You are on page 1of 12

What is Feng Shui

Feng Shui - (fUng schway) is an ancient Chinese art form that has been around since the first Egyptian pyramids were constructed over 4,000 years ago. Those who practice Feng Shui have learned to harmonize the home with the personality traits of the household occupants. Feng Shui masters say that with the mastery of Feng Shui comes a healthier lifestyle, personal wealth, and enrichment of social status. For the practical home decorator, this may seem like a far stretch between science fiction and reality. Feng Shui principles and decorating concepts are fine additions to any space even if you find yourself on the more skeptical side of the fence choosing not to believe in all of the Feng Shui hype.
What can Feng Shui do for me?

Unfortunately, Feng Shui mastery does not include a guide on how to grow money on trees, or force people to fall in love with you, but it can improve, and will enhance those specific aspects of your life! Feng Shui is not a "cure all" or a solution to all of your problems. Feng Shui is an art form and like all art it must be practiced in order to achieve any kind of success. Feng Shui is based on good morals, and principles that manifest themselves through the arrangement of furnishings or decorations. We seek refuge inside our homes for protection and privacy. For these two reasons alone, the home should be your most prized possession as humble as it may be.
A Glimpse of Human Behavior

We all have little things about our personality that make us feel ashamed. such things as hidden desires, addictions, or even something superficial like a hole in our shirt might trigger subconscious feelings of embarrassment. And when these triggers fire off embarrassing feelings tend to manifest themselves in our social behavior. We tend to push people away from us when this happens and we all wish to hide personality flaws from the public eye. At an extreme level these manifestations may hinder our growth as human beings. Your home is no different than your personality. In fact, most people would say that a person's house, apartment, bedroom, or whatever is a window to looking into one's personality. Disorganization and clutter inside of a living space brings out those feelings of embarrassment and the same growth limitations may manifest themselves in the form of hindering the ability to get work done inside of your very own home. The same chaotic household may also have devastating effects on the social life of the inhabitants. Such a home may be seen as shameful and if we are ashamed to bring friends or family into our home, we miss out on that companionship and other social aspects of life that are needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The solution? Clean the filth, organize the clutter, and watch your social life blossom.
Just What the Dr. Ordered

There are many more Feng Shui concepts to discover like the example above and applying these concepts to your own home may be exactly what's needed to replace an empty void in your life. As you study the art of Feng Shui you will change the way you look at your home and by changing the quality of your home you are simultaneously improving your quality of life.
Feng Shui - Redefine Your Home

The first step to implementing Feng Shui into your home is changing the way you think about your living space. A home is more than just a place to hang your hat or a place to kill time between social interactions. It is your personal palace. A home serves as your own safe living space where relaxation and rejuvenation take place. Also serving as a place to build and strengthen relationships with those friends closest to us. A home must be a place of safety and stability, standing as a symbol of whom we are as people, your personal belongings, photos, artwork, and all that decorate your home will reflect on personality when outsiders explore the house. A fine tuned home will amplify your favorite activities and may boost productivity if you are working from home.
Feng Shui - Try it out

Reflect back to a house in your life that you really enjoyed being in. This could be the house of a family member or friend that just seemed to have their home in order all the time. It was clean and spacious with an all around enjoyable feel to it. Maybe you can even remember some exciting details about the people that lived there. It's a safe bet that they were enjoyable to be around, fun, exciting, and energetic. Feng Shui can bring this to your own life. What is Chi?Chi is a Chinese term that, unfortunately, has no direct translation. Chi roughly translates to energy, but is also defined by saying that Chi serves as the reminder to humans that everything of this Earth is connected by Chi (energy). Think of the last time you thought you could feel somebody looking at you. The hairs on the back of your neck may have lifted and as you turn around you find that somebody is actually starring at the back of your noggin. We also have an unyielding ability to detect when somebody is walking up behind us. We can almost feel them coming up from behind as though we are watching them with eyes in the back of our heads. Many cultures believe this phenomenon to be a 6th sense and when you experience it you are experiencing a part of Chi. Decor, paintings, furniture, and personal photographs are all manufactured with fragments of this Earth and thus they are connected to us by Chi. The connection is
The Power of Chi

Chi may also be defined as an awareness of energy around you. This energy can be felt in all of our surroundings and every living thing, but more importantly the furnishings of your home are said to radiate Chi. Chi is always moving, always changing, and always present. When entering a room in your home or someone else's living space there is always an energy presence to be discovered and fine tuned. Think about the last time you entered a Sports Bar or a living room full of eager sports enthusiasts as the final seconds of a play-off basketball game tick away. The energy levels in these two rooms are usually elevated as the tension builds. Similar results can be achieved when Feng Shui is implemented inside of any household space.

