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At the heart of our most eloquent homes and noteworthy interiors is a palpable breath of intention. These are the spaces that we step into slowly, the ones that stir our sense of inspiration while inviting an audible sigh of relief. When crafted successfully, a simple room becomes a refuge and a lived-in place becomes a venue for joy and support. From the placement of furnishings to the selection of color palettes, such peace inducing design has always come down to one single concept: balance.
When it comes to the ancient Taoist philosophy of Feng Shui, balance remains the guiding principle. As each element of Feng Shui reflect the natural world, the goal is to create spaces within which we feel a sense of harmony between ourselves and our environment. One way to focus on bringing equilibrium into a room is to focus on the incorporation of the five elements: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. As each element invokes a different energy, there is a power in the finding a dynamic incorporation of details that celebrate each.
The element of wood is the element of strength, creativity, and expansion. To incorporate wood elements into your home, focus on natural furnishings made of bamboo, wicker, pine or live edge oak. You can accent a room with a wood element inspired palette that includes sage green or soft beiges. Similarly, the incorporation of living plants and forrest-inspired art. Remember, the art is still about balance. Too much of the wood element will begin to make a room feel rigid and inflexible, while a lack of this element will create a room that feels stagnant. The perfect amount of this element will bring a sense of vitality into your home.
Boldness and passion are invoked by the fire element. As the element of leadership and romance, the strategic incorporation of dramatic fire can create an invigorating effect. An excessive amount of this element can induce irritability while a lack can be felt as emotional coldness. Candles, fireplaces, and other sources of ambient lighting bring the warm glow of fire to your home. The best way to introduce this element to your color palette is through the incorporation of scarlet, rose, violet or citrus. Animal prints can have a similar effect as well.
The earth element is nurturing and grounding, a source of stability and peace. An overabundance will lead to feelings of sluggishness while too little will lead to the sensation of disorganized thought. Earth-inspired palettes are rich in deep mochas and russet browns, soft beiges and buttery yellows. Earth element details include terra-cotta pots and clay pots, Himalayan salt lamps and naturally formed crystals. The shape associated with this element is the rectangle and the inclusion of landscape paintings are a wonderful way to bring the energy of earth in.
Clarity and focus are associated with the element of metal. Too much of the metal element may yield excessive criticism while too little is felt as a lack of focus. Introduce this element into your lighting by choosing styles that have metallic finishes and round shapes. Iron, aluminum, gold, and silver each nod to this element. A metal-inspired color palette includes white, gray, and silver. As metal is associated with circular shapes, round mirrors and art pieces invoke this element. In addition, placing wind chimes in an open room is a wonderful way to invite the intentionality of metal.
The balanced incorporation of the water element is spiritually uplifting and deeply inspiring. Too much water can incur a sense of “drowning” inside ones own emotions while a lack of water can lead to loneliness and loss of empathy. As the color black and deep blue tones are associated with this element, bring in water by adding black fixtures or cerulean accents to a room. Reflective surfaces, such as mirrors, are another way to incorporate water. Undulating shapes are also associated with this element and can be incorporated through asymmetrical vases or textiles with a wavy or ocean-like pattern. Fountains and aquariums are also perfect ways to bring fluidity to your space.