Feng Shui Insights for Outdoor Living
Feng Shui Patio: Set up the patio chairs and the sun umbrella. Find your sun block and sun hat. With the long summer days finally here enjoy the best of nature. Unwind and recharge yourself in the same moment. Whether you are entertaining or relaxing by yourself, make the most of your outdoor space and have a refreshing and relaxing outdoor experience.
” [Front porches] became an integral part of the house, as essential as a dining room or a working kitchen….Front porches came to symbolize the lifted mood. Inside the house were never-ending chores waiting to be done. Porches were for escape, relaxation, neighbor talk, and a touch of the outdoors….Potted plants added color and warmth. Swings, comfortable chairs and rockers were popular fixtures, as were goldfish bowls and birdcages. Flowering trellises shaded out the hot afternoon sun and gave fragrance to gentle breezes.” – Hugh Stevens, Country Journal
This nostalgically perfect place ended with the advent of automobiles and air conditioning, but its charms are unchanged and can be reclaimed. Porches, patios, sunrooms and decks can give you a greater connection with nature with the added comforts of “civilization.”
There are significant differences between the classic porch and the more modern patio or deck.
Something was lost. Below are insights from Feng Shui and Environmental Psychology so you can create a cozy and welcoming space that is used and enjoyed.
A porch has a roof and feels like an extension of the house. While your patio or deck is a flat slab of concrete or platform of wood projecting from the back of the house. The result: They leave you feeling exposed to the full effects of the sun – a cause for concern in an SPF 50 world – and exposed to your neighbors. You experience a loss of privacy. This feeling of exposure results in patios and decks not being fully enjoyed.
No matter how well furnished, an exposed outdoor space will be used for grilling, period.
Feng Shui discovered two thousand years ago that people are more relaxed when they feel supported from behind. I call this the “embracing mountain.”Having a wall, fence or thick hedge behind where you are sitting will help you feel anchored and protected. Decks and patios are usually attached to a house, giving you protection from behind, but you need some sort of privacy screen or sense of enfoldment to feel at ease. This is important for creating a feng shui patio.
You can create a space that is partially enclosed and gives you the experience of sun, wind and the smells and sounds of nature.
5 Tips to Create a Feng Shui Patio: Make your patio or porch feel more private:
- Nestle your social or private space into an outdoor corner of your home, the kind created by an addition or bump-out.
- Add screens or trellis on one or two sides of your deck or patio, leaving one side open for fresh air and the best views.
- Plant hedges that will grow 4 feet tall for privacy when you are seated for a full or partial length wall
- Hang brightly colored sheets – like one client did while her hedges were growing tall enough.
- Add a trellis roof, canvas shade or large adjustable umbrella for shade and a feeling of protection.
A porch can benefit from:
- Hanging plants
- Trellis with vines, or
- Canvas shades on the exposed sides.
Give yourself the visual privacy and sense of protection you need.
Balance this privacy with openness and a real connection to the restorative qualities of nature.
Tips on Patio or Porch Size (Yes, size does count)
Architect and author, Christopher Alexander states for a balcony or patio to be useful it must be at least 6 feet deep. This allows for chairs, a table and room to move around. If it is shallower than this it will just be a display space for garden furniture. If you have limited outdoor space, consider smaller scale patio furniture or chairs that have a smaller footprint.
Group chairs on patios and porches closer together for personal-conversational distance. Arrange chairs in a circle or semi-circle
for ease of eye contact.
To learn more read:
Make the most of your outdoor space with a personal Feng Shui consultation. Contact me by clicking on the link. You are one step closer to a welcoming and refreshing outdoor space.
Originally published July 9, 2014; updated June 13, 2017
porch photo by Kendyl Young