Personal Chi

As an individual, you have a personal Chi, a personal aura. Anger, frustration, happiness, and other emotions are sensed by others around us. Even posture of how we walk, talk, or the tone in our voice can clue in others to our emotional state. A personal Chi is always changing depending on the attitude of a person.
Feng Shui and Personal Chi

As we mentioned, Chi is found everywhere in a home, Chi can even be found radiating from a home's inhabitants in the form of personal Chi. Your personal Chi and your home's Chi complement each other like macaroni and cheese. A Hostile or unorganized living space creates chaos. This chaotic Chi will impact your personal attitude each time you find yourself inside of the chaotic room. As a result your home may be the cause of much unnecessary stress in your life. Feng Shui is the bridge that links personality to the home and the great news is that it can be fine tuned to match everybody's personality. One of the main goals of Feng Shui is to integrate some basic principles of interior design with your own personality traits.
Recognizing Chi Spots

Windows, wall paper, photos, electronics, cozy fire places, wall art, and flower filled vases are examples of furnishings or decor that radiate Chi. Everything radiates Chi, that much we are sure of. They all radiate very specific and very different types of Chi and that is another very important Feng Shui principle. The size, shape, and color are all factors that categorize decor and furnishings into very distinct forms of Chi - Yin and Yang. Chi energy manifests itself in two forms the Yin and the Yang. Each manifestation yields its own distinct set of attributes or "personality traits" if you will. Still, these opposites manage to attract each other like opposing sides of a magnet and when the two energies harmonize the result is pure brilliance. A classic Yin and Yang image may come to mind and it does serve as the perfect icon of what is to be achieved inside each and every room of the home. Yin and Yang represent two opposite ends of a spectrum like fire and water. The majority of us gravitate toward one side or the other and the rest fall somewhere in between. As you will soon discover, everyday household things are classified much the same way as our personalities and only after developing a working knowledge of Yin and Yang traits, will you be able to mix and match furnishings in your home with your personality. Harmonization begins by first understanding our own character and by associating personality traits with Yin and Yang energy. Previously, we mentioned that every individual tends to radiate either a Yin or Yang Chi. The type of radiation felt from one's personality depends solely on very specific personality traits associated with that individual. The next few paragraphs examine some of these traits in order for you to paint begin to understand yourself and your own Chi. As we begin to categorize some common personality traits please pay special attention to any of the traits that are present in your own persona.
Yin Personality Traits

Yin personalities are quiet, sensitive, and inwardly imaginative. These individuals enjoy the comforts of home and may not always be willing to go out for a night on the town. Instead he/she may choose to stay in for the evening focusing on personal matters. Introverted and shy, a Yin personality is independent, loyal, and easily distracted by an abundance of creative passion. In a household setting, one common pitfall among a Yin character is that these individuals hold on to family relics too long filling one's home with clutter and stagnant energy. A tendency like stockpiling should be avoided but can also be counterbalanced with a tremendous quantity of Yang decor.
Yang Personality Traits

Yang persona tend to be idealistic, outgoing, and interact socially with confidence. While these people have strong intellectual ability they tend to lack creativity and find themselves without an independent sense of security. A Yang personality develops a high value of self worth and yield an outstanding ability to stand up for one's self. A highly extroverted individual may find themselves diving into other people's affairs adding unnecessary stress to their own life. With higher levels of energy a Yang person will accomplish more things in a lifetime but not without consequence. These people tend to be at a greater risk of anxiety and stress disorders. Utilize friends and family asking them what they think about who you are. Spend more time listening to what they have to say and taking notes rather than disagreeing and arguing about what they tell you.
Yin, Yang, and Balance

