When we plan for home makeovers, our aim is to create a space that reflects our personal habits and style. Whether it’s maximalist and ultra-chic or functional and utilitarian, the main purpose behind our designs is to bring happiness in the space we live in and a large part of happiness revolves around positivity.
Although some of us may not be well-versed in the traditional Indian science of architecture called Vastu Shastra—which dates back thousands of years—we are all familiar with the term and have probably come across homes built around its principles.
Literally translating to “the science of architecture”, Vastu Shastra lays down the principles of design, layout, measurements, ground preparation, space arrangement and spatial geometry for a home or any built-up structure; sometimes incorporating traditional Hindu (and even Buddhist) religious beliefs, the theories of Vastu provide ideas and concepts for making a living space harmonious with nature, not restricted to rigid layout diagrams and integrating geometric patterns, symmetry and directional alignments.
The ideas and concepts of Vastu Shastra are models for the organisation of space and form within a room or a collection of rooms or structures, based on their functions in relation to each other, as well as their purpose and usage. While Vastu Shastra includes advice and guidelines for all rooms design in a home—such as the bedroom, kitchen, living room, playroom, home office, prayer room and the outdoor spaces—its science has also been incorporated in the building of cities, townships, gardens, roads, waterworks, and other large public areas.
Vastu Shastra considers a house to be a living soul and aims at balancing the five elements (earth, fire, water, space, and air) to reach the maximum level of positive energy. Each home or living space comes with its own energy and for a house to be
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harmonious and happy, it needs to radiate the right kind of energy. At the end of the day, it is the home’s energy that will influence each living members’ mental health.
Photography by Prachi Damle
While the science of Vastu illustrates architectural principles for building a structure, it also offers guidelines for the home interior design, that means room layouts but also home decorations. Sometimes you might be lucky and already enjoy a home or another building (even office spaces) that has been built compliant to Vastu, but if that is not your case and you would still like to have a Vastu-sensitive home, the ancient guide shows us ways in which we can negate negative energies and rectify ill-placed structures.
Since Vastu Shastra encourages the flow of positive energy, its starting point—which is the selection of the house property—is very crucial, as it lays down the location and orientation of the living space. As per Vastu Shastra, any direction that a home faces—East, West, North or South—is considered good, because each of them has its own advantages.
§ The position of the kitchen, the heart of a home, directly impacts the health and wealth of a family; whereas the interiors of a bedroom impact the health, career and personal life of the people who inhabit it.
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§ The position of the puja room impacts prosperity and peace in the house.
§ The way furniture is placed in a space can affect the energy balance, generating a positive or negative impact on health and mental peace.
§ Placing mirrors in distinctive places in the house can support health and happiness.
§ Correct placement of water is essential for maintaining good health and hygiene.
§ The colour palettes selected for every room of the house can also have an impact on the mood or vibe in the space, and can be chosen with a specific goal in mind.
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A structure and its design are at the essence of Vastu Shastra architecture. The outer shape or shell of a home can help channel the right energy and prevent any negative forthcomings.
§ Symmetrical or right-angled shaped plots, such as rectangle or square, work well as conductors of Vastu principles. These plot shapes help with financial growth, bringing prosperity and happiness to the house.
§ Irregular or curved shaped structures (oval, circular or semi-
circular) are not auspicious, as the ancient science believes they restrict an individual’s growth and cause various health problems, losses and a general lack of happiness in the house.
For the master bedroom to be harmonious and happy, it should be built facing the South-West and never the South-East, as this second direction is governed by the element of fire.
§ Since this is a space to unwind, rest and relax, consider using a softer colour palette for a Vastu-compliant style. Avoid also the use of photographs representing unrest, strife or war, alongside with anything that stirs unhappy or negative emotions, to not disturb the restful vibe of the room.
§ The bed should be located in a way that allows your head to
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rest towards the South or the East, as these directions bring good sleep and ensure a long life.
§ Mirrors should not be located inside the bedroom as they lead to frequent quarrels among the members of the house.
Photography by Prachi Damle
This is a space where the family comes together to entertain friends and guests. In order to provide a relaxed slate for building positive and long-lasting relationships, the space needs to be as harmonious as possible.
§ To instil calmness and affection, choose a lighter or pastel colour palette for this room.
§ The North-East corner of the living room/drawing room should remain clutter-free for peace; while the use of potted plants and paintings of nature or other pleasant sceneries will enhance
the tranquillity of the room and generate positive energy.
§ Decorating with or simply storing flowers in the room, that are artificial or dried, is considered inauspicious and will attract
In Vastu homes also the space where the home’s nourishment originates from, is extremely vital to balance out the energies, as these can be passed on to the food cooked in here.
§ Never place the cooking stove or countertop hob next to the sink (or other sources of water). The former uses fire, while the latter has flowing water: both these elements are at constant war with each other.
§ Avoid using black tiles or paint for the walls or for the furniture in this space, opt instead for bright, cheery colours that signify
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warmth and love.
§ Earthy colours, like beige and ruddy, will also work well here as they signify stability.
§ To stay grounded, stick to natural stones for the countertop, such as granite or quartz.
Considered the most neglected space in a home according to the ancient science, the bathroom can be a space of negative energy when it lacks cleanliness and necessary repairs.
§ The ideal location for the bathroom is in the North-West, which is meant to aid the elimination of waste.
§ The entrance door should be made out of solid wood, not metal, as that would invite negativity and have a negative effect on your health.
§ When possible, keep the bathroom door closed (especially when not in use) to stop this room’s energy from flowing into another.
§ Do not adorn the bathroom door with decorative statues or symbols of worship.
§ A bed that shares a wall with the toilet may cause nightmares, and neither should the kitchen or prayer room, as this is a sign of inauspiciousness.
§ Wet areas, such as wash basins and showers, must be on the East, North and North-East side of the room.
§ The correct direction for the water outlet and drainage is North, East or North-East; and the bathroom floor should slope in the same direction for water drainage.
Your little one’s room is a space for nurturing, growth and development. According to Vastu Shastra for homes, this room should evoke as much love, warmth, happiness and peaceful dreams as possible.
§ The kids’ bedroom door should open clockwise, lacking any boards or signages hung on it as these can foster negative energy, such as ego clashes, aggression and fights between children and their parents.
§ To avoid insomnia or hypertension, avoid placing the bed in front of a mirror, window or door. Mirrors especially are known to suck the positive energy out of a space, and can sometimes make the mind wander—thereby being detrimental to the child‘s peaceful sleep.
§ Always discard unused stationery, including pens without a refill, unsharpened pencils, torn books, old books or newspapers, as they attract negative vibrations. The study table or desk should be clutter-free for a clear path to success. Avoid placing shoes or slippers under the table as it hinders concentration.
§ Bookshelves placed in the North-East side of the room should always be made out of wood and not metal.
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