Feng Shui and Tiny Houses

Guest Post

Decorating a tiny house can be a challenge. Colors that would bring drama into a normal sized room can overwhelm a small space, making it seem even smaller than it already is. Many décor items take up to much valuable floor and wall space—space that would be better utilized for storage. However, these concerns should not reduce tiny house dwellers into living in an austere, prison, or nunnery like environments. Using the tenets of Feng Shui, small space owners can easily maximize their space and bring in a cohesive design sense to the home. Feng Shui focuses on the movement of energy through each room—minimizing clutter and carefully arranging the furniture not only improves the flow of energy, but these actions also improve the use of the limited space. Feng Shui also puts a lot of emphasis on light and mirrors, both of which can help make small areas seem more spacious.

Discover more Feng Shui-friendly decorating ideas to help improve your tiny house interiors by following this infographic from SoothingWalls.com. It shows you colors and design elements best suited to each space, and how each décor element impacts the Feng Shui of your house. Try implementing a few of these tips for a more harmonious dwelling.

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alice h - August 22, 2013 Reply

My biggest concerns in a small living space are proper movement of light and air and not blocking my movement or lines of sight while also enhancing functionality. If done right it leads to a harmonious space. Feng Shui has always seemed like a mix of the practical and randomly whimsical.

    Leilii - August 22, 2013 Reply

    Agree, Alice. Feng Shui is a tangled hodgepodge of universal principles of good design and ancient superstion.

    But when you strip away the oriental fortune-telling folkways from the philosophy, the practical recommendations for design are rather basic and predicated on simple common sense, so I’ve never really seen the value in it. In fact, the whole approach seems pretty gimmicky to me, on the order of consulting my horoscope to divine what color my duvet cover should be.

    But maybe there are some who need the extra assurance conferred by exotic ritualistic practices in order to have confidence in their designs? To each his own, I guess.

      Leilii - August 22, 2013 Reply

      Oops.That should be superstition as the last word in the first graph of my reply to Alice – assuming my comment passes muster with the moderator, of course, as it’s still in queue.

      Speaking of superstition, perhaps I should be counting sheep instead of typing error-ridden comments onto an iPad this long after my bedtime! 😉

Bryan - August 22, 2013 Reply

The garage in the first graphic would only work if you were parking hovercraft.

    Lynne - August 22, 2013 Reply

    Yes, Bryan, not only that, but the garage is not in a logical place in relation to the rooms of the house.

    I tried incorporating some feng shui principles in my home a few years ago, but we didn’t get the ‘ahhh’ atmosphere we were looking for, and there was no place for my piano. Sometimes you just have to work with what you have.

robert - August 22, 2013 Reply

Must we spoil this blog with this nonsense? Feng Shui is meaningless new age woo.

Stick to what is known about the psychological effects of colour, light and space – at least there is supporting evidence for that.

    MJ - August 23, 2013 Reply

    Contrary to new age woo feng shui is known as far back as 5000 years. While it includes religion and superstitions, it is still an ancient way of thinking about humans in relation to space and elements in which we live closely. Saying rather to focus on psychological effects could seem just as woo! It’s all in the practice. Though I do agree with the commenter who said ‘eek!’ on the graphics, they are pretty bad for a subject that can be very elegant.

Don Beams - August 22, 2013 Reply

I tend to agree with you Robert. I am living in a 175 net sq.ft. not-so-tiny mobile, where a good portion of feng shui literally goes “out the window”, sacrificed on the alter of functionality and aesthetics = good design sense.

But, “spoiling the blog” probably is a bit overstated. I am horribly put off by the amateurish graphics, as if the feng shui advocate did not care enough about the topic to illustrate it with good architectural design and graphics, so that you actually get what they are saying. That floor plan said nothing to me but EEK! However, it is also good to realize the possibility that some tiny bit of “woo” might stimulate some creative thinking and have some value in the design process, even if much of it is in-applicable or highly improbable. And feng shui probably qualifies as ancient rather than new age woo,

I am a designer who prefers a contemporary aesthetic, but if I let the overwhelming preponderance of goofy-looking trailers trying to look like fairy-tale cottages (and failing miserably) with peaked roofs and trailer-frame space wasted on non-functional “porches” put me off too much, I might miss some useful information or a good idea amongst the silly.

    Rosemary - August 22, 2013 Reply

    Just about to start designing a Tiny House in Florida – I lean toward the simpler contemporary design, always looking for the light! Do agree with lots of the comments that came before me…Excited to be starting this project!!

phil - August 22, 2013 Reply

“Many décor items take up TOO much valuable floor and wall space”
I didn’t even finish the article, since the misspelling turned me off. I’d be happy to do some editing for this site, just let me no.

John in Jacksonville - August 22, 2013 Reply

I enjoyed the article. It provides a lot of ideas that link colors, shapes, and items to functions. The ideas have performed in China for a few thousand years so why not give them some consideration? The intent is clearly to give folks a structure and framework for thinking about their tiny space in something other than utilitarian terms, and I applaud that. We are humans, after all, not hamsters. If you see concepts here that spark ideas, use them; if you don’t, then leave them alone. They taught me that principle in martial arts years ago and I still consider it one of the more useful bits of advice I’ve ever received.

Sue - August 22, 2013 Reply

With the help of a friend, I’ve used feng shui in a number of rental spaces & wondered about a tiny house. Usually it’s involved rearranging items already owned, so…..will have to see.

Benjamin - August 23, 2013 Reply

Fireplace in the laundry room? I prefer to keep lids on washer and dryer open to keep them fresh. Bamboo fountain in the linen closet? Dark wood floors in the front yard? Black and white pictures and a goldfish bowl in the garage and foyer closet? Or is it a garage that attracts people into your life?

Ok, Kent, I get it, you’re pulling our legs. ;-]

suzan - August 23, 2013 Reply

I enjoy looking at feng shui design and garner what works for a space….for me it is all about the space/light/color! When I designed, contracted and painted my tiny home cottage PMV, I thought about the activities of each room….for example I chose a very pretty sage color for the bedroom for it’s a healing color with a dark tropical style ceiling fan with an oval window above the headboard and four vertical windows, 2 to each side….to my left when laying in my bed is a beautiful painting of 5 sailing vessels anchored in a cove with pine trees around. Each room in my 700 sq. ft. space was designed this way~ But above everything….my space is “personalized” and no amount of design shui should eliminate YOU from your own sanctuary!!! : )

D. Whit - August 24, 2013 Reply

You knew it was only a matter of time before someone decided to see if any significant numbers would bite on the feng shui beliefs.

Next will be the tiny shed trailer that is built with the feng shui “option” available for an additional fee.

What about the tiny house minimalist option ?

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