Taking a peek inside of somebody's home can be a great insight into someone's personality if you know what to look for. We know that a person's personality is going to favor either Yin or Yang and we can categorize people based on very specific character traits. We also know that once we have developed an understanding of one's persona we can then begin to harmonize the flow of Chi inside of a home by counterbalancing a Yin personality with Yang decor or vice versa. But what exactly are we looking for in a piece of furniture in order to classify it? We are looking for "personality traits." If you are sitting in a chair right now while surfing this site the chair in which you are sitting must have some very distinct qualities that set it apart from other seats. Maybe it is tall and slender, black or orange, has a high back or fluffy arm rests. The chair might not even be a chair at all, it could be a stool or maybe a bench, it could be soft and squishy like a sofa or a solid Oak rocking chair. In the next few pages I am going to point out some of these major decor personality traits and classify furnishings according to either Yin or Yang. Think open. A Yang floor plan is an open floor plan. Spacing is absolutely crucial here when trying to boost the presence of Yang Chi inside of any habitat. Aside from the coloring of the walls, the amount of vacant space inside of any given room is the best way to increase Yang Chi. The space in front of windows should be open and clear from obstruction. This increases the amount of natural light inside of a room and also promotes many other Yang possibilities. Natural light from at least 2 different sources is ideal but overhead, halogen lights may be substituted if necessary. Replace elaborate window sheers with vertical or horizontal blinds and always maintain that open floor plan.
Yang Color, Shapes, and More!

Bright, festive colors are Yang colors. These are eye-opening shades of unnatural color (colors not readily visible in nature) that leave a lasting impression on any visitors that you might encounter. Use these colors with tasteful moderation as they can become immensely overpowering. Wall paint is often the easiest and most influential way to alter the Chi inside any given room. A tremendous amount of time and thought should be exerted when deciding to go with a Yang wall color, since these colors are usually overpowering especially in smaller rooms like a bedroom. Sometimes only covering one or two walls with a fresh layer of paint is all that is needed to heighten the energy levels of a room. Sometimes changing wall paint isn't an option be it financial reasons, have no fear, fresh colors can be added to a room through decor or furniture. Brightly shaded candles, flowers, or laying out a new rug can be just what is needed to bring a refreshing new spark to an outdated or dull living space. Stone, glass, and mirror furniture fall into the Yang category. Replace a wood coffee or bookshelf with a glass or metallic equal. Even changing the arrangement of wall art can be a means to invite the Chi energies into a room. Elevate wall hangings 3 to 6 inches (10 15mm) and feel the room lighten with Yang. Larger sofas with plush, round arm rests should be exchanged for smaller, straight-backed couches with solid, square arm rests. Vertical lines and edges provide the liveliest manifestations of Yang energy. Plants and vases are a great way to get started. Exchange plants that hang downward for plants that shoot upward. Pyramids and triangular shapes also boost Yang flow. Change from square end tables to triangular shapes. This delicate balance requires an arrangement that is complimentary to one's personality. As we begin to explore what the personality traits associated with Yin and Yang, try to recall a particular place that you thoroughly enjoyed being in. This could be some exotic hotel, a family member's house, or even the house across the street. Try to remember the details that made it so pleasurable for you. Elegant and Cozy - Floral texturing, folded shades, and curtains all slow down the movement of Chi. Numerous furnishings in a small space promotes the feel of Yin. Fill empty table space with full, elaborate decor. Use old fashioned picture framing or maybe even exchange color photos for black and white. Cover metalic or glass tables with fabric will change its radiation from Yang to Yin. Keep things soft, cozy, and maybe a little bit old fashioned.
Yin Colors, Shapes, Lighting, and more

Black is the most Yin of all colors while soft pastels or deep, dark colors such as maroon or a dark, sage green. Wood finishings should be colored dark and rich. Soft curves and flowing shapes but never a circle are Yin. Rounded ceilings are advantageous to Yin while sturdy wooden furniture needs to be exchanged for soft, plush, or wicker furniture. Use table lamps, preferably on dimming switches. Overhead lighting with the ability to dim is also categorized as Yin. Lighting should be kept manageable throughout the day. Use full length window coverings for the daylight hours and perhaps a semi transparent covering for the evening.

Furnishings are soft, plush, and cozy. Floral fabric on pillows and sofas are all Yin. Bookshelves, sofas, and other furnishings should be kept low to the ground. Also lowering wall pictures/paintings can increase the flow of Yin. In the world of Feng Shui, everything of the Earth belongs to one of five elements: Earth, Fire, Water, Wood, and Metal. Each element manifests and radiates energy in the form of Chi. These same elements are present in our own personalities. An example of this would be that a highly creative, social persona would be classified as a Wood personality type. Constructive Cycle

Water springs wood. Wood fuels fire. Fire becomes earth. Earth hardens into metal. Metal erodes into water.

