Feng Shui for Small Spaces 2019

Feng Shui Fountain
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What is Feng Shui? 

(Updated 5/03/2019)

The easiest definition I’ve found is in the Cambridge British English Dictionary.

Feng Shui is  “an ancient Chinese belief that the way your house is built or the way that you arrange objects affects your success, health, and happiness.”

Feng Shui FountainThis philosophy is especially important in small spaces.

I know for sure that when I’m disorganized, or my living space or office space is messy, I feel restless and have a difficult time concentrating on whatever task is at hand.

I’ve always been that way and it wasn’t until I started reading about the practice of Feng Shui that I recognized it as a solution to this dilemma!

Sometimes we think that we need more space and that will solve our problem or messiness or disorganization.  That’s simply not the case.

“Less is more” is a valid theme for small space living.

So here are 6 tips that help me and I hope will help you:

1. Keep the room clear of clutter by putting things away in their proper places when you’ve finished using them.  That’s the number one tip that keeps me sane!

2. Use mirrors to reflect the things that you love and to bring more light into your space.  Keep the mirrors clean, by the way, so the positive energy flows easily.

3. If your space is an open loft or studio apartment, it’s beneficial to separate the various areas for working, relaxing and sleeping, for example. Area rugs are great for defining a living or dining space. Living plants are also good choices. A tall plant or two not only will define a space and offer privacy, but living plants also help improve air quality.

4. Keep pathways clear of clutter, especially the entry. Good energy needs to flow throughout your home.

5. Use one important piece of furniture or artwork as a focal point which will give the positive energy or chi, a place to rest.

6. Try to incorporate the five elements of feng shui into your decor.

The five elements are fire, water, wood, metal, and earth.

One simple way to do that is by using their corresponding colors in your decor.


Fire: reds, oranges, etc. 

Water: shades of blue

Wood: greens or purples

Metal: silver, gray, black, white

Earth: shades of brown or beige

Living Color BookMy Go-To Book for Answers to Color Questions

Living Color – Feng Shui and the Art of Color

This book is a beautifully illustrated 176-page guide to colors for pretty much everything in your home. You’ll find answers to all of your questions about the best color for your sofa or wall colors and what colors should you feature in your garden? What colors should you wear?

Add a little Feng Shui here & there in your home. How about a Money Toad?

Etsy has lots of fun accessories with a Feng Shui flair. One of the most popular accessories is the three-legged Money Toad or Money Frog. Here’s how Wikipedia describes this good luck feature:

The Jin Chan, also called Chan Chu or “Zhaocai Chan Chu”, is most commonly translated as “Money Toad” or “Money Frog”. It represents a popular Feng Shui charm for prosperity. This mythical creature is said to appear during the full moon, near houses or businesses that will soon receive good news.
I have a money frog just like this one in my house! I’ve had it for years and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. Some of them have a coin in their mouth as an offering to the homeowner. Mine doesn’t but I love it, anyway. Frogs and toads are symbolic of water in Chinese folklore.  And water is symbolic of wealth. I can use all the wealth feng shui I can get!

Feng Shui Ideas for Living Rooms (Video)

This little four-minute video doesn’t really address how each slide demonstrates Feng Shui elements in each living room but while you’re watching it, see if you can spot some elements like colors that echo the five elements (Fire, Water, Wood, Metal, Earth) and how they relate to each other.

Some of the living rooms are large and some are small but each one has something to offer. For example, I like the acrylic or glass coffee tables that seem to disappear in the room making the room seem larger than it is.

Tip: I love watching videos like this more than once. Each time I see different perspectives and sometimes I’m looking for something special like ideas for decorating bookshelves or coffee tables or maybe I’m looking for wall colors or area rugs.

Here’s that video…enjoy!

Rules for Money Frog placement

There are some important “rules” for placing your money toad in the most auspicious spot in your home.  And there are places you should NEVER put this good luck symbol.
  1. Place it in your money or wealth area which is typically the corner diagonally opposite of the front door.
  2. You can also have a second money frog closer to the front door but you must have it facing the inside of the house.
  3. Never put a money frog in the bathroom, bedroom or kitchen.
  4. Always have it placed upon a raised surface and never on the floor.
  5. Don’t place your money frog in the middle of the room or in a traffic path or under a window.

Are you ready to learn more?

If you’d like to learn more about the peace and harmony you can achieve using feng shui, here are some sites you might want to visit:

You might want to read my post on Wabi Sabi Decorating in 2018.  Wabi Sabi is a Japanese design philosophy that’s hugely popular now. It’s a fun read, too.

