How to Use the 5 Feng Shui Elements to Bring in Positive Vibes on a Budget

Sep 12, 2023
A blackboard with a large circle made of 5 sticky notes with the names of the 5 feng shui elements; fire, wood, water, metal, and earth. An arrow written in chalk is drawn from one sticky note to another completing the feng shui cycle.

Using Feng Shui in Your Home Doesn't Have to be Expensive.

Start with understanding and using the 5 Basic Elements.

 Purchasing an old home with the intent of remodeling can be a challenge. I should know. My husband and I bought our third fixer-upper about a year and a half ago.

Although this is not the oldest house we’ve owned, it certainly is the most in need of renovation. Not in the basic structure, but definitely in the layout and the “livability” of the space.

It is a very chopped up house, meaning the rooms are small and there isn’t a flow from one space to the next. It lacks any feeling of energy and harmony.

Remodeling will have to wait for a while longer, unfortunately, but we are working on the plans. Because I want to incorporate the principles of Feng Shui to improve the positive energy of our home, I’ve been learning as much about it as I can.

 Fortunately, I discovered many cures for the negative vibes our old house seems to give off that I can apply now. And thank goodness, I don’t have to drain my bank account to do it.

To build positive Feng Shui without the need for a full-on renovation, I can use the five basic elements and their correlating colors, shapes, and materials.

The five basics elements of Feng Shui are Earth, Metal, Water, Wood, and Fire.

Each element is connected to the natural world and when properly used can form a creative cycle that invites harmony and prosperity into your life. It is important to have a balance of these elements to keep the circle “moving” in a positive (creative) direction.

Feng Shui Element - Earth

The element of Earth is stabilizing energy. It grounds you and helps you feel more centered. Which makes sense when you consider the location of the Earth element. It is found in the center of your home or a specific room.

  • Colors — various shades of brown, tan, and light yellows.
  • Shapes — squares or cubes.
  • Materials — brick, stone, pottery, marble, or other types of natural masonry.
  • Natural location — Center

Enhancing the element of Earth is a good way to encourage a slowing down if life’s pace is wearing you out. Painting a wall in a brown tone, adding square pillows, or adding a ceramic bowl of decorative stones are inexpensive ways to incorporate Earth elements.

Just don’t overdo it and lose all motivation.

Earth builds Metal so in the creative cycle, Metal follows Earth.

Feng Shui Element - Metal

Metal is the element of strength. It is associated with concentration and focus as well as creativity and communication.

  • Colors — Whites and grays.
  • Shapes — Spheres, domes, and anything round or oval,
  • Materials — Various metals, appliances, pots and pans, wrought iron.
  • Natural location — West (traditional) or the center of the right side of a space

By hanging oval-shaped metal-framed pictures, plugging in a fan, or painting a wall soft gray you can strengthen your concentration and boost your creativity.

Be careful not to overdo it or you may invite rigid thinking or find yourself zoning out.

In the creative cycle, water follows metal as metal is thought to bring water through the process of condensation.

Feng Shui Element - Water

The element of Water encourages stillness, rest, and the wisdom that comes from having quiet time to think. Its wavy, flowing, irregular shape is thought to soften a space and bring a sense of peace.

Water is slightly contradictory because it is also associated with movement and the flow of people and money into your life. Think of the difference between a quiet pond and a raging river.

  • Colors — Black and dark blue.
  • Shapes — Wavy, irregular, undulating, or flowing shapes.
  • Materials — Glass, mirrors, fountains, aquariums, sinks, bathtubs, toilets, pools, and plumbing.
  • Natural location — North (traditional) or center front area

Adding details from the Water elements may give you the wisdom to attract people and money into your life while allowing for a bit of serenity.

Consider your needs and the feeling you want to establish in your environment. If time to reflect is high on your list a reflection pond or image of a lake would represent that. A river view or painting of the ocean can support the aspect of movement and flow.

The key is to make sure color, shape, or material is incorporated into the space in a peaceful way and any flow of water is directed towards your home to keep the positive energy flowing towards you.

Get rid of any stagnant, standing water. It is not only unhealthy, it attracts negative vibes which can drown clear thinking and stop the flow of prosperity.

Water nourishes plants, including Wood as in trees and shrubs. Wood, therefore, follows Water in the creative cycle.

Feng Shui Element - Wood

The element of wood stands for growth, new beginnings, and upward expansion. Although many associate this with business, it can relate to other areas of your life as well.

Wood correlates with strong roots and strength, essentials in building a secure future for yourself and your family.

  • Colors — greens and blues
  • Shapes — rectangular shapes, tall vertical shapes, columns
  • Materials — living plants, wood, paper items like books
  • Natural location — the left-center area

The area of the home associated with Wood is the left-center area. The same is true of a specific room. This would be a good place to set up an office especially if you want to encourage growth in finances or business.

Wood is an easy element to add to a space. Furniture made of wood, books, and living plants are common in most homes. A tall bookshelf with room for a couple of plants would be a practical way to bring the Wood element energy to your home.

The key is to balance Wood pieces with other elements and avoid the clutter of too many books and papers lying around.

Wood builds Fire so naturally, the Fire element falls next in the progression of the creative cycle.

Feng Shui Element - Fire

The element of Fire is associated with energy, power, and increased recognition (both personal and public). It is also connected to happiness as it relates to the season of summer, celebrations, and the ability to stimulate activity.

  • Colors — red, orange, and purple
  • Shapes — triangle, pyramid
  • Materials — candles, fireplace, firepit, stove, electronics, heat, lighting, and natural light
  • Natural location — South (traditional) or center back area of a space

For those of you feeling the need for more energy adding accents of red or purple will be helpful. If you wish to see more activity in your romantic life try adding candles to your bedroom. Much cheaper than installing a fireplace.

These strategies can help in work or business situations as well. To increase positive recognition at the office or to build a larger network of clients try bringing in more light to your workspace. Or add decor with triangular shapes. And don’t forget the touches of red.

Because Fire does stimulate energy and power, too much representation of the Fire element can cause tension or aggression in relationships. You can counter this by adding something from the Water element which douses some of the Fire energy.

Fire creates Earth, bringing us back to the beginning of the creative circle. Actually, there is no beginning. It is a circle after all.

The Importance of Balancing the 5 Elements

Each element builds upon the previous or the following element in the cycle. That is why it is important to combine the elements in a harmonious way and have some feature(s) of each element present in a space.

No element should overpower another. But if you are like me, you may be living in a house with more of one element present than another.

Getting familiar with the components of each element allows me to make adjustments that not only fit my lifestyle but my pocketbook as well. It can work for you too.

This is a simplified explanation of the five basic elements related to Feng Shui. Hopefully, it’s enough to get you started on the path to bringing in more positive, harmonious energy into your home and life.

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