And the ancient Chinese principles of Feng Shui may help cut through the clutter, and point the way to attractive and functional design.
Feng Shui is a system of laws in Chinese thought that places great importance on spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (chi), and whose favourable or unfavourable effects are considered when siting and designing buildings as well as their interiors.
Applying the concept to an apartment can be a challenge as space is limited, but there are two specific skills to master in order to maximise your serenity and enjoyment. These principles are great tips for every home owner – whether you subscribe to the philosophy or not.
Because of the fixed space in apartments, just a small amount of clutter can diminish your enjoyment. Adhere to the old principle of ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’. Getting organised means finding things easily, which reduces stress and wasted time.
That can be difficult when your kitchen, laundry, dining room and living room are essentially one big room. Use appropriately sized furniture pieces to give each space its own purpose. The furniture should be in scale with the size of the apartment and leave plenty of space to easily move about.
A further considering in Feng Shui is the principle of five elements, which are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. These elements interact between themselves in certain ways. Each element is represented by a specific colour. It is an ideal way of bringing a bit of harmony into your apartment.
The colours are:
Simplicity is the key to good design and good Feng Shui. Neutral white for the walls is an excellent place to begin. Look at ways to maximise light and air, such as bringing some nature inside in the form of potted plants.