Whose home could use a little extra dose of good energy right about now?
With stay-at-home orders across the country keeping us inside our humble abodes for what feels like 36874 weeks now as we continue practicing extreme social distancing in the effort to slow the spread of the global coronavirus pandemic, there's no doubt that you've had a look around your place and wondered: How could this be better?
Well, have no fear because Queer Eye's genius design guru Bobby Berk is back with some easy tips on how to re-approach your home the feng shui way in the hopes that the positive energy might start flowing just when we all need it most.
First off, you may be asking: What the heck is feng shui? Sure, you've probably heard about the tradition dating back to ancient China, but odds are your understanding of it is limited or maybe even based on some outdated stereotypes. Allow Bobby to enlighten you.
"A lot of people think of feng shui as this whole universe and energy thing, and I find when I talk about it, that it kind of turns people off instantly. They're like, 'Um I don't need that in my home, I'm not about that,'" he told E! News exclusively. "So the way I like to describe feng shui to people is the way things function in the home and the way things make you feel in your home. And when I talk about the way it affects the energy in a home, I talk about the way it affects your energy, not some spiritual energy out there because, again, not everybody's into that. Really, the way that it affects your energy."
To help make it a bit easier to understand, Bobby offered an example. "Feng shui says you shouldn't have pokey plants, plants with sharp edges. And some people would be like, 'Why would feng shui dictate what type of plants I can put in my entry way?' Well, when you're coming home and you come in and you have a pokey plant and you poke yourself with it when you come home, instantly, your energy is no longer positive," he explained. "You're annoyed. Or when you're leaving and you're trying to grab your bag and your keys and you poke your elbow on some pokey plant, you leave and you're pissed off. So feng shui is really just common sense of the way you should set up your home and the way it should function in order for your energy, your attitude, to be the most positive it can."
So how does one go about it? Follow Bobby's five easy tips!
1. Find Balance
"To me what really creates balance is making your space both functional and livable, the way things flow, for example, in your living room. And a lot of times this doesn't apply to New Yorkers. I lived in New York for 14 years, you kind of have to throw every rule out of the book just to make your place function for you because they're not that big," he said. "But the way your space flows--for example, if you find this coffee table and you love it and it's beautiful and you put it in your space but it's kind of too big for the space, so every time you're walking through that living room you have to walk around it or you're constantly slamming your ankle into it, that creates disbalance in the room. So it's all about balancing the way furniture and things in your home will function for you, but also the way it lets energy flow through the room, and when I say energy, again, I refer to your energy, the way you're able to flow. If you're not able to flow through there in a good way, it gives you bad energy which creates bad energy in your space."
2. Be Particular With Your Plants
"I honestly don't recommend prickly plants anywhere in your home because we always end up, and especially if you have a dog, they always love to stick their nose right in it," Bobby said. "So I like keeping plants with rounded leaves. Circular shapes kind of have a more harmonious feel anyway. So plants are nice. And in the entry, it's great because...you instantly see life when you come into the room."
3. Bedroom Boundaries
"For your bedroom, not having the bed facing the door," he advised. "And I know, again, in New York, that's kind of hard because sometimes you have no choice, but it also goes back to common sense. When you walk into a room and the first thing you walk into is the bed, a) it doesn't flow very well and b) if you have roommates or you live with somebody and the first thing they see when they open the door is they see you in bed, that's not great either."
4. Minimize Annoyance
"Here's a very simple thing: If your door squeaks or gets stuck or doesn't open easily, fix it," Bobby said. "Energy doesn't want to deal with that annoyance. And it's true! Anytime you come home and you hear that annoying squeak or every time you leave, you hear that annoying squeak, you're annoyed and your energy is messed up. So simple things like that, fixing small little things that are messed up in your home that cause you annoyance. It may not be something that doesn't work, per se, that you need to fix because it doesn't function anymore, it might just be something that, when it does function, it annoys you and it's a quite simple fix. You know, it's a spray of WD40 to fix a squeaky door. So taking care of those things can be the simplest way to just feng shui your house because again, to me, feng shui is the elimination of bad energy and annoying things cause that energy."
5. Mind Your Mirrors
"In the entryway, don't place a mirror on the wall directly opposite of the front door, this will cause energy to bounce off it and go right back outside," he advised. "In old Chinese culture, I don't know if you've ever seen it, a lot of times I notice them in apartment buildings in New York. I always would know when I would live next to an older Chinese person because they would have this little hexagon mirror above their door. I don't know if you've ever noticed them in New York, but it's these little hexagon mirrors, and I would say they're probably no more than five or six inches across, but they are thought to reflect bad spirits and keep them out of your home. So they put this little mirror above your door so when the bad spirits see their own reflection it scares them and they don't come in your house."
For more feng shui tips from Bobby, be sure to check out his website BobbyBerk.com!
Whether it's realigning our homes with ancient Chinese traditions or just giving them a little sprucing, Bobby said there's no time like right now, while we're all really getting reacquainted with our personal spaces, to get started. "Honestly, we always say all the time, 'Oh I wish I had more time to really organize my place or I wish I had more time to really clean out that closet or clean out all the crap' – if you're a New Yorker – 'that we shove under our beds.' And now we do," Bobby said with a laugh. "Right now, being pent up in our spaces, it's a lot. It's really making some of our minds go a little crazy, so to get some of the craziness out of your space, to declutter your space will also help you declutter your mind."
"I have been seeing that meme going around saying, you know, back in the day, we were asked to go to war to save lives and all you're doing is being asked to sit on your sofa to save lives," the Fab Five member known for his positivity added. "And it kind of really put it into perspective that we're all kind of bored out of our minds, but we're having to do literally nothing to make a difference. And although doing nothing sometimes can be the hardest thing, just think about all the people on the front lines who are out there risking their lives to save lives. And we for the most part, we all have it really easy. This will pass. Things might be a little rough but humans, we always bounce back and we always will."