The armchair configuration is a Feng Shui principle used in deciding the position of a home as well as a desk or lounge.

The armchair configuration is a Feng Shui principle used in deciding the position of a home as well as the position of a desk, bed or lounge.

This is how it works. Behind a home in an open landscape there should be a largish mountain and on either side of the property smaller hills. These give it protection from three sides. The front should be open and ideally have views, water…

This is of course of no real use to most of us, if we are living on small blocks in the city or suburbs. Nevertheless, the armchair setting can be translated to this. Here it may mean having neighbouring buildings, or groups of trees or bushes at the back and on the sides of the building. The front should be open and usually has the driveway, the road – a river of traffic. You can see how corner blocks lack the protection from one side.

The recommendation to have your home on the high rather than the low side of the road comes from this. In this way you are in command of the incoming traffic, not at effect of it. Have a look at the homes on streets with a sideways slope. The ones ‘on top’ are definitely more powerful and commanding.

Inside, for a bed, a lounge and a desk, the armchair configuration means having a solid wall (the large mountain) behind you with perhaps the bedside table, sideboards or cabinets on the side. That way you are in full command of the room and supported.


But what about these exceptional exclusive properties that have a backwards slope and their great views towards the back – to the ocean, bay or harbour, and that greet you with a rather unremarkable wall at the front. 

Following the armchair principle this would be bad, wouldn’t it? No protection at the back, closed at the front… Surely this principle cannot be that black and white!

You’re right, but unfortunately I have to give you another one of my ‘it depends’ answers on this. Here is how it works.

The ideal Armchair scene

The armchair principle is 100% true only for the ideal kind of property – the property where its energies correspond to the landscape configuration: a property with the ‘wealth’ energy at the front and the nurturing people support energies at the back. 

Such ideal property should be open at the front and protected at the back. But here comes the sobering – or relieving – news: Only 25 % of new properties fit that blueprint. 25% are actually reversed, eg. the other way around and benefit from the openness at the back and the wall at the front. The other 50% and older properties are somewhere in between. 

Best advice is to make sure you know the chart when you build. That way you can make the best of the physical energetic influences. 

Inside the home the story is somewhat easier, but is still wrought with possible difficulties that can arise from its energy distribution. 

Yes, you would place your bed against the solid wall with view of the door and window. Likewise it is good to have your back against this wall when sitting at your desk or on a sofa. 

But what if the energy in that wall is negative? Again, we are up against a situation that requires compromise. Negative energetic influences are strong and can cause all sorts of trouble from stress to aches and pains to more serious illness in the long run. 

If you feel heavy on that wall and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it might be worthwhile to move the bed, desk or couch. Having supportive energies behind you can make a big difference and give you that real relaxing experience.

The bottom line

Really the bottom line in Feng Shui is that you cannot just apply physical principles without considering the energies. And you cannot have good energies without the corresponding physical support – and I have to continue writing these ‘maybe’ newsletters, as each situation is so individual.

Photo by Cater Yang on