Feng Shui has been around for thousands of years in the Far East but it is only over the past few decades that the rest of the world has really taken an interest. Applying its sometimes complicated principles to a large home can be challenging but If you are faced with the challenge of applying feng shui principles to a smaller space – an apartment, a studio, a dorm or just your bedroom in a shared home – the traditional “rules of Feng Shui may be difficult, if not impossible to implement.

The difficulty comes because these smaller spaces, especially studios, tend to have more than one functional purpose, something that is often at odds with traditional Feng Shui. Here are some guidelines to applying Feng Shui in smaller living spaces, including some of the Feng Shui rules you might have to break to make it all work.

De Clutter – One of the biggest – and most sensible – rules of Feng Shui is keeping a space clutter free. Clutter is not just things we don’t use left hanging around the place though. In a smaller living space clutter can also be made up of things you do use, but you just have too much of it to make the most of the space.

Since you need all the storage space you can get in a small room one Feng Shui rule you may have no choice but to break is not storing things underneath a bed. In a small living space, the benefit you will get from having extra storage space to keep things out of sight will far outweigh the chi-blocking effects of underbed storage. That should not mean cramming everything you want out of sight under there though. Soft, cushy items are best for keeping under the bed: extra towels, the spare duvet, out of season clothing and it will keep them out of sight but still close at hand for when they are needed.

Furniture Placement – Furniture placement is very important in Feng Shui. The major pieces in individual rooms, the bed in the bedroom, the stove in the kitchen , the desk in your home office, are all supposed to be placed in “command positions” for the best effect. So what are you supposed to do if all three of those items (plus your sofa ) are all essentially sharing the same room, as is the case in a studio apartment?

Feng Shui experts say in this situation the bed should get that command position and the rest figured out around it as far as possible. To be in the correct spot the bed should have a clear view of the door, without being in directly in line with it, placed against a wall but not under a window. In many so places though this is simply not going to be possible so this is another Feng Shui rule that may have to be bent.

Focus instead on finding a spot where you will sleep most comfortably and soundly, which will generally be where you will be most protected from potential distractions like the sound of your room mate in the bathroom or the noise from the cars in the street outside. And you can always add a well placed mirror to provide you with the requisite view of the door.

Adding Accent Lighting – The right amount of light is essential in small spaces and Feng Shui does have certain rules regarding this light,especially when it comes to the importance of highlighting ‘work’ spaces. Modern lighting provides many ways to an add accent lighting to a small space withhold cluttering or overwhelming it. A good floor lamp can illuminate large areas of a small space without stealing too much square footage and another great modern lighting choice for small spaces are interesting wall sconces, which add visual interest as well as extra light.