Continuing the series about decorating with Feng Shui, today’s article will focus on the various elements and how they’re reflected and used in home decor. If you missed the introductory article about Feng Shui, you can read it here.
In Feng Shui the elements represented are: Fire, Wood, Earth, Metal and Water. Additionally some disciplines (using the bagua discussed in the introduction) include Wind, Thunder, Mountain, Lake and Heaven. Let’s briefly look at each of them and their characteristics.
FIRE: As you would expect, fire represents heat, summer, happiness and light. Its positive influences include such things as innovation, passion, action and humor. On the opposite side, fire can explode or destroy and evoke feelings of anger or rudeness. Items that will represent the fire element in your home include candles, lights and lamps, triangular or pyramid shapes (including things like plants with pointed leaves), geometric patterns and of course a fireplace. The vast array of warm red tones are a strong force of fire. Also known as the “illumination” area of the home/room, it represents clarity, vision, and understanding and is also represented by anything inspirational like poetry, sculpture, classical music and sacred objects.
WOOD: Not surprisingly wood symbolizes growth and renewal. Its energy is nurturing, versatile and expansive. As an element, it supports artistic talent, visualization, and enthusiasm.Too much wood might bring feelings of impatience, anger or the inability to complete tasks. If you want to add more of the wood element to a space, use things like plants and flowers, wood furniture, paper, the color green and artwork depicting landscapes. Things that emphasize height are also wood elements – tall plants, columns, vertically striped wallpaper, and even uplights.
EARTH: The positive aspects of earth include fairness, wisdom and instinct; characteristics include loyalty and patience. However, earth can be a smothering element and too much of it could cause obsession or nit-picking. The way to add earth to your space is to use clay or brick, cement and stone, the earth colors of yellow, brown and orange, low and wide cube shaped objects like tables or ottomans. Also known as the “relationship” area of the home/room, you can enhance your relationship/marriage by displaying mementos of your life together or things in pairs (two flowers, two candlesticks). This element is strengthened by flowing lines and soft items, particularly in the bedroom.
Thunder is an energy related to earth in that it also is associated with tree energy: the color green, tall shapes and plants. It is associated with family, elders and the strength of their wisdom.
METAL: The use of the metal element symbolizes strength and is represented in the home by anything made of metal like kitchenware, coins, clocks, any metallic decor. The colors white, gray, silver and gold and accessories like candlesticks, plates, frames, and polished surfaces. Circles, round, domed shapes are representative of metal. Use metal in a space if you want to encourage communication, brilliant ideas, and justice. It represents the energy of money and our ability to generate cash flow. The possible negative results of metal include inflexibility, melancholy, destruction, danger or sadness (think blade of a weapon).
WATER: Water has some great positive attributes: diplomacy, sociability, sympathy, artistry. On the negative side it can wear down or exhaust; it might suggest fear, nervousness or stress. Water is represented by water features, reflective items like mirrors and glass, artwork depicting water, fish tanks, blue decor and creeping, spreading plants. Also known as the “journey” area of the home/room, it represents our movement through life and is connected to career, willpower and drive.
Wind energy is connected to movement and so mobiles, fans and moving sculptures would all stimulate wind energy. Associated with good fortune, blessings and wealth, wind energy can be encouraged by the use of water related items like a fountain or even a picture of moving water.
Heaven is the area of the home associated with friends as well as the creative force. It’s usually associated with metal and its characteristics.
Lake energy is associated with romance and creativity. Enhance lake energy with anything that engages the senses and gives pleasure like photographs, ornaments, prized possessions, etc.
Wisdom is represented by Mountain energy; it’s all about contemplation and inner knowledge. Strengthening the mountain energy in the home/room will boost your sense of self – use things like red colors and inspiring art.
Stay tuned and in two weeks I’ll be back with some specific “fixes” where using Feng Shui principles can enhance your home and perhaps your life.
For reference I used online sources, Feng Shui in the Home (can be purchased through our Amazon affiliate link in the bookstore tab above) by Siobhan O’Brien and The Feng Shui House Book by Gina Lazenby.