Feng Shui has been used for many years in China to help people find harmony in their environment, harnessing beneficial energies (Ch'i) and eradicating negative ones. The idea of Feng Shui is to harness as much Ch'i as possible in home and work environments in order to live happier and more content lives.
The Western world has also adopted Feng Shui into their own environments, making it a popular interior design trend that provides guidelines for everything from colour selection through to home layouts and furniture placement.
Five Chinese astrological elements make up Feng Shui – fire, metal, wood, water and earth. Introduce these into your home design by adding pieces of furniture and artwork related to the elements, whether they reflect a colour or texture. Take care not to add too much of any one element, however. Rooms should be balanced and harmonious.
Add fire to a room by adding hints of red or purple. Colours from the Resene range that have R or V in their code makeup can be painted onto walls or furniture items to represent fire, with triangular, pointed shapes being preferable. A red candle in the corner of a room will be effective at bringing the passionate, exciting dynamic of fire into a home.
Water can be introduced to a room by using black and blue colours. Resene Nero is perfect for this, as it's a deep black with inky blue hints underneath. Balance this with white sculptures to represent the metal element. Fluid and wavy patterns can be used on couch cushions, and watercolours can look great in art and textiles. Mirrors and glass also bring a water energy to a room.
If your home is lacking the metal element, start with greys, whites and metallics. Modern homes with lots of stainless steel and sleek lines are likely to already have plenty of metal energy, but if your home needs more, look for Resene colours with N (for neutral) in their code makeup. Round and oval shapes harness the metal spirit, so add these in circular neutral cushions or reflective platters.
Wood shades are interestingly not brown – instead, look for greens and pale blues to represent this natural element. Rectangles and stripes portray this Ch'i, as do house plants, pictures of nature and anything made of wood. A room with pine furniture and a striped throw rug in pale blues and greens would have plenty of this element.
The earth element brings stability and relaxation to a home. Earthy tones like yellows, browns and terracottas highlight this energy, so look for Resene colours with Y, BR or O in their code makeup. Square shapes and checked patterns work well, whether it's through a yellow and terracotta tablecloth or a square painting in brown hues.
If you are buying or building a new home, take the land and surrounding elements into consideration before making the final decision. The five elements can assist with this, with fluid hills associated with water and jagged mountains more in favour with the triangular shape of fire. A good site for a home is one that is abnormal when compared with its surroundings. A flat site amongst raised land will be deemed as auspicious under Feng Shui thinking.
An ideal site would have a backdrop of mountains to protect the dwellers' backs, with water along the front to bring tranquility and flow to the property. This can be difficult to come across, however, so many homeowners balance the Feng Shui themselves with internal decoration features.