Before moving into your dream home, you may want to set the tone with your hopes for future happiness.
“Gather everyone who will live in the house, light some sage and walk through the new home while you say your intentions aloud for what you want to happen in the space and for yourselves,” says Laura Benko, founder of the Holistic Home School of Feng Shui and author of The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind, Body, Spirit, Space. “Visualize your home filled with golden light, lots of laughter, good health, success and joy. Visualize whatever makes you happy — from a lively house filled with friends and family to a calming oasis that heals and restores.”
If your builder allows it, you can do “intention painting” before the final coat of paint goes on your walls, suggests Mina Fies, CEO of Synergy Design and Construction in Reston, Va.
“Use chalk or light-colored paint to write your goals for your home or for that room, such as ‘creativity’ or ‘family’ or ‘abundance,’” she suggests. “Take a photo as a memento if you want, but most important is that you and your family know the words are there.”
An intention ritual, which is part of feng shui, can connect your spirituality with your home. While many people associate the term “feng shui” with strict rules about everything from a home’s location to its layout, many of today’s feng shui experts take a more relaxed approach to incorporating its principles into home design.
“As practiced today, feng shui is a series of techniques used to optimize your living environment to achieve success,” says Alex Stark, a feng shui expert and consultant. “If your goals for your home are to have prosperity, harmony, a happy marriage and a good family life, there’s a constellation of factors that can influence those things such as the layout of your home, the décor and the energy, which is basically what your home feels like.”
Other elements of feng shui can be incorporated at different stages of your move into your new home.
Before Finalizing Your Home Choice
If you have a choice, positioning your home to face east is best for prosperity and vitality, says Stark. “Avoid choosing a floor plan with a straight sightline from the front door to the back,” he says. “Architects like it and it’s exciting, but it’s not great for having balance in your life.”
In your kitchen as well as other rooms in your house, it’s best to position appliances and furniture so you don’t have your back to the door, says Benko.
“An ideal kitchen layout would be with the stove on an island so that you can see who is coming at you more easily,” she says. “A preferred bedroom layout is where the bed is positioned firmly up against a wall — hopefully a non-entry wall — so that you can see the greatest expanse of the room and clearly see the entrance. Believe it or not, being in this commanding position gives you an evolutionary edge, a primordial advantage, by not being surprised or feeling vulnerable.”
When choosing finishes, Fies recommends using elements such as wood, fire, water and earth. For example, in a modern house with lots of metal, it’s a good idea to bring in some wood.
“You can also bring in these elements with color,” Fies says. “For example, fire brings energy into your home and is associated with the color red. I have lots of energy, so I put blues and greens in my office to slow me down. I can also light a candle if I want to bring in more energy.”
Moving into Your New Home
A newly built home offers a clean slate, says Benko. “Don’t put pressure on yourself to have your home fully done right at move in,” she adds. “You need time to just be in the space. Notice the sunlight patterns, how you’re living in the space and what would help you dwell more efficiently. You’d be surprised how simple things like where you have the recycling bins, a bath robe hook or lamps might change over time.”
Don’t bring your old furniture to your new house if you don’t like it; only surround yourself with things that make you feel good, recommends Fies.
Start with your foyer and make sure it’s welcoming, suggests Stark. “Have a place where you drop off things, so you can leave the street behind you and recognize that you’re entering your comfortable place,” he says. “Signal who you are with family portraits or art that you find inspiring. Soften the energy with wood furniture or, if you have a metal table, place a painting with a soft combination of colors above it. The more stressful your life is, the softer your foyer should be.”
A lot of feng shui, says Fies, is intuitive and based on what works for you, such as the placement of your furniture for good energy flow.
Maintaining Your Home
Some of what makes a home feel good is the lack of clutter, says Stark. “Clutter is a form of disorder, so you can’t make a decision in the middle of it,” he says. “Our mantra is ‘use it, love it or lose it.’ We know things like a vacuum cleaner aren’t always beautiful, but they are necessary. Outside of those things, you should only have things in your home that you love.”
Another feng shui mantra, “What you see from your bed, your couch or your dining table is what you will become,” also suggests that it is best to de-clutter your space and to create a place that’s neat, organized and serene, adds Stark.
“Regularly bring flowers or plants into your home,” Benko says. “Flowers are lively reminders of the beauty from this planet and are an instant way to add fresh energy in your home.”
Regardless of whether you follow the exact principles of feng shui, your home should be in harmony with your nature and the nature that surrounds it.
Michele Lerner is an award-winning freelance writer, editor and author who has been writing about real estate, personal finance and business topics for more than two decades.