Why you should never put your sofa in front of a window – warn Feng Shui experts

The placement of your sofa can make your space feel 'vulnerable' and 'ungrounded' – here's what to do instead

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Curating a living space according to the principles of Feng Shui isn't just about promoting positive energy in the room. It is not at all surprising that we would want to encourage good energy in our living rooms, after all. 

Good living room Feng Shui, whether through the placement of furniture or mirrors, will give you a harmonious, balanced space, whether or not you subscribe to this ancient Chinese art. And one of the biggest changes you can make, according to Feng Shui experts, is with your sofa placement. 

While placing a sofa in front of a window certainly has its aesthetic advantages, this popular living room layout idea can cause several issues in regards to Feng Shui teaching. Here's what you need to know when considering your new sofa placement. 

Why you should never put your sofa in front of your window 

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'While a sofa placed under a window is beautiful,  it can create several issues,' says Melissa Waite Stamps, a member of the International Feng Shui Guild. The expert warns that placing a sofa in front of your window is one of the key Feng Shui house features to avoid – most particularly because the set-up lacks a wall that offers feelings of protection in your space. 

'Sofas, desks, and beds need a wall for support. This can be called the 'mountain behind' because it offers a feeling of protection,' Melissa says. 

However, the problems don't end there. 'The 'Chi' [energy] coming in through the window can be strong or chaotic, depending on what the window faces or the views it brings into the space,' Melissa says. 

Therefore, placing your sofa under the window can create feelings of vulnerability and restlessness – while the strong/ rushing Chi enters the room. The same can be said for placing a bed under a window.

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According to Melissa, the 'Mouth of Chi' is the 'architectural front door to the home,' and this is where it enters the space and circulates through the building. 'Chi has infinite qualities and expressions and sometimes needs help or guidance to become most lucky and auspicious,' she explains.

All doors and windows let in Chi. So while a sofa under a window is not considered the luckiest position in Feng Shui, there are ways to promote positive energy in your space.  

What should you do instead?

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Rather than placing your sofa in the window, Melissa explains that there are ways to rewrite the Feng Shui energy and create a positive atmosphere in your home. 'You can hang a wind chime or round faceted crystal on multiples of 9in Red silk cord or ribbon to modulate the Chi that enters and ensure it becomes lucky Chi,' she says.

Additionally, you can place tall standing plants behind your sofa to represent the 'mountain behind.' This will reduce potential chaotic or rushing Chi energy that comes in through your window.

Is it OK to place a couch in front of a window?

'Obviously, you may not have the space to be too fussy about whether or not you put your couch in front of a window. So yes, it IS okay to place a couch in front of a window,' says Lucy Searle, Editor in Chief of Homes & Gardens. 'However, I would always advise that it is low-slung so that there is a clear view of as much of the window as possible. It's also practical because it will make it easier to open and close the windows.

'If you can pull the sofa forwards from the window, a very narrow console table behind it, laden with plants will look pleasing and please Feng Shui experts.'

How far should a sofa be from a window

'A sofa should be at least a foot from the window,' says Jen Ebert, Homes & Gardens Digital Editor. 'This allows for drapes to be pulled back and forth without catching, and also makes it easier to clean behind. Pulling a sofa away from a window by a foot will also enhance your living room's feeling of spaciousness. Pushing furniture tight against the boundaries of the room will, contrary to what you might think, make the room feel smaller.'

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.