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The 5 natural elements of Feng Shui you should know

The simplest way to understand Feng Shui, would be to understand the five natural elements that make up this ancient practice

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By Yashna Balwanth | August 26, 2022 | Interiors

To start at the very beginning, Feng Shui, quite easily explained, is the harmonising and balance of a space, including all interior and exterior components. This harmonious environment lends itself to the prosperity and health of its occupants, and therefore a positive energy to allow into your space. When directly translated, Feng Shui equates to ‘wind’ and ‘water’ and is derived from the ancient Chinese practice of using these energies to better your home, relationships and life.

Here at H&G, we are focusing on the five natural elements that each represent a different mood to make up the perfect balance when it comes to Feng Shui in your home.


Well curated decor objects across a marble table, Image: Sean Fennessy

Water is the natural element of emotion and inspiration. It is best symbolised as rest, prosperity and abundance in wisdom and our feelings naturally. While everything we do is with some emotion to an extent, it is important to include this pillar of Feng Shui into your home to bring about positive energy and natural movement. Consider darker shades of blue or black and free-form shapes. Glass, water itself, crystals and mirrors are a great way to include as decor objects within your interior space.


Perfectly symmetrical dining area in wood and stone, Image: Nainoa

Considered the strength and stability pillar of Feng Shui, earth symbolises the steadiness in life, helping to keep you grounded and secure. When trying to incorporate earth within your home, be sure to include colours like brown, tan or yellow (all earth tones work well for this pillar to be honest). If the neutrals don’t feel like your design aesthetic, try to use objects like clay pots, landscape images or heavier still objects and materials like stone and marble to bring more of a grounding to your home.


A striking artwork balanced in colour above the record player, Image: David A. Land

Passionate and bold, the fire element of Feng Shui is symbolised with action and leadership. Use this design element to encourage being expressive within your home and being fearless in pushing the boundaries of design. Fire, as its name suggests, can clearly be represented by fireplaces, candles and sources of rich light. Red and orange are the obvious colour choice, but just be mindful to use this pillar sparingly, as it can easily overpower a space.


Detailed room corners filled with greenery and wooden features, Image: Greg Cox

Probably one of the easiest natural elements to include in your home, wood in Feng Shui is the creative and growth pillar, that symbolises expansion and transformation within yourself. Growth is an important part of our life as we are constantly evolving, and our home space should always represent that. Green and brown are the perfect colours to bring wood into your home, along with wooden furniture and decor items. Books, natural fabrics, plants and baskets are just a few items we can include, but the list to this element is a lot longer. Be careful not to overextend this pillar as it can cause a rigid and inflexible energy to the home, which is exactly the opposite to what we need from it.


A dark lounging area with touches of mixed metals and mirrors, Image: Sarah De Pina

Focus and order is how metals are distinguished in the natural elements. Symbolised by clarity and logic, metal is the organisational pillar we all need in our homes to bring structure and precision. Grey and white can be used as representational colours, or any metallic colour will do. When considering home decor pieces, shiny objects, or products made from some metal substance will suffice.