The placement of a fireplace on the wall opposite the front door of your house can be an auspicious position, according to feng shui principles, but you shouldn't be able to see the fireplace from the door. The intensified chi created by a visible fireplace could contribute to an accident or some type of catastrophe. If you can't block the view of the fireplace, you can remedy the energy by introducing the water element.
Fireplace Feng Shui
In terms of the bagua, or energy compass, of your house, the front door defines the north-facing wall, even if it doesn't actually face north. That means that a fireplace on the wall opposite the door is on the south-facing wall, and as long as it isn't in the left -- southwest -- corner, it's a good placement. In the middle of the wall, which is south, it's in its natural element, which is good for public recognition. In the right -- southeast -- corner, it can bring passion and energy into your love life. It's too strong a feature for the southwest wall; that wall represents wealth and the wood element, and your resources may figuratively or actually go up in smoke.
Regulating the Flow of Chi
According to feng shui, the front door is your home's gateway of chi, or energy, and the way the chi flows determines not only how you feel in the house, but your day-to-day fortunes. When a fireplace is visible from the front door, it ignites chi, creating an excess of energy that can be destructive. The energy may simply create a feeling of restlessness, or it may manifest as boisterous, unruly or overly dramatic behavior. You can't move the door or the fireplace easily, but you can attenuate the energy in several ways.
Fight Fire With Water
When a fire gets out of hand, you use water to extinguish it; that's true in the real world, and it's true in feng shui. You can introduce the water element with color, by using blue or black -- the water colors -- liberally in the space. You could also place a running water feature, such as a small fountain, in a prominent location. If you install a water feature, it's important to make it large enough to be noticeable, but it doesn't have to compete with the fireplace for attention. The purpose of the water feature is to control the fire energy, not put it out.
Mirrors and Screens
Mirrors are bring in the water element, and they are easier to manage than actual, flowing water. One mirror placed over the fireplace may be all it takes to reduce the fire energy to a manageable level. The mirrors you use should never reflect the door, not should they be placed in such a way as to reflect each other, thus creating a confusing infinite regression. You don't have to use mirrors or water to remedy a visible fireplace; depending on the configuration of your house, one or more well-placed screens may hide the fireplace from view.
Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.