Applying Elements to Rooms

DisclaimerSome of the pictures that I used are not my own, and if they aren't my own, I put the link to the source that I found them at below the picture.

     Sooooooo, my bad. I was supposed to update last Wednesday, but I didn't have any pictures of my house currently that didn't look like a tornado and a train-wreck had a baby and out popped all the rooms in my house, so the plan was to power clean the house and get some photos, but then life got out of control, thus the delay... Anywho, welcome back class to Sarah's Feng Shui 101. Last week we learned about the two different styles of Feng Shui, and how to apply the Bagua Map based on your style in this post. Today, we are going to learn about the different elements within the Bagua Map, and how to apply them in certain rooms. I think the easiest way to dive into applying elements to rooms, after you've established your type of Feng Shui (#Traditional or #Western), is to realize what #elements go with each directions:
  • East = Wood
  • Southeast = Wood
  • South = Fire
  • Southwest = Earth
  • West = Metal
  • Northwest = Metal
  • North = Water
  • Northeast = Earth
     The reason it's important to understand what element goes with what cardinal direction is because each element has a "#design" for themselves. In addition, they have a "building element", but I'll explain the "building element" a little later on. Let's just get the elements down for now:
  • Wood = Greens and Browns
  • Fire = Reds, Bright Yellows, Ambers, Oranges, Pinks and Purples
  • Earth = Beiges, Sandy and Pale Yellows, and Taupes
  • Metal = Whites, Silvers, Greys, and Golds
  • Water = Blacks and Blues
     I point out the elements color association, because that's easy for people to recognize and visualize when they're first starting out in decorating with Feng Shui. Another thing to know about the elements, is what shapes are associated with them - and it's another great visual:
  • Wood = Rectangles
  • Fire = Triangles and Stars
  • Earth = Square
  • Metal = Round
  • Water = Free-flowing and Round
     Now that you know the basic colors and shapes that are associated with each element, you can now use that knowledge to decorate rooms, without looking like obvious Feng Shui... But wait, it's important to know what each direction represents within your home:
  • East = Health and Family
  • Southeast = Wealth and Abundance
  • South = Fame and Reputation
  • Southwest = Love and Marriage
  • West = Children and Creativity
  • Northwest = Helpful People and Travel
  • North = Career and Path of Life
  • Northeast = Spirituality and Personal Growth
     I point these out, because it's one thing to decorate in the right colors and shapes, but if you're filling your "Health and Family" with your diplomas and achievements, you're not really doing yourself much good. Those achievements should be in your South area, rather than your East area, because when you have things like that in your East area, you're basically saying that your achievements are more important than you health and family.

     And nobody wants to say that.

     Let's do a refresher of the Bagua Map applied to the downstairs of my house (remember, I do Traditional-style Feng Shui):


     As you can see (but also to give each room a label to reference from now on), this is how each room falls:
  • East = Entryway
  • Southeast = Front Room and majority of the Kitchen
  • South = Dining Room, Laundry Room, Bar, Half-Bath, and part of the Kitchen
  • Southwest = Half of the Living Room
  • West = Half of the Living Room
  • Northwest = Technically, it's a Missing Area, but since my Patio is there, it becomes that area instead
  • North = Master Bathroom
  • Northeast = Master Bedroom
     Well now we know the simple colors and shapes that apply to those areas, along with what each direction represents, so let me give you some examples of decorating in those rooms (these aren't necessarily decorations I actually use in each of those rooms, but again, examples of ideas):

Entryway (East/Wood/Health and Family)
  • Wooden furniture (wood)
  • Brown or green rug (wood)
  • Rectangular console table, mirrors, etc. (wood)
  • Wooden statues/figurines (wood)
  • Green or brown accent paint wall (wood)
  • Healthy plants (health)
  • Family heirlooms (family)
  • Pictures of family (family)

