FENG SHUI FOR STAIRCASES | An Architect Explains

Staircases not only provide us a way to get from one floor to the other, but also can help the energy that enters our home, called Chi, to move unobstructed, up and down easily and smoothly. If staircases are not placed properly, they can inhibit the proper flow of energy throughout the home. Sometimes badly placed stairs can harm individuals both physically and financially. As an Architect, I have described the Feng Shui rules for the location, size and shape of staircases, under the following headings:

What are the Feng Shui rules for the location of the staircase?
What are the Feng Shui rules for staircase shapes?
What are the Feng Shui rules for staircase sizes?
What are the Feng Shui rules for railings, risers, treads of staircases?



The positioning of the Staircase is very important in Feng Shui. It could be positive or detrimental to the well-being of the occupants.

Staircase location: Staircases located on the side of the home rather than in the center are preferable. The best location for stairs is tucked into the home, away from the entrance and sharing an exterior wall of the home. According to Feng Shui, when the staircase is in the center of the house there can be a loss of wealth and rifts in the family. Remedy: Block the view to this stair case if possible to reduce its effect by putting up a tall plant or a tall book case.

Stairs opposite the main door allow the Chi to rush out

Stairs that point towards main doors are not preferred:  Stairs should not be opposite the front door. If your stairway terminates at the front door, it causes Chi to rush out of the main door causing loss of wealth, difficulties for the head of the household, neck and head problems. Remedy: Put a divider between the last step and the entrance to discourage the Chi from exiting. Or hang a small mirror at the back of the door to reflect the energy back up the stairs. Otherwise, hang a crystal between the stairs and the front door.

Stairs that are opposite bedroom doors must be avoided: If a staircase stops in front of a bedroom door, it can cause energy to flow out of the bedroom, causing low energy and health problems such as low thyroid or depression. Remedy: Put a carpet to slow the flow of the Chi, discouraging its quick exit.

Stairs that point toward a window are avoidable: as you’re probably losing energy. Remedy: Block this window by installing a shutter that can be closed so that the chi does not run out the window.



The most commonly seen staircases are the straight, split, L-shaped, curved and spiral. The shape depends on the space available, the constraints, the intensity of usage etc. But in Feng Shui, some shapes of staircases are not acceptable as they can prevent the proper flow of Chi.

Curved Stairs are recommended in Feng Shui
Curved stairs encourage the Chi to meander slowly up and down levels

Positive – A Curved staircase  is both elegant and beautiful. It channels energy between spaces in a pleasant and inviting way and is therefore considered the best, according to Feng Shui. 

Positive – L-shaped and Straight stairs encourage Chi to meander in a more natural flow, instead of rushing.

Negative – A  Spiral staircase is considered very inauspicious especially if located in the center of a home. It can negatively affect the heart and blood pressure of the occupants because, symbolically it looks like a corkscrew hurting the heart of the home. Remedy: It is best not to have a spiral staircase if it is in the centre of your home. 

Negative – Split or Scissor-style stairs often seen in split level homes, should be avoided especially if  they face the front door as they are negative for the patriarch or breadwinner, opportunities are lost and success is elusive. Remedy: Block the view of the staircase. Or wind a long strand of ivy (real or artificial) around the handrail from the upper stair to the lower stair. Place a plant at the top of the stairs or on the center of the stairs where it curves.

Scissor stairs are bad in Feng Shui
According to Feng Shui, Scissor Stairs should be avoided in a house



The best sizes for Staircases are the ones that are proportional to the space ~ not too big, not too small.  The effects of having narrow stairs and steep incline have been described here:

Narrow Stairs:  Needless to say, they are not advisable as they cause feelings of constraint and claustrophobia. 

Steep Incline:  The incline should not be too steep as this is a safety issue, which can easily turn into a financial issue.

Small landings: Landings must be spacious. Otherwise, you may feel that you will fall backwards down the stairs. Remedy:  Make sure there is plenty of lighting and that the landing is not blocked.

A narrow staircase with no railings makes you feel unsafe



Railings should always be provided: Stairs without railings make us feel uncertain and insecure.

No open risers: Stairs should be complete and always have risers (the vertical portion between treads). Stairs with open risers cause energy to leak. This especially affects the residents of the upper floors, as they receive very little Chi or energy.  Remedy:  Add backs or risers to the stairs. If that is not possible, place potted plants beneath the stairwell to help lift the Chi.

Staircase coverings: Red carpets should never adorn staircases as they resemble blood flowing down. Carpet, wood, or tiles are okay, with wood being preferable as it offers growing energy that rises.

Space under stairs should be used for storage: It is good Feng Shui to use the space under a staircase for storage rather than to leave it empty. If the space is open underneath your stairs, you can place a home altar there.  If you use it as a storeroom, consider placing money boxes, wealth vases, or work-related items there.

