How to Create Active ‘Yang’ Spaces
Yang spaces are the more active spaces such as children’s playrooms, kitchens, sun rooms, gyms or work-out rooms, home offices, crafts rooms, laundry rooms, family rooms (depending upon the use), hallways and garages.
These spaces should incorporate more Yang components which would be: brighter lighting, whites, neutrals and/or bolder colors, more angular shaped furniture and accessories with less detail.
In architecture the Bauhaus period in Germany from around 1919 – 1933 was the beginning of modernist design utilizing more Yang components, leading up to the modern architecture of our day.
Slick glass and mirrors, metal and plastics, high, vast ceilings, bright spaces, angles, bold stripes and geometric patterns, square, hard, angular furniture without detail, flooring of hard woods, cement and tile, all reflect Yang design materials and features.
In balancing a home we want to first determine the use of the space and then incorporate the Yin and Yang qualities appropriate for it. Passive, more restful spaces where you want the energy to calm down should incorporate more Yin features and active spaces where you want the energy to ‘pick-up’, more Yang features. The key, however, is to make sure we always have some of both qualities in every room, and not an over-abundance of either. Rooms with too much Yin will feel depressing and spaces with too much Yang will burn us out if we spend long periods in them.
To create a more Yang space, have fewer pieces of furniture, add fabrics with geometric or bold stripes and/or no patterns at all, lighter and/or brighter colors, shinier and slicker fabrics , harder surfaces and less detail. This can be a very ‘Zen’ look with fewer objects allowing the space to breathe, but if you overdo the Yang, it will feel cold and uninviting.
You can cozy-up a too-Yang space by bringing in Yin features such as circular-shaped and/or upholstered furniture, plants, detailed accessories and fabrics, darker colors and softer objects such as pillows, window coverings, carpeting and/or area rugs and cushy fabrics.
When using modern Yang decor, make sure to choose furniture with more rounded edges. Sharp-edged furniture functions like a weapon in our space. It may be subtle, but you will never fully relax in a room that has objects that can injure you. Our homes always need to be people friendly no matter what style of decor you are drawn to.
If you have a studio apartment where everything is in one room, make the areas next to the sleeping and resting spaces more Yin and the areas used for work and activity more Yang. House TV’s and Computers in cabinets or cover with a throw at night to calm down the energy for rest times. (See my article Feng Shui for Small Spaces.)
And…always bring in the Five Elements, which include plants and things that are either from the natural world or pictures and objects that represent nature. (See my article – Bringing the Five Elements into the Home) We will never feel truly at home in ultra- modern homes and offices without them, because of our deep innate connection to the natural world.
The key is to have a balance of both Yin and Yang qualities in every room, emphasizing more Yin or Yang features depending upon the use. Once we have achieved an appropriate Yin/Yang balance, we will be well on our way to creating a harmonious home that supports, uplifts and nurtures our lives!
Read all of Erica Sofrina’s Articles on Feng Shui and Green Living at www.care2.com/greenliving/author/ericas