In Feng Shui we use colour to balance out the energy of a space and often the focus is on supporting the yang energy. (Yang energy is the fresh active “chi” we all need and doesn’t flourish in dark spaces.) As a result we often need rooms to be light and airy. The whole concept of highly saturated colour appears to go against this so it was a challenge. However, the designer creates fascinating rooms so, despite feeling like I was betraying my Feng Shui credentials, I went along.
And does it work?
Personally I would say that the style really can work. Its true that dark colours are very yin – which means that they can deaden the energy. However at the other end of the spectrum, pale spaces can make a room feel cold and unsettling. And all white can make a room feel barren.
How to work with dark colours
If a room is large or has lots of windows or extreme proportions then a strong colour can work to slow down and calm the energy.
We often hear that strong colours make rooms look small. But the times we are really aware of the colour in a room is generally when the colour itself is wrong for the room and the energy isn’t balanced.
With any project, a vital point to consider is what you are using the room for and when.
If you run a business from a very dark room, then you are truly working against the energy. Your business could suffer. (Perhaps pick a different room to experiment with.)
However, if you want a snug space to cosy up in and relax in the evening, then deeper colours could work for you.
The Complete Room
This is where the wall ceiling and floor are saturated with colour – usually dark. Even doors are “painted out”. There may be different tones in a room but there are few or no contrasts. It works best if spaces with large proportions and where there are plenty of light sources, particularity windows, but it can be effective in smaller spaces if used with skill and conviction!
The Feature Wall
The simplest way to introduce a strong colour is on a feature wall. This can give the room a focal point without you having to work too hard to bring in light. (You need to be careful to team the colour with something suitable though.)
Balance dark colour out
You may have fallen in love with a strong colour and yearn for it in your home. To use it you need to be very aware that you need to balance it out or the room with feel “flat”.
You need to keep the energy moving by adding many more light sources, table lamps as well as ceiling lights than you would have with a more neutral colour.
Reflective surfaces and mirrors will also keep the energy moving as will live plants which are good for stimulating the energy. If you don’t get this right, then your room won’t feel like the haven you desire.
A Feng Shui Perspective
If you’ve had a traditional Feng Shui consultation, then you will know what colours you can use in certain spaces. This saves a lot of trial and error in terms of finding the right colour palette. Once you use the correct colour, you know that the colour will sit well with the energy of the space. (This is the “Ah” moment, when you look at a room and it feels “right”.)
The times that you don’t like the colour of a room, its because the colour relates to an element that puts the energy of a room out of balance. (Colours relate to the elements from the Five Element Cycle.)
A word of warning – dark bedrooms are rarely good! They are too yin when at night you need to refresh your yang energy. For this reason they can be bad for health and well-being as well as your sex life!
While you might take your inspiration from hotel rooms, remember that these can be dark and dramatic because they are for temporary visitors. They can be harder to live with long term.
An Alternative Option
Dark colours aren’t for everyone by any means and it could be that the middle ground works better for you and your space. This doesn’t mean that your home has to be bland. Mid range colours can still make a statement and be a great backdrop to a stylish home.
Bear in mind though, – if you need a head torch to negotiate your home, then something isn’t working!
If you would like to talk to me about how to use colour in your home to balance the energy contact me.