Considering using the principals of feng shui in your interior design and home décor? To help you consider the options, we asked for advice from Susanne Schutz, founder and managing director of Suzhong Consulting, regarding the significance of red in feng shui and interior design.
Classical feng shui involves the understanding of the qi flow in the natural environment, and how it can be harnessed to benefit the occupants of a property. Colours do not greatly affect the qi flow in your house and are not regarded as a main consideration in classical feng shui. Although colours no doubt have their subtleties and do carry great psychological significance, feng shui practitioners generally don’t advocate the use of colours alone as a major component of a feng shui audit.
The colour red is somewhat of an exception to this rule, and is often used as an “enhancer” in feng shui. Red symbolises life energy, and the placement of red items in an otherwise dull or dark room can turn up the energy level of a room quite significantly. Red is the colour of the Fire Element in Chinese Metaphysics, and represents passion, wealth and celebration. It brings luck and happiness and is often associated with love and romance, as well as wealth and fame – and who couldn’t do with more of that?
When decorating your home with red coloured items, keep in mind that the brighter and more saturated the red, the greater will be its effect. Orange is not as effective as red, but works to some degree, whereas pink has not proven to be very effective. As an enhancer, red can be used in couch covers, cushions, pillows, curtains, bed covers, rugs and carpets, wall hangings and red-coloured ornamental objects, and furniture. In an office environment, a red rug in the common staff area can create a warm and friendly atmosphere; a red rug in the CEO’s office, on the other hand, will enhance his or her wealth and prosperity luck, thereby helping the company as a whole.
The colour red and the Fire Element do have a clear Yang nature – that is, they are associated with activity. I would therefore avoid placing too many red items in the bedroom – a room that is traditionally a Yin room, where people rest and sleep. Also avoid too much red in the kitchen. The kitchen, too, is considered Yin, as it is responsible for the health aspects of the occupants of a house. The stove, oven, rice cookers and other cooking appliances already carry a strong Fire Element, and enhancing this by adding more red might result in a very real fire hazard for the house, especially when we enter an inauspicious time cycle!
Always remember, though, that classical feng shui – and indeed life itself – is about balance and moderation. The colour red alone will not make you wealthier or happier, and decorating your entire house in red hues might not suit all of its occupants. Use colours to balance a room, add a splash of red to give it energy and a sense of celebration and passion. And most of all – have fun and be creative!
Based on Suzanne’s advice, we got creative with RED.
The flagship store of The Red Cabinet, a loft-style space in One Island South, showcases a sophisticated collection of carefully edited, one-of-a-kind pieces, and an evolving range of newly designed pieces that offer practicality and quirkiness all in one. And in view of the company name, it’s no great surprise that the colour red features prominently in many of the products. Here’s just a selection of the cherry, ruby and scarlet-hued furniture on offer.
Flip through the gallery above to see our design picks in RED chairs, cabinets and more from The Red Cabinet
Forbidden City’s range of contemporary Chinese furniture marries tradition with modern aesthetics, and incorporates new materials and techniques to create something uniquely of its time. Red features prominently in the company’s range of shelving, sideboards and cabinets.
Flip through the above gallery to see our design picks for RED in storage furniture from Forbidden City Furniture
“Red is used in many if not all oriental carpets,” says the team at Carpet Buyer Limited, “as it brings out the richness of the wool.” In most of the examples on this page, the carpet is made from hand-spun wool, and the oils of the wool mix with the dye from vegetable or roots used by the carpet-makers to get the red colouring; these include madder roots and beetroot grown in the region.
Flip through the above gallery to see our design picks for RED in carpets from Carpet Buyer Limited