Plum Orchard Apartment’s Living Guide #3: How to Apply Feng Shui Decorating in an Apartment


Apartment interior decorating has become an art. People want their apartments to feel comfortable and to look modern and stylish, and uncluttered. Following feng shui principles is a great way to accomplish that. Here are a few easy tricks to apply feng shui principles in your San Jose 1- or 2-bedroom apartment.

What is Feng Shui?

Simply put, feng shui is a way of arranging the pieces in your home to create a sense of balance, mimicking the natural world. The idea is to place everything in your home in alignment with the natural flow of energy, creating a peaceful, functional environment that feels harmonious. 

There’s an entire school of thought around the practice of feng shui, but there are a few principles you can easily apply in your apartment to help your space feel more functional and natural. When done correctly, this can be an effective way to make a space feel like home.

Arrange Furniture with the Command Position in Mind

The command position is the most desirable, most comfortable part of a given room. It’s where you want to spend most of your time. You can probably naturally identify a room’s command position, even if the term is new to you, without even trying. You wouldn’t want to sit with your back directly to a door or window, right? You’d catch yourself looking over your shoulder constantly. That’s the command position at work.

Most often, the command position is the spot furthest from the door and not in direct line with it, but where the door is still visible. To identify the command position, try clearing a room of all its furniture and feeling what spot feels most comfortable. You want the most essential piece of furniture there, the one you’ll spend the most time using. In an office, that’s the desk. In a bedroom, it’s the bed. In the living room, it’s the couch. Let that guide the rest of your decorating choices. 

Leave High-Traffic Areas Open

This sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised how often people arrange furniture in ways that make it hard to navigate a space. Don’t put bulky things in the middle of walkways, for example. Think about how you move through a room naturally. Arrange your furniture and decorations, so they facilitate that natural movement.

Live Plants

Humans are naturally drawn to the outdoors, so bringing greenery into your space is a simple way to help yourself feel more comfortable on a primal level. Avoid dried or dead plants (though fake plants are okay if they look natural). 

Let in the Light

Your home’s windows are its connection to the natural world. When possible, leave your blinds open to let in natural light. Keep your windows often open to create airflow and to freshen the air. This is an easy way to encourage positive energy flow and to breathe life into a space.

Keep it Simple

Overcrowding a space creates negative energy and makes it hard to move through your home. There’s nothing worse than having to tiptoe around a too-large kitchen table or stubbing your toe on a coffee table that constantly gets in the way.

Choose your furniture pieces carefully. Measure them before you buy them so you can make sure you’re not bringing something too large into your home. And if a piece of furniture simply isn’t working in the space, let it go. Furniture is there to serve you, not the other way around.

Get Rid of Excess Clutter

This is another feng shui principle that probably feels completely accurate whether or not you’re a big believer in energy flow. Clutter weighs you down, makes you tired, and makes it exhausting to be in your home.

Do everything you can to keep your apartment clear of excess clutter. If you have any extra items you don’t use frequently, donate them, sell them, pack them away, or put them in a storage unit – anything to keep your possessions from taking over your life.

That doesn’t mean you have to adopt an entirely minimalist lifestyle. But it does mean you should be able to move through your apartment comfortably without tripping over things.

Create Separate Spaces

Feng shui categorizes rooms as being having either yin or yang energy. Yin spaces are rest-oriented and private, like a bedroom or bathroom. Yang areas are more active and public, like living rooms or offices.

This can pose a challenge in apartments since many rooms in small spaces do double-duty – especially during COVID. Your bedroom might double as your home office. Your dining room might be in your living room, blurring the lines between the kitchen and the rest of the public area. Especially in 1-bedroom apartments, sometimes it feels like every room has a little bit of everything going on.

To create separate areas for public and private functions, try using partitions to allow for different energies. Screens, freestanding bookshelves, curtains, and area rugs are affordable and straightforward ways to help define spaces. 

Define the Entryway

In feng shui, a home’s front door is called the “mouth of qi” because it’s where energy enters and leaves your home. Small apartments often have the entryway opening right in the middle of the kitchen or living room instead of having a complete foyer, which can pose a challenge.

To create a defined entryway, try these ideas:

  • Use a divider or partition to create a foyer
  • Place a mirror or 2 in strategic locations near the door to create the illusion of a more spacious entryway
  • Use a doormat or rug to delineate the area by the door

Applying feng shui principles to your apartment doesn’t have to mean a whole redecorating overhaul. Find what works in your space and, with just a few tweaks, you can find yourself in an apartment that feels like much more of a home! If you’re still looking for the perfect apartment to apply your feng shui knowledge – visit us at 

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