The Year of the Rabbit is nigh. Tatler asks feng shui and interior design experts around the world for their tips on creating the most auspicious atmosphere in the home atmosphere in the home
The Year of the Rabbit begins on January 22. Take tips from the pros on what the new lunar year will bring—and the best upgrades you can make to your living spaces to maximise good energy and avoid misfortune.
Meet our feng shui and interior design maestros:
Priya Subberwal, Hong Kong-based feng shui consultant, interior designer and founder of Disha Consulting
David Tong, Singapore-based founder and principal consultant of Chinese Metaphysics Global Consulting
Nina Kati, Ireland-based feng shui interior design consultant, founder of Nina Kati Feng Shui Interior Design
Anjie Cho, New York-based feng shui consultant, architect and founder of Anjie Cho Architect
Let it go
While feng shui doesn’t offer one-size-fits-all solutions, there are some easy-to-follow tips that can improve fortunes in general.
• Throw away stuff that is broken, redundant or has not been used in the last six months, says Priya Subberwal. “This will allow a better quality of qi flow in your home.”
• Decluttering is especially important in the entryway. “This area is known as the Inner Bright Hall, which allows the qi to gather and spread to the whole house,” says David Tong.
• Mirrors should not be placed opposite the front door either at home or on business premises as “good energy and opportunities will be bounced straight back out again”, says Nina Kati.
• The centre of the home, which is known as the Heavenly Heart, should be kept quiet, says Tong. Positioning a water feature here could have especially dire consequences—this could bring heart-related health issues or monetary loss to its occupants.
• Don’t leave a knife block out on the kitchen counter, says Kati. “The kitchen—especially if skylights are present—has the most heated energy in the house, where rows can erupt suddenly and intensely, so hide knives away in a drawer.”
Upgrade your surroundings
Some quick and easy interior decor tips to follow for good feng shui.
• “Choose natural and textural materials for a healthier home—avoid manmade fabrics, furnishings and finishes,” says Kati.
• Consider changing out fixtures, such as kitchen handles and knobs, adding artwork, or bringing in items with various accents—say a throw pillow or blanket—to incorporate different colours in the home, advises Anjie Cho.
• “Use original art, rugs and colour to zone areas within spaces,” adds Kati.
The auspicious directions of the Year of the Rabbit will be the north, south and southwest, say our experts.
• The north will be the most auspicious direction and is favourable for growth, partnerships and the generation of wealth, while the south represents happy events and residual income, says Subberwal.
• In the north corner, place a water feature, such as an aquarium, to promote wealth, advises Subberwal.
• “If, for whatever reason, it is not possible to place a water feature [in the north], an alternative way to enhance [the energy] would be to put a speaker there and blast loud music for a few hours a day,” says Tong.
• In the south—whether at home or in the office—light a candle. “This will activate the feeling of well-being, contentment and happiness,” says Subberwal.
• Check that you are not sitting with the southeast behind you—that is, facing northwest—in either the dining area or work-from-home spaces, cautions Kati, or “you will be stabbed in the back”. The northwest and west positions are areas that can generate negativity and bad luck, she explains.
• To offset the bad luck coming from the northwest—where the “sickness star” will reside—Subberwal recommends positioning metal features in that area.
In accordance with the Chinese philosophy of the Five Elements—earth, metal, water, wood and fire—which is used to interpret phenomena across fields such as divination, alchemy and medicinal properties, the reigning element of the Year of the Rabbit is water.
• Black, which is related to the water element, as well as white and grey, which represent a combination of the water and metal elements, are the auspicious colours of the year, says Cho. “These little details make a big impact—black is a colour of elegance, wisdom and depth, whereas white is a colour of joy, purity and efficiency.”
• Blue is also in, says Tong—though he advises it is “not necessary to paint your house or room blue or black just for a year”.
• Meanwhile, Kati says that “warm, soft, earthy colours, deep blues, rich accents, plain white and luxurious metallics are great colour choices.”
The commanding position
Anjie Cho, who practises a school of feng shui called Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Feng Shui, takes into consideration the “commanding position” one takes in bed, at a desk and in the kitchen.
“Your bed represents you—that’s where you spend the most time; your desk is your career; and your stove is your wealth, resources and health,” she says.
When in these spaces, it is best to be in the commanding position, according to Cho: that means that when you are in bed, working at your desk or cooking, you should be able to see the doors to these spaces, though without being directly in line with the door—this puts you in an advantageous and safe position. “You can clearly see what’s coming towards you, you’re not surprised by things, and you have a chance to see opportunities and decide how you want to act, because they are right in front of you,” she explains.
While cooking, in particular—an act that “stirs qi and energy into the food”—it is crucial to be in a calm, protected state and “an advantageous state of mind”, she adds.
What will the Year of the Rabbit bring?
The characteristics of the animal sign of any lunar year will have an influence on the year ahead, says Nina Kati—and because the rabbit symbolises patience and luck, the new lunar year could well be a “happy and fortunate year for all”.
“The Year of the Tiger brought conflict with a strong likelihood of war, which indeed occurred in 2022, with dire global consequences,” she explains. “The Rabbit year could bring us a calm and placid year, with peace, possible through negotiations aimed at ending conflicts or preventing them from escalating.
“Therefore in the coming year we could see peace and success for everyone.”