Feng Shui your living room
Extract from The Feng Shui Doctor by Paul Darby (£9.99, Duncan Baird Publishers)
The chi in a living room needs to be balanced toward lively yang energy, to support pleasure and social activities. Make sure that you have good chi coming into the room, then let it circulate freely. Strong shapes, plants, clocks and ornaments can all help to enhance the chi and make your living room, in feng shui terms, 'a place of brightness'.
Laying out your living room
Living rooms need to be light and bright. Allow as much natural light as possible into the room. Lights and lamps around the room, especially uplighters, will move the chi upward, turning it from yin to yang. However, avoid having large ceiling-mounted lights directly above people's heads, if possible; they make the yang energy too dominant and harsh.
To keep the chi flowing freely, position your furniture around the edges of the room. Leave the centre (tai chi), or 'earthpot', clear, except perhaps for a low coffee table, placed so that it isn't blocking the dead centre of the room.
Place chairs and sofas against solid walls to make their occupants feel secure. In feng shui, seats shouldn't have their backs to doors or windows, because they leave the occupants in a vulnerable position. Make sure there's plenty of space around the furniture, because overcrowding can block the flow of chi.
Improving problem areas
To create the ideal flow of chi around your living room, you need to find and fix any problem areas. One common source of harmful chi comes from 'poison arrows', created by sharp edges or corners pointing at seated people. Poison arrows give off rushing energy that can make people feel tense. You can neutralize edges and corners by covering them with trailing plants.