Turn the tables by utilizing feng-shui

By Frankie Blanco, Contributing Writer

For many students living in University dorms, this is their first time living independently. With this change comes many firsts, which for some include having to decorate their own space without their parents or guardians.  While this can be exciting and liberating, it can also feel overwhelming.

Luckily, most parents and guardians assist in the move-in process by passing on their expertise on how to organize a room. However, if your parents are anything like mine, they probably just left all the stuff in the dorm and said goodbye. Fortunately, creating positive energy in a space can be very simple on your own. It’s crucial to personalize the room to reflect who the person is while working to optimize the space you are given. A great way for students to accomplish this is by learning to feng-shui their dorm.

Living in a dorm can feel unfamiliar and inhospitable, especially for students who come from welcoming homes. For that reason, students should abide by the laws of feng-shui to fulfill their goals of comfort and liveliness in their dorms.

Feng-shui is defined as “a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.” In other words, in every space, there is a fundamental structure that, if followed, creates a balance of energy. Thus, the general concept of feng-shui can be utilized when choosing furniture and decor for dorm rooms. 

Since the dorms at the University are compact, forcing students to cram their entire lives into a small space, it is crucial to utilize the area wisely. This is a major component of feng-shui, because there is a balance of space and energy in which the way things are arranged throughout the room greatly impacts the energy the area yields.

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For example, dorms with an excess amount of decor and furniture tend to make the room feel cluttered. This results in an stressful environment for the persons living in the dorm. However, this problem has a very simple solution. If one follows feng-shui principles they would understand there is a flow of energy carried in the space created by how things are arranged.

To create this harmonic balance of energy they must be intentional about where things are placed, so a positive and welcoming atmosphere is experienced. Instead of having things in excess, one should be selective about what they want in their dorm room and where it would best fit. 

Unfortunately, people fail to follow these basic principles, and it creates a bad flow of energy in the space. Everyone has that one friend that when visiting their dorm or apartment immediately thinks, “How do they live like this?”  One does not have to be an interior designer to understand the fundamentals of feng-shui, as it is still possible for anyone to create this positive balance of energy in their space.

In other words, that one friend can promote an inclusive area in their dorm/apartment. All they need to do are things like picking up their dirty laundry from the floor to avoid smells and for guests to have a clear pathway to walk through. They could also open the blinds so natural light comes in or buy small lamps to create a soft, warm glow at night. 

The placement of furniture and other objects is also crucial to the overall effect the room gives off. For example, if there is going to be a futon, it should face the door to encourage a welcoming feeling for guests. One should avoid making the room feel congested, so it is important to invest in shelving or boxes for storage that can be organized against the wall or stacked on top of each other. If there are two people living in the dorm they should respect the balance of energy in the room and not make the room cluttered. The emphasis on space is evident because it ultimately impacts how the vibe is in the room.

Other things to consider when choosing art, lighting and furniture is to coordinate to reflect a sense of unity throughout the space. That’s not to say that everything has to perfectly match, but this is so there is a consistent theme expressed when a person walks into the room.

For example, if in a double, the roommates can choose coordinating colors for their bedding or have accent colors in other pieces of furniture that tie the dorm together. Most importantly, whatever is used to decorate the room should have some significance to the people living in the space because it makes the room feel like home and invites guests into your life. 

Although it may seem difficult, creating a balance of energy is attainable if the person makes the effort to follow the rules of feng-shui. Generally speaking, one must understand the importance of where their decor/furniture is placed and its role in contributing to the energy in the room. Most people want to have a welcoming place to call home, so feng-shui can be a key aspect in this. 

Frankie is a sophomore in LAS

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