We tap into interior designer Hilary Loh’s design perspective when it comes to the harmonious balance of feng shui elements

The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui is all about bringing balance and inviting positive chi for energy and balance in your space. Feng shui principles can inspire the way one decorates—many believers turn to feng shui ideals and philosophy when approaching basic design elements like colour or materials.    

As a designer who has worked on plenty of projects with feng shui requirements, Hilary Loh, design director of 2nd Edition, is no stranger to crafting stylish spaces that also observes the geomancy principles. 

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Here, the seasoned designer shares some style-led decor tips to keep in mind when incorporating feng shui elements into your abode.

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1. Choose auspicious colours wisely

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Above This bedroom designed by 2nd Edition features an elegant mix of warm and cool tones

While feng shui within a home varies from one individual to another, dressing your home with vibrant colours is often recommended to bring luck into the home. As a general rule of thumb, these colours often fall within the warmer spectrum of hues: think shades of red, orange and yellow.

While Loh advises embracing colour, she cautions against the excessive use of it. “When adding strong accent colours like red, keep in mind to even it out with a base of cooler or neutral tones such as greys or even natural light wood,” she shares. “This ensures that the different colours don’t clash and fight each other for attention.”

2. Bring in the five elements

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Above A handsome material palette is paired with darker tones for this apartment designed by Loh for the Canninghill Piers condominium

At the core of feng shui lie the five elements—earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Many believe that it’s important to balance the five elements to create a harmonious environment.

Loh notes that these elements “can easily be incorporated into a room through various ways, from furniture and soft furnishings to the walls and even decorative items”. “Fire, earth, and water can be easily expressed with their corresponding colour palettes,” she says.  “They can be incorporated into many elements as well, such as fabrics for cushions or bedheads and drapery for your windows.”

3. Mix and match materials for different effects

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Above This bedroom features a varied mix of textures, from brass to marble

While keeping the feng shui elements in mind, Loh often uses materials to her advantage when designing. Wood, for example, can be incredibly versatile. “Using wood can either soften up a room, or be used as strong, bold statements, depending on the form it takes,” she shares.

On the other hand, metal can be used to create a stronger look. “Metal can present very different atmospheres; darker brushed metals give a more masculine or even industrial-style feel to a space. Polished or brushed gold, or even brass, can be used to give a more elegant look,” Loh notes. “Metal also works extremely well as accents to fixtures, to give them a more polished look.”

4. Lighting is key

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Above A pendant lamp gently illuminates this corner, adding an atmospheric touch

A poorly-lit room will definitely put a damper on your mood, says Loh. Illumination is one of the most effective ways to convey an atmosphere of warmth and intimacy in your sanctuary.

The designer recommends stimulating bright, uplifting energy with both natural light and lamps wherever possible. Layering lighting, whether it’s for recessed ceiling lights for overall illumination or table lamps for mood lighting, can help further set the tone.

5. Stick to the details

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Above Designed by 2nd Edition, the soft furnishings and textiles in this bedroom elevate the rich, tactile look

In order to balance both feng shui requirements with a stylish space, Loh recommends starting from the smaller details. “Less is more! Keep the accents minimal to avoid overpowering the space,” she advises. “Don’t underestimate the accent pieces, like cushions, floral arrangements, and small decorative items.”

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