Is Feng Shui for Your Desk a Thing?

Amber Clark

Nov 15, 2016


Is Feng Shui for Your Desk a Thing?

Feng shui has been popular in the West for quite some time now. Many people make the decision to use this esoteric system to organize their space in their home or office, claiming that it creates a more positive and uplifting environment.

But what is it actually about? To understand why you’d want to Feng Shui your office, it helps to get a general idea about what Feng Shui actually is.

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophical system that revolves around harmonizing oneself with one’s surrounding environment. It’s a very old tradition: the oldest known evidence of Feng Shui practices dates back to the Yangshao and Hongsho cultures, over 6,000 years ago. Despite its concern with directionality, it actually predates the invention of the magnetic compass. Instead, it’s based on astronomy and ancient Chinese astrological beliefs.

The goal of the practice is to create an environment with a good flow of qi, a Chinese philosophical concept of life force energy. As it relates to Feng Shui, qi includes things like the outdoor microenvironment, the orientation and age of a structure, and a structure’s interaction with the surrounding environment.

Traditional Feng Shui is baroque and complex, and fundamentally esoteric by its nature. It’s hard for people in the West to get a handle on it, but Westernized interpretations of Feng Shui tend to be simpler and more straightforward. The Eight Life Aspirations approach correlates each of the eight directions with a particular aspiration in your life, like financial success or a happy family. The Black Sect, an interpretation that arose in the 1970s, is concerned with how things inside of a building relate to the structure’s entrance.

Regardless of whether you consider qi to be a valid concept, or whether you believe that directionality has any real effect on a space, interiors that are designed with Feng Shui principles do tend to be both aesthetically appealing and ergonomic. For that reason, desk Feng Shui is worth considering.

How to Feng Shui Your Office: Applying Taoist Principles to Your Desk

If you want to Feng Shui your office desk, there are a few key considerations that go into it: position, organization, shape, Bagua (the eight trigrams associated with cardinal directions), size, color, and material.

Positioning Your Desk

For desk Feng Shui, it’s recommended that the desk is positioned so that you can see the door to your office. A view of a window is also good to have, as is a solid wall behind you. The idea is that from your desk, you can see as much of the room as possible. A commanding view of the room can give you a feeling of power and authority, as well as creating a pleasing view of the space.


A cluttered desk can be a sign of confusion and mental disorganization. The only items on top of the desk should be the things you use every day. Other items can be stored in drawers or on shelves. A clear desk can help you cultivate a clear mind while you work.


The bagua, or eight trigrams, represent aspirations in your life: abundance, fame, relationships, family, health, creativity, knowledge, career, and helpful people. You can arrange your desk into a “Feng Shui map” where different areas correspond to different aspirations. The items in each area can be related to that aspiration.

Desk Size

A big desk can make you feel powerful and in control. Supposedly, rectangular desks are good for concentration, while circular desks are good for creativity. Whether that’s true or not is really up to you, but it’s still a good idea to choose a desk you genuinely like.

Desk Colors

In Feng Shui, different colors signify different things. For example, black is associated with introspection, brown with the physical body, and white with the mind. Green is considered a balanced color.

Material & Texture

Wooden desks are considered reliable and long-lasting, while metal is considered sharp, penetrating, and conducive to mental energy. Glass supposedly moves energy very quickly through it, while laminate’s electrical neutrality is considered significant to Feng Shui.

Desk Feng Shui: Is It Worthwhile?

Feng Shui creates visually appealing, organized spaces where you’ll probably enjoy spending your time. Whether or not you genuinely believe in the philosophical ideas behind Feng Shui, it’s still a useful system for organization and interior design. Feng Shui for your office can help you breathe new life into the space, making it a more pleasant place to spend your time.





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