Deconstructive Cycle

Water extinguishes fire. Fire melts metal. Metal chops wood. Wood breaks apart the earth. Earth blocks water.

Elements interact with each other just as our personalities can influence one another. Let's take a look at our wood personality again and mesh it with a person said to have a fiery personality. A creative (wood) person can feed his/her ideas to an overly enthusiastic, "go get 'em" (fire) person that feeds off from ideas and creativity. The end result is two personalities feeding off from each other and working together as a harmonious duo. The same principle applies in decorating your home. Each room in your home should have a working balance of anywhere from 3 to 5 elements. The hard part is determining what a working balance is, this is purely up to you as the key is to balance your home with your own personality. Percentages are a good route for beginners. For example, 50:40:10 is a safe start (50%Earth:40%Metal:10%Water).
Wood

The wood element manifests as creative and developing energy. It symbolizes personal growth and development of one's mind. Wood bends but does not break, wood personalities are strong willed individuals.
Fire

Fire manifests itself through expansionism and enthusiasm. Fire personalities are natural born leaders these individuals will take an idea and run with it. Fire is a very powerful element and a little bit goes a long way. Overwhelming amounts of fire may overpower and destroy the Chi of a room.
Earth

Earth grants stability creating a strong foundation to build legacy upon legacy. Earth aligned persona are honest, level-headed, and rational individuals. An overabundance of the earth element in a home can smother the energy like an over-kindled camp fire.

Metal

Mental strength comes from the metal element. Adulthood brings about mental maturity that radiates metal Chi. The metal element in the home generally represents wealth and luxury.
Water

Water rejuvenates the body and spirit. Water is unique in that it can be peaceful and calm (still water) and on the flip side it can be violent or even chaotic (running water). Adding the water element to a home renews the Chi. Release and Rejuvenation - Flowing water is Yang aligned. Water that moves begins its journey from an elevated position and drops or flows into a pool below. As you might expect bringing the water element into your home creates a downward flow of energy. Water's innate ability to pool around any and every object bring stability and equalization to surrounding energies. Water energies help us let go of things that are no longer in our best interests. It is still water (Yin) that is responsible for calming the surrounding energies. A still pool brings a sense of a fresh start, a new beginning, and the renewal of strength.
The Color of Water

We all know that the color of pure water is transparent, but the rules change in Feng Shui. Black, very dark grays, and dark blues are the traditional colors associated with the Water Element. Blacks play a key role in the study of oneself and the ability to build wisdom. Be warned that too much black does send that message to others that you are may not be interested in social interactions. Dark blues release energies associated with flowing water. These energies of moving water are said to influence your career and flow of money.
Shape Your Water

Water has no definitive shape, it is very unique indeed. Pictures of still water including ponds, lakes, and reservoirs are great ways of bringing still water energies into your home. Traditionally, rippling waves, cascades, or terraces. These shapes force energy sideways or downward, which is characteristic of water. Fish bowls, low-pumped aquariums, and flower vases are other suggestions for water incorporation.
Water Implementation

Hanging items such as pots and pans, or tools engages the energies of flowing water. Indoor ponds have grown in popularity over the last decade and they too expand the energies of flowing water. Personal Growth - Trees shooting up from the ground radiate growth. Their branches sway with the wind as energy weaves between each leaf. Roots break apart the earth below and serving as a strong foundation for the tree to build on itself. Bringing this lustrous element into your own home promotes the opportunity for growth and development of oneself. It is wood that has the ability to transform from a tiny seed to a towering mosaic of leaves and bark.

