up silk flower arrangements every three months or so. For displaying in focal point areas you will need larger objects. Intermix a few of the small pieces with the medium and larger ones, but don’t over do it. They will disappear in a larger space!
6. Arrange the key pieces of furniture that you spend the most time on (i.e. sofa or bed) in the empowered position. This is where you see the main doorway of the room but are not in direct alignment with any door. It will never feel comfortable to sit or sleep in front of a doorway for any length of time. As creatures of comfort, we want to feel protected yet still be able to see what is going on. If you can’t move the sofa, put a table behind it with objects like plants or lamps. It will now feel as if you have a wall of protection behind you. For more on this see my article: Feng Shui for Living Rooms.
7. Rehang the pictures and group them in relationship to furniture and other objects. Make sure they are low enough and close enough to the objects you are grouping them with. Group according to things like similar frames, subject matter or themes, texture, pattern and complementary colors. Group smaller pictures together and hang them very close to each other. Most people hang pictures too high. A good average is to have the top of a large picture at about 5 1/2 feet. When you look at a larger picture, your eyes should land at about 3/4 of the way from the top. And always use art that is inspiring and sends a positive message. Art depicting nature is always preferable as it brings in the important Feng Shui Five Elements.
8. Now add your cherished objects and group them in relationship to the furniture and art. Find similarities using these same general guidelines and group medium or smaller objects in threes and fives to add interest. Make sure to include the finds from your treasure hunt. If your grandmother is important to you, use the fine needlepoint pillow you found tucked away and bring her energy into your space. Bring out the old violin you inherited, add the clarinet no one plays, and the recorder that has been hidden in a drawer and create an interesting musical instrument arrangement on the mantle. Make it up and mix it up and embrace variety and change. Our homes are a metaphor for our lives. Create it there first, and watch it unfold in your life!
9. Oil or polish all wood furniture. Get a good furniture polish or wood oil and clean and polish all wood furniture. If a piece is scratched or the finish is bad, find a scarf, mat or runner from your treasure trove and cover it up, arranging the decorative items on top. (I use Old English Scratch Cover for Dark Woods for fixing up really scuffed pieces. )
10. Create Focal Points. This might be the mantle or the coffee table (or any surface), and arrange complimentary objects there. A good rule of thumb is to have one or two focal points per room; however, I like to add something pleasing to look at on every surface. Add fresh candles and bring in only the plants that look good. Nix the dead or dying ones. If you can’t bear to throw them away, put them in a “plant hospital” away from sight and commit to bringing them back to life. Get rid of plastic pots and ugly drainage dishes and find attractive pots for the healthy plants you are going to display. Decorative plates serve as attractive bases and keep the moisture from damaging wood surfaces.
You can do all of this with little or no money. Use these tried and true techniques and – voila! – your room will sparkle with new energy and you will feel as if you just moved in!
And… if you can spend a little, treat yourself to some inexpensive new pictures, decorative objects, and healthy plants and put on a fresh coat of paint! Take a chance and move away from the usual suspects and see what a difference it makes!
Top Photo courtesy of Rosie Picci. (Thank you Rosie!)