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What Are the Five Elements of Feng Shui and How Do They Play Out in Our Home?

The way we live is always a delicate and intricate balance of energies. Whether it is a balance of our physical bodies or our relationships , balance is so vital to our inner peace and happiness and to our survival . Wouldn’t you agree?

With that said, Feng shui is about aligning yourself with nature, connecting yourself with natural elements, and balancing energies so your direct environment corresponds to what you need for your health, emotional balance and overall well being.

It’s about cultivating a mindfulness of your space, which means having a good flow of chi (or energy), placing yourself in an empowering position within your space, and having clear and concise symbolism around you.

Did you know that anytime you put furnishings materials finishes colors and shapes and textures together you are actually working with the five elements? Knowing these five elements of feng shui (water, metal, wood, fire , earth) and how they can enhance or weaken each other, is key to being able to incorporate feng shui decorating techniques into any room.

The best way we can positively contribute to achieving balance on the planet—clearly so much larger than ourselves—is to take care of what we do have control over, that is, of course, our own spaces: our body and our homes with the art and science of feng shui.

We actually balance these elements within ourselves through the kinds of food we eat, the amount of sleep we get, and the types of relationships in which we engage. Our homes are in essence living beings and the five elements cycle applies as well. Spaces, especially our homes, are living and breathing beings just as we are.

The front door is the mouth of energy being inhaled through the front door and exhaled out the back door, according to the wisdom of feng shui. Our energy and that of our homes is so interrelated that each aspect of the home is a symbolic representation of us. Our home is like a mirror of ourselves. Imbalances in the energy of our home could show up anywhere from health issues to relationship problems. For example, have you ever experienced a sudden shift—good or bad—in your life situation as soon as you move into a new home?

There are several ways to incorporate feng shui and the five elements in spaces. Ideally, spaces should have a balance of the five elements as a whole, within each room, and even in small arrangements, i.e., a fireplace mantle.

Applying the elements in your home can be used in injunction with feng shui using the Bagua Map or room-by-room based on the room’s function. The five elements can also be used to help balance out your own energy based upon your elemental constitution.

What I love about using the five elements to feng shui your home is that not only will your home feel good and have a healthy balance, but it will also look great too. Once you learn how each of the elements can be used in your everyday accessories and finishes, you can turn your house into a showroom.

Take a look around your space with a pair of fresh eyes and you might notice areas where you have arranged the 5 elements through your intuition without even realizing it until now. Common aesthetic touches naturally incorporate a balance of the elements, or at least a balance of yin and yang energy.

A great example would be the pairing of a swimming pool area with an outdoor fireplace. This combines the yin of water with the yang of fire. Flagstone, or a variation of stone, is often used to accent the area, which brings in the Metal element.

Another example is blending the yang energy of a lit candle with the yin energy of a dimly lit room. There is a reason these stereotypical decorating touches work. They balance yin and yang energy and the five elements, bringing the feng shui of your house into balance.

When you are out and about shopping, you will recognize the energetic differences between shapes, colors, and finishes in terms of the five elements. For example, if you have a predominance of Metal elements in your dining room, you may opt for a wood table to balance the room, or, vice versa, if there is a predominance of Wood elements.

Each of the five elements appears in nature in their literal form. For example, the Water element in its purest form is literally water. The same is true with the Fire element and all the other elements. The elements can show up in our spaces in their literal form or in a symbolic form as well. Each of the five elements has a particular shape and color associated with it that symbolically represents its energy. This is a great way to bring in the elements into our décor if the element in its natural state isn’t accessible.

Today, I will share about the Wood Element

Wood Elements in Interiors

The Wood element is a very common element used in interiors. Trees provide us with an abundance of wood that is used to create common furnishings in interiors. Because Wood is extremely sturdy, while also malleable and easy to shape, it is used in many forms within a home, from the framing of a house to the furniture to the flooring. In areas where trees and lumber processing are more easily accessible, homes are often made of wood, called stick construction.

Wood is a favorite material for furniture makers too because of its strength and structure. I have always been amazed at how wood can maintain its strength and structure even after it has been chopped down and removed from its energy source. In fact, wood is composed of a protein that becomes stronger as it becomes dryer. Most living things lose their strength when it is dead, but wood only gets stronger.


The shape associated with the Wood element is columnar. Anything vertical-shaped embodies the energy of the Wood element because it expresses the energy of growth and expansion. Columns are a Wood element that is an architectural feature built into the feng shui of homes for structural or aesthetic purposes. Artificial or real bamboo stalks are another example of the Wood element. Tall furniture is another example. Because the Wood element is yang in nature, it will naturally draw the eye up as opposed to down. The number one is also an expression of the Wood element. The shape of the number one is columnar and represents independence and leadership, all qualities of the Wood element energy.


The color green is the color that represents the energy of the Wood element in feng shui. Its not surprising that green is the color associated with growth, nature, trees, and plants.

Common Wood Element Household Items

Wood Furniture, including chairs, tables, consoles, etc.

Wood flooring

Wood paneling

Wood cabinetry


Vertical blinds

Cotton (derivative of wood)

Rugs and carpet

Pillows, drapery

Plants and Flowers

Stay tuned to see how the other 4 elements can be incorporated into you space in the coming blogs ahead.

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