June 2017 Incorporating Elements of Feng Shui
Feng shui is a Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing everyone with the surrounding environment. With specific reference to residential interior design, feng shui involves the placement of furnishings and other design elements in such a way that the overall design of the home invokes feelings of balance, health, harmony and good fortune.
Feng shui divides the world into five elements, which are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element draws a different feeling and the creating a space with these elements in mind is beneficial in creating a space that is in line with the personality and goals of those living in the home.
Wood calls on the power of creativity and growth, which mirroring traits of birth, strength, flexibility and intuition. Too much wood can make a home feel rigid and overwhelming, while too little can produce a lack of creativity and induce depression. When using wood in design, it is important to use shapes that mimic thing sin nature, such as trees, plants and leaves. Consider incorporating fresh flowers, natural fabrics, and wood furnishings.
Incorporating the fire element increases leadership skills and enthusiasm. This element also encourages inspiration, boldness and expressiveness. Too much of this element can resent itself as anger and aggression, while too little of this element can show up with lack of emotion and lack of self-esteem. Consider incorporating candles, sunlight, and shades of pink, red or purple for this element.
The element of water infuses spirituality and provokes emotion. A balance of water can bring about inspiration, wisdom, and insightfulness. Too much water can create a feeling of unbalanced transition and a sense of emotional drowning or suffocation, while too little water can present itself with feelings of loneliness, stress, and a lack of sympathy. To incorporate water elements, consider dark tones, reflective surfaces, wavy shapes, and water features, such as aquariums and fountains.
Earth affects physical strength and alignment, while inducing an overall feeling of balance and stability. Too much earth can create a heavy feeling of boredom and seriousness, while too little earth can provoke feelings of chaos and confusion. To incorporate this element, consider using earth tones, geometric shapes, low surfaces and images of landscapes.
The element of metal has an impact on mental clarity and logic. The presence of metal in the home can infuse feelings of organization, focus, and analytical skill. Too much metal can produce heavy criticism and speech without first thinking. Too little metal can result in a feeling of cautiousness and lack of focus. To incorporate the metal element, consider round and oval shapes, metal accents or furnishings, rocks and stones, and soft tones such as white, gray, light pastels and silver.
When designing with elements of feng shui in mind, it is important to take note that some furnishings or accents may represent multiple elements within a single item. It is also important to remember to find a good balance of all the elements in each of the rooms, so as to create an inviting and positive environment.
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