The term “玄关” (xuán guān) originates from Buddhism, referring to the gateway to entering the Dao. In Feng Shui, the foyer holds a vital role as it acts as a barrier against negative energy and plays a significant part in the flow of money and the overall fortune of a household. Understanding the Feng Shui principles of the foyer can lead to a more harmonious and encouraging living environment.

The Role of the Foyer in Feng Shui:

Dispelling Negative Energy:

In Feng Shui, negative energy, known as “煞气” (shā qì), can be divided into two types: “形煞” (xíng shā) and “气煞” (qì shā). “形煞” refers to tangible objects that emit negative energy, such as sharp objects or reflective surfaces. The foyer can act as a buffer, redirecting negative energy flow and preventing it from entering the main living areas. For example, if the main entrance faces an unfavorable direction, setting up a foyer can redirect the incoming energy and mitigate its negative effects.

Preserving Positive Energy:

The foyer also helps to retain positive energy, allowing it to circulate within the home and enhancing its beneficial effects. A well-designed foyer will slow down the flow of energy, ensuring that the auspicious energy stays longer in the living space. This principle adheres to the Feng Shui saying: “喜回旋,忌直冲” (xǐ huíxuán, jì zhí chōng), which means “favoring winding paths, avoiding direct rushes.”

Taboos and Feng Shui Layout for the Foyer:

Avoid Low Ceilings:

A low ceiling can create a sense of oppression, symbolizing restrictions and obstacles for the occupants. It is essential to ensure that the foyer’s ceiling is adequately high, not only for better Feng Shui energy flow but also for improved air circulation.

Mindful Placement of Wall Art:

The choice of wall art in the foyer should be considered carefully. Avoid hanging paintings or images that clash with the occupant’s zodiac sign or directly facing the main entrance. For instance, a person with an Eastern Four Gua (命) should not hang paintings depicting horses, as horses belong to the South, which conflicts with the East.

Plant Selection and Care:

Plants in the foyer can enhance the Feng Shui effects, but they must be well-maintained. Avoid placing withered or dying plants, as they can bring negative energy to the space. Additionally, specific plant types may clash with the occupant’s elements, so it’s crucial to choose suitable plants based on their individual astrological charts.

Mirror Placement:

Mirrors are common in foyers as they serve practical purposes, but their placement should be mindful. Placing a mirror directly facing the main entrance can reflect positive energy back out, preventing it from entering the house. Also, avoid using mirrors on the foyer’s ceiling, which can lead to disorienting energy.

Shoe Cabinet Height and Placement:

The shoe cabinet’s height should not exceed one-third of the room’s height, ensuring it remains within the “earth” aspect of Feng Shui. As for the placement, it is recommended to have the shoe cabinet on either the left or right side of the entrance, based on the direction the door swings open.

Proper Shoe Placement:

Shoes should be stored neatly in the shoe cabinet, with the shoe tips facing upwards. This signifies continuous growth and progress for the occupants.

Avoid Drainage Pipes Beneath the Foyer:

Having drainage pipes beneath the foyer can disrupt the flow of positive energy and financial opportunities, leading to financial difficulties and health issues.

Ceiling and Floor Colors:

The foyer’s ceiling should be lighter in color than the floor to create a harmonious and balanced atmosphere.


The Feng Shui layout of the foyer plays a crucial role in harmonizing the energy flow within a home and can significantly impact the occupants’ well-being, finances, and overall luck.

Following the principles and avoiding the taboos in foyer design can help to create a positive and auspicious living space, promoting prosperity and harmony for the residents. By paying attention to the various aspects of the foyer’s design, one can harness the potential benefits of Feng Shui to lead a fulfilling and prosperous life.