A full-grown ram, horns curled solidly around its face, perched atop a mountain, gazing into the distance is a regal sight. Similarly, there are few things straight up cuter than a baby sheep. Even those barnyard scavengers, goats, have their moments. In short, when it comes to redecorating or redesigning for the Year of the Ram (or sheep, or goat) the question you need to ask is whether you want a home that’s regal, cute or scrappy.
But first things first. In the way you don’t really need an iPhone 6 if your iPhone 5 works just fine, figure out how your feng shui is working before you dive into a big project. “If your home is upon good fortune, don’t do any redesigning or renovating,” in this Ram Year states Feng Shui Master Philip Wong. “To the contrary, if bad luck dominates it’s wise to leverage feng shui settings to balance out the negativity.”
Once you determine that, or in easier cases you’re moving or buying a new home, there are still a few things to watch out for. “Beware of the West and North by Northeast, where negative stars gather. Don’t do any redesigning or redecorating towards those directions. It is wise to start anything from auspicious directions on auspicious dates,” explains Wong. With that in mind, there are some basic ideas relating to colour that could be exploited for maximum luck. You’d wear a lucky colour, so why not work it into the home?
This year is a Wood Sheep year, meaning the dominant energy will be that of calming, sensitivity and harmony. The choice is obvious: colours for the year lean toward neutrals, soft browns and greys, and creamy whites and ivory. To add some zing, greens and blues are the way to go for low-key vibrancy, as green and blue — earth and water elements — are flawless complements to the Wood Sheep. Brighter, warm colours (reds and oranges) should be used in moderation and as accents to bring life to spaces that could easily be dominated by those neutrals. As in all things décor, it’s about balance.
Design is also about materials, and for this Wood Sheep year, natural is the way to go. Falling into that realm are stone, bamboo and unfinished metals as well as organic or natural fabrics. All those have been running trends in design in general for the past few years, so you can be stylish and have good feng shui at the same time. And seeing as we’re talking Wood Sheep … living plants are high on the list of décor items to try and incorporate this year. If you have outdoor space try to maximise what you can keep up or out there. There’s no need to become an ace gardener overnight but while you’re picking up orchids from the Flower Market for the holiday, swing around the backside and browse the hundreds of Hong Kong-safe, easy to maintain potted plants for sale. There are just as many houseplants available for those lacking a green thumb, and for the adventurous, kitchen supply shops (like Pantry Magic) frequently stock ready-to-grow kits for fresh spices in the kitchen. Good feng shui and delicious.
As a final thought, does Wong have any suggestions for feng shui elements that should be considered for design and decoration projects? “Any Feng Shui settings take into account direction, environment and interior design among others,” he finishes. “So, it’s hard to say what should be incorporated for a single year.” In other words, consult a master.