Your thoughts?

Do you have a favorite feng shui practice? Please let us know in the comments and do include photos if you like!

Thanks for stopping by!

Cheryl K Logo

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18 thoughts on “Feng Shui for Small Spaces 2019

  1. Ali Batuhan Oguz says:

    I actually don’t believe in it. For the sake of feng shui, I saw associations, divorces, divergences and troubles. I watched with astonishing results of feng shui. Most of the people who love feng shui are women. I realized that in this world order.The ideas I learned from reading are as follows: bed should not look at the door, the bottom of the bed must be empty, toilet seat has to be closed, there should not be any electronic goods in the bedroom etc… chi of those who do not follow these rules is deteriorating, vital is destroyed. That’s enough stress.

    • CherylK says:

      I totally understand and respect your thought process. If a person is stressed out trying to conform to the principles of Feng Shui, that’s not a good thing. 

      I’m the kind of person who can’t think clearly if everything is a mess…all of the feng shui principles work for me. They’re guidelines more than rules. I have no problem making sure the toilet seat is closed and keeping electronic good out of the bedroom, for example. I like structure. For me that’s less stress, not more!

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Dwilli says:


    Feng Shui, is not anything I am familiar with, but your introduction of its principles and concepts are very interesting and I want to know more about it. I’d like to think I am fairly organized, as a collector of sorts being organized is a must. After reading your article about the Feng Shui principles, concepts for small spaces, and using the 6 tips you offered, tells me I am not as organized as I thought. The color scheme concept of Feng Shui added to the decor of my home could definitely bring a flair of charm to it and the money toad maybe could bring some of that money luck too!

    Traditions and ancient principles are very interesting, thanks for an informative article.

    I got to have the money toad for sure!


    • CherylK says:

      Thanks, Diane, for your great comments. 

      If you’re like me, sometimes you just feel like something is “off”. Often it’s that a room needs to be rearranged or that it’s too crowded. Once I figure it out, I feel good! I think of Feng Shui as a guide for creating peace of mind!

      I hope you get a money toad! If’s fun and who knows…you might just end up with an unexpecte windfall! I haven’t, yet, but I’m thinking positive!

  3. Cheri says:

    Cheryl I just love your site, and your Feng Shui article is a good refresher for me. When I lived in a larger space, I paid more attention to the general principles of Feng Shui and found they did improve the overall “feel” of my home. I have recently downsized to a small (self-built) cabin of 480 sf that I share with my husband and our small dog, and we are still struggling to “get things flowing properly” in our new space. Feng Shui can be overwhelming to learn (or so I found), so touching on a few general ideas one can easily implement is, I think, absolutely perfect!  I also heartily agree with your helpful tips, especially the first one, but I wonder…do you have any suggestions for how to get a spouse to comply?! haha That could be a whole website itself, I know. 😉  I have never felt I had a good “sense” for interior decor, so I will definitely take advantage of the insights you’re offering on your site because too often I am completely stumped for ideas on how to make our tiny, very functional (of necessity) space also feel cozy and home-like. I’m guessing I’m going to find great tidbits that will vastly improve our “small space living” experience as I peruse your site and gather your insights. Thank you in advance! 

    • CherylK says:

      Cheri, I’m envious of your 480 sf cabin! I think I could live happily in a space that size. It’s important to maximize the space you have and practicing minimalism is a good start. And once you figure out the flow, so to speak, you’ll feel great. I think your spouse will be on board once he sees that you’re making smart decisions.

      Believe it or not, there really is a lot of give and take with feng shui and I personally believe that how the space feels is more important than following a “rule.” I pay close attention to my “gut feelings”. Making it cozy and home-like might just mean putting a rug on the floor and having a warm color as an accent in the space. 

      I don’t know the layout or floor plan of your cabin but you can find some inspiration if you check out this Apartment Therapy post on decorating in 500 sq or less. https://www.apartmenttherapy.c… 

      I’ll work on a post about tiny houses as soon as I can fit it into my schedule so stay tuned!

  4. Vanna Denham says:

    Hello Cheryl,

    I am really happy to see this post “What is Feng Shui? ”  My daughter is always talking about Feng Shui at her house and insists that I should arrange things differently in my home as well.  I love mirrors and the flow inside my house is good but my garage is a disaster.  Mainly because my daughter put all of her clutter in my garage. Lol.

    I really do appreciate this article.  Happy Holidays!

