From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day (and for some of us, make that through Three King’s Day on January 6), there is an abundance of opportunities for celebrating with family and friends. While that should be a happy prospect, sometimes these gatherings can become a bit filled with drama due to tensions that come to the fore when each group confronts the particular dysfunctions that become all too obvious when in close quarters and a little in vino veritas is thrown in the mix! So is there a way to encourage more harmonious holiday gatherings through home design? Yes! You can use the ancient design principles of Feng Shui to harmonize your fiesta. Based on the concept that everything, including ourselves and our surroundings, are made up of energy particles vibrating at different rates, following are some ideas to get that energy synchronized for a great holiday experience.
In Feng Shui, the dining room is a key area for encouraging positive interactions, especially with family. For harmonious gatherings when you sit together for a meal, start with the dining table. A round, oval or rectangular table with curved edges is best (energy flows better around curves), but a lot depends on the size of the room you are working with – you don’t want people to feel cramped and often round tables take up a lot of space. If you have a large family to accommodate, for example, the oblong or rectangular tables may work better. If the table being used has sharp corners, soften them by draping the table with a tablecloth. Dining chairs should make everyone feel supported and have a nice high back that offers security to the person seated – especially important for those whose back has to be to either a window or the entry door to the dining space. Your choice of chairs can make a big difference in how insecure or attack-prone people feel as they gather at your spread.
A further Feng Shui consideration to promote holiday harmony is the color palette you utilize in your décor. Avoid an overpowering red and white decorating scheme for your holiday dining, since both these colors are strong “yang” energy and will have a tendency to generate heated discussions at the table. Green, which is the color primarily associated with Family in Feng Shui, is a safer choice and will promote more heart-centered communications. Nonetheless, you can strive to create a “5 Elements” balance in the dining room by ensuring that each of the following are represented in some way within your décor: Fire (candles, red accents, pyramid or animal shapes), Metal (cutlery, charger plates and other metal accents, metallic colors or fabrics, the color white), Water (mirrored accessories, glassware, water-filled vases or floating candle holders, black-colored accents), Wood (the dining table or decorative items may be composed from wood, elements in centerpieces involving evergreens and other plants or branches, the color green, fruit-filled cornucopia baskets, pinecones) and Earth (ceramic and porcelain pieces, earth-potted table top trees or poinsettias, yellow or earth-tone colors).
Of course, Feng Shui principles can be applied to other rooms in the house and there are traditional “Feng Shui cures” and adjustments that can be made to correlate with each part of the floor plan in your home that is representative of Family energy, as well as for a good energy flow overall. But even if you just start with the above tips and keep it simple, you will be setting the stage for a more harmonious, happy holiday season!
Julie Anna Alvarez is a Feng Shui expert serving residential and business clients for over a decade as owner of Happy Chi Solutions Feng Shui Consulting & Seminars. She participated in the 1st CasaLatina Home Expo. For more information visit www.HappyChiSolutions.com or email JAA@HappyChiSolutions.com.