Wall art, paintings or pictures.
Whatever you call them, they are the cherry on top of the cake or the colorful toppings sprinkled on frozen yogurt that makes all the difference in interior design.
Often times, they have a much bigger design impact that an interior designer would like to admit.
Not only can lucky pictures liven up a house with stylish decoration, they can also serve a dual purpose of managing energy for feng shui.
Whether you like it or not, paintings play a feng shui role in the house in various ways.
- Enhance positive energy already residing in the space
- Weaken negative energy that inhabits the space
- Exhaust sha chi entering the house from a particular window or opening
That’s without mentioning how it can influence the moods of people in the house.
The keys to choosing and the placement of artwork on the wall consist of 4 factors:
Here are some tips on choosing feng shui pictures and painting placement.
1) Avoid elemental clashes
The 5 elements of feng shui are wood, fire, earth, metal and water.
One of their relationships with each other is the cycle of destruction.
This basically means that there is an element that destroys another according to the cycle.
Because you don’t want a clash of the elements occupying any specific area of the home, you must be mindful not to place a painting with a conflicting color to the elemental nature of the space in question.
For example, if the wall in question is in the living room which is at the west sector of the house, this space will have a metal elemental base. In this case, a red painting abstract which is a color representative of the fire element will melt down the elemental foundation of the area.
Let’s do another example.
If the bedroom is where you want to hang artwork for feng shui and the room is located in the south section of the house, then this space has a fire elemental base. In this configuration, it is not advisable at all to hang any paintings depicting water or blue in color as that represents the water element which would douse the fire. Destroying your luck for recognition and status.
If you are using a blue piece of art, then the ideal areas are at the north which is an area and direction of water, or the east and southeast which are areas of wood.
This is because water and wood are complimentary elements that are in harmony.
Also be mindful of picture frame materials in use.
Wavy frames denote water, wooden frames mean wood of course, and metal frames represent metal, etc.
2) Be careful with portraits
It is not uncommon to find portraits of monarchs or the nation’s leaders in the office or commercial buildings and spaces.
It is also not uncommon for families to hang pictures of ancestors and great grandfathers at home.
This trigram represents the patriarch who is implied as the leader of the household.
Hanging pictures here will bring about good mentor luck.
If there is a sole single portrait and it is of a female leader, then it should be placed at the Kun trigram location which is the southwest.
If you just want to hang or place family pictures for display and have no concern for patriarch luck, then the Kun area would also be a good place as this is the place for harnessing harmony, relationships and love. The hallway and stairway would also be appropriate.
3) When in doubt, go with pictures of flowers and fruits
If you find that the wall is just too empty and really needs a painting or two to spruce up the place, but just cannot decide on what objects and subjects to hang up, then the safe bet is flowers or fruits.
Flowers and fruits are subtle and gentle symbolism that don’t cause any negative influences on energy.
And they can pretty much be placed in any common areas like hallways and shared areas without looking out of place.
Flowers that generally symbolize good fortune with positive connotations include:
The most common auspicious fruits for feng shui display are oranges for prosperity, pineapples for wealth, lychees for good luck to descendants, pomegranates for filial and honorable children, and even water chestnuts.
4) Landscape art for work areas
If you are deciding on a feng shui office wall art, a painting for the home office, or one for a basic space where you work, landscape paintings are ideal.
The placement of the picture should be behind your seat so that you have the support of the landscape as if you are seated in the armchair configuration which is synonymous with the 4 celestial animals in landscape feng shui.
If you have yet to purchase the feng shui wall art, consider choosing one of a mountain. And with a wide length as if embedding a panoramic scenic view of the mountains right in the room.
Mountain paintings are as close to the pinnacle of feng shui office pictures one can get for harmony and good business luck.
Pictures of crystals and gemstones can also play this role to a lesser extent.
5) Paintings of water in front
Water represents wealth in feng shui. Oil paintings of waterfalls, streams and rivers can sometimes also be breathtaking.
So it is no wonder wall art depicting natural water like lakes and waterfalls with koi fish swimming in them are popular among feng shui enthusiasts.
While they are best placed in area of work like in front of the workstation to signify wealth being brought in, it is also suitable for common areas like the living room or dining area.
What you must take note of is that waterfall pictures for example, should always be orientated and placed in front of you.
One reason being that you would be ready to receive the wealth energy flowing in. The other reason being that water, whether active or passive, can be hazardous. So they should not be placed in a blind spot behind you.
So if you are hanging one in the living room of the apartment, situating it in a spot in front of the sofa would be a good location.
6) Open fields
Another popular favorite are pictures of open fields, lush gardens and green scenery.
There’s just something about grassy meadows and green scenery that captivates us.
But homeowners often get the placement badly wrong.
Pictures and paintings of open fields are symbolic of the bright hall where energy and natural forces gather.
This should instinctively tell you that it should be placed in front of the beholder instead of behind him.
Placing pictures of open fields behind you creates a void behind where you are seated.
An absence of a mountain for support is already bad enough, the presence of a void is even worse.
7) Animal paintings
Artwork of wild animals can be beautiful and sometimes a delight just to observe them. But they are never a good idea to have inside the house.
Even domestic pets can never be 100% tamed, let alone wild animals.
Bringing wild animals into the house can cause chaos to the energy dynamics in the premises. They can even turn on the owners when in a bad mood.
If you have to keep them, find a place outdoors to hang them.
Don’t have them indoors or success luck will be as elusive as the snow leopard.
8) Instinctive meanings of subjects
The real meanings behind artwork is something only the artist will know.
A flower could be a reminder of a deceased mother who a painter loved very much. A tree could mean a money plant to a photographer. Even a picture of crashing waves at the sea can feel like freedom to a creative thinker.
But as feng shui practitioners, what the real actual meanings intended by the artists don’t matter as much as what the artwork instinctively reminds you of.
So avoid getting pictures of any subjects that come with an intuitive negative perception.
For example, if you have a photograph of a ballet dancer in an awkward position or posture hanging behind the sofa, and feel uneasy every time you look at it because of the weird shape of the torso, then it’s bad feng shui even if the photographer had the best intentions and was experiencing a lot of positive energy when the photo was taken.
If you need to ask yourself the question of whether a painting has good or bad meaning, it is already a bad implication.
Paintings hung for feng shui purposes should have very clear intuitive symbolism of happiness instead of sad, new instead of old, positive instead of negative, etc.
For example, a single tree might be meant as the tree of life by the designer. But if one look at it gives you the impression of loneliness, hanging it at home will bring you exactly that.
So take note of your gut feelings and never let doubt affect what you think an artwork means.
9) Bedroom pictures
Many people, including married couples like to hang paintings above the bed head.
This is generally not a good idea if it is a framed picture that is affixed to the wall. Doing so will be like sleeping with your head under a beam in the bedroom.
The exception is if the artwork is on the wallpaper itself. Thus, not protruding and causing energy disturbance.
In the master bedroom, you can hang paintings on the wall behind the bed head, just not right above the bed head. They should be towards the side and outside the perimeter of the bed frame.
Consider having one on each side of the bed to achieve balance.