The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui puts a great deal of emphasis on the entryway to the home. It is considered the “mouth of chi” where all of our opportunities come to us. This may seem like a bit of a stretch to skeptics and western thinkers. However, when I recently reviewed my old Interior Design textbook from years ago, I saw that it presented some of the exact same concepts as this 3,000-year-old practice.
It stated that choosing the right entryway was the most important part of the design of the building; and it should be chosen after a great deal of study and care. A poorly designed entryway would hamper the success of the business or negatively affect the occupants of the home, which is also a primary Feng Shui teaching.
The book went on to say the entry should be strongly differentiated from the immediate surroundings –making it easily identifiable from the street — and it should make a graceful transition between the street and the inside. If it was not easy to see and people had a hard time finding it, they would arrive grumpy and out of sorts, which would negatively impact the occupants.
It talked about how people need 15 feet to adjust from the outer to the inner domains. How the experience of arriving at a front door after enjoying a fragrant and attractive garden was considerably more enjoyable and helped make the transition. If the transition was too abrupt, there would be no feeling of arrival and the inside of the home would fail to be an inner sanctum.
I understood that this 3,000-year-old collection of “folk wisdom” and observations about how to arrange our living spaces in the most optimum way was just as applicable today and still being used in design curricula; it just wasn’t called Feng Shui.
Along with these core design concepts, Feng Shui goes on to teach that our outer environment always reflects our inner environment. If our homes are out of balance it is an indication that our lives are as well. By making our entryways more “entrancing,” we call in positive energy that translates to new and welcoming opportunities in our lives.
Feng Shui teaches us to observe the first thing we see when looking at the home. These are called “greeters” and are felt to either attract or repel the good energy or “chi.”
Negative “greeters” might be dead lawns, plants limping along, old shoes, toys, car parts, junk or clutter of any kind. Sticker bushes and pointy plants are not only dangerous but send “go-away” messages along with unfriendly signs such as “beware of dog,” “no soliciting,” burglar alarms, or “no trespassing.” The burglars may get the message but unfortunately so will the chi!
Peeling paint, rusty door-knockers, cobwebs, broken lights, squeaky or broken doors and locks all broadcast a message about the state of the lives of the occupants and will be attracting a like energy. (See Your Home is Attracting your Future). Replace these with positive “greeters” such as water fountains, gazing balls, garden art, and fragrant plant-lined pathways. Add colorful pots of flowers on either side of the door and a fresh new doormat.
A newly painted door is another great way to freshen up your entry and call in positive energy. If the door is not visible from the street, bring in eye-catching objects such as lighting, wind-socks, flags, banners, wind chimes. Make sure the address is easy to find and in a prominent place.
If you do not resonate with the more traditional Chinese “cures,” there are books that present a more Western perspective of Feng Shui you might relate to more easily. The point is to take the essence of these wonderful, simple and practical teachings and apply the parts that make sense to you. Using objects that you love from your own culture and upbringing will have a much more powerful impact than superimposing objects from another culture.
I encourage you to use these tried and true Feng Shui suggestions in creating a beautiful transition to your home. It will not only “entrance” the chi but set the stage for a wonderful arrival!
Feng Shui Home Color Guide
By Erica Sofrina, Author of Small Changes, Dynamic Results! Feng Shui for the Western World.