Who’s in Front? Where’s in Back? A Feng Shui Dilemma

In the last couple of weeks I’ve discussed the issue of lake homes with a group of my students in the Wind & Water School of Feng Shui Masters’ program.  About the same time someone else sent me a question addressing the same situation.  The question reolves around which side of the house is considered the front when you live on a lake or have a spectacular view.  To some people the “front” is the view, but then that means the back of their home is facing the street.  To others the “front” of the house faces the street no matter what. 

What can help determine which is front and which is back is by looking at what room you enter when you come into the house if you use the door closest to the street or road. If you enter into a foyer and the living room, then that is the front door as it was intended by the builder. If the door facing the street enters into the kitchen/laundry room/mud room, than that is the back of your home.  Each situation, however, requires some specific consideration.

In the latter case where your home has its back to the street, in Feng Shui we would say you have turned your back on the world. If this is a vacation or summer home, that could be an appropriate message since typically it’s being used as a retreat from day-to-day life. If it’s being used year-round, however, then a conscious effort has to be made to invite or entice people around to the front of the house. This can be done by an enchanting walkway, flowers, a bench or welcome sign.  It’s not that the so-called back door can’t and shouldn’t be used, but it means you need to make it clear there is another option.

If you determine that the back of your home is where the view is most spectacular, you will also want to make sure that what comes in the front door doesn’t fly straight through your home and out the windows or sliding glass doors to the magnificence outside. Find ways to entice the energy to linger for a bit inside the home.  Artwork, flowers, a spectacular rug, an interesting sculptural piece, a fountain—all of these can get the eye to touch in with the expression of who you are before being propelled out by the view. 

Because Feng Shui works on the principles of energy and intention, holding a clear intention of what is the front and what is the back of your home can help ease any confusion for you and for your visitors.