    Vanna Pearl

    • CherylK says:

      Well, thank you, Vanna! I’ve always said that if the flow in the house is good, you’ve probably got good chi. Sorry about your garage! Been there, done that! Maybe you could talk your daughter into spending a day organizing your garage! It’ll make her feel good and help you out, too!

  5. Alisha says:

    I truly believe in this practice and the way your environment can impact your life. I will absolutely have to look into living color! I am a huge fan of different bold colors throughout to set the mood and energy for each room. Feng Shui is  a new introduction for me but being a spiritual person this could easily help me grow and expand. Do you personally practice?

    • CherylK says:

      Hi Alisha! I think a lot of people practice feng shui…they just don’t know that’s what it is! We all want our living spaces to be comfortable and organized and do our best to accomplish that. Having a knowledge of feng shui is one way to help achieve that balance.

      Being spiritual, for example, gives you that sense of good chi. If I’m feeling upbeat and peaceful, I know I’ve got things in order and when I feel restless or anxious, something needs to be tweaked. It’s one of the ways I practice.

      Give it a chance and I do think it’ll help you grow and expand. Thank you so much for visiting.

  6. Mark Baker says:

    Hi Cheryl 

    I don’t live in a huge apartment but I have been thinking about moving into a smaller home for some time. Over the years I have learned to become a bit of a minimalist and I have been much happier and more at peace. 

    I currently incorporate all of your six wonderful Feng Shui tips into the way I approach my space and can definitely say they are all effective. Like you, I am a stickler for #1.  

    I also have a simple criteria for deciding whether I keep something or buy something new too – either it has to be functional and used or it has to be so aesthetically beautiful that I can’t live without it. Anything else is declined. 🙂 

    Thanks for the great read!


    • CherylK says:

      Hi Mark,

      I’ve downsized a couple of times and have learned something useful each time. It’s a learning process, for sure. It’s fun to meet someone who “gets it!” 

      I like your criteria for deciding what stays and what doesn’t.  Marie Kondo who’s known as the guru of tidiness has written about this in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up so you’re in good company!

      If you do decide to move into a smaller home, there’s a useful checklist to use when your looking. It’s at tthis post: Moving Into a Small Space?

      Thanks so much for the great comments!

  7. Rob S. says:

    I never knew what Feng Shui was before. It’s interesting that it’s based on how your home is built and how you arrange objects.

    I don’t like clutter because I feel that I have less space if things are cluttered.I like the facts about the five elements. I have to start looking into and changing things according to these elements.

    Colors and how they are arranged definitely make a difference in the appearance of your home.How often do you suggest changing things up a bit?

    • CherylK says:

      Rob, welcome to the world of Feng shui. It all begins with clearing clutter so you’ve got a great start!  As for the five elements, you likely have some of them in place, already. Just look around to see where you might be missing an element or two. You can easily complete the bagua by adding that color in some small way.

      For example, in my living room I have all of the elements…Wood furniture with some green upholstery; Water element (blue) in a two pieces of porcelain that belonged to my mother; there’s the Fire element (red) on some of the books on my bookshelves and in decorator pillows on my couch; I have a side table with wrought iron legs so that’s the Metal element; and Earth is reflected in my beige sofa and area rug.

      I don’t change my arrangements often but I do change accessories now and then seasonally just to keep things fresh. 

      Thank you for visiting and I’m glad you enjoyed the post!

  8. Matt's Mom says:

    Oh my gosh this was very informative.  First I want to say that I did not really know what feng shui was until I read your post.  Funny, though I already follow all of the rules you listed, and if I didn’t I think I would go crazy in my own home.  I don’t have a money frog or money toad, but I take it that they help bring wealth?  Is this correct?  If so, I will be getting one for sure.  I do like them and they would fit with my decor.  Thanks for all the great information.

    • CherylK says:

      So glad you found it interesting!  You know, a lot of people don’t even realize that they’re following the principles of feng shui. That’s because when things are in order and you’re feeling comfortable with your home, you’ve achieved chi or good energy.

      I love my money toad not because it has brought me great riches…it hasn’t (yet)…but because it brings me joy!

      You might want to read my post on Wabi-Sabi Decorating in 2018. It’s an ancient design trend that’s getting a lot of attention, these days. It’s a way to achieve coziness or that homey feeling in your home but no clutter allowed. Let me know what you think.

      Thank you so much for stopping by!

  9. Nick says:

    I didn’t know much about Feng Shui until reading this, so this was very informative and fascinating. I have a messy bedroom, so I can definitely utilize this information.

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