Feng Shui and Funeral
How They Live in Harmony
FROM THE OKLAHOMA
INTERIOR DESIGN BY RON LICKLIDER
A newly constructed funeral
home in the Chicago area is a classic case in point that the principles of Feng
Shui can be applied to a funeral home. Ron Licklider of J. Kimball Interiors in
Oklahoma City developed the interiors in conjunction with the owner and his Feng
Feng Shui is an
ancient oriental aesthetic that has recently gained extensive use and
attention in the design community. The words Feng Shui meaning wind and
water is in its simplest form the practice of placing or arranging
objects within a space so that they are pleasing to you and naturally
supports one within the context of that space.
One of the main principles of Feng Shui is the use and application of colors;
for example YELLOW: mental awareness; ORANGE: radiating wealth; WHITE Crispness;
GOLD: affluence, assets radiating wealth; PURPLE: Royalty; RED:
attention-getting; and BLUE:
astuteness. Hence, the Feng Shui principle that red and blue should not be used
together as they cancel each other out. According to the practice, the ideal
colors for a funeral home are white, red or light blue.
The physical elements of water, fire, earth, metal and wood have definite
symbols and meaning. Water represents change or flow and is particularly
sensitive to communication, emotion and career. Fire has strong associations
with status, success and ego, while earth has reference to relationships. Metal
means life and wood means growth. Plants, water features, placement and use of
colors associated with the elements are all used in a harmonious application
when applying this vernacular.
Feng Shui places great importance on the use of shapes when determining-
arrangement of rooms by use, the direction and flow of traffic, the selection of
art and furnishings as well as the placement of such by predetermined charts and
For his design approach Mr. Licklider incorporated the doís and doníts of Feng
Shui. Here are some examples: Do avoid unhealthy plants and instead select live
or artificial ones ... a favorite is the bamboo plant which has many favorable
properties. Donít use photographs of deceased persons. Do throw out those things
that show intense wear. Do incorporate collections whenever possible. Do rotate
accessories by bringing them back to life occasionally. Donít store objects
under other things. Donít ignore cracks in the ceilings, walls or windows and
donít have a floor that squeaks. Avoid threes ... twos are much better and never
place a mirror opposite a door or window. Of great importance is the ability to
see outside your windows. The thinking is that what you see is what you will
Mr. Licklider applied many popular Feng Shui motifs in the surroundings.
Handsome art objects at the end of long halls, ticking clocks, candles which
promote positive energy; as well as pictures and fabrics featuring floral
designs (the most positive of all Feng Shui symbols) all completed the design.
Although the Feng Shui philosophy may not be applicable to all funeral homes, it
seems that many of its principles and practices can lend themselves beautifully
to those in need of an inviting and comforting atmosphere.
Ron Licklider may be reached at J. Kimball Interiors, 6421 Avondale, Suite 209,
Oklahoma City, OK., (405)843-8590.