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A Beginner’s Guide to Feng Shui

“Feng shui” refers to the ancient Chinese art and science formalized over 3,000 years ago. Its literal translation is “wind” and “water,” which are both associated with good health in China. Good feng shui is considered to mean good fortune. In the United States, feng shui has become known as the art of placement and teaches us how to balance the energies of our home. Feng shui can help us understand how the placement of objects within a space affects living experience. Many believe that practicing feng shui in different areas of life helps contribute to better health, a more successful career, and a more fulfilling live. Here’s a basic guide to the five elements of feng shui and how to incorporate them into your living space.

Wood: green and brown

Try incorporating plants into your space for a pop of color. There are a ton of benefits to keeping plants around, including stress and anxiety reduction and air purification. Plants can also help fight colds and have been shown to improve general well-being. They tend to look great in any room. If you don’t have a lot of windows, don’t worry — some plants can even be grown without sunlight. If you’re interested in growing plants indoors, conduct some preliminary research or visit your local nursery for easy-to-grow recommendations.

Fire: red, yellow, orange, purple, and pink

The fire element includes bold colors that can make your home feel cozy as well as boost your mood. Bold colors like red, orange, and yellow are great for accents. You can bring these colors into your home as easily as adding a single piece of artwork in each room. When it comes to bolder colors, interior designers generally agree that less is more.

Earth: sandy yellow, beige, tan, brown

Earthy tones help make a home feel classic and timeless. These tones can be most easily incorporated through painting walls in the bedroom, living room, bathroom, and kitchen. Rich neutral shades like oyster and pebble tan are ideal. You can choose warm or cool tones depending on your own personal preference and how you’re planning to decorate. In addition, make sure that the tones will compliment your flooring and upholstery. Natural accessories (think wood and stone) and minimalist prints will create a welcoming atmosphere.

Metal: white and gray

The metal element is mostly self-explanatory. Gray is one of the most popular neutral choices due to its versatility. Grays can be used to help create a polished and classy look. Take it easy with gray to avoid dullness, and attempt to incorporate different tones of gray in order to make your space look more modern. Avoid pink and purple undertones, which clash with other neutrals. Instead, look for grays with blue undertones. It’s also important to consider what kind of lighting your space gets before adding gray.

Water: blue and black

The final element, water, must be approached carefully. Don’t add too much navy or black, as this will make your space appear smaller. A black and blue color scheme can be used for decorating most rooms, and is ideal for more sophisticated spaces, like the home office. Teal tones, paired with black and white accents, in your home will create a calming atmosphere. Incorporate patterned blue accessories, like pillows or curtains, throughout the home. Touches of blue and black will make your space feel more elegant.

Although feng shui may seem difficult to understand, its benefits are numerous. If you’re still confused, consider enlisting the help of an expert interior designer like Karin Ross. Start practicing feng shui to feel at harmony with your space and bring food fortune into your life.

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