How the shape of your home can affect your life

It’s often said that a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing, and this can certainly be the case with feng shui. For example, not all missing areas are missing.


I wrote an article a while ago about the problem with oddly shaped houses, and a man called Mark responded by saying, ‘I’ll take this article as a challenge for me and my architect friends. Some of us enjoy designing very unique, modern spaces, but I see that it would be foolish to neglect the wisdom of the ages. I’m now wondering what types of buildings can work good with dynamic shapes; perhaps places with more temporary uses.’

So for Mark, other architects, and anyone living in an asymmetrical home, here’s some more information I didn’t include first time round that you definitely need to know.

Missing areas

Missing areaThe article I wrote was something of a rant about missing areas, but it doesn’t mean that all buildings in the world must ideally be symmetrical. This is because not all missing areas create missing areas. Let me explain…

Standard feng shui practice is that if a missing area measures less than 50% of the side of the building it is located on, then that part of the bagua is missing and it creates a missing area. In the example shown above, the far back right-hand corner of the building is missing, which is the Relationships area. This can cause all kinds of difficulties in finding or maintaining a primary relationship, and I’ve seen this unfortunate situation more times than I like to remember.

ProjectionIf the missing area measures more than 50% of the side of the building it’s located on (A to B in the diagram), then what you have is not a missing area at all, but a projection that protrudes from the main building. This accentuates the energy of that area of the bagua and gives it more emphasis in your life. In the example I’ve given here, the projection is in the far back left-hand corner of the building, which is where the Wealth area is, so this can be very good for finances.

However, in practice, it’s not quite so simple. This rule only applies to a projection that occupies up to 33% of the wall it projects out from and only extends the length of the building by a maximum of 33%. Missing area, not a projection

When a projection extends between 33% to 50% of the width of the building (D to E in the diagram) or its length (D to F) is longer than the main part of the building (F to G), then it creates a significant missing area and does not form a projection at all.

How to use projections

Missing areas and projections can be in any area of the bagua. In the house I built for myself in Bali many years ago, I was in a phase of my life when my career was an important focus, so I deliberately added a projection in the Career area (the centre front). My Balinese friends used to joke that the house had a long nose like I did (although I must add in my defence that they see all western noses as long because theirs are mostly quite small and flat).

This design worked wonderfully well for me, but if ever I retire (possible, but unlikely), a different house shape may be preferable. And if I decide at some point to take a complete break (an extended meditation retreat, for example), I might even choose to live in a place with no Career area at all. My point is that feng shui is worth studying because it allows us to make conscious choices that support us in our journey rather than unconscious choices that can hinder our progress in ways we may never realize.

The fact remains that for most people, the more symmetrical their home, the more balanced and productive their life will be.

So I hope this opens a more creative playing field for you, Mark and friends. I’m very interested to see what develops architecturally from here.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd, 2012

Related articles
The problem with oddly shaped houses
More about the feng shui bagua

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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4 Responses to How the shape of your home can affect your life

  1. Dear Karen,
    I read your blog and therefore I am writing down my current drastic life situation.
    Currently I am living in India in a small town. 10 years back my father purchased an old house in which we are currently living.
    This house is of L shape. Few years it all went smooth but as years are passing situation has become extremely drastic. Frequent quarrels between my Father and Mother, career challenges for both me and my brother.
    Relationship challenges and moreover this year problems are really getting worse( just I can’t explain). Whatever earlier was good is now getting worse. Kindly suggest me some way.


    1. Hi Anuj, I’m sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing. However I am unable to give specific feng shui advice from a distance because I have found that it is rarely accurate or effective. I need to be in a place to feel the energies, see the terrain, meet the occupants of a home, and assess the issues. So I am not able to help you with your present situation, but at least you will know, if you are ever in a situation to buy a house of your own, not to buy one that has significant areas missing.

  2. Hi Karen,

    I’m happy to read this article and know that sticking out parts on a house don’t always make a missing area, because I find quite charming houses which are not just a block, like the victorian manors for example. I was trying to

    When figuring out what shape was the house I was in, I realised there were outside stairs I wasn’t sure if I should include in the shape of the house or not. Then I thought of all these other spaces which are sort of in between the inside and outside. These are verandas, porches, garages, terraces, inner courts… are they considered as part of the house at all or only in some circumstances?

    I am house hunting at the moment and I came across a house which is actually two houses next to each other with doors communicating in between the two. Each of the two houses have a full shape when taken individually but put together they create a L shape and some missing area. Would they have to be separated again and the doors condemned not to create a missing area or is there something special that applies to such case? The two houses look very different in styles and even the floor levels don’t match.

    It’s always a pleasure to read you. Thank you!


    1. Hi Sarah, Glad to hear you found this article helpful. For more specific advice, you will need to find a feng shui consultant in your area to advise you. I do not offer feng shui advice from a distance because I have found it is not accurate or effective. There are too many aspects that need to be taken into account that cannot be understood by reading an email, looking at plans, photos, or even video footage.

      If you are house hunting, you may find this article of interest too: Finding my place on Earth

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