Feng Shui designer Thierry Chow shares tips on using art to ensure positive Feng Shui energy flows in your home.

As the first sign of the twelve animals in Chinese astrology, the Year of the Rat brings new beginnings and renewals. Feng Shui designer, Thierry Chow, shares her insights on how to combine contemporary art and interior design to refresh your home décor, while helping to boost your good luck, health and wealth in the Year of the Rat.

In Feng Shui, certain directions are considered lucky, representing different parts of your life and each has respective colours and materials to encourage a good flow of energy. In combination with the direction, the placement of furniture and art will strengthen or weaken the five elements of Feng Shui (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) and balance the flow accordingly.


Representing: Career
Colours: Green
Materials: Wood

Southwest represents work and career, making it a good direction to face when working from home or studying. For optimum energy, inject some green into your Southwest space with flourishing plants to boost your good luck. Artwork should feature nature such as plants, flowers or open fields like Louise Stebbing’s Flower Pickers. Forests are also a good subject as depicted in Ellie Davies’ Stars 7 (main image), or even a wooden sculpture – all of which are easier to take care of than a house plant!

Flower Pickers by Louise Stebbing. Photo: Affordable Art Fair


Representing: Wealth and family
Colours: Yellow, red or pink
Materials: Water

If you would like to nurture your close relationships, make sure you optimise the Feng Shui in this direction. Keep things bright and alive with cheerful colours and decorate with yellow, pink or red artwork. Why not make a snug corner, perfect for resting and even sleeping – it will bring luck to your finances and romantic relationships. The ideal home accessories are water-based, such as fish tanks, water fountains or lava lamps. Likewise, select artwork like Adele Riley’s The Waters of Beautiful Saunton – featuring not only a seascape, but also the lucky colours for the Northwest direction.

The Waters of Beautiful Saunton by Adele Riley. Photo: Affordable Art Fair


Representing: General fortune and family
Colours: Red, yellow, pink and purple
Materials: Fire

Bright colours such as red, yellow, pink and purple can safeguard your general fortune and family. In your art selection, consider landscapes and floral pieces which will inject lucky colour, like Elaine Kazimierczuk’s Buttercups and Speedwells. With fire being the element, lighting is important in this area of your home – be creative with lamps and even consider neon artwork!

Buttercups and Speedwells by Elaine Kazimierczuk. Photo: Affordable Art Fair


Representing: Work and study
Materials: Stone

Southeast is another lucky position which will help you to enhance work and study. Consider rounded shapes, and stone or marble artworks. A statue would certainly help you to advance further, such as Kneeling Figure by Rose Eva, crafted from Honey Lotus Onyx.

Kneeling Figure by Rose Eva. Photo: Affordable Art Fair


Representing: Work and study
Colours: Yellow, brown and earth tones
Materials: Stone

This is also a lucky direction suitable to help with work and studies. Place your work desk here and decorate it with stone or clay artwork and vases. We love this clay sculpture by Kim Yunjae, called Paradise #3, in which an imaginary landscape springs from a calm and contemplative face. Or, if you prefer something less fragile, how about a yellow, brown and earth toned artwork like Hermione Carline’s Cinnamon Sky?

Paradise #3 by Kim Yunjae. Photo: Affordable Art Fair
Cinnamon Sky by Hermione Carline. Photo: Affordable Art Fair

Apart from directions that will bring luck, there are also some directions to be wary of. Here, Thierry shares some tips to help counteract this and make sure you are maximising the flow of energy.


Representing: Weakness and sickness
Colours: Copper, silver, gold
Materials: Metal

These unlucky directions represent weakness and sickness, so inject polka dots or a circular metallic sculpture like Philip Hearsey’s Always, which will provide protection. Metallic accessories such as a copper bowl, silver or gold art which includes an element of motion will be helpful – a clock would be ideal, or consider Robin, a bronze sculpture by Matt Duke, representing flight.

Always by Philip Hearsey. Photo: Affordable Art Fair
Robin by Matt Duke. Photo: Affordable Art Fair


Representing: Tantrums and gossip
Colours: Pink and red
Materials: Light

Symbolising tantrum and gossips, North is not a lucky direction and not fortunate in the Year of the Rat either! Keep this corner bright with artwork in pink or red. Artwork like Kyle by NANAN that also generate light, or a carpet to soften the floor, will help to alleviate potential troubles.

Kyle by NANAN. Photo: Affordable Art Fair

Main Image:

Ellie Davies, Stars 7, 2014, £1,080, photograph, limited edition of 7, Crane Kalman Brighton.

Featured Art:

Louise Stebbing, Flower Pickers, 2016, £360, linocut, limited edition of 18, ContemporArti.

Adele Riley, The Waters of Beautiful Saunton, 2019, £285, acrylic, original, Wychwood Art.

Elaine Kazimierczuk, Buttercups and Speedwells, 2019, £4,200, oil, original, Wychwood Art.

Rose Eva, Kneeling Figure, 2019, £1,100, Honey Lotus Onyx, original, Carina Haslam Art.

Kim Yunjae, Paradise #3, 2018, £1,500, clay, original, Karin Weber Gallery.

Hermione Carline, Cinnamon Sky, 2018, £475, oil, original, Mint Art Gallery.

Philip Hearsey, Always, 2019, £1,500, bronze, limited edition of 9, Wychwood Art.

Matt Duke, Robin, 2016, £2,500, bronze, limited edition of 12, Urbane Art Gallery.

NANAN, Kyle, 2019, £1,190, mixed media, original, Galerie Art Jingle.

Originally published in Affordable Art Fair.