Feng Shui and Interior Design
Feng Shui design has become a popular trend in interior design. While its applications in interior design are recent, its first recorded utilization was around 4000 BC in China. Feng Shui (pronounced ‘fung shway’) is the ancient Chinese concern for placement and arrangement of a space to achieve harmony with the environment. In order for a place to have ‘good Feng Shui’ it is in harmony with nature, whereas to have ‘bad Feng Shui’ is to be incongruous with nature. Those who design with FengShui have learned to utilize the energy in and around a home or office in a positive way to create a balance of joy and harmony. FengShui masters say that with the mastery of FengShui comes a healthier lifestyle, personal wealth, and an enrichment of social status.
Feng Shui simply means “wind” and “water” and together the words represent harmony and balance. This ancient Chinese art is based on the flow of energy or “chi” through the universe and its influence on our daily lives. Through the knowledge of Feng Shui, people are believed to be able to make themselves more compatible with nature, their surroundings and their own everyday life, so that they can make an impact on their finances, health, and emotions. This compatibility with nature is accomplished by the placement of furniture and other objects in the home or office. If the energy in our environment is hindered or not flowing correctly it can cause disharmony. This disharmony can be reflected by the use of mirrors and light-colored paints. Feng Shui aims to balance energy in order to attain greater happiness, well-being and productivity.
5 Elements in Feng Shui
The theory of the Elements is very important in Feng Shui. In the Chinese scheme of the universe there are five elements, they are:
- Fire: Associated with fame, reputation, prosperity, abundance, love and relationships.
- Earth: Associated with health.
- Water: Associated with skills, knowledge, life path and career.
- Wood: Associated with skills, knowledge, prosperity and abundance.
- Metal: Associated with love, relationships, children, creativity, helpfulness and travel.
Feng Shui’s Creative Cycles & Destructive Cycles
The natural elements are used individually or in conjunction with each other to build Feng Shui’s “Creative Cycles” (increasing chi in certain areas) and “Destructive Cycles” (diminishing high levels of chi in particular areas).
- The Creative Cycle – Fire is associated with “fame” and “reputation”, and wood is fuel for fire. If you are looking to build your reputation, place a brick-red fireplace enhanced with decorative items made of wood within the Fame and Reputation area. If it’s not practical to have a fireplace, use the wood alone to create the desired levels of chi. With Feng Shui we learn to create a positive FLOW of energy in our work place and dwellings. The use of green plants, trees, fountains, mirrors, etc direct the flow.
- The Destructive Cycle – If you feel your reputation needs improving, more water or symbols of water may be needed in your “fame” and “reputation” area. You don’t have to move the fireplace. Just replace wood with actual items or symbols representing water, such as fountains, pictures of lakes or items painted black (the color of water). Water douses fire, so the levels of chi are diminished.
Colors and the Elements:
- Fire: Brings warmth, enthusiasm, energy, activity and general good fortune to any area it is placed. Too much fire can be harmful because it is such a powerful element, however the right amount of the color that represents it can be favorable. Red is the primary representative of fire, but any color in that family, including pink, burgundy and orange are great choices.
- Earth: Is responsible for good health, security, safety, patience, honesty and stability. Its presence in the home or office encourages comfort and relaxation, while increasing confidence and energy. The colors olive green, brown, burnt orange, mustard, and other nature-inspired shades are ideal for bringing the earth element into the home and the work place.
- Water: Is a source of great strength. Its renewing, purifying properties bring calm, stability and a sense of excitement and positive expectation to the home and the work place. Water is also associated with travel and adventure due to its relation to external elements like the ocean and the sky. The water element is best represented by black, dark gray and deep blue. Too much of any of these colors is discouraged because they can essentially “flood” the room; in small doses, though, they bring tranquility.
- Wood: Is the element of prosperity and growth. Purple, green and brown are outstanding representatives for wood. Though they appear earth- toned, these colors are brighter and more sociable.
- Metal: Cool metallic metal brings cooperativeness, resourcefulness, warmth, tenderness and intimacy. White, gold, gray and silver are excellent choices but avoid using only one of these shades. Alone they are quite harsh, but when balanced by other hues they can easily make any space very inviting. In lieu of actual colors, items made from bronze, tin, aluminum, iron and similar materials can also be used.
Summary of the Elements
The following is a summary of the elements of Feng Shui and ideas that you can begin to apply in your interior design.
- Fire-Red: lights, candles, paintings or artwork incorporating the color red, red sofa pillows, a rug with the color red, floral arrangement, red glass objects, and don’t neglect to allow the sunlight to flow into the room.
- Earth-Earth Tone Colors: terra-cotta items, ceramic bowls, porcelain items, plants placed in terra cotta or ceramic containers, also use in furniture schemes, paint colors, and carpet designs.
- Water-Black, Deep Blue & Dark Gray: artwork depicting calm water, aquarium, fountains, ponds and fountains.
- Wood-Green, Brown & Purple: plants, wooden furnishings, purple pillows and accessories.
- Metal-Gold, Silver, Pewter: metal sculptures, silver or gold picture frames, accents of silver, gold or both in stair railings, light fixtures, lamps or other accessories.
Contact L’IMAGE Design Studio for more help implanting Feng Shui in your home or office design to achieve harmony and balance in your life.