Multi-level homes & Stairways in Feng Shui.

Updated: May 2, 2020

Last week I was working with a client who had a gorgeous home in a lovely suburb very close to where I reside.

The house was meticulously landscaped. I stopped for awhile and scoped out the neighborhood looking over the "lay of the land" (Landform Feng Shui) which Is very important in Feng Shui for a Consultant in order to assess Chi (energy) flow..

I meandered up the curved walkway that lead to an incredible entrance suggesting "Welcome to our Home" and rang the elegant doorbell.

My client invited me into her home with a warm greeting. As I was removing my shoes my eyes were immediately drawn up to an open, wide stairway where at the top sat a beautiful terraced planter containing abundant herbs. The fragrance was pleasant and homey. I was so visually enthralled with the herb planter at the top I never even realized initially that I was entering a "split level" foyer.

In Feng Shui this is known as a "scissors" stairway where there is a 'split" view upon entering a foyer with 2 short set of stairs one going up and the other down from the main foyer.

Stairs in Feng Shui can be considered inauspicious depending on the location and their structure. We have all heard of people refusing to purchase a home with the stairway in front of the entrance door. In Feng Shui the theory is that Chi (universal energy) will rush down the stairs and out the door resulting in loss of wealth and prosperity.

Feng Shui is an ancient practice over thousands of years. Split levels and stairways were not an issue in China in ancient times.

Today in our modern world stairways can add a beautiful architectural component to a building and a necessity in reaching the many levels in our homes that are planned for families. Housing in cities are built vertically now to accommodate the sprawling population with less available property.

In Feng Shui, split-level homes have been considered inauspicious because the Chi (energy) becomes confused whether to go up or down the "scissors" stairway at the front entrance which results in dispersed weak Chi emanating through the home. The "split view" is negative for Chi flow. The split-level floor plan in Feng shui has been linked with causing the residents to reflect indecisive or a "split" in their decision making. Could that be so ? Perhaps on a subconscious level. It has been scientifically proven that our environment does affect our behaviors. Good Feng Shui practice can diminish those negative subconscious behaviors including the Law of Attraction.

Split-level homes have received a bad reputation in Feng Shui over the years. A split-level home however, does have many benefits allowing for multi levels, additional space and privacy for large families and walk- outs to the back gardens and patio. Multi- level homes are very popular in Canada and the U.S.A.

In my opinion it is not correct to conclude that all split-level homes have "Bad Feng Shui."

Stairways in the center of the home is also considered not ideal in Feng Shui. The center of the home in Feng shui represents "the heart" and if stairs are in the center, in Feng shui teachings it could relate to the occupants having "heavy" heart issues. Earth elements can be used for "grounding" which will neutralize effects on the residents.

Open-riser stairs which are very popular in new home construction today are considered negative also in Feng Shui due to the dispersing or "leaking" of the Chi. Spiral stairways are also considered negative due to the "corkscrew" effect of causing instability and health issues.

Feng Shui teachings recommend stairways to be bright and open. It is best to have wide stairs easy to climb. There are many methods to improve the Chi flow in stairways. The use of art, color, plants, rugs and "up-lighting" and many other design elements can improve the Chi flow in any split-level home. When adding wall art or photos on a stairway wall place them in a horizontal line rather than "up the stairs" method. This will diminish the effect of walking up the stairway and create more balance and safety. Do not place mirrors at the direct bottom of a stairway or at the top of a landing because it will "bounce" the Chi (energy) back downwards. In Feng Shui it is also considered negative to place water at the bottom of a staircase mostly likely due to water will collect the Chi and it will not flow upstairs.

The next time you are looking for a new home or have the desire to "Feng Shui" your present home take into consideration that the majority of homes can be remedied to promote excellent Chi flow. The stairway in a home is only one factor that is analyzed in a Feng Shui Consultation. A professional Feng Shui Consultant has many "tools" to help you create a home that will flow well and support you and your family.

The Chi flow in my client's home was so well designed in her split-level that my own eyes immediately looked up at the herb planters. I never even noticed the "scissors" stairway when I first arrived to her home. This is a prime example how even an experienced Feng Shui Consultant's eye can be tricked to go upwards. The Chi also would have been "pulled" up to that level. In most split-level homes today the main floor (the floor going upwards as you enter) is the most active area. However families and houses are changing and recently I have seen new split-level homes with the kitchen and living area on the lower-level (usually with a large walk-out). So, in that case implement the same principles if you prefer the Chi (energy) to flow first to the lower more active level of your residence (or business).

When designing & decorating our spaces always remember that "Energy flows where the eye goes".

For more information on Feng Shui and multi-level homes contact me on my website seen below:


Sherry Lynn Brouzes

Certified Feng Shui Consultant

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