Follow the Chi

Here are six quick and easy fixes that will have your home brimming with good chi.

Mirror Mirage

In addition to increasing a room’s light and revealing your stunning looks, mirrors double as a magical feng shui tool. Hung strategically on walls, mirrors can expand small spaces, activate rarely used areas, and, when facing an annoyance (like a neighbor’s incessantly barking dog), deflect negative energy. Placed above the stove, a mirror symbolically doubles your food and prosperity.

Curative Color

“A splash of color is a simple way to bring new energy into a space,” Mansfield says. “It’s the least expensive and easiest way to make a big impact.” Be careful to avoid using too much of one color in your home; using several colors helps balance the energy. A common feng shui practice is to paint a word on the wall that exemplifies what you want to bring into your life, like “friendship” or “travel.” Even if you paint over the word as you’re finishing the job, you’re embedding that energy into the room.

A Welcoming Center

Sprucing up the entry of your home will keep the good energy flowing inside. Keep the front door clean, the entryway clear of clutter—no piles of bills, shoes, or coats allowed—and add a welcoming greeter, like a healthy, round-leafed plant; an intriguing sculpture; or a Zen fountain.

Living Influence

Plants and animals will bring health and vitality into your home. Consider taking in pets or starting an aquarium for fish or amphibians—or choose the simpler route of easy-to-care-for plants like areca and lady palms.

Lighten Up

Lamps and candles enhance chi by illuminating choice spots instead of vast areas, creating intimacy. If you have low ceilings, buy lamps that shine upward. In the winter months or at night, candles warm up the home, as they represent the fire element, which balances out the water element (that frigid downpour outside).

A fundamental imperative of feng shui is that chi needs to be able to flow smoothly through a space. All doorways should lead to open paths in the home, without furniture or large objects obstructing that flow. Beware of energy impeders, or “poison arrows.” These dreaded darts include sharp-edged furniture, open bookshelves, and visible knife blades. (See “Follow the Chi,” right, for more quick fixes.)

We may live a long way from the perils of China’s mountains, but implementing feng shui can still bring serenity to your life. The practice recalls how the ancients lived and respects the ever-present power of nature and unseen energies—or at least gets the sharp furniture out of the way.