Tessa Neustadt, courtesy of Emily Henderson Design

An expert shares her super-simple tips for achieving harmony in your home

Nena Farrell  – February 20, 2020 | Updated June 25, 2020

Curious about feng shui? So were we, so we asked Dana Claudet of The Tao of Dana, to give us the inside scoop on the traditional Chinese practice—and the definition of the term itself. “The words feng shui mean ‘wind-water,’ alluding to the ways that we thrive by living in harmony with nature,” says Claudet. “Feng shui, in my way, is the art of creating a space that’s optimal for people, animals, and nature to thrive.”

Claudet started dabbling in feng shui research while healing at home from a health crisis, and ended up finding her next path. She came across feng shui methods rooted in practical tools for everyday life, and then learned feng shui practice before developing her own method.

“Our environment has a profound effect on us in so many ways,” she says. “With feng shui, your home becomes a vision board of your life. Feng shui describes how areas of your home specifically mirror your life, and when you set up a space that’s full of your intentions and goals, you’ll be living with that inspiration surrounding you all day long.”

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But her biggest goal with feng shui is focusing on one thing: feeling at home in your home. “When you’re connected to your home and have a sense of sanctuary, you’ve got a stable foundation upon which to build your dreams,” says Claudet. “Lots of people have great-looking, clutter-free homes yet don’t feel a sense of belonging in their space. It’s my greatest priority to help people feel that sense of home.”

Living Room: Make Your Coffee Table an Anchor

Feng Shui Living Room

Sara Tramp, courtesy of Emily Henderson Design

Living rooms, according to Claudet, should be focused on the feeling of welcome. She often homes in on the coffee table as a starting place for that welcoming mood, and an anchor for the room itself. “A coffee table is grounding for a seating area, and it encourages people to gather and socialize with a place to put their drinks and snacks,” she says. 

But, don’t let those drinks and snacks overwhelm the surface. “Coffee tables can be clutter magnets, so be sure to keep yours clear of extra stuff and add a leafy plant or an orchid for more of a feeling of creativity and contact with nature.”

Kitchen: Lean Into Abundance—and Lots of Fruit

Feng Shui Kitchen

Thomas J. Story

Claudet’s favorite thing to see in the kitchen are signs of abundance. That’s because “kitchens are symbolic of prosperity,” she says. 

Her advice? Go for an abundance of citrus. “Pile on the fruits and vegetables. And, keep a bowl of citrus that you like on display as a high-energy symbol of abundance. Nine lemons in a bowl is a traditional feng shui recommendation for wealth, but feel free to use any number and constantly replenish the bowl as they get used.”

Dining Room: Add Personal Touches

Feng Shui Dining Room

Jenna Peffley

Claudet’s tips for great feng shui in your dining room are easy: go for simplicity, and add personal touches where you can to feel at home in the space. “You might want to make a centerpiece of flowers each week, or try a DIY project to create a table runner that brings more artistry to the table,” she says.

If you’re adding color, she recommends steering clear of one shade. “Blue is a studied appetite suppressant for many, so you may want to go easy on the blue as you set up your dining room,” Claudet warns.

Bedroom: Do a Deep Declutter

Feng Shui Bedroom

Sara Tramp, courtesy of Emily Henderson Design

A full decluttering job makes for great feng shui in your bedroom. “Deeply declutter—including your closets and under the bed if you store things there,” says Claudet. “It can promote feelings of peace as well as better sleep to be free of all that unwanted stuff.” 

She also recommends making your bed each morning. “Studies have shown that making your bed can lead to happier and possibly more productive days, so you might as well pour some love into the process so those few minutes to fluff up your bedding have the greatest impact!”