Feng shui is an ancient Chinese aesthetics system that is believed to use the laws of Earth, or geography, and Heaven (astronomy) to receive positive qi in an effort to help one improve his quality of life. Qi is either positive or negative energy that plays an essential role in feng shui; the literal translation of feng shui in English is “wind-water”. Feng shui was historically used for buildings such as tombs and other significant structures as well as other structures, such as dwellings, in an auspicious manner. In terms of interior design, various feng shui principles are used and some are dependent on the exact area of the home you are decorating.
Feng Shui and Colors
Color is an expression of light that is very powerful, so incorporating the energy of specific colors into your home will strengthen at least one of the elements of feng shui. Five elements exist within feng shui and include wood, fire, water, metal and earth; these elements interact with each other in either productive or destructive cycles. When speaking in terms of color, certain colors correspond directly to each of the five elements: green and brown are the two colors that correspond with wood; pink, strong yellow, purple, orange and red are the five colors that correspond with fire; black and blue are the two colors that correspond with water; gray and white are the two colors that correspond with metal; and sandy or earthy light brown and light yellow are the colors that correspond with earth.
In addition to knowing which colors correspond with which element, you also need to understand the correct placement and use of these colors in order to balance and strengthen the positive energy within your home. The appropriate way to place your feng shui colors depends on the energy map of your space, or the bagua. The south bagua area of your home is associated with energy of reputation and fame, or the image and identity you project to others. It is also referred to as the light or fire within and has to do with how well you can maintain your values and identities. Since the element is fire, you want to use colors that strengthen this element and stay away from black and blue colors in this area of your feng shui map; this is simply because black and blue represent water, which decreases the fire element in the destructive cycle.
Other color tips to use when decorating your home according to feng shui principles is to use green as a color to improve your health and to balance your family life. When using this color for this purpose, it should be used in the east bagua area of your home. To support your career growth, blue is the ideal color to use in the north bagua area; it can also be used in the southeast area to specify wealth and money or in the east for health and family. For good times and happy gatherings, the south bagua area of your home should consist of strong yellow colors. In order to strengthen your creativity, white should be used in the west bagua area.
Feng Shui and Shapes
When decorating your home in accordance with feng shui, you should also take into account the shapes of the furniture and accessories as well as the material they are made of. Each of the five elements has a corresponding shape: wood is rectangular, fire is triangular, earth is square, metal is round and water is wavy. When the shapes, color and material represent different elements, the color representation takes precedence, followed by the shape and then the material. For instance, if you have a blue, square-shaped wooden table, the primary element it represents is water due to the fact that the color is blue.
Productive and Destructive Cycles
In order to get the most from your interior design project, you must first understand that placement is key when it comes to feng shui. Productive cycles strengthen the elements while destructive cycles hinder, or weaken, the strength of certain elements. As an example, the east area of the bagua map represents the wood element; placing a fireplace in the east area of the bagua map is undesirable as the fire element (the fireplace) burns wood. Family relationships and health are in the east part of the bagua map and when a fireplace is set in this area, it creates a possibility of stress and burnout for those living in the home as well as weakened energy for good health.
When speaking in terms of the productive cycle, certain elements nourish and help strengthen others. Water nourishes wood; wood nourishes fire; fire nourishes earth; earth nourishes metal; and metal nourishes water. If you want to strengthen the wood element in your home, you will bring in wood décor items, plants and incorporate green and brown in the east area of your home according to the bagua map. Since water nourishes wood, you would also incorporate water features to strengthen the wood element such as a fountain, wavy-shaped items and items that and black or blue.
If you need to weaken a specific element in your home, you will need to take advantage of the destructive cycle. Water lessens the energy of fire, fire lessens that of metal, metal lessens wood, wood lessens earth and earth lessens water. If you need to weaken the water element of your home, you will need to add earth elements in the appropriate areas in order to absorb the energy from the water element.