Is Feng Shui Effective?

Jon Fesmire |

Feng shui practitioners claim that the practice is a science. However, feng shui is based on geometry, Chinese astrology, and the idea that objects have spiritual forces that need to be harmonized. A master of feng shui seeks to ensure that chi energy flows well in a home.

The idea of arranging things using geometry is appealing. The golden mean, a ratio that appears throughout nature, has been used for millennia in artwork and architecture to make such works aesthetically pleasing. Is science involved here? Perhaps a little.

As for chi, there is simply no scientific evidence it exists, and the same is true of the idea that objects contain spiritual forces.

In practice, different feng shui masters will arrange rooms in vastly different ways, another demonstration that this is not science. Feng shui was started in the ninth century B.C., long before the advent of the scientific method. Back then, people were certainly trying to figure out how things worked, but this involved things like astrology and a lot of untested assumptions.

Today, studies have shown that astrology has the same predictive power as a random selection. In other words, none at all. Using it, in the form of feng shui, to determine what’s best in a home is a crapshoot at best. It’s just as likely, in its use of “auspicious placement,” to be detrimental as beneficial.

A Better Artistic Approach

Instead of hiring a feng shui master, hire an interior designer, or read up on interior design yourself. You can find many great tips with a simple Google search.

Here are some tips gleaned from the web. Make sure it’s easy to walk where you need to in the house without bumping, unexpectedly, into things. There should be plenty of clear paths. Put things you need sometimes, but not all the time, in self storage. This includes off-season clothing and sports equipment, business inventory, and more. Use your vertical space wisely with good shelving. Pick a style of decore you like and use mostly that. Add some attractive art to the walls.

These are just a few ideas. Do some research or buy an interior decorating book and you’ll discover a lot more.

A Better Scientific Approach

We especially wanted to bring to your attention something called “passive design.” This is a design system with an actual scientific approach. It does not focus on aesthetics, but on practicality, which is why a combination of good old interior decorating and passive design can be beneficial to your home.

Often, passive design starts with the very architecture of a home. That’s because this methodology focuses on using the form a home takes, along with furniture placement, and more, to maintain a comfortable temperature range within the home. It reduces the need for heating and air conditioning, saving residents money.

You can also learn more about passive design online, and some areas have consultants who specialize in it.

We hope this helps you to design the interior of your home in a way that is pleasing to you and that makes you comfortable. For more tips on cleaning and organization, check out our blog.