The 5 Elements of Feng Shui

By Jodie Macleod 2019-06-24 17:13:41

Bring harmony into your home

An ancient Chinese art and science based on the belief that spatial arrangement promotes a flow of energy (‘qi’ or ‘chi’) which harmonises individuals with their surrounding environment and leads to good health, happiness and prosperity.


Light Yellow, Light Brown, Sandy



Earth is the element that we often feel most connected to, as we can always feel it beneath our feet. Its ever-present grounding energy makes us feel safe and sturdy in our environments. If you’re currently laying your roots in Shanghai, try adding stones, crystals or terracotta planters to your living space to connect you with your surroundings. You can also introduce plants and herbs, known to emit positive energy and purify polluted air.


White, Gray




Metal is a beautiful way to decorate your space and you can often find (or make) unique decorations from recycled materials. This element manifests focus and strength, so incorporate it into the room through vases, sculptures and photo frames to invite a newly focused personal attitude.



Green, Brown


The wood element is linked to good health and natural growth. It can be difficult in a foreign city to move at a steady pace as we seek new experiences, but you can feel wood’s calming effects by decorating your space with wooden furniture, utensils and tree branches. Pieces of solid wood furniture encourage inner and outer stability, and are probably more hard wearing than an Ikea flat-pack.


Red, Yellow, Orange, Purple, Pink




As you would imagine, you can bring the fire element into your space through fire places, candles and incense. The natural glow creates a warm environment whilst attracting creativity and fuelling passion.


Blue, Black



The sound of water is always relaxing; whether it’s the ocean tides, a gushing river, or a trickling water fountain. Water element is known to generate fluidity and wealth. If you can’t add a water feature to your space, try filling a glass bowl with water and adding floating petals or leaves to create a cool and calm environment.


Although some of the younger generation consider feng shui to be a mere superstition, I am convinced that there must be logic in the ancient philosophy as architects, designers, gardeners and urban planners alike are applying the principles in their work to create spaces that enhance positive energy, safety, joy and comfort. Whatever your beliefs, the beauty of feng shui is that by making small changes to your physical space, it has a large impact on the inner mindset. Perhaps by taking inspiration from this Chinese art and introducing the five elements into our homes, we can create sanctuaries within these city compounds, and bring health, happiness and prosperity into our lives. And if you find a 100rmb note slipped behind the sofa as you re-shuffle the furniture, you can thank the feng shui ancestors for their instant offering of wealth.