Using the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui to decorate can give both you and your home a feeling of ease and balance. Feng Shui, which translates to “wind” and water,” is a process that aims to create positive energy in a space.
To make the most of your home’s energy, you need to look for representations of the five elements of Feng Shui: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. HGTV’s Design101 blog breaks down each element and its purpose in creating a balanced home life.
The first Feng Shui element, wood, is known to harness the power of creativity while promoting growth, strength, flexibility and intuition.
Too much: An overabundance of wood in your home can make you feel overwhelmed, rigid and inflexible.
Too little: A lack of wood can lead to limited creativity or depression.
Just right: Aim for column-like structures that mimic the trees outdoors. Wooden furniture is a perfect example. Pair it with fresh or silk flowers, natural fabrics like cotton and color accents of blue and green for a touch of softness.
Fire, a power element, can be used to maximize your enthusiasm and leadership skills. Use fire wisely to help expand expressiveness, inspiration and boldness.
Too much: Over exposure to fire can promote anger, aggression and irritability. It can also encourage impulsive behavior.
Too little: Limited access to fire can manifest as emotional coldness and a lack of vision or self-esteem.
Just right: Expand the fire element in your space by making the most of your indoor fireplace. Don’t have one? Add candles, incandescent lights and blinds that let in sunlight. Shades of red, pink or purple, electronic equipment and animal prints also promote this sense of power.
The earth element is a grounding one; it affects physical strength as well as order, balance and stability.
Too much: A heavy mood or feelings of sluggishness and sleepiness can be the result of too much earth in a room.
Too little: Without enough earth, people can feel a sense of disorganization, chaos, and lack of focus.
Just right: The use of any earth tones (brown, green, or sand) will do the trick, as will square and rectangular shapes, low, flat surfaces and landscape images.
Mental clarity and logic are affected by the element of metal. Its presence can invoke analytical abilities and feelings of organization, focus and righteousness.
Too much: Too much metal can make a person come off as chatty, overly critical and prone to rash decisions.
Too little: A lack of metal may lead to feelings of cautiousness, quiet and lack of focus.
Just right: Look for round or oval shapes in addition to anything made of metal, including silver, gold, iron or aluminum. Rocks and stones, in addition to pastel, white or grey colors, also contribute to this element.
The final element of water brings together spirituality and emotions. A healthy balance contributes to inspiration, wisdom and insightfulness.
Too much: An overabundance of water creates a drowning sensation, where a person can become overwhelmed with emotions and feel overly social.
Too little: A lack of water is tied to a lack of sympathy and feelings of loneliness, isolation, stress or pettiness.
Just right: To incorporate the water element, use black or dark tones, reflective surfaces, free form or wavy, asymmetrical shapes or water features, like fountains or aquariums.
Remember, some objects in your home may themselves represent more than one element. Experiment with arrangements to find the perfect balance.
New to Feng Shui? Begin by taking inventory of the items you have already, and find what’s missing to create an ideal five-element space.