2003 - THE SUNDAY TIMES - FENG SHUI REDECORATION OF A LIVING ROOM

Ask the experts

The interior designer

I am planning to redecorate my living room along feng shui principles. Any advice?

KH, Co Dublin

Start by creating a focal point such as a fireplace, French windows, a fabulous painting or objet d’art. Use muted soft tones with colourful accessories that can be easily changed to update the look. Try not to be too feminine or too masculine, nor too summery or wintry.

Choose comfortable seating that is not too squashy, so that people can rise from it easily. Have seats face each other or in a U-shape and try not to have seating with its back to a door as people will feel as though they may be under threat of attack from behind. Choose low furniture, preferably oval or round, to give a more relaxed impression. Avoid glass-topped furniture and very tall overwhelming items. There should be plenty of traffic space between items of furniture for safety reasons, as well as to allow the smooth flow of energy around the room. Any obstacles within the traffic space will pertain to obstacles in our path in life.

Ensure mirrors are untarnished and clean. Frame them and hang at a level that reflects the head, neck and halo with a little room at the top for growth. Look to see that the reflection is of something positive. Windows should also be clean as they represent our view of the world and how the world sees us. Mask unattractive views with voiles and maximise a positive view such as an attractive garden. Doors should open smoothly and quietly or there will be arguments in the home.

Make sure that there is adequate natural ventilation and air circulation, natural daylight and a regular temperature in the room. Healthy green plants keep air clean, regulate a room’s temperature and absorb a certain amount of electromagnetic pollution. Lights should be shaded so as not to create glare and electrical cables should be concealed from view. Glass chandeliers and rainbow crystals encourage sparkling conversation.

Avoid displaying objects or ornaments that evoke bad memories. Instead use items that create positive thoughts and evoke pleasant memories. Stimulate the senses by using scented candles, fresh flowers and textures that feel good to the touch. Have pleasant music playing softly in the background.

Nina Kati is an interior designer and Feng Shui consultant with Working Wonders, based in Rathgormack, Co Waterford