Vastu Shastra is the 'yoga of design' – here are 6 expert ways to adopt in your interiors
Introduce the ancient Indian system into your home for positive energy flow
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As well as creating Pinterest boards and working out our own interior design style, applying Feng Shui principles makes a space that really sings. Vastu, or Vastu Shastra, is native to India and rooted in ancient books called the Vedas.
Much like Feng Shui and 'chi', Vastu is about energy and living in harmony with our natural environment. By following Vastu rules, such as directional alignment, we can increase the positive energy in our homes, promoting a sense of well-being and creating spaces we never want to leave.
Keep reading for easy ways to incorporate Vastu Shastra into your own home for a space that is supportive and in sync with the natural world.
What is Vastu Shastra?
Vastu Shastra translates as 'science of architecture' and is an ancient Indian system based on the principles of harmony and balance with the natural world. 'It is believed that by aligning your home according to Vastu principles, you can bring in positive energy and lead a better life,' explains Prerna Jain, a cleaning expert from Ministry of Cleaning (opens in new tab). Prerna grew up in India, where she and the people around her were mindful of Vastu principles – whether rearranging the furniture or building and renovating their homes.
The five elements key to Vastu design
- Prithvi (Earth)
- Jal (Water)
- Agni (Fire)
- Vayu (Air)
- Aakash (Space)
How to incorporate Vastu principles
1. Use bright and uplifting colors
Whether painting walls or buying a couch, light and bright colors are key to creating a living space in which we feel uplifted. Prerna recommends mood-boosting colors of varying saturations depending on the room.
'Bright and vibrant colors in work areas stimulate energy and creativity while restful light and pastel colors are fitting in the bedroom. Similarly, the use of natural light is recommended as it is believed to purify the air and enhance positive energy flow,' says Prerna. So if you're currently considering what color to paint a home office, don't rule out more vivid teals and terracotta tones.
Draw inspiration from the latest color trends and lean into soft, uplifting shades for living spaces, as opposed to anything more dark and moody for a room that feels positive and energizing.
A sophisticated shade of coral with a touch of pink.
This deep blue is inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night.
2. Keep the center of your home clutter-free
Prerna recommends paying attention to the spatial arrangement in your home. For example, the center of a house, called the Brahmasthan, should be kept open and free of clutter as it represents the source of positive energy. 'All houses in India during our childhood used to have a verandah in the middle of the house to be used by joint families as a meeting point,' she recalls.
3. Display lucky artwork
According to Vastu, paintings depicting nature, abstract art, or spiritual symbols such as the Om are considered lucky.
'The goal is to have a positive impact on the energy flow of your living space. So, while paintings related to nature promote a sense of calm and relaxation, and reduce stress and anxiety, family portraits promote a sense of unity and harmony,' explains Prerna. 'Similarly, paintings with spiritual symbols are believed to have a positive impact on our mental and emotional well-being.'
And what to avoid? Interior designer Artem Kropovinsky (opens in new tab) of Arsight interior design studio says paintings that show violence, war, sadness, or loneliness can create negativity. Instead, he recommends paintings of mountains, waterfalls, rivers, lakes, or gardens.
Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.
4. Follow directional alignment
According to Vastu Shastra, the main entrance of a house should face the east, north, or northeast as it is believed to attract positive energy and promote prosperity.
Prerna says the principle of directional alignment has been widely adopted in the real estate market, with 'aspect' and orientation a key consideration for many potential home buyers.
For those of us with homes facing the 'wrong' way, we can arrange our furniture in the right direction, for example, try putting your best couch so it's east or south facing. Also, according to Vastu, money should be stored in the southeast corner of your home, preferably in a wooden box.
5. Keep your space well-ventilated
One of the easiest and best ways to decorate your home according to Vastu is to keep rooms well-ventilated and clutter-free. So improving the positive energy in your home could be as simple as decluttering and throwing open the windows. Reduce the number of dust traps and follow professional cleaning tips for a home that feels fresh and calm.
You may also like to pay attention to the air quality with one of the best air purifiers, to promote a sense of health and well-being indoors, especially if you have pets.
6. Use plants and wind chimes
Prerna also recommends adding some foliage, fake or real, as this will energize your home environment. The best indoor plants bring instant texture, shape, and color and channel positive energy. A metal wind chime, at Amazon (opens in new tab), is said to break through stagnant energy.
Where should you keep your money in your home according to vastu?
'You should keep your money in a safe or locker placed in the north zone of your home,' says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky. 'This zone is associated with wealth and prosperity. Make sure that the safe or locker faces north or east. Avoid placing it in the southwest zone as it can cause losses.'
Millie Hurst is Section Editor at Homes & Gardens, overseeing the Solved section, which provides readers with practical advice for their homes. She has been in the world of digital journalism for six years, having previously worked as Senior SEO Editor at News UK both in London and New York. She joined the Future team two years ago, working across a range of homes brands. Millie formerly worked as Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home, taking care of evergreen articles that help and inspire people to make the most of their homes and outdoor spaces. Millie has a degree in French and Italian and lives in North London.
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