As we gear up to welcome the Chinese New Year and step into the Year of the Dragon, Supa Centa Moore Park had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Grace Niu, a revered Feng Shui consultant whose expertise in home styling and decor perfectly aligns with the essence of this festive season. Grace, the founder of Feng Shui Serenity, graciously shared her insights and family traditions, shedding light on the significance of Feng Shui at this time of year.
Q: Are there any unique or personal traditions related to home decor in your own family or culture that you’d like to share with our readers? What are three items you can’t live without during Chinese New Year?
Grace: “Chinese New Year offers a remarkable opportunity for a fresh start, symbolising a shift in energy and boundless possibilities. In my family, we begin by thoroughly cleansing our home by getting rid of anything old, broken or not used, because they carry stagnant energy. This process also involves deep cleaning, especially focusing on doors and windows during the last month of the old year. It’s a tradition I uphold, though admittedly not my favourite part. However, once the house is pristine, we indulge in the fun part: decorating for the New Year ahead.”
“Four indispensable items during this time for us are fresh flowers, paper cuttings and door couplets, and lucky fruits like Dragon Fruit and oranges. Fresh flowers, particularly gladioli, symbolise progress and development. Paper cuttings and door couplets usher in new energy, while fruits symbolise prosperity. Additionally, vibrant orchids and Oriental-style vases add a touch of elegance and festivity.”
Grace recommends pairing these items with beautiful bowls or baskets for storing such as this handwoven bamboo and rattan Penang Basket or this perfectly proportioned handblown glass Pacific Bowl from Provincial Home Living.
Q: As we head into the Year of the Dragon, what are some key elements of Feng Shui home decor and styling that people should be aware of?
Grace: “In 2024, the West facing part of your home requires the most attention due to its inauspicious energy. To counter this, incorporating metal elements such as steel furniture or marble finishes is beneficial. Circular brass mirrors or decorative metal plates on the West wall are ideal. Shades of grey, white, gold, silver, and metallic hues can also suppress negative energy.”
Grace’s favourite pieces that incorporate metal elements include The Hammered Side Table, hand-crafted from iron and the the Melrose Marble Coffee Table has a polished natural white marble top that rests neatly on a slender brass-coloured art deco frame from Shack. Grace also loves the Max Glass Console Table, a luxe combination of faux shagreen antiqued brass from Coco Republic.
Q: Are there traditional colours or symbols associated with bringing good Feng Shui
this Chinese New Year that should be incorporated into home styling?
Grace: “While red is a traditional colour, purple holds favourable energy, aligning with Period 9 of auspicious Feng Shui. Violet, mauve, or lavender, when used subtly, can also usher in positive energy. In 2024, these colours are suitable for the South-West or northern parts of your home.”
Q: What are practical and affordable ways for people to curate their homes with Feng
Shui without a complete makeover?
Grace: “Enhancing Feng Shui in your home doesn’t have to be a costly endeavour; there are practical and affordable ways to cultivate positive energy without a complete makeover. To start, strategically rearrange your existing furniture to optimise energy flow, allowing it to move effortlessly throughout your space. Take note of any blockages or restrictions in the flow, as these can negatively impact your living environment. For instance, a couch partially blocking a doorway can create stagnation and hinder opportunities. Ensure your furniture placement maximises opportunities to receive positive energy from the Universe.
Another economical approach is to use small accessories or artworks to balance unseen energy, but it’s a great idea to consult a qualified Feng Shui consultant to understand the energy quality. Once you have this knowledge, you can make informed decisions, such as incorporating Wood energy in the South-east sector through thriving plants or green-hued artworks, enhancing positive energy in that specific area.”
Q: How do you balance traditional elements with a more modern or contemporary style when decorating for Chinese New Year?
Grace: “Combining traditional red and gold with sleek, minimalist designs or mixing traditional decorations with modern materials like glass creates a harmonious blend. It’s about maintaining the essence of Chinese New Year while infusing personal style.”
Grace says you can display traditional lanterns alongside contemporary artwork, or opt for modern furniture with Chinese-inspired patterns, such as the bone and dove grey resin Richardson Sideboard or beautifully decorated blue and white china Kingdom Stool from from Provincial Home Living.
Q: Any DIY Chinese New Year projects or craft ideas that people can try at home?
Grace: “Absolutely! Crafting red envelopes, paper lanterns, intricate paper cutting art, Chinese knots or practising calligraphy on red paper are delightful DIY projects to infuse the home with festive spirit.”
DIY craft ideas:
- Red Envelopes: Create your own red envelopes, known as “hong bao,” by using red paper or cardstock. Decorate them with gold accents, Chinese characters, or traditional symbols like the Chinese zodiac animal of the year – the Dragon.
- Paper Lanterns: Make colourful paper lanterns using red, gold or other vibrant colours. You can find templates online or create your own design. Hang them around your home to add a festive touch.
- Paper Cutting Art: Try your hand at Chinese paper cutting, known as “jian zhi.” Use red paper, and create intricate designs of animals, flowers or other auspicious symbols. Frame and display them as unique decorations.
- Chinese Knots: Learn how to make Chinese knots using red or golden cords. These decorative knots symbolise good luck and prosperity. Hang them on doorknobs, windows or on hooks anywhere as ornaments.
- Calligraphy Art: Practice Chinese calligraphy by writing auspicious phrases or blessings on red paper or scrolls. Frame them or hang them on your walls as meaningful decorations.
Q: Can you recommend any specific furniture or accessory pieces that can make a big impact on the overall Feng Shui ambience at home?
Grace: “Pieces carrying predominant Fire, Water, Wood, or Metal energies are key. For example, a cabinet with Fire energy activates auspicious sectors, while a piece containing Water or Wood energy can balance energies. Portable decor with strong Metal energy can also harmonise spaces.”
Grace suggests activating or enhancing auspicious energy like the ‘Success & Promotion’ star and energising the Wealth star by considering a piece of furniture or artwork that predominantly carries Fire energy. This Cabinet with 3 Doors from Shack aligns with Fire Energy, making it a favourable choice. Another impactful addition to your home could be a piece of furniture or artwork that predominantly carries Water or Wood energy. This bayleaf green Ponting Sideboard from Provincial Home Living resonates with either Water or Wood energy, providing a harmonising effect within your space.
Q: What are your tips for creating a suitably nice atmosphere in the home when welcoming guests during Chinese New Year?
Grace: “I usually have a few signature pieces in my home, either furniture or artworks that can be used as Feng Shui remedies, so my home can look beautiful but also effectively balance and harmonise the energy in a deeper layer. For Chinese New Year specifically, I recommend creating a festive corner with red and gold, traditional displays, music, preparing traditional food, offering Chinese tea and snacks, creating cosy seating areas, and sharing stories and traditions to contribute to a warm and inviting ambience.”