Before travel was as accessible as it is today, people around the world had little contact and developed distinct systems of design and architecture. Each culture’s unique system is largely reflective of those people’s past and present cultural values. Architects and interior designers today have the luxury of drawing influence from a number of architectural systems that have been carefully cultivated over time. One of the oldest and most complex architectural sciences is Vastu Shastra.
The ancient Indian architectural science, which directly translates to “the science of architecture”, lays out principles for the design, layout, measurement, ground preparation, space arrangement, and spatial geometry of a home. According to Vastu, the world is made by five elements: Earth, Air, Space, Fire, and Water. Vastu dictates that these elements must be balanced in the home in order to eliminate negative energies and enhance positive ones. By following these principles, homeowners can create homes in tune with mother-nature which, in turn, promote balanced, harmonious and happy lives.
While we can’t all construct our homes to follow the principles of Vastu Shastra, it’s possible to integrate some key elements of the Indian architectural science into any home. Engel & Völkers is happy to provide just a few suggestions based on the many principles of Vastu Shatra that will work to balance the energies in your home.
The Main Entrance
Vastu Shastra dictates that the home’s main entrance should face East as it is the direction of the rising sun. Every morning, light shines through the home and welcomes positive energies. Even if homeowners cannot adjust the cardinal direction of their entryway, there are still a few elements of Vastu which can be used to generate balance. Homeowners should consider installing wooden doors and decorating them with green plants at the sides. They should also avoid placing dustbins or shoe racks near the entrance as they are known to attract negative energies. Finally, decorative nameplates and floral torans can be the perfect way to invite positive energy into the home.
The Living Area
Vastu is very important within the living areas of the home as they are host to guests. Guests bring a variety of energies into the home which are difficult to control. In order to ensure positive energy is preserved, hosts should attempt to face North or East when guests are visiting. Accordingly, guests should sit opposite the host. Homeowners may consider adjusting their seating arrangements to better accommodate these principles.
Throughout the home, but particularly in the living room, electronics should be placed facing South as it is the direction of fire. Vastu expert Ashana Ddhannak also recommends decorating the living space with soothing colors like light pink, white, cream, beige, or floral white.
As the bedroom is where homeowners spend a large portion of their time, it is essential that the energies within it are balanced. The primary bedroom should be located in the Southwest corner of the topmost floor of the home. In accordance with Vastu, the room should be square or rectangular with a generous flow of natural light and air. The Indian architectural system also states that the bed should be oriented so that the head is facing South when asleep. Homeowners should ensure the space is decluttered with the bed placed centrally as opposed to in a corner.
In Vastu Shastra, the Southeastern direction is home to Agni, the Hindu Lord of Fire. Accordingly, the ideal placement for the kitchen is in the Southeast corner of the home. At the same time, the opposing energies between the kitchen and bedroom should be kept as far from each other as possible to maintain harmony. Inside the kitchen itself, the refrigerator should be placed on the Southwest side to help the homeowner overcome obstacles. Stoves and burners should face South and drinking water should be kept on the Northeast side.