It is advisable to use the space under stairs for storage.

Bathrooms under staircases should be avoided: Bathrooms located under stairs, and particularly those in the center of the home, drain away energy and wealth and hurt all the residents of the home.

Avoid water bodies under a staircase: If your staircase has space underneath it, refrain from placing water there, such as fountains, ponds, aquariums, etc. These can harm children.

Stairway landings: It’s best to have stairs without landings in the middle. If there is a break, consider lighting the steps or wall of the stairs to create good energy and help the chi move up and down the stairs.

In this post you have seen that Staircases are so important to the vitality of energy on different levels of your home and carry so many influences on your life physically and financially. For more information on Staircases, go to:


Feng Shui is conceptually similar to its Indian counterpart Vastu Shastra in that, they both try to harmonize the flow of life-energy (“Chi” in Feng Shui or “Prana” in Vastu) through the house. You can read more about the Vastu Shastra Guidelines for Staircases here:

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19 thoughts on “FENG SHUI FOR STAIRCASES | An Architect Explains

  • July 11, 2021 at 12:33 am

    Hi! We’re planning to build a house, is it ok to have the restroom/bathroom below the landing of the staircase?

    Hi Neri,
    Obviously you dont have enough space, that’s why you want to eat into the landing space. Its okay, but remember that you must have enough headroom below the landing, at least 6’6″. Otherwise avoid it.

  • July 8, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    Is it okay if we put the waterpump under the staircase? We enclosed the staircase to look like a cabinet, thank you

    Hi M,
    Of course you can. It should be accessible, that’s all

  • March 25, 2021 at 8:35 pm

    The staircase location is between living room and dining room where you have to pass through under the stairs every time you go back and forth to these rooms. I know it’s not a good feng shui but is there something we can do to achieve better energy. Please advise.

    Thanks and regards.

  • January 31, 2021 at 1:59 am

    Hi, if there is a space under the stairs, is it ok to place a sofa or couch under the stairs? Thanks.

  • April 19, 2020 at 9:57 am

    hii our stairs are heading towards north.
    is it good??

  • February 18, 2020 at 12:59 am


    I am a renter trying to decide between two apartments, A or B… Both are 2-story loft apartments from the mid-1980s. I’ve tried to understand the info you have provided but am not sure which unit has “better” feng shui.

    => A has all wood floors, 500 sq ft with it’s own entrance (townhouse style). There is a wooden staircase with 13 steps and back risers that shares a landing with the front door (which is perpendicular to staircase). The staircase is on the SE side wall away from the center. It ends on 2nd floor landing leading right into the tiny bedroom space (only a full bed fits).

    => B has linoleum fake wood flooring, 700 sq ft. and is located on the top floor of an apartment building with 50 units. There is a spiral staircase situated off center (not quite in the middle of the apartment), on the north side ending away from the front door. It is black metal with carpeted risers that are open in the back. The staircase ends on the 2nd floor into a little space that curves into the bedroom area. The apartment is sunnier than A with an extra room.

    Your thoughts as to which has better feng shui?
    Thank you kindly in advance

  • December 25, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    Dear sir
    I have a scissors stair case that the ending faces the front door, and the other ending faces a wall with glass cabinets on top. The middle of the stairs where it spit is a little wider but too small to put any plant there.
    I have a chandeliers in the foyer to block the entertainment from going out, and I’ll put a large pant by the front foyer.
    Please tell me what else I can do to the middle or the side of the stairs?
    Thank you so much for your help

  • November 12, 2017 at 7:00 am

    My stair is L shape its goes to west and up to south. Is it okie??

  • July 25, 2016 at 12:55 am

    My house is facing the East Direction.Stair case is located North East direction starting the stair case from west to east & turning to again west.Is it ok ? Otherwise pl give me a solution.Thanks
    Hi Seneviratne,
    It is okay.

  • June 17, 2016 at 6:13 am

    We moved in this house this year, January, and it has a scissor staircase that is in the center of the house and faces the front door (east). I’ve been reading a lot of feng shui remedy article, but some how confusing, some say, might have love affair issue because the stairs is in the west,(hubby is west group) and loss opportunity. It also says block the view of the stairs if its in the center of the home. Is putting a plant on the center of the stairs where it curves is the blocking remedy?
    Thanks in advance 🙂
    Hi Darlene,
    You can place a tall plant, like you suggested, near the stairs, so that it is not immediately visible as you walk into the house. Or even on the landing

  • May 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

    sir i plan to construct a east facing house in which staircase location falls at south east corner.please comment whether it is ideal location for staircase or not.
    Hi Dinesh,
    Staircase position depends on the plan of the house. Iedally it should be near the centre so that rooms can be accessed without wastage of space. So it can be in any direction.


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