The path leading to your home may be doing more than you think. Creating a stylish home isn’t just about the interior. Paying attention to the outside of your property is equally important. Ramping up the curb appeal of your property will add value to your home, and according to the ancient Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui, it can also attract positive energy into your living space.
What is Feng Shui?
We all understand and appreciate the benefits of a comfortable and an aesthetically pleasing living environment. Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) takes the approach that your surroundings don’t only affect your material comfort, but also your health, your financial success and your relationships.
Inside the home Feng Shui looks at the placement of objects (furniture, walls, doors and windows) and how they affect the energy flow within the home. In simple terms, Feng Shui focuses on the interaction between humans and their environment. It uses the art of placement and colour to create a positive space with a good energy flow.
The Feng Shui focus on energy is based on a holistic world view. It takes the stance that everything has energy (including inanimate objects) and that in some way all energy is connected. Our energy interacts with the energy of the people and things around us.
In terms of your home, perhaps the most important of all for energy flow is the path leading to your front door. In accordance with Feng Shui, your garden path directs energy to your front door.
The path as a metaphor
We’ve all heard of the phrase ‘being on the right path.’ It’s our potential to do something amazing. To feel alive. To reach a sense of fulfilment. The path to our front door is highly symbolic. It’s like a giant arrow pointing the way.
The path to your front door sets the tone for your home. It shouts ‘this is who I am.’ As well as representing your approach to your own life, it welcomes your visitors into your private space.
The straight path versus the winding path
There are many different kinds of paths leading to many different types of homes. The one question we are faced with when contemplating the creation of a new path is whether we’d like it to be straight or curved. In the world of Feng Shui, the latter is conducive to slowing down energy flow as it arrives at our property. Long, straight paths encourage energy to move too fast. It arrives at our home in a flurry and creates a feeling of being unable to unwind.
A curving path to the front door is much better according to the principles of Feng Shui. It slows down fast moving energy, creating a sense of calm as it enters your home. Allow yourself to imagine arriving home from a busy day at work, marching up a long straight path. Then allow yourself to imagine a slow meander along a curved path. There’s a different feel to it.
The curved pathway is a primer for winding down from your busy day. Let the meandering path trigger a sense of calm and relaxation, allowing you to make the transition from work to home.
9 tips for the perfect pathway
It may be that you already have a pathway, or a well-trodden path across your lawn. Or if you have no pathway at all, you may now be thinking of laying one. We’ve put together our 9 top tips for creating the perfect pathway.
- Keep your pathway clean, uncluttered and appealing to the eye. Nothing should block your doorway. Get rid of any pots with dead plants. Replant pots, replacing summer bedding plants with shrubs in the winter.
- To soften harsh straight paths, shape your front garden beds with curves to incorporate some balance.
- Shrubs and flowers in pots, water fountains and stone statues can all be used to slow energy and create a meandering feel.
- A long straight path can be adapted by taking out the centre section and adding a circular planting area with a path around it.
- Keep your garden path and the entrance to your home well lit.
- If your pathway is too far gone, look into some new paving stones (or timber, cobbles, tiles or bricks). It’s a great opportunity for imaginative design and why not factor in some Feng Shui.
- Make your pathway distinct and separate from your driveway.
- A wind chime at the front door can help slow down fast moving energy.
- Place pot plants on both sides of the front door.
Choosing materials for your pathway
There are dozens of options when it comes to creating the perfect pathway to your home. Your choice of materials should also take into consideration the style of your home. A country cottage probably won’t weather a contemporary design.
We’ve put together some of the material options to help you with your pathway project.
- Concrete offers freedom of design, colour and texture. It’s also very versatile. It’s a great way to create over-sized pavers for a contemporary look.
- Bricks, either laid straight, or in a herringbone pattern, offer a sense of tradition and refinement. They have timeless appeal and are easy to lay and repair.
- Slate in tiles, paving slabs or chippings make a great contemporary pathway. Slate is extremely durable and incredibly stylish.
- Gravel is easy to lay, reasonably inexpensive and provides good drainage. It comes in all sorts of colours and it will stand up to fairly heavy use.
- Natural stone in large irregular slabs can be set in mulch or gravel to create a stepping stone pathway, which suits quaint properties. Natural stone blocks come in a variety of colours and regular blocks can also be cleverly used to create a chequerboard contemporary design.
- Pebbles are a great material for the artist in you. Setting your design in concrete will ensure your pathway is stable.
- Reclaimed wood is a great way to endorse your recycling ethics, and makes an interesting and cool garden path. Wooden decking style pathways can be laid in rustic fashion, or set straight and pimped up with wood stain for a contemporary feel.
Article provided by Sara Bryant, independent content writer for Wessex Garage Doors, improving the appearance of your home.