The five elements of feng shui are water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Each element brings forth its own properties, and when in balance they become the building blocks of a happy, healthy home. However, people tend to gravitate to two or three of the elements in their homes, leaving the rest by the wayside. Every element has positive attributes, but when we have too much of certain ones, we're tipping the scales and promoting feelings of anxiousness and tension.
If you walk in your front door and immediately feel stuck and unhappy, a quick rebalance may be just the fix.
How to know if your home is out of balance.
It doesn't take long to figure out if your home is out of balance. Oftentimes, I'll feel it right when I walk in a new space for the first time. For example, I had a client who only decorated with whites, grays, and metallics. From an elemental standpoint, this told me that she was an overextended high achiever who suffered from chronic stress and unfulfilling relationships.
When I asked her if she had been stressed out since moving into the home, she looked surprised and said, "Oh, I've been incapable of relaxing; I barely sleep at night!"
To counteract the metal in her space, I recommended that she added some fire and water to the mix. For fire, she bought some candles, played up her lighting, went for triangular accessories. And for water, she invested in a water feature and hung paintings of coastal scenes. Believe it or not, once she made these changes, she reported feeling more introspective, loving, comfortable with downtime, and open to self-care.
It isn't always so obvious when one element is taking over a home. For instance, if a space is heavy on the wood, it will obviously feature a lot of wooden objects, but also probably overuse the color green, jute rugs, and flowery patterns. This overabundance of wood can subconsciously push the person living there to spread in all different directions. Maybe they'll become extremely enthusiastic about a ton of new projects but lack the focus to carry through on one and change course easily. In this case, you'd want to introduce more metal (to cut the wood) and fire (to burn the wood) to promote passion and drive. You can even carry these elements out of the home by wearing red lipstick!
So what elements are heavy in your home? And which ones are lacking? Let the balancing begin!
How to welcome all the elements into your space.
Wood represents open-mindedness and new beginnings.
Bring wood into your space with lush plants, flowery prints, the color green, and vertical shapes.
Fire represents passion and enthusiasm.
Add fire with abundant lighting, candles, triangular shapes, leather and fur, depictions of animals and people, and the colors red, orange, and burgundy.
Earth represents growth and stability.
Add earth with square objects, ceramics, and earthy colors like yellow, cream, or tan.
Metal represents planning and efficiency.
Add metal with round or ovular shapes, metal accents, stones, and white, gray, or silver colors.
Water represents wisdom and truth.
Add water with a small fountain, art that represents the ocean, black and glossy objects, and free-flowing shapes and patterns.