Before we start, a distinction should be made between traditional Feng Shui, which dates back six thousand years, and the modern form that has developed in the West. Traditional Feng Shui consists of a collection of rules which are designed to optimize the ebb and flow of energy (chi) in bodies and objects for peak tranquility. Imagine the amazing physical feats of highly focused monks who practice the art of Feng Shui in a bodily sense.
Contemporary Feng Shui has little to do with the age-old Chinese practice, but it still has significant spiritual worth. Unlike our modern form, ancient Feng Shui was itself designed originally to instruct the positioning of one’s tomb, an association that seems a bit dark when you’re applying it to a small studio apartment. Western Feng Shui has developed its own tenets and accepted styles independently of the Eastern traditions, and so over decades it has been gradually absorbed into the streamlined urbanity that is most popular in North America.
So let’s accept that the value in modern Feng Shui is in its simplified, accepted style and a blueprint for those seeking to add some placidity to their environment.
Examples of modern Feng Shui style are hard lines. These are preferred with a cohesive shape like a square or rectangle, so your average L-shape floor plan would be out. One particularly quirky Feng Shui requirement is an insistence that your neighbourhood be at your height or lower so as not to be overshadowed; so you may want to consult a topographical map for a place to drop stakes. Even your parking spot would benefit from some well applied Feng Shui. Make sure that you park your car far away from the busy energy of the elevator and stairs as possible.
If you’re already settled in your rental, there are a few ways to ‘Fengineer’ a more peaceful flow with what you’ve got. Symbols of wealth and knowledge should be lined along the left side of the room as you enter. Put tokens of fame and pride at the middle back and mementos from relationships and mentors to the right.
Like many renters, you might be living in a charming yet small studio apartment. Start with the bed, headboard against a wall but not beneath a window, unless you want your chi to be sucked out! You can also benefit from the thoughtful placement of a mirror or two to make the place appear spacious, in addition to reducing clutter. Although anyone’s best arrangement is a mix of established style and personal preference, it never hurts to try to add a touch of serenity to the places you might take for granted.