Easy Feng Shui Decorating with the Five Elements

How to use the five feng shui elements theory in your home decorating

Part 1: What are the Five Feng Shui Elements?

Part 2: The Social Life of the Elements

Reading Part 3: Playtime! Applying the 5 Feng Shui Elements Theory

Here comes the promised five feng shui elements playtime! Now you know the history of the five elements theory (part 1), as well as the various ways the elements interact in their spare time (part 2). You also know the unique energy characteristic of each element as universal forces — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water element.

We are ready to play now and decorate with the elements to create good feng shui in your home. The right way to use the elements is defined by the bagua (the energy map of any space, be it home, office or garden). Bagua is the determining factor, the foundation of this work. Here is the visual that shows the location of each element in the Classical, as well as BTB bagua.

classical feng shui bagua

FIRE – South

EARTH – Southwest and Northeast

METAL – Northwest and West

WATER – North

WOOD – East and Southeast

With the BTB bagua it tends to be a bit more confusing, but you can go by the names of the bagua areas and see which elements are needed in each area.

btb feng shuinbagua

FIRE – Fame & Reputation

EARTH – Love & Marriage and Spiritual Growth & Self-Cultivation

METAL – Helpful People & Blessings and Children & Creativity

WATER – Career & Path in Life

WOOD – Health & Family and Money & Abundance

Here comes the promised playtime! We have two houses to work with and create good feng shui.

House #1.

Let’s use the five elements theory in smart feng shui decorating of the South area of a home (Fame & Reputation bagua area).

In this (imaginary) home the South area has a big mirror and a beautiful water feature just outside in the garden (same area); the owners want to keep them both. Which feng shui element does the South area need in order to have good and strong energy? If you look at the bagua illustration above; you will see that South  is governed by the Fire element. We have a big mirror ( Water element decor), so this creates an energetic weakness, based on the destructive cycle of the five elements. So, with the internal feng shui alarm going on — and rightfully so! — what can you do to re-balance the energy?

You need to bring a feng shui element that will strengthen the needed Fire and weaken the Water element.

Let’s see which element weakens the Water element and ideally strengthens the Fire, too. The Wood element is the best choice as a perfect helper here because it can do double duty (which is not always possible when you are working to rebalance the elements). So, we start playing with various expressions of Wood element decor and bring lots of it, as much as this specific home can take, visually, in the South bagua area. Of course, you will also bring Fire element decor, but not without first bringing the intermediary, the Wood element. Otherwise, you risk creating strong clashing energy, because Fire and Water together can create a lot of unnecessary drama. Let’s look at another example, a bit more complex one.

House #2.

This house has a beautiful all-white dining room in the East (Health & Family bagua area). Is this good feng shui? In addition to the all-white color scheme in most details (wall color, furniture, flooring, window treatment, etc), some of the chairs in the dining have metal detailing. The two white light pendants are also metal. The space looks very beautiful and well designed; a pleasure to look at, fresh and restful for the eye.

Do we have a problem, though, with its feng shui? We do.  No matter how good this dining room looks visually, it has weak energy that can negatively influence the health and well-being of people living in the house. This does not mean that family members will get sick, it just means that the house is restricted in its ability to support the health of people living in it. This happens gradually, and it all depends on the personal energy of people living in the house.

Let’s look at feng shui steps to restore harmony in this area. What is the bagua saying? The East/Health & Family area of your home needs a vibrant Wood element, and the space we are looking has strong Metal. Metal destroys/cuts the Wood in the destructive cycle of the elements. So, we need to bring the energy that supports the Wood and destroys/weakens the Metal element.

Which elements support the Wood element? Water is the major one, as well as Earth, and Wood itself. Which elements destroy the Metal? Fire is the major one, and Water will be weakening it over time.

Can we just bring strong Fire element decor to achieve our goal, as we know it will surely destroy/weaken the Metal right away? No, it is not wise to do that, because Fire will also burn the Wood, and we do need strong Wood in the Health area. Can we bring more Earth? It will support the Wood for sure, but no, this is not a good decision either, because Earth supports Metal (look up the productive cycle of the 5 elements). Here’s what we need to do – we need to bring Water to weaken the Metal and support the Wood. We also need to bring a lot of Wood element decorating.

We have covered quite a massive amount of important information in these 3 parts – from the meaning of the feng shui elements theory to how each element is expressed in modern decor, how they interact, and how you can use this theory to create good feng shui in any given space. Now that you have this powerful knowledge, what will you do with it? I highly encourage you to start playing without the fear of making mistakes. Good feng shui decorating is a subtle art that takes a lot of play to make it perfect! I encourage you to re-read these three parts (and the articles on each feng shui element) because we tend to assimilate new information in stages. You might have missed important layers while reading it for the first time.

Part 1: What are the Five Feng Shui Elements?

Part 2: The Social Life of the Elements

Photo: williamwaldron.com

rodika tchi

master feng shui consultant. published author. teacher. RodikaTchi.com

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