Feng Shui & Outdoor Living with BBQs, LPG Patio Heaters & More
The harmony outside your home is just as important as the inside. Greenery, trees, landscape design come together to create a balanced environment. Below is a list of ways to feng shui your outdoor area for the best results.
Feng Shui is an ancient art and science practiced in the Far East for over 5,000 years. It's a complex body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the given energies of a space to assure health and good fortune for the people inhabiting it. Feng means "wind" and Shui means "water" and the art of Feng Shui is the art of living in harmony with the earth.
Wind represents the invisible forces of heaven and water represents the earth. The main principle of Feng Shui is the life force infusing everything. The same way Chinese Medicine describes the flow of Chi along the meridians within the body, Feng Shui depicts the flow of Chi in the outer world - a landscape or home.
Using this concept, masters began to design buildings, houses, gardens and entrances to homes and buildings to aid the flow of Chi. They built buildings in a distinct place and they designed walkways, entryways, and gardens to direct the flow of Chi through the rooms of a home or office to stimulate aspects of their lives.
Throughout history Feng Shui has been used - mostly by emperors to increase power and influence. Today the concept is used all over Europe and the U.S. by individuals and businesses.
There are two kinds of Feng Shui.
- Classical Feng Shui achieves harmony and balance by manipulating or managing the chi in a home or particular location.
- Symbolic Feng Shui uses objects to remedy or enhance a location.
The 5 elements of feng shui include: fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Good feng shui incorporates and balances all of the elements. Utilizing all of the elements creates harmony and balance - that serene and comfortable feeling you want to enjoy.
5 Ways to Feng Shui Your Outdoor Living Space
1. Remove outdoor clutter
To inspire the flow of Chi or "good energy" you need to clean up the yard. Remove any and all debris like dead or dying plants.
Install a water feature. This inspires the flow of chi and creates relaxation. Whether you want a man-made pond, waterfall, or fountain it's important to have flowing water. This is best placed in the north, east, or southeast corners.
3. Outdoor fireplace or BBQ
This is an ideal option for bringing the fire element into your setting. This is best placed in the southern sector. Lighting adds instant warmth and energy to any area too. Consider a LPG patio heater, a lamp post, or tiki torches. Not only do these things keep you warm and toasty but they also light up pathways.
4. Rock and plants
Try to plant foliage that incites the four elements not covered by the water feature. It's important to balance the yin and yang or male and female energy. Plants with pointed leaves are considered to be yang in nature and plants with round, soft leaves are considered to be the yin.
Inspire the earth element by planting foliage that's low to the ground. Incite the water and metal elements by planting foliage with wavy leaves. Fire can be incited by planting foliage with pointed and thorny features, and wood by planting tall plants like a cluster of bamboo in the corner of the yard.
Rocks and boulders also anchor the landscape. They're especially effective in the southwest, west, and northeast corners of the yard. Add one for each member of the household; it's thought to help foster relationships.
5. Add movement
Wind chimes, windmills, outdoor flags and wind socks are great ways to increase the flow of Chi. Placed in the west, northwest, and north corners of the yard, these strategically placed items can add balance and create comfort.
Furnishings and the 5 Element Color Cycle
The five element color cycle is also based on fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Choose colors that flow from one element to the other. Even if you only use three or four colors be sure to follow an elemental order. Clockwise is the up flow and counter clockwise is the down flow. The color should either move up the cycle which is productive or down the cycle which is considered destructive.
- Fire: Red
- Earth: Gold
- Metal: White
- Water: Blue
- Wood: Green
Choose a variation of each color and incorporate them into your outdoor design. For example, gold attracts wealth so plant some gold colored flowers in the yard. Plant them in the north, northeast, and southwest sections of the yard to benefit career and relationships.
Circular formations foster relationship and strengthen bonds, so create areas for socialization and conversation by creating circles with tables and chairs. Also choose furnishings with smooth rounded corners as this help the flow of Chi. Hardened corners tend to stop the flow.
For more ways to feng shui your environment, visit the Institute of Feng Shui & Geopathology. There's a wealth of information anyone can utilize to balance and harmonize their home for a prosperous lifestyle. Here you can utilize the Bagua, a map to help you plant your garden and organize features in all the appropriate ways.