Feng Shui design mistakes to avoid – 5 things you may be getting wrong

From artwork to mirror placement – these interior design quirks may impact your home for all the wrong reasons

Living room with orange curved sofa
(Image credit: Davide Lovatti / Future)

The question of how to make your home feel more zen is increasingly topical – whether you're looking for a calm 'work from home' space or a bedroom that promotes a good night's sleep. It is no surprise, therefore, that Feng Shui has started to dictate how we design our interiors – from the placement of a mirror in your entryway – to the art we hang at the forefront of our scheme. 

You may already know the basics of this ancient Chinese teaching, whether that is the placement of your bed or the Feng Shui house features to avoid. However, your design decisions are equally as important for encouraging good energy in your space. Here are 5 important features to note, according to an expert. 

5 Feng Shui design mistakes to avoid – to promote positivity at home

From a faulty faucet to the perfect Feng Shui bedroom layout, this is what you need to remember when designing any room in your home.  

1. Avoid a dripping tap

round cloakroom basin on vintage stand with geometric tiles behind

(Image credit: Malcolm Menzies)

Feng Shui expert Patricia Lohan warns against dripping taps in your kitchen or bathroom, as it 'represents money draining and dripping away.' However, her advice isn't limited to bathroom Feng Shui or kitchen Feng Shui. 'Fix anything that’s broken – move around your home and see if there are things that are depleted, cracked, and not working – that’s depleting your energy.'

2. Placing a mirror opposite your front door

Entryway furniture with slim console table

(Image credit: Future)

It is natural and understandable to check your appearance before leaving your home – but the placement of your mirror can have a significant impact on your entryway Feng Shui. And the biggest mistake you can make? Placing it opposite your front door. 

'A mirror facing the door is not good Feng Shui,' Patrica says. This is because good the 'good energy' that flows through the front door is reflected straight back outside again. However, if you are determined to keep your mirror in its place, there are ways to lessen its effects. The recommends putting some fresh flowers in front of the mirror or adding a decal to 'make it less reflective.'

3. Sitting with your back to the door

Home office ideas eaves pattern Jon Day

(Image credit: Jon Day)

'When you’re sitting with your back to the door, you’re in a vulnerable position,' Patrica warns. 'The energy is coming in and coming behind you, so you can’t see what’s coming. You’re not in your power position, and you’re living in a place of vulnerability.' And while the expert suggests this tip is particularly important in regard to office Feng Shui, it applies to all rooms in the home. 

'There’s a fight-or-flight energy that makes you feel unsteady and unconfident,' she says. 'You want to set yourself up ideally by sitting with your back to the wall so you can see the door and see what’s coming at you. You will feel more confident and prepared.'

4. Choosing the wrong artwork

upholstered console with patterned wallpaper, yellow light and artworks

(Image credit: Future / Carolyn Barber/ Kate French)

Decorating with art can be very powerful in your home. It can set the mood for your entire space and act as a source of inspiration for all who pass through. So, it is unsurprising that artwork has a significant impact on Feng Shui, too. 

'I encourage you to do a real assessment of the art in your home to make sure it aligns with the life you want,' Patricia says. She avoids choosing pieces with turbulent water and stormy, rocky weather 'as this what will start unfolding in your life'. Similarly, 'imagery that is sad, lonely and lacking joy will mirror this.' 

5. Avoid plants with sharp or spiked edges

Cacti in a bedroom

(Image credit: Future)

Houseplants are becoming increasingly popular, and all for a good reason. They bring an organic feel to any sized space and improve your home's air quality, too. However, teachings around plant Feng Shui suggest that some green staples are best avoided. Patricia warns against cacti and other spiky plants because they 'repel the positive energy' in your space. 

'Yes, plants represent growth, and even images of plants are a great thing to have in your home – but avoid cacti and spiky plants.'

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.