Water is the source of all life therefore water aligned decor will enhance elements of wood. Wood in turn feeds fire.
Color Your Wood

Traditional colors associated with wood are greens and purples. Pastel colors do not work here, keep your shades of green and purple true and without gray tones. Browns work but be careful not to slip into the element of Earth. Use Dark Sienna instead of tan and beige.
Shape Your Wood - Think Vertical

Wood shapes and designs are vertical. Rectangles that are taller than they are wide lift energy upward like the trees you find outside your home. Incorporating pillars into your decor strengthens the wood element of a room. Centuries ago pillars stood as a symbol to unite Heaven with Earth.
Wood Implementation

Switch out short and wide bookshelves for tall, skinny replacements to increase your wood energy. Add big, leafy, potted plants that shoot upwards from the base. Expansion, Enthusiasm, and Transformation - The fire element has always been a powerful tool for human beings. Harnessing this power changed the way we live by providing warmth. As our abilities with fire grew, we were able to expand beyond our limits, gas stoves, jet engines, and automobiles have sent mankind into the modern age. Bringing the fire element can add this expansionism and transformation to your own life. Fire increases the vertical flow of energy in your home tremendously. Too much fire can be chaotic and cause more harm than good. As always in Feng Shui, balance your home with your own persona.
Coloring With Fire

Bright, lively colors are key to fire element implementation. As you might expect, yellow, orange, and red work great, however, any bright color will work. For instance sky blue, or baby blue, or anything that allows energy to "bounce" and flow freely. Any bright color can be a fire color especially if you add a semigloss or highgloss finish into the mix. Semigloss and Highgloss finishes are reflective, bouncing light here and there while satin or eggshell finishes push the light around the room toning your fire down a notch.
Shape Your Fire

An object's shape can increase the flow of energy even more so than just the color. Shapes that send energy up and into the air represent fire. Diamonds, pyramids, triangles, and sunbursts provide this sort of upward lift to a room increasing the flow of energy.

Triangles: A triangle no matter how it is displayed moves energy in a vertical direction because of its defined edges and sharp vertices. Pyramids: Pyramids are a little more grounded than a triangle but they still shoot energy upward in a vertical direction. Diamonds: Diamonds shoot energy up and down simultaneously. Sunbursts: Sunbursts radiate energy in nearly every direction, much like a vase full of seasonal flowers. Use real flowers to increase the effect.

Floral arrangements are a great way to add fire energy. Using real flowers will encourage you to change the arrangement as the flowers die off.
Fire Implementation

Increasing the amount of sunlight that comes into a room increases fire energy, always try to use natural light. If this is not an option use lights that shoot upward instead of traditional hanging lamps. The same goes for plants, exchange overhead, hanging plantery for plants that shoot upward. Floral arrangements are a great way to add fire energy. Using real flowers will encourage you to change the arrangement as the flowers die off. Hang pictures of bright flowers if fresh flowers are not a possibility. Grounding Support and Security - The earth element radiates downard. Adding this element to your home quarters strengthens feelings of safety and security. The grounding support of earth energy should bring comfort to the soul and tone things down.
Color Your Earth

Browns, sierras, olive greens, and any other color that is somewhat muted. Dull colors such as sandstone, or granite work well for earth. Avoid the bright colors as they excite the energy of the room instead of control it.
Shape Your Earth

Integrate earth shapes into your floor plans by using squares, rectangles, and horizontal lines. Rectangles must be wider than they are tall, tables are usually inherently rectangular, perfect for increasing earthen energies. Furnishings made of earth materials are automatically classified as earth objects (brick, stone, clay, etc).
Earth Implementaion - Think of the Earth

Old fashioned, simple works, including older books make great earth decor. Woven basket containers, large, antiqued-pottery with or without engraved designs are a great way to bring energy downward for that cozy, "homey" feeling. Solid chairs made from finished woods with soft cushions are a great way to simplify a room. Granite table/counter tops with a wooden base symbolize strength and security. Pay special attention to the walls of a room. Thick walls can be a great way to enhance the earth feel of a room, built-in furnishings thicken a wall giving it more support. This effect can also be simulated using layered painting techniques, use the colors of the earth. Mental Strength - Metal pulls energy together. It stimulates your brain's intellectual abilities while bringing the energy of the room together. Increasing the metal energies of a room will allow one to focus one's thoughts.
The Color of Metal

Metal manifests in about 3 different colors including gray, while, and silver. These colors are not neutral, they actually radiate vast amounts of intellectual energies.
Shape Your Metal

Circles and arcs are the strongest form of metal energy. They harness the energies of a room spinning them toward the center of the circle. Objects made from the metals of the earth, bronze, silver, tin, aluminum, etc also generate metal energies.
Metal Implementation

