Feng Shui is an intriguing art of manipulating Qi in spaces from ancient China. Some people embrace it fully and others don't believe it at all. I am not trying to convince you which is the right way, but to share what I learned and save you some frustration from the conflicting information.
Since I grew up in Taiwan and learned Chinese medicine, Feng Shui is part of our daily life. The basic theory comes from "10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches", which is a Chinese timing and numbering system. 12 earthly branches are related to 12 animal signs. Another important element is Lo Pan or Chinese compass. It divides 360 degrees to 24 directions called 24 mountains. Each house is like a mountain, sitting in one direction and facing the opposite direction. Feng Shui is calculating the interaction of the time, space, and person living in the space. There are also many schools of traditional and modern Feng Shui, making learning even more complicated. It is difficult to explain in science, no wonder many people regard it as superstition.
However, there are many basic rules most schools agree upon. For example, the front of the house should be somewhat open with view, the back of house should be stable like a turtle, left side represents dragon or male, and the right side represents female energy. Another basic rule is to keep everything clean and clutter-free so Qi can flow freely. Throw away anything that does not serve your current life anymore. A cluttered home is a metaphor of stagnant life. Your house is a representation of you.
Room by room Feng Shui rules
Entrance is point the Qi or energy flows into the house. It should be clean, bright and organized. Make sure the door can open fully and not blocked by storage or shoes.
If you can see the back door when you walk in from the entrance, the Qi rushes through the house too quickly. The answer is to arrange a high furniture or screen to slow down the Qi.
It is also not good to see kitchen stove or fridge from the entrance. Stove and fridge symbolize the treasure or money, and we do not want others to see through too easily. Again, blocking with a furniture, screen, or even a wall will help.
Living room should be bright and the bedrooms can be darker. Make sure there is a wall behind the sofa, or the person sitting there would feel insecure.
The artwork in living room should be positive in image and color, and not gloomy or lonely. Traditional example is red peony flowers, waterfalls with water flowing into the direction of house, or magnificent natural landscape. Be careful with animal images, make sure it is compatible with the animal sign of people living in the space.
45 degrees from the entrance is the corner of wealth. Arrange the area to look auspicious and prosperous. For example, put a vase/ jar with coins, or crystals collection. At least, keep this corner clean and clutter free. We want the money Qi to stay longer here, so add a wall or furniture if this area is too open. If there is a window in this area, cover with a curtain.
The stove and sink should not face each other because fire and water are conflicting elements. The faucet should not face a window because that means water (symbol of money) flowing out of the house. Stove and refrigerator should be somewhat hidden from the view of public area (living room or entrance). As mentioned earlier, they symbolize treasure and money and we don't want people to see through it quickly.
Any pipes, wires, and beams should be hidden. They look like a snake and creates bad energy that might hurt the health of the owner, especially the female who use the kitchen the most.
As a general rule, clear out expired food. Donate any kitchen tool not used anymore. Keep the counter clean. Fresh fruit, herb and flowers will bring in good energy.
Bathroom door should not face any room directly, especially bedroom, kitchen, or living room. If it is not avoidable, add a long curtain in front of the door. Avoid the bathroom right in the center of the house, or as soon as you enter the house. Also we don't want to see toilet easily from public space. If not avoidable, close down the toilet seat all the time.
Keep the air circulating by opening the door or with a fan in the bathroom. Always keep the bathroom clean, fresh and organized.
The placement of the bed is very important. There should be no window behind the bed so it feels secure to sleep. The bed should not be facing the door for the same reason. Avoid the beam above the bed because it is stressful for people sleeping there.
There should be space on both sides of the bed. Like a house, left side is the dragon, or male energy, and the right is the female energy. If one side is against wall, the related energy is blocked and creates imbalance in life.
The mirror should not face the bed, or the door so people don't scare themselves in the middle of the night. Any shiny reflective surface should be treated as mirror too. Even TV should be avoided, or at least hidden. If you can not change direction of the mirror, you can cover it with nice fabric most of the time. Closet is usually a good location to place mirrors.
The desk is the most important furniture in an office. When you sit down in front of the desk, there should be a wall behind you for stability. There should be open space or window with view in front. You should also see who is coming in from the door when you are seated.
The art or decoration should be aspiring depending on your career. Take down any artwork associating with negative feelings. Keep the space bright by adding appropriate lighting.
Trust your intuition
These are just general principles of Feng Shui. Listen to your heart and intuition to make the space truly tailored to yourself. If something does not feel right, keep re-arranging and de-cluttering. With practice, it will get easier to achieve the right balance of Feng Shui just for you.