It seems that many people today who have heard about Feng Shui have heard about the Five Elements. These elements; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water are the foundation theory for Feng Shui balance. There also seems to be some confusion about just what these elements really are and how they work. Actually, it is fairly simple and based on common sense. It is easy to understand the elements and their significance. Using them properly and in the correct proportion is what separates a master from a student. The following is a brief description of each of these elements and how they might be applied.
Switch out short and wide bookshelves for tall, skinny replacements to increase your wood energy. Add big, leafy, potted plants that shoot upwards from the base.
Expansion, Enthusiasm, and Transformation
Increasing the amount of sunlight that comes into a room increases fire energy, always try to use natural light. If this is not an option use lights that shoot upward instead of traditional hanging lamps. The same goes for plants, exchange overhead, hanging planters for plants that shoot upward. Floral arrangements are a great way to add fire energy. Using real flowers will encourage you to change the arrangement as the flowers die off. Hang pictures of bright flowers if fresh flowers are not a possibility.
Grounding Support and Security
Old fashioned, simple works, including older books, make great earth decor. Woven basket containers, large, antiqued pottery with or without engraved designs are a great way to bring energy downward for that cozy, “homey” feeling. Solid chairs made from finished woods with soft cushions are a great way to simplify a room. Granite table / countertops with a wooden base symbolize strength and security. Pay special attention to the walls of a room. Thick walls can be a great way to enhance the earth feel of a room, built-in furnishings thicken a wall giving it more support. This effect can also be simulated using layered painting techniques, use the colors of the earth.
Circular coffee tables, preferably with metal support or legs work great for bringing the energy of a room together. Replace plant pottery with metal planters. Shiny metal radiates a greater amount of chi than dull metals. Interior walls are usually white, if this is overwhelming try painting just a single wall to nullify some of the metal energies.
Release and Rejuvenation
Hanging items such as pots and pans, or tools engages the energies of flowing water. Indoor ponds have grown in popularity over the last decade and they too expand the energies of flowing water.