Circular coffee tables, preferably with metal support or legs work great for bringing the energy of a room together. Replace plant pottery with metal planters. Shiny metal radiates a greater amount of chi than dull metals. Interior walls are usually white, if this is overwhelming try painting just a single wall to nullify some of the metal energies. What is Chakra? Chakra is the system of how Chi (energy) courses through the human body. There are 7 different locations where energy condenses and these locations are termed Chakras.
First Chakra

The first Chakra is the root Chakra, located at the base of the spine toward the end of the bony sacrum (the last five vertebrae that fuse together to form the tailbone). This area is in charge of safety when it comes to fight or flight situations, and aligns with the Earth element of Feng Shui.
Second Chakra

Our second Chakra is located near the reproductive organs of the body and governs sexuality. It aligns with the element of Water.
Third Chakra

While located in the "gut" area of the body, the third Chakra is also in charge of "gut" feelings such as willpower, emotional pain, and physical pain, etc. This is where the power to assert and stand-up for yourself manifests. This Chakra aligns itself with the Fire element.
Fourth Chakra

Theability to love and show compassion toward others comes from the fourth Chakra located at the center of the heart. Balance and energy are also manifested in this region of your body. This Chakra aligns itself with the Earth element.
Fifth Chakra

The voicebox is the source of the fifth Chakra, and serves as a means to follow that "higher" power. Spiritual strength and energy radiate from this point in the body. The voicebox is aligned with the Wood element.
Sixth Chakra

Located between the eyebrows lies the sixth Chakra that allows for the presence of intuition. Also referred to as the power of mind, reasoning of our surroundings comes from this point of the body. It aligns itself with the element of Metal.

Seventh Chakra

Located toward the crown or cranium portion of your skull is the seventh Chakra. Our divine connection radiates from this point. It acts as an interface between this world and the world after. It is aligned with the element of Fire.
What's in an alignment?

Chakra are all aligned to a specific element in Feng Shui. This means that, a particular element will excite these points in your body and perhaps enhance a certain feeling or behavior while in that element. For example, the element of fire in Feng Shui brings about transformation and power. The third Chakra is aligned with this element meaning that a room with lots of fiery orientation will strengthen your will perhaps allowing you to make necessary changes in your life. This is the start of truly understanding Feng Shui. The color of decor, furnishings, and especially the paint of the walls set the tone of a room and will either relax or intesify the energy levels felt while spending time inside of that room. Our emotions are effected by the colors we bring into our home. Let's take a look at the simplest colors of white and black, both of these colors should have a formal feel to them, especially if the wall paint is white with black decor (think tuxedo or a wedding dress). Softer pastel colors break up the formalities softening the tone and lightening the mood of the room. Mild and muted tones, such as maroon bring energy down closer to the ground heightening feelings of security and safety. Before choosing a color scheme, take into account functionality of the room. Be sure the purpose of the room is clear and then provide appropriate coloring methods to enhance its functionality.
Choosing Room Color: Where to Start

Work with what is already there. Wood stoves, fireplaces, granite counter tops, and everything else that already exists in a household room should automatically be the focal point for color selection. Since these items are generally a large hassle to remove or replace, you have no choice but to work with what is already there. The colors you choose for such a room should revolve around that object. Fireplaces are great examples here. A room with fireplace fixture composed of brick or cobblestone will limit some of the color choices for this room but rest assured that with a little dash of spice and a spark of creativity, you will find that such a strong fixture will never fully hinder you in your designs. The trim of a house is generally always the same color from room to room. This color unification can bring all the different colors of a home together. It is a wonderful way to complement and coordinate the numerous rooms of your home.
Choosing Colors: Start Safe

A great starting point is to select 3-4 colors for a single room. Several colors exist in Feng Shui that are seen in everyday life (usually in nature). These colors are termed "safe" because they are natural and seen everyday. The table on the left shows each of the "safe" colors.

Pastels and mild tones are adventurous or risky colors. Large quantities of these types of colors can be overwhelming at best. They excite energies that are too specific and can lead to a chaotic feel to a room.
Develop a Working Balance

Your personality plays a key role in deciding which colors are good for you. A safer personality (Yin) will tend to lean toward the safer spectrum of colors while an explosive personality (Yang) will sway further away from safe color shades. One technique to work out your color scheme is on paper with percentages. People tend to need between 50%-90% of a room to be colored with safe colors, and anywhere from 10%50% adventurous color. Stick with 3-4 colors and figure out what percentage of color your personality can handle.