Gong Hee Fat Choy! Today is Chinese New Year and marks the beginning of the Year of the Dog. We’re marking the occasion by taking a close look at how all the different Zodiac signs can best Feng Shui their homes to maximize domestic harmony and ensure prosperity for the year ahead.
What is Feng Shui?
To decorate for your Chinese zodiac animal, you need to understand a bit about Feng Shui. The Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui centers around harmony with one’s environment. Though Feng Shui is an in-depth concept, many people use aspects of the philosophy to create a balanced and harmonious home environment. By coupling Feng Shui with your animal zodiac sign, you can create an auspicious interior design.
Each zodiac animal pairs with one of five elements: water, fire, earth, metal, or wood. How you place your animal’s element will also affect your Feng Shui. Some elements like to be hidden or face a specific direction on the compass. The year of the dog starts on February 16, 2018. If the dog is your zodiac animal, add some wood decorations to your home for good luck.
The Year of the Dog: Decorate With Wood
Use wood in your interior design to celebrate your connection with the year of the dog. Wood is trending right now, so find a decor style that fits your personality. You may be into brightly lit dark wood, recycled and reclaimed wood, or custom elements. Remember to brush up on some principles of Feng Shui decorating to bring an auspicious energy flow into your home.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to rip up old carpeting and refinish the hardwood underneath, let the year of the dog be that excuse. If you want to lay down hardwood, engineered hardwood is a good compromise between laminate and true hardwood. You will get the true wood texture but without the high price tag. These days, wood floors work in every room, from the kitchen to the bathroom to the bedroom.
Carved wood furniture is a wonderful way to bring more wood into your home. You can go traditional, with lots of detail work. Or, you can go modern, and choose furniture that uses the natural shape of the wood or takes a more utilitarian approach to the design in general. Wood furniture is most common in the dining room and bedroom, so shake things up by introducing it into your living room.
Wood makes a fabulous accent wall if you do it right. Consider using small planks of wood to create a V pattern on a small wall. Use cork (you can even use wine bottle corks) to create a pretty pattern on an existing accent wall. Unfinished wood cuttings add a raw, rustic element to your mudroom or office.
Bring industrial chic into your home by working with exposed beams. You can create this look in any room with a high ceiling. Either raise the ceiling and expose the true beams, or simply have wood beams installed to sit just below your ceiling. Pair this new design element with a funky chandelier for a head-turning introduction to any room.
Dark brown wood and light blonde wood bring very different vibes into a home. While choosing how to bring these design ideas inside, think about the color palette you want to achieve. Light wood works better in small spaces, while dark wood can look amazing spread through a big room.
Also, consider whether you have a lot of shade variation in each room. For example, if everything in a room is light in tone, dark wood will bring gorgeous contrast. Dark wood is very in for 2018 and looks best in well-lit rooms with lots of light. The light shining on the wood helps both brighten the room and highlight the wood grain and texture.
Think about whether your existing design elements are warm or cool in tone, and choose wood that complements. Don’t assume you need warm to go with warm. A room with lots of blues will look great when you add wood furniture that has a slight orange undertone, because blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel and make each other stand out.
Wooden Accents and Art
You already love your interior and don’t wish to change anything big. To incorporate more wood for the year of the dog, look for small, bespoke accents or artwork. Many artists use the natural shape of wood to create wall hangings, light fixtures, end tables, and figurines. Go to a local craft fair or shop online for some new accent pieces for each room in the house.
Recycled wood is big for 2018, and many artists and furniture designers use it in their pieces. So up your accent game by only shopping for pieces crafted with recycled wood. Recycled wood beams make lovely accent walls and hardwood floors, too. Just be sure to buy your wood from a reputable source so you know you’re truly getting recycled wood.
How to Decorate for Other Zodiac Animals
Wood makes good Feng Shui with the dog. The other three animals compatible with wood are the rooster, the monkey, and the goat. Metal matches well with the snake and the horse. For the dragon and the rat, gravitate towards water. If you were born in the year of the ox or the year of the pig, fire will inspire your decor. Earth is the element for the tiger and the rabbit.
Decorating with these elements is deeper than just placing them around your house. Fire, for example, often involves using ceramics in certain rooms, because ceramics are created with fire. Earth may mean potted plants, but it could also mean hiding a small piece of jade.
Water may also involve living plants. If you were born in the year of the dragon and put soil in a container holding water and place lotus blossoms to float on top, you may invite good luck into your life.
The specific year in which you were born will give you more clues as to how to use Feng Shui in concert with your zodiac animal. Enjoy finding new ways to decorate your home, add balance to your interior, and inspire a little more good fortune in your life.