‘Shaping up’ your home experience

By Alice Inoue Posted in: Go Ask AliceImprove

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: I am in the process of shopping for a home. I noticed that some homes immediately feel comfortable to me, while others feel uninviting. Could this be feng shui related?

One simple concept I can share is about the ratio of curves to straight lines in the space. This “straight” to “curved” line ratio makes a difference in the feel of an environment and determines how warm and welcoming your experience is.

The feng shui of curves

Feng shui is a philosophy based on nature, and one of its goals is to bring the essence of nature into the home. In nature, pretty much everything has a curve. Straight edges are man-made and considered “unnatural” in feng shui. Implementing curves in a home, mimicking that which you find in nature, introduces comfort and ease into the environment.

In feng shui, straight lines are considered more “masculine” and curves more “feminine.” Both are necessary to create an environment that provides a foundation of balance. Masculine energy is associated more with structure, hardness, strength, mental sharpness, linearity, formality and coolness, whereas feminine energy is considered more warm, nurturing, loving, relaxing and emotional. When a space has a nice mix of both, we tend to feel good because the room speaks to the complementary opposites of what we need within us.

A linear room versus a curvy room

Imagine that a room you step into has predominantly straight lines. Can you see how it would give off the vibe of being more stiff and formal, harder to relax in? Think of how it would feel to kick back and relax in a predominantly linear living room with a rectangular table and a hard, boxy sofa. Even if your host said, “r elax,” it would likely be hard to do so.

On the other hand, if you were escorted into a room with more curves in the environment, a round table, a soft, curvy, fl uffy sofa, and big bean bag chairs randomly scattered around, it would have an entirely different feel — much easier to relax in.

Here are a few additional insights into lines:

The straight

Horizontal lines give a sense of tranquility and can visually expand a space, making it look wider or longer than it is, but too many horizontal lines can create boredom.

Vertical lines convey strength and stability. However, too many vertical lines can create feelings of uneasiness or insecurity.

The angular

Diagonal lines in the environment, created by angling furniture or using them in design structures, suggest movement, energy and action, but too many angles can be over-stimulating and tiresome.

The curved

Curved lines provide ease, softness and balance, giving a comforting quality to the environment. Yet too many curved lines might not only be viewed as too feminine, it creates a space in which it is difficult to focus and fully engage the mind also.

Do you have a question for Alice? If so, send it to alice@yourhappinessu.com. Alice Inoue owns Happiness U, a lifestyle studio located at SALT Kakaako where anyone can find positive inspiration and high-level guidance to minimize stress and optimize modern day life! YourHappinessU.com.