Sit back and relax: The dos and don’ts of feng shui remodeling


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The stresses of work, relationships and daily chores can be a hassle and a headache. But your home shouldn’t be. With a few nips and tucks here and there, you can make your dwelling a relaxing oasis. According to certified feng shui consultant Laura Cerrano, of Feng Shui Manhattan, the practice helps achieve a positive flow of energy in your environment and balance for the mind, body and spirit. “If you’re happy at home, it will reflect in your work and vice versa,” she told HellaWella. Cerrano shared her top feng shui tips for some quick and easy home improvements:



  • Maintain the land. According to feng shui, the energy of land is the foundation for what you build your home on. “If you take care of the land, the land will take care of you,” Cerrano said;
  • Keep it clean and neat, clearing out dead leaves and debris;
  • Keep the pathway leading up to your front door clutter-free. Make sure your pathway is lit. This is an opportunity to bring in some eco-friendly elements with solar lighting; and
  • A curvy pathway is ideal. If you have a straight path, planting flowers on either side can soften the flow of energy.



  • Clean up. The No. 1 issue, according to Cerrano, is living in too much clutter and excess materials. Donate or throw out things you don’t use or need.



  • This room is seen as a huge drain, Cerrano said. “All the direction of energy is going down”;
  • Close the door. Leaving it open is symbolic of energy being pulled to the drain;
  • Keep the toilet seat down;
  • Think of your bathroom as a spa;
  • Use such colors as earth tones to enhance the space. Accents of green represent wood and foliage, so hang images of woodlands or plants. “When you think of water, it drains down,” according to Cerrano, “while trees grow upward.” This brings in the element of yin and yang, or balance; and
  • Bring in a live or silk plant.



  • Make sure the front door maintains a commanding position so you can see who is coming in, physically and energetically;
  • Use a wooden frame and headboard. The element of wood represents support;
  • Create balance with two same-sized nightstands on either side of the bed. On top of each nightstand, place two same-sized lamps;
  • Keep the space underneath the bed clear if you can (unless you live in a small apartment). If you need to store items there, make sure it’s soft material, such as clothing. “When we sleep, energy rises up,” according to Cerrano. Don’t keep weights to work out with, shoes, sneakers, sharp objects and documents (like a will) under the bed;
  • Keep electronics out of the bedroom, although that can be negotiated;
  • When it comes to mirrors, Feng Shui experts are divided. Some say have them, while others advise against them. Whatever you choose, remember that whatever a mirror reflects is intensified. Don’t let it hit a blank wall, but rather have it reflect something like a picture, you and your partner, or light coming through a window; and
  • Keep blinds closed when you sleep, and open them when you’re awake.



  • Use earth tones, including yellow. Enhance the space with a little red to stimulate appetite and healthy eating;
  • Keep out a bowl of fruit, which is a sign of abundance for health;
  • Put out some plants, such as bamboo to keep it basic (Click here for HellaWella's Top 5 creative gardening tips); and
  • Cabinet tops are a good place for such items as fake silk vines and wine bottles.


Living room

  • Same as the bedroom, choose a commanding position for the door;
  • Place a side table on either side of the couch;
  • Keep the room light and airy, and don’t weigh down the center;
  • The living room is a sociable area, so put out a bowl of fruit or candy and board games or card games; and
  • Make sure the furniture isn’t blocking hallways or sticking out toward the door.


Studio/small apartment

  • Intentionally designate areas for your bedroom and living area. You can use Japanese screens or curtains, but some like it open; and
  • Keep a nice flow.