Front Room (Southeast/Wood/Wealth and Abundance)
  • Wooden furniture (wood)
  • Brown or Green rug, furniture upholstery, throw pillows, etc. (wood)
  • Rectangular coffee table, side tables, mirrors etc. (wood)
  • Wooden statues/figurines (wood)
  • Green or brown accent paint wall (wood)
  • Money tree (wealth)
  • Fish tanks (wealth)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (abundance)
Majority of the Kitchen (Southeast/Wood/Wealth and Abundance)
  • Brown or Green rug (wood)
  • Rectangular kitchen island (wood)
  • Green or brown accent paint wall (wood)
  • Rectangular plates (wood)
  • Golden fixtures (wealth)
  • Pops of purple (wealth)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (abundance)
Dining Room (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
  • Candelabra (fire)
  • Red or purple accent paint wall (fire)
  • Pink and/or red flowers (fire)
  • Display diplomas and achievements (fame)
  • Star chandelier (fire)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (reputation)
Laundry Room (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
  • Yellow paint (fire)
  • Star patterns (fire)
  • Rug rug (fire)
  • Red or purple accent paint wall (fire)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (reputation)
Bar (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
  • Incense and/or candles (fire)
  • Red or purple accent paint wall (fire)
  • Pink and/or red flowers (fire)
  • Display diplomas and achievements (fame)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (reputation)
Half-Bath (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
  • Incense and/or candles (fire)
  • Wallpaper in red, orange, bright yellow, purple, etc. (fire)
  • Pink and/or red flowers (fire)
  • Keep toilet seat down (fame)
  • Avoid clutter and junk (reputation)
    Part of the Kitchen (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
    • Pink and/or red flowers (fire)
    • Red or purple accent paint wall (fire)
    • Triangular plates (fire)
    • Avoid clutter and junk (reputation)
    • Display diplomas and achievements (fame)
    Half of the Living Room (Southwest/Earth/Love and Marriage)
    • Everything in pairs (marriage)
    • Pottery (Earth)
    • Landscape or mountain imagery (Earth)
    • Beige or Taupe rug, furniture upholstery, throw pillows, etc. (Earth)
    • Square coffee table, side tables, picture frames, etc. (Earth)
    Half of the Living Room (West/Metal/Children and Creativity)
    • Photos of children (children)
    • Drawings by children (children)
    • Art (creativity)
    • Grey or white rug, furniture upholstery, throw pillows, etc. (metal)
    • Circle or oval coffee table, side tables, picture frames, etc. (metal)
    • Metal furniture, sculptures, etc. (metal)
    Patio (Northwest/Metal/Helpful People and Travel)
    • Metal furniture, sculptures, etc. (metal)
    • Grey or white rug, furniture upholstery, throw pillows, etc. (metal)
    • Circle or oval coffee table, side tables, picture frames, etc. (metal)
    • Maps (travel)
    • Angels (helpful people)
    Master Bathroom (North/Water/Career and Path of Life)
    • Black and white images only (water)
    • Blue and/or black vases, sculptures, picture frames, etc. (water)
    • Large mirror (water)
    • Lakes or river imagery (water)
    • Black or blue accent paint wall (water)
    • Keep toilet seat down (career)
    Master Bedroom (Northeast/Earth/Spirituality and Personal Growth)
    • Avoid clutter and junk (personal growth)
    • Pottery (Earth)
    • Landscape or mountain imagery (Earth)
    • Beige or Taupe rug, furniture upholstery, pillows, etc. (Earth)
    • Square dresser, side tables, picture frames, etc. (Earth)
    • Spiritual artwork (spirituality)
         Hopefully, those decorating ideas make sense since you know about the colors and shapes of each room now.

        ... Now normally I would end the post in order to let this information sink in, and try not to overwhelm you, but the truth is, I cannot leave yall without this warning with decorating: Do not over-decorating each area of your room in accordance to his element. The point of Feng Shui is balance. The reason there is an element assigned to each direction is that it's supposed to have a heavier influence in that area, but it is not supposed to dominate that area and smother out the other elements. Again, balance.

        That's why I want to talk about "building elements". Every element has a different element that will strengthen it, and a different element that will weaken it. Here is a handy chart to reference from

    Photo Source

         As you can see:
    • Fire builds Earth
    • Earth builds Metal
    • Metal builds Water
    • Water builds Wood
    • Wood builds Fire
         In the same light:
    • Fire destroys Metal
    • Metal destroys Wood
    • Wood destroys Earth
    • Earth destroys Water
    • Water destroys Fire
         This is powerful information to know when it comes to Feng Shui. While, yes, knowing the shapes and colors associated with each element is helpful, it's difficult to apply those shapes and colors without knowing what you're potentially building and/or destroying by using them.

        But don't worry. Your house isn't going to explode if you put Fire in a Metal room. 

        So you have the basic tools for applying Feng Shui (colors, shapes, and building/destroying elements), but let's actually apply them to help better understand how to use them all. I'll break down how I actually applied Feng Shui in each of my downstairs rooms, along with how I also plan on adding stronger Feng Shui to each room eventually (remember, this list above were just examples you can use in those types of areas, not what I actually use in those areas):

