Feng shui is a great way to bring balance to your home. But in order to create harmony in your living space, you need to follow feng shui rules. That includes utilizing the right directions for certain energies. In this feng shui guide, we’ll walk you through the basics of the Bagua map and each of the feng shui directions so that you can learn where and how to incorporate them into your home design.
Understanding the Bagua Map
Often represented as an octagon or square, the Bagua map is a layout defining the nine life areas, which when strategically used in home design can promote the flow of energy (or chi). The nine life areas of feng shui are:
- Wealth & Prosperity (Southeast)
- Health & Ancestors (East)
- Knowledge & Self-Cultivation (Northeast)
- Fame & Reputation (South)
- Health & Center (Center)
- Career & Life Path (North)
- Love & Marriage (Southwest)
- Children & Creativity (West)
- Helpful People & Travels (Northwest)
How to Use Feng Shui Directions
When feng shui decorating, it’s important to use the Bagua map to channel positive energy flow. Each direction aligns with one of the nine life areas, as well as specific feng shui elements and colors.
- Life Area: Love & Marriage
- Element: Earth
- Color: Pink, red
As the love and marriage area, the southwest should include plenty of pinks and soft reds, as well as furniture and decor representing the earth element. Because the southwest is centered around relationships, you’ll want to emphasize symmetrical energy and romantic bonds. Add identical pairs of accent pieces, such as end tables and lamps, to bring symmetry to the room, and be sure to hang photos of you and your partner.
- Life Area: Fame & Reputation
- Element: Fire
- Color: Red, orange
The southern direction in feng shui signifies fame and reputation. This is less about fame in the traditional sense and more about how you’re seen by others—whether it’s neighbors, family, or friends. Display certificates, awards, or other indicators of identity and success in this area. And because this direction is associated with fire, you’ll want to decorate with reds and oranges, as well as warm lighting.
- Life Area: Wealth & Prosperity
- Element: Wood
- Color: Purple
In feng shui, the southeast is related to wealth and prosperity. This isn’t limited to finances, though. In addition to manifesting monetary wealth, this Bagua area also represents one’s wealth in friendships, happiness, and luck. Use wood furniture and accents in the southeastern portion of your home as a symbol of that growth. You should also implement the color purple and opulent-looking decor like gold-colored sculptures or decorative crystals to further bring about a sense of wealth.
- Life Area: Children & Creativity
- Element: Metal
- Color: White, gray
Creativity and childhood are the primary life areas associated with the west in feng shui. This area is meant to promote a positive relationship with your inner child and foster creativity. Create a blank canvas where you can project your thoughts by painting walls white in this space, and try to use furniture with brass, silver, or gold accents, as metal is associated with creativity in feng shui. This is a good area of your home to display art in as well—whether it’s a whimsical painting or sculptural metallic pieces.
- Life Area: Health & Center
- Element: Earth
- Color: Yellow, orange
We can find balance with general health and well-being in the center of the home. Yellow and orange walls and art can attract positive chi in this space, while home decor like terracotta pots and sculptures can bring the stability of the earth element. In addition, you should be mindful of the furniture you place in the center of your home, as this area should be calm, relaxing, and re-energizing. Look for pieces that are comfortable and stable, so you can invite this same energy into your central living space.
- Life Area: Health & Ancestors
- Element: Wood
- Color: Green
Honor those closest to you—such as family, ancestors, and dear friends—in the eastern area of your home. Place houseplants throughout for pops of green and to represent vitality. Aloe and other plants with medicinal properties are especially beneficial for this Bagua life area. Also, use furniture made of wood as a symbol of strength and grounding. You might also display photos of your family on side tables, a fireplace mantle, or on the wall as a way of personalizing the space and paying tribute to those who hold you up in life.
- Life Area: Helpful People & Travels
- Element: Metal
- Color: Gray, white, black
The northwest represents helpful people and travel, according to the Bagua map. This area is meant to help you attract new experiences and new support systems in your life. Decorate this space with grays and metallic accents for creativity and inspiration. Artwork and photos depicting destinations you’d like to reach—whether it’s a specific city or an abstract state of being—also work well in this space. You can even add travel-focused touches like framed maps or a globe in the northwest areas of your home to spark wanderlust.
- Life Area: Career & Life Path
- Element: Water
- Color: Black, dark blue
The space dedicated to your career and business pursuits is in the northernmost area of your home. This spot should inspire productivity and thought. In the north, use black and other dark colors to maintain structure, and choose art and furniture with flowing waves to mimic water. You can take a more literal approach to include this Bagua’s element by placing a fish tank or indoor water feature in the room. Otherwise, abstract sculpture or art with curved lines (rather than sharp angles) will suffice.
- Life Area: Knowledge & Self-Cultivation
- Element: Earth
- Color: Blue, green
Promote life-long learning and self-improvement by maintaining a space of wisdom in the northeast portion of your home. This area of the Bagua map should be furnished with pieces made of earthy materials like a clay vase or a Himalayan salt lamp, as well as items that spark thought like bookshelves and desks. You should also use blues and greens throughout to bring calm energy to the space that can inspire you to be your best self.
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