Editor's Note: In an excerpt from his new book, Apartment Therapy: Complete + Happy Home, Apartment Therapy CEO and founder Maxwell Ryan shows us how to get the "flow" right in any room.
Flow is the biggest secret to creating a healthy, beautiful home. Drawn from feng shui (China) and vastu-sastra (India), flow refers to the way rooms allow people and energy to move in and around them. When a room is laid out well, it not only works better, looks good, and is easy to maintain; it is also more energetic. To put it more succinctly: It will make you happy. Unhealthy flow happens when energy is directed in a straight line; let’s call this bowling-alley syndrome. Furniture lines the walls, and the center of the room is hollowed out, so you rush straight through a space, noticing nothing. Bad flow also occurs when energy gets trapped. Think of this as pack-rat syndrome. Too much furniture is crowded into a room, blocking access to certain areas.
A healthy energy flow meanders, gently curving and moving forward to reach all the corners of a room. This is what you want to design for. The goal is to have multiple routes through a space without blocking windows or doorways. Every home is different. Each has its own set of issues, whether they're awkwardly shaped floor plans or teeny-tiny rooms. But a few overarching rules will help you set up your space with the best flow your square footage allows. Scroll down to read my top space-planning tips.
Did you consider the "flow" when designing your home's interior? What are your top space-planning tips? Let us know in the comments.