Finding Your Feng Shui

Decorating for good fortune in 2016.

By Theresa Rolen Long   

It’s the year of the Yang Red Fire Monkey. No…no need to rush out for inoculations. I’m referencing the Chinese calendar, of course. On Feb. 4, we move into a year filled with twists, turns, highs, and lows, for the nimble monkey puts everything into flux.

Monkey years are a time to embrace change, to invent, and to be rebellious. And fire in the Chinese calendar symbolizes happiness and optimism. It’s a year of risk, travel, new friends, and technological advancements. It’s also a year of scams, illusions, distrust, and competition. Keep confidence high and poker hands hidden. And don’t be swayed or fooled. The year brings with it instabilities, so buckle up for the ride.

A good way to balance out the fire monkey and ensure a year of success is to apply feng shui principles at home. An ancient Chinese art, feng shui means wind and water and denotes balance. It studies the optimum orientation, location, and direction of water, land, and man-made structures, allowing for distribution of quality energy, or chi. Its principles can be applied in homes, businesses, gardens, and even public spaces.

Feng shui addresses five areas of your life—energy, health, wealth, love, and career. When properly implemented, it improves your life and protects from harm and misfortune.

Ba Gua map |

Ba Gua map |

The most popular style of feng shui in the U.S. uses the Ba Gua map. Ba Gua divides your home into nine sections, with the front door aligned along the bottom of the map. The map also repeats within each individual room. The sections of the map address certain areas of your life and attending to each section in your home enhances those areas. Since your home is an outward manifestation of your inner self—a metaphor of your current state of being—its condition can have both positive and negative effects on your life. Make your surroundings work for you, not against you.

Here are a few quick feng shui home tips for staying balanced and optimizing good fortune in the year of the red fire monkey:

Address your home’s entryway. West is the luckiest direction for a home to face this year. But regardless of its orientation, cleaning your front door and landing is a must. Lights should be bright and the doorbell should chime. Clean windows, touch up scuffmarks, and add new doormats and a fresh coat of paint if needed.

Blend in the right colors. Pantone’s colors of 2016 are BFFs Rose Quartz and Serenity—pale, peachy pink and light, purplish blue. These colors correlate wonderfully with fire monkey colors—reds, pinks, purples, white, and gold—which represent wellness, tranquility, order, and peace. Adding them to your home, especially in the fame and career areas, will help chill the monkey out.

Really live in your living room. Since your living room is associated with the element of fire and yang, pay heed to its “fame” section on the Ba Gua. Fireplaces, candles, tall lamps, wood tones, and lots of red touches are auspicious. Artworks relating to your life’s passions, and things you would love to be known for, are particularly lucky to have in this room, as in the southern section of every room.

Focus on feeding. Monkey, like his calendar buddies rat and dragon, loves to eat well. So tend to your kitchen and dining room. Keep your kitchen sparse of clutter and very clean, with a flourishing plant on the counter. Add soft earth tones to dining areas to aid in digestion.

Halt the mess before it accumulates. When items begin to pile up, tackle them immediately. Piles in corners and messy closets block energy flow. Clutter overwhelms and confuses the psyche, taking you off track in a tricky monkey year.

Make your bed. Solid advice even a Navy admiral gets behind, and an immediate, simple accomplishment. Be ready for anything when leaving home. Get ahead of the monkey, knowing peaceful order awaits you upon your return.

Add plants. Soft, rounded leaves on plants like jade and philodendron are feng shui favorites. Adding a plant (especially one taller than you) in the western sections of your home brings good fortune. Prune and water often, ditching dead plants and flowers. And avoid potpourri.

Clean your office. Career is important in monkey years. Clearing your desk of old, completed, impertinent work lets the monkey know you are moving forward, and you mean business! Adding bamboo by your computer ensures prosperity.

Katherine Pooley via

Katherine Pooley via

Harness the power of stones and crystals. Display stones important to your personal goals in your home’s southwest areas. Some fortunate ones this year are jade, topaz, agate, rose quartz, and gold. Metal is also important, and right on cue, dark metal furniture is trending big this year.

Licensed feng shui consultants can read the energy in your home, creating plans to optimize energy flow, health, and luck. If your interest is now peaked, I encourage you to contact one of Birmingham’s many feng shui professionals.

Create a nourishing, balanced environment at home to promote happiness, success, and harmony for you and your family. Keep your eyes on big goals this year, and don’t allow nagging details to bog you down. Be bold, brave, and a bit wild. Like the monkey, this is the year to follow your heart’s desire!

One Response to “Finding Your Feng Shui”

  1. Kevin A. says:

    Great article, Theresa. I always learn something new from you.

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