Those words—feng shui—evoke visions of orderly, balanced rooms filled with light and tastefully placed natural elements. Most of us are vague on what it means and what it has to do with home decor, but we're intrigued!
So what is feng shui and what does it have to do with your home? Based on ancient Chinese philosophy going back over 2000 years, feng shui is the art of arranging our living spaces to achieve balance, harmony, beauty, and the flow of good energy.
Design Principles to Make Your Space the Best It Can Be
You don't have to buy into the worldview behind feng shui to resonate with the design principles that emerge from it. Feng shui sees people and nature as inseparably connected and assumes that we will be more comfortable and successful when we live in harmony with it. That's something we can all agree with even if we're not ready to dive deep into the ancient beliefs behind it. The effects of climate change that we're living with have tuned us into how much we need to cooperate with nature.
Feng shui brings us a new awareness of how the use of light, shape, color, and placement impacts our spaces. It welcomes natural and installed lighting, earthy and light colors, freedom from clutter, and a balance of natural elements to bring our rooms to life.
Feng Shui Mirrors - Directing Light and Energy
We all know that mirrors draw in light and make areas appear more spacious. Feng shui adds to that awareness a need for mirrors to be carefully placed. Pay attention to what a mirror is going to reflect—you want a beautiful garden view, but probably not a reflection of the unfinished work on your desk!
A mirror directly opposite your front entry door can be jarring, but on a wall next to the door or perpendicular to it, that same mirror can be welcoming, useful, and invite you further in.
Mirrors in feng shui that are good quality and clear create the best vibe according to the philosophy, so cracks, chips, or cloudy mirrors are to be avoided. Distortions from glass that isn't flat are also discouraged.
A Feng Shui Bathroom
Bathrooms are viewed as places where energy is escaping down the drain, so feng shui principles include keeping toilet lids shut and bathroom doors closed. Plants are viewed as good additions to bathrooms because they bring the life and upward energy of growing things. Some popular choices are orchids, snake plants, ferns, pathos, and bamboo. Plants tend to do well in bathrooms because of the humidity.
Plants have the added advantage of purifying the air. Cleanliness and purity are very important in feng shui, which literally means “wind-water.” Deep cleaning bathrooms regularly, ventilating them well, getting rid of clutter, and using sustainable, non-toxic products all contribute to the health of your space. Most of us instinctively want a clean space for cleaning our bodies.
Bathroom Colors - Feng Shui Elements
Feng shui is founded on the principle that everything is made up of five elements—earth, metal, water, wood, and fire.
Obviously, the water element dominates in bathrooms. Water rejuvenates and relaxes. It flows freely but can have incredible force. We can emphasize this element in our bathrooms with fluid, wavy-shaped furniture and accessories. Mirrors are also connected to the water element, being reflective.
If you want to balance your bathrooms with other elements, consider bringing in objects or colors that symbolize them.
Add the wood element, symbolic of life and growth, with plants, floral patterns, or light greens or blues on the walls. Mirrors on bathroom walls can be framed with wood-toned MirrorMate frames, such as the Cherokee Mocha Walnut Frame. Adding a frame to a wall-mounted mirror can turn what was only useful into a decorative focal point.
Metal represents strength, precision, and clarity. We bring metal into bathrooms with fixtures and can add more with metal light fixtures and metal mirror frames, such as Mirrormate's Broadway Brushed Brass Slim Frame. Using a mirror frame to echo the type of metal used in fixtures, or a featured color in your decor, really adds to the aesthetic appeal of your bathroom.
The earth element brings stability and warmth to a space. Introducing brown, yellow, and orange colors, earthenware vases, earth-toned textiles, and stone surfaces like marble or travertine all bring the grounding earth element into your bathroom. Your MirrorMate choice could enhance this element with a Cherokee Montauk Sand Frame on a square mirror.
Fire is associated in feng shui with motivation, passion, and inspiration. Bring this element into your bathroom with red or bright orange tones, triangular shapes, and candles. Nothing elevates the relaxing experience of a long bath like the soft lighting of candles.
Feng shui bathroom colors and textures vary depending on the element you want to introduce, but most bathrooms with good feng shui will feature white, pastels, or earth tones as the dominant colors. They will have good lighting, natural where possible, and probably not just overhead. Lighting incorporated into mirrors or sconces next to mirrors can be very helpful.
There will be space to move easily without obstacles in the way, and most items will be stored out of sight to keep a peaceful, uncluttered look. Neglected spaces that are allowed to become dirty or cluttered are associated with a sense of being stuck, unable to move forward, according to feng shui principles.
Mirrors in Other Rooms
Another feng shui concept to keep in mind is our need for visibility. We tend to feel safest and most in control when we can see what's coming at us. That's why we often feel most comfortable when we're sitting at our desks in a chair facing the door. The same goes for when we're at the stove cooking or lying in bed. If we can't see the entrance to the room in any of those places, we can use mirrors to create a reflection that we can see.
Another use of mirrors is to magnify the good things in our lives. A mirror near our dining room table can reflect our carefully prepared food and table decorations. A mirror above our mantle can double the appearance of the people in it, giving the room a more party-like atmosphere.
Mirrors bring more light and energy to transitional spaces too—along hallways or on a stairway landing. They can help narrow spaces to appear wider.
Feng shui philosophy urges that mirrors in bedrooms be placed carefully. A mirror reflecting the bed is supposedly a drain on the energy of the occupant. Whether or not you believe that, it's easy to see how a mirror's added light and energy could make it harder to sleep for some people.
In whatever room you place mirrors, they can bring positive energy, and their shapes and frames can bring in other elements you want to emphasize.
MirrorMate's Wide Selection
Over 70 varieties of quality wall mirror frames in varying colors, widths, and styles are available now from MirrorMate. Whether you want to focus on feng shui principles, match the color of your vanity, or stick with a style such as modern or coastal, MirrorMate has the frame for you.