Practical home tips for the Year of the Ox

Feng shui non-believers are welcome

Like most people born in the Year of Ox, I’m looking forward to an auspicious brand-new year that is far from the Rat’s wrath in 2020. Ironically, I’m not a firm believer of lucky charms and horoscopes, but there’s a line where cosmic belief meets pragmatism, and it’s fun and interesting.

Feng shui may sound mystical, but it’s actually based on practical wisdom. Dating back to thousands of years, the Chinese philosophy behind what we now refer to as feng shui considers how energy and movement influence individuals within a certain space.

Even non-believers of feng shui will agree that a decluttered room with proper lighting, ample space that allows movement, and organic textures like plants and flowers, is conducive to relaxation.

Feng shui aims to create balance and exude a smooth flow of energy (chi) in all areas of a living space. Attracting good fortune—in health, finances or relationships—starts with having a sense of well-being, so why not start this Chinese New Year with a tidy, sparkling clean house to increase your peace of mind this Year of the Ox.

Bring nature into your home

Incorporating plants and other natural pieces like stones and wood brings an aura of life and sustainability inside the house. We’ve been doing this all year long, and we know it can bring back sanity. Introduce a money plant or lucky bamboo, or display your wooden furniture.

Let yourself breathe

Water is associated with life and abundance.

Homes are today’s best sanctuary and it should have a breathing space, literally and figuratively. Bring in plants with lush leaves to introduce more oxygen into your house. Clean the house and open the windows, like how you would during New Year’s Eve. Clear the room and declutter some more.

Spread the light

Lucky are those with glass walls and large windows as they can soak up the sun’s warmth every morning. But you can also bring in more light to your rooms by redirecting it with mirrors. They say it’s lucky if the mirror reflects the view of a greenery or a nice natural view outside, which actually makes sense, whether you’re looking for luck, peace of mind or simply aesthetic value.

Flow with fresh energy

You’ll never get tired of watching an aquarium—and it has a similar function in feng shui, too. Water is associated with life and abundance, and feng shui experts advise to place water fountains and any water fixture inside the house, specifically those with flowing water. Who never wants to sleep or relax with the sound of softly falling rain in the background?

Add a touch of royalty

Feeling rich and opulent? Even if you don’t have Victorian-inspired furniture pieces, you can work out a wealthy look for your home by surrounding yourself with violet and gold hues. From golden frames to coffee table books in gold, there’s something in this metallic color that makes it the champion. Yellow is one of the colors of the year, but gold’s yellow tone complements violet in a more elegant way.

Where’s the treasure?

Many Asian homes have a money area or a sacred corner devoted to the energy of wealth. In the typical Filipino home, it could be the place where you display your prized photos, awards, crystals, charms and the money plant. Make it an anchor area in one of your rooms and attract wealth not just by mere luck but by reminding yourself of your life’s goals—like a vision board.

Lucky, pretty stones

Whether these lucky crystals and stones really heal and interact with the body’s energy field or not, admit it, they’re naturally pretty. Imagine something formed over millions of years within the earth, now sitting on your desk. It’s always awe-striking, right? If you want to start collecting, feng shui experts suggest black tourmaline, citrine, rose quartz and pyrite.