Is Feng Shui a Common Practice for Commercial Interior Designers? + Exclusive Tips from Our Designers

We have had clients who considered the principles of Feng Shui as important to their project in one way or another. But is it a common practice for Interior Designers, especially when working with commercial outlets or business settings? In this article, we will dip our toes into this philosophy and hear some thoughts from our experienced designers. 


What is Feng Shui?

“Get that good energy going”


​​Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to find balance and harmony between elements. The term consists of ‘feng’ meaning wind and ‘shui’ meaning water. Often referred to as the art of placement, Feng Shui involves the process of placing elements to maximize the flow of energy. 

Incorporating Feng Shui goes beyond the Western notions of comfort or aesthetics. Through positive energy flow, the emphasis is placed on physical and mental well-being, success, and successful relationships. 

The use of Feng Shui in preliminary design concepts can also result in better use of space and more welcoming, positive layouts.


Jean de Lessard brought Feng Shui into Montreal Pharmacy | Image © Adrien Williams


The 5 Elements

Feng shui principles focus on the five elements: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. 


Symbolizes growth and vitality

Associated colours: deep brown, green, light blue



Symbolizes passion and energy

Associated colours: red, bright / deep yellow, pink, purple, orange



Symbolizes stability and balance. 

Associated colours: light yellow, sandy/light brown, beige



Symbolizes precision and intelligence

Associated colours: White and metallic



Symbolizes wisdom and abundance

Associated colours: dark blue, black


Is Feng Shui A Common Practice For Commercial Interior Designers?

After a quick Q&A session with our team of designers, the answer to this question is… NO! Even though a majority of them do believe that Feng Shui works, all were leaning towards ‘No’ when asked if it is commonly incorporated. Some added that it is mainly based on the client’s request and relatively more common for residential projects than commercial ones. 

Katie Li – our interior designer, has shared her experiences and insights on one of our previous projects that was heavily influenced by Feng Shui – Fresh and Hot Malatang.

3D Render | Fresh & Hot Ma La Tang Central Park | Interior Design by Vie Studio

We are proud to be the design team behind all branches of Fresh and Hot Malatang across Sydney. According to Katie, the design elements and details were based on the idea of engaging more positive energy by incorporating ‘fire’ elements with warm tones of red, orange and yellow palettes that go hand in hand with the restaurant’s name itself. This was because our client, the restaurant’s owner, strongly believes in Feng Shui and its benefits in generating luck.

3D Render | Fresh & Hot Ma La Tang East Village | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Katie expressed that it was such a great opportunity to participate in a project that incorporated Feng Shui, something rarely being addressed in commercial projects. 

Yet, it was not easy for our team; She pointed out that since one of the branches is within a shopping centre, the RDM (Retail Design Manager) requested the use of cooler tones to balance out the overall warmer ambience, which was against the client’s Feng Shui. After some back and forths, our team suggested a contrasting brick tone and cooler floor material to  the Central Park store, resulting in a not so overpowering presence while maintaining the required Feng Shui elements and colours.

Fresh & Hot Ma La Tang Central Park | Interior Design by Vie Studio

Katie also walked us through the designing process. She mentioned that the design plan was passed through to a Feng Shui master, which he later pointed out areas that should be brightened in order to engage better energy.

She mentioned a curated list of furniture, lighting options and materials such as tiles and timber that played significant roles in the whole design. 

Lucky Cat Graffiti Art and Wall Graphics | Fresh & Hot Ma La Tang Rhodes Central | Interior and Graphic Design by Vie Studio

The wall art of the ‘lucky cat’ was added based on the client’s request, as it’s one of his lucky elements. The team decided to step on an innovative route with the graphics by incorporating hip-hop elements that gave the brand an elevated and approachable image for the local demographics.


Exclusive Feng Shui Tips From Our Designers

It goes without saying that we are no Feng Shui masters here. Still, based on our designers’ past experiences, the team suggested a few points and areas worth paying extra attention to if you want to up your Feng Shui game and enhance the overall energy of your space. 

Elements/ Areas:

  • Entrance
  • Lighting 
  • The use of dominant colour

What to avoid:

  • Open ceiling with exposed overhead beams
  • Consulting with a Feng Shui master after securing/signing a property or listing is another no-no. 


Get in touch | (02) 9550 5268