    Entryway (East/Wood/Health and Family)
    • We have a large, brown (wood), rectangular (wood) mirror (water), above our black (water), metal (metal) console table, which I got from my mother (family). There is a square (Earth) basket to collect our shoes, and some circular (water), metal (metal) candle holders (fire). Eventually, I'm going to add a grey and white (metal) runner rug, so I will need to add some stronger Wood elements, and maybe another Fire element to offset the amount of metal in this area
    Front Room (Southeast/Wood/Wealth and Abundance)
    • We have two very tall (wealth), china cabinets to display our nice dishes (wealth), along with our gold (metal) bar cart (wealth) that has black (water) glass on it, and a side table to match that's also black (water) and gold (metal)
      • As you can see, those elements create a lot of Metal and Water in a Wood element room, which the Water is nourishing for the Wood element, so that's good, but to balance out the Metal, I opted to hang our painting that has elements of bright red and pink azalea bushes (fire) along with woods (wood) and a pond (water)
    • Eventually, I'm going to add a grey and white (metal) area rug, so I will need to add some strong Wood elements, and maybe another, stronger Fire element to offset the amount of metal in this area
    Majority of the Kitchen (Southeast/Wood/Wealth and Abundance)
    • Our kitchen island is rectangular (wood), and we keep a green (wood), circular (water) wreath around our fruit bowl on the island, which we actively keep it clean (abundance)
    Dining Room (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
    • This entire area is a work in progress for us, because we're going to have to build our own dining room table, eventually (so we're thinking), so besides the candle display on our dining room table (fire), let me just explain what we plan on doing in this area: My husband really wants a circular table (water), but since this is a Fire area, I cannot let that happen. Haha. We're going to opt for a square (Earth) table with a leaf in it to become a rectangular (wood) table, and then for the lighting we're either opting for a flush-mount chandelier, or recess lighting
    Laundry Room (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
    • The laundry was an extremely tricky area for us, because before I got into Feng Shui, we painted the room a soft blue color (water), only to learn it's a Fire area, so I tried to convince Nick to let me paint it yellow (fire) but he said no. I added a red (fire), runner (it's rectangle so it's wood) rug, but at that point, it was time to use building elements to strengthen the Fire area. It's a tiny space, so my only other element I really can change is the lighting, which I'll eventually change to a rectangular (wood) flush-mount.
    Bar (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
    • We have a large #Scentsy candle-thingy (fire) on our bar, along with Nick's 5-year work anniversary beer mallet (fame) displayed
    Half-Bath (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
    • We're back to this room... Do you see that wallpaper? It's rough. Great for everyone who doesn't live with it, but not as a homeowner. Especially a homeowner who has been threatened with "no friends" if I take it down. Anyway, to add some Fire to this area, I added a red candle (fire) and red (fire) hand towels. I'll admit, I'm still struggling with this room in strengthening the Fire, especially since bathrooms naturally have a strong Water presence, but the upside is that Earth weakens water and the wallpaper is in beige and brown (Earth)
      Part of the Kitchen (South/Fire/Fame and Reputation)
      • Luckily, this part of the kitchen is where the range is, and that's plenty of Fire for this area
      Half of the Living Room (Southwest/Earth/Love and Marriage)
      • This is another part of our house that's a work in progress, so not a lot of Feng Shui has happened, but the plan is that we're going to get square (Earth) side tables for the couch, along with three square (Earth) picture frames to go on the wall behind the couch, where we're going to display family photos (love). The other upside is that since this is an Earth area, Fire feeds Earth and we have that large fireplace in our living room
      Half of the Living Room (West/Metal/Children and Creativity)
      • Obviously is the first half is a work in progress, so is the second half. The plan is to white-wash (metal) the fireplace, as well as painting the paneling white (metal), and then we're going to display our nieces' and nephews' artwork (children) and things, along with a large piece of art (creativity) over the fireplace
      Patio (Northwest/Metal/Helpful People and Travel)
      • Right now we have all metal furniture out on our patio, which helps strengthen the Metal area, but we plan on changing out all of our furniture to #Polywood (wood), as well adding a fire pit table, later down the road, so we will need to strength our Metal and weaken the Fire (since it weakens Metal). We will add metal map artwork (travel) to the walls outside in the patio area, as well as making our rug and throw pillow a light sandy (Earth) color
      Master Bathroom (North/Water/Career and Path of Life)
      • Another work in progress, but the eventual plan is to paint all of the cabinetry deep teal (water)
      Master Bedroom (Northeast/Earth/Spirituality and Personal Growth)
      • Before I got into Feng Shui, Nick and I picked out a beautiful green (wood) color for our walls, only to find out our bedroom was an Earth area, and Wood weakens Earth. To weaken the green (wood) color, we have a beautiful gold (metal) framed piece of artwork that depicts the burning (fire) of the plains in #Kansas. We also have square (Earth) side tables, as well as a rectangular (wood) dresser, and a circular (water) table to the side of our dresser. Furthermore, we opted for a beige (Earth) carpet, as well as a beige (Earth) and brown (wood) comforter for the bed. We eventually changing all of our frames on our dresser and circle side table to metal frames, to help weaken the predominate wood aspect of our Earth bedroom.
           Hopefully, those decorating ideas make sense since you now know about the colors and shapes for each room, along with building and weakening elements. If the building and weakening part still doesn't quite make sense, let me give you this example to help: my Living Room (split between Earth and Metal) has a giant two-story fireplace, which is obviously a symbol for the Fire element, which destroys Metal. So if I just put a bunch of Metal decorations in that area, I'm not creating more Metal, I'm actually giving something for the Fire element to feed on, so I need an element to neutralize the Fire: enter Water. The plan is to get a large piece of artwork (creativity) that has a theme of water to hang above the fireplace, which will help neutralize that large Fire element of the fireplace to a predominately Metal area.

           I really hope this all helps (and makes sense), but please, if you have questions, while I don't claim to be a Feng Shui master, I can try to help you out. Until next time.