Ah, summer, summer, summer, and the living in easy and outside. We crave the renewing vitality of the out-of-doors after being forced inside for months. What better place to start enjoying than in our own outdoor spaces. Decks, patios, porches and balconies call us to savor their simple pleasures of fresh air, beautiful weather, relaxation and fun that is, if we treat them right.
Let me start out by saying Ill use the word deck to define any attached outdoor space of your home. Ive lived in the Northeastern United States for forty years now and the deck is the primary outdoor space of most people here. You can substitute the appropriate description for your situation whether it be patio, porch, balcony, lanai or screened porch. What outdoor living spaces do you have available to you?
Some may be wondering why you might Feng Shui something outside of your home. As Ive said before, everything matters in Feng Shui. The area directly outside of your structure is energetically akin to the aura around your body. This energy connects and interacts with the energy inside the house, serving to support you and your family. Understanding this connection prompts us to treat these spaces like they are an extra room inside our homes.
Doing some simple Feng Shui on your deck will allow it to become a powerhouse of good energy as well as an inviting outdoor haven where you can soak up revitalizing Nature Ch’i.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #1: Be sure its safe
I know, I know, Im like a broken record with this one, but if youre worried about whether your grandson might break through a rotted floor board, (like we were this Spring) thats not going to entice anyone outside very much. Comfort and safety first is the second Feng Shui Supporting Principle. I always start with basic Feng Shui principles.
Heres a few things to check:
- Floor boards, pavers or other walking surfaces are solid and level
- Decking or flooring is clean. In Florida certain humid conditions can grow mold that then gets tracked indoors. Right after moving in, and with power washer ready to go, my sons wooden deck was so slick with years of build-up from the previous owners it acted like an ice rink. Unfortunately, it unexpectedly launched him into the air, the ER and eventual surgery. Grrr. You see again why Im always harping on safety being good Feng Shui!
- Railings are constructed according to your local codes. This probably includes things like the width between the uprights being smaller than a childs head, the top of the rail at
least a certain height and checking everything is attached securely. When young children are present, I have even seen plastic netting or wire fencing installed temporarily to provide the immediate safety that is necessary until more permanent upgrades can be made. Boy, can you tell weve got the grandparents thing going and have had to make some modifications in the past!
When we remodeled our Maine home that overlooks the water, we didn’t want the wooden slats of a railing obscuring our view. After staying at a home with clear, solid glass-like half walls that served as their railing, I discovered they were highly disorienting for me. We settled on marine-grade wire rails set at code compliant 4″ intervals, and we are very happy with them.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #2: Assess your use of the deck
Now its on to the fun stuff. Do you dream you will eat, grill, relax, read, garden or entertain on the deck? What other activities are you anticipating?
Once youve decided what youll do, you can begin to plan what will be needed to make it happen. Do you want a bit of shade for reading or a sunnier spot with a chaise lounge for sunbathing? Does the decking get too hot, and a strategically placed outdoor rug or two would allow quick, cool access to the grill? When the family comes on Sunday for a barbecue are there always at least 8 people and you only have 6 chairs?
It really pays off now to think these things through. This Feng Shui Tip is more about the comfort aspect of our Comfort and Safety mantra but just as important.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #3: Assess what you already have
Do you need to buy two more chairs for the Sunday visitors or can you bring out your dining room chairs and they will work just as well? Are there extra flower pots, candles, waterproof side tables or tablecloths that would transition to this new location?
During a consultation I always encourage Clients to reuse what they already own to make the changes we discuss. Looking at new life for unused or underutilized items can renew their vital energy, or Chi, and yours as well.
Using whats on hand also allows you to review your previous choices. If you think youd love to cover your deck with a jungle of plants then discover you really dont have the time or passion for them, youll be very happy you figured this out when you moved your two houseplants outside. It saves the time and money of running to the store to spend hundreds of dollars on pots, soil and plants then not really using them. When you start with items you have you can always add or replace what you started with later once youre sure of what will work for you.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #4: Be aware of Chi flow
Feng Shui is about the movement of Chi energy in and around our home. This is the energy that enters through our front door and offers us revitalization and support. The Chi then circulates throughout the space, eventually exiting through exterior doors or windows. A deck needs to be accessed through a door. Chi can exit prematurely through this door.
The movement of Chi out the door onto the deck is fine, being part of the natural flow when we treat this area as part of our living space during its usable months. What is problematic is when the Chi exits and immediately continues directly through the rails, lost to the landscape beyond.
The Feng Shui adjustment for this situation is to strategically place items between the door and where it might escape. This doesnt mean you need to make the railing solid (although its fine if it is) or line up plants or other objects along the entire railing to keep the energy there.
What I recommend is to position 2 or 3 items in the straight path between the door and the deck railing. This will serve to slow down the Chi and divert it back into the deck. If youd like me to take a look at your decks floor plan, I can make recommendations on Feng Shui placement for optimum Chi flow. Send me your information in the Comments section below.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #5: Apply the Feng Shui Bagua
The Feng Shui Bagua is an invaluable tool to generate change and positive results in every area of your life. When you determine the Bagua for your home, you will be able to see which life area, or gua, your deck adjoins. This means that your deck is an Extention of the Bagua area and the decks energy influences what is going on inside your home. When the deck has good Feng Shui it will become an asset to your overall energy.
Once youve determined which gua the deck is near, you can place a Feng Shui enhancement. Whether Creativity and Children, Fame, Wealth and Prosperity, Relationship or others, my various posts give detailed suggestions for enhancing each individual gua. This is when you can place your intention into your environment and start attracting support for specific goals in your life. Good stuff.
Feng Shui Your Deck Tip #6: Clear the Clutter
In Feng Shui, energy moves most beneficially with a gradual, meandering path to follow. When it runs into clutter, the energy essentially gets stopped in its tracks. If your deck has become a storage unit, it is providing you with less than optimum Chi. Factor in your Feng Shui Bagua gua and it could be your health, wealth, education, career or other area that may get bogged down. I’ve seen major changes for the better come to people who have sorted through and gotten rid of their clutter.
When you live in a small space, sometimes it seems the only place to store things is outside on the deck or balcony. Try, try, try to figure out another spot for storage. Instead, think of having the extra square footage as a place to enjoy a garden, meditation spot, reading nook or some other spot youve craved. Incorporate appropriate storage into your plan and stow some of the items behind closed doors.
Check out my free download, Feng Shui Clutter Clearing Tips, for specific steps to get you started. Clearing the clutter frees up space, and the energy, and offers fresh, auspicious Chi to your life. Nice.
Do you have an outdoor space youd like to Feng Shui? What surprised you most in the suggestions above, and what are you itching to go out and try? I always love to play with a new space and see what vibrant energy I can produce with all of the wonderful Feng Shui decorating and enhancement options I have available.
If youd like to see the process I used to transform my outdoor, covered lanai room in my Florida home, check out my post, Feng Shui Energy Boost #2: Color. Be sure to contact me for a phone consultation if you’d like some Feng Shui support with your project.
Im excited to get outside and do a bit of Feng Shui on my deck and front porch. You can see some of the results on my Instagram or Pinterest feeds. Enjoy your deck Feng Shui transformation, and wed love to hear about your adventures.