Feng shui experts share home decorating tips for the Year of the Monkey
This fire monkey year calls for making bold changes such as adding shades of red or repainting an entire room
Lunar New Year has profound cultural significance, but it’s also a time for making merry. So as the Year of the Monkey rolls around – and not just any old primate, but the cheeky, wily fire monkey - why not have some fun with it?
Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo notes that the last time we experienced the same yang fire monkey year was 60 years ago, in 1956. While history records episodes of trouble and strife globally during that year, Lo points out that as yang fire symbolises the sun, it also generates sentiments of optimism and happiness.
It was also a very successful year for some of the biggest stars of the time, Lo adds: Elvis Presley crooned Heartbreak Hotel, his first million-selling single; Norma Jean Baker changed her name to Marilyn Monroe; and Doris Day recorded her most famous song, Que Sera Sera. “So it is a favourable year for entertainment and glamorous industries,” Lo says.
And that makes it the right time to channel some glamour and boldness into your home.
The key colours for the year of the fire monkey, says Jan Cisek, a London-based feng shui consultant, are red and its various related shades such as pink, rose, purple, lilac and burgundy. “To connect to the energy of fire monkey via the fire element and its colour,” she says, “just get some brand-new red items for your home - for example, red towels, a red door mat, and for yourself, red clothes - as well as candles which represent the fire element.”
In its “lucky” interior design tips for the coming lunar year, Lushome.com says eco-style is a hot trend. Think natural wood and indoor plants, earthy colours, and textiles and decorative fabrics made with natural fibres. “The monkey symbolises curiosity and creative energy,” the site states. “It means you can experiment and implement fantastic ideas for your functional, comfortable and modern interior design and decorating projects.”
It also advises: “Avoid the numbers 2, 5 and 9 in house design and home decorating, and use wood, soft fabrics, fur and metal textures to accentuate your office and home interiors. Instead of dark grey and black, use peaceful and noble shades like blue and gold, comfortable brown colours and greens for room decorating in 2016.”
Susan Levitt, an American feng shui consultant, points out that the home is important to the monkey sign of the zodiac, so you should make it feel like a safe, secure place. “Some things might be out of your control in a monkey year,” she says, “but you can control how you maintain and keep your living space clean.”
Levitt says painting just one room can transform the energy in your home for the entire year. “If each room of your home has white or ivory walls,” she says, “all that white is too much of the element metal, which can lead to arguing and bickering. Be sure to paint at least one room with colour.”
That room can be as small as a bathroom, with a good colour choice being light blue, or you can use light green for a smaller bedroom. The hue should be restful and not too bright. Yellow is good in the kitchen, and gold in the dining room.
But which room should you pick? “Paint the room that looks the most run-down and is in the most need of sprucing up,” Levitt says.