Decorating with the 5 Elements of Feng Shui

Life is all about balance. From the foods we eat to our work and personal lives we are constantly searching for that perfect balance. We are spending more time than ever indoors – roughly 90%. Because of this our environments and the effects they have on us are more important than ever. As a designer, I intuitively work with the 5 elements of feng shui when pairing textiles, colors, shapes, textures and furnishings, on a daily basis. Here is a brief introduction to the elements and how you can incorporate them into your environments to create a sense of harmony and balance.

EARTH ELEMENT – REPRESENTS STABILITY AND NOURISHMENT

Incorporating the earth element into your space is said to bring about peace, stability and protection to you and your relationships. Decorating with square shapes and layering tones of beige, sandy and pale yellow tones are a simple way to introduce the earth element. Terracotta pots and stone sculptures also add a nice touch.

METAL ELEMENT – REPRESENTS PURITY AND PRECISION

An energetic metal element helps facilitate focus, precision and a strong sense of clarity. Metal is the easiest element to introduce regardless of your particular design style. Picture frames, decorative metal accents, round shapes and the use of metallics, grays and whites are expressive of this element.

WATER ELEMENT – REPRESENTS EASE, ABUNDANCE AND INNER WORK

The water element creates a positive sense of calm, purity and relaxation to any space. Mirrors are the most common expression of water in decor. Accessories and textiles with shades of blue and black will also bring this element in to your space.

WOOD ELEMENT – REPRESENTS GROWTH, EXPANSION AND VITALITY

wood element blog collage

Fiddle Leaf Fig | Shelves | Pillow | Wood Bowl

Wood is considered to be a healing element that brings about vibrancy in health & growth and decisiveness in action. Consider floating wood shelves, branches mixed in with your florals or adding a houseplant. Rectangular shapes and decorating with greens and browns will also give this element presence.

FIRE ELEMENT – REPRESENTS HIGH ENERGY AND PASSION

The fire element, when balanced correctly, will bring activity and energy to your life and your career. Fire is best used in moderation. Misuse of this element will cause over stimulation and a sense of anxiety. Fireplaces and candles are the obvious way to introduce the fire element. Triangle shaped decor and well placed accents in bold reds, oranges, yellows, pinks and purples are also indicative of fire.

Outdoor Entertaining

Outdoor parties are one of the best parts of summer.  The vibe is relaxed and the focus is on enjoying the nice weather while creating fun memories with friends and family.  Read our 5 tips for getting your summer soiree just right, and let us know, what are your tricks for a successful party?

KEEP THE BUGS AT BAY

In the Midwest, outdoor entertaining can be difficult to enjoy with the amount of mosquitoes that linger outside. Adding lanterns with citronella candles add ambiance while deterring bugs.  Arm your backyard with bug deterring plants.  Planting garlic, basil and peppermint in your garden bed and strategically placing potted plants of lavender, lemon balm, and marigolds around seating areas will do double duty adding color to your patio while keeping your guests safe from bug bites!  Also having plenty of insect repellent on hand is a must!

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Potted Lavender | Potted Marigolds | Lanterns

KEEP FOOD FRESH

On hot summer days it is essential to keep food fresh for your guests.  If your kitchen is close to the back door, set up a buffet inside on the island.  If not, set up the food table near the door to keep temperatures stable and remember to periodically replenish ice.  Room temperature snacks are also great to have around seating areas.

AVOID OVERCROWDING

Planning separate stations for food, drinks and activities combats potential jams and helps maintain a nice flow. Also, creating various seating areas allow guests to easily move around and engage in smaller, more intimate conversations.

CREATE AMBIANCE

String cafe lights around your patio or along your fence to add instant charm to your backyard. Position a seating area around a fire pit and roast s’mores.  Don’t forget the tunes!  For those who do not have outdoor speakers, have a Bluetooth speaker ready with your perfectly curated playlist.  When decorating your outdoor space, treat it like a room.  Adding indoor elements like a rug, pillows, throws and a mirror will create a cozy and inviting place for your guests.

PLAN FOR GAMES AND PREP THE POOL

Having activities ready creates an enjoyable atmosphere. Whether it’s a round of cards or tournament of bags or washers, games always ensure that guests are having a great time.  If you have a pool, make sure to keep extra towels, sunblock, and floats for guests.