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Feng Shui Design

Updated on September 8, 2014

How to bring harmony and serenity to your home or office space

Put simply, Feng Shui is simply a way of bringing harmony and serenity to your home or office space through a set of basic organizational and design principles. This lens is an introduction to feng shui and will show you how you can use its ideas to make changes that will improve your immediate surroundings.

Feng Shui first began roughly 3,000 years ago in ancient China and was a spiritual system of aesthetics. What was originally a highly complex philosophical system in China has inevitability reached the West in a somewhat simplified version, however, the basic philosophy of all life revolving around the "chi" or energy, remains at its core.

Literally translated, feng shui means "wind water", two elements associated with prosperity and good health in Chinese custom. Feng shui is a way of channelling this flow of positive energy into your home.

Feng Shui Design Tips - What is the Bagua Tool in Feng Shui?

Lo Pan compass
Lo Pan compass

The Lo Pan compass and a Bagua energy map

First things first!

  • Feng shui practitioners use two basic tools at the start of any project. The first tool is that of a Lo Pan compass set in wood which, just like any other ordinary compass, points you in the right direction! The difference here is that the feng shui compass is used to help us assess the energy in our homes and to help us decide where to position the things in a room that will best allow energy to flow uninterrupted throughout the living space.
  • Not every room in a home is the same and depending on the use of the room and the needs of its primary occupant, the feng shui elements and colours required will change. The lo pan compass will help you decide what's required.
  • The other fundamental tool is the bagua or energy map of your home. Start with a blueprint drawing of your house or apartment, then map out the eight key areas of the energy map: South, South-east, North, Northwest, East, North-east, West and South-west. For each section of the home you will then need to establish the governing feng shui element, colour and purpose.
  • A careful division of your home into these eight sections using the compass will help you create a detailed energy map which you can then use to determine how to reorganize the individual rooms according to where they fall on the map.
  • According to feng shui philosophy you can impact the energy that surrounds you by creating a space that is positive, but in order to do this you must first understand the five feng shui elements, the feng shui colors and how the energy moves throughout the rooms in your home.

Feng Shui elements chart

Feng Shui elements chart © Annahape gallery
Feng Shui elements chart © Annahape gallery

Feng Shui Elements & Directions - The 5 Feng Shui Elements

Learn to Identify the Five Elements of Feng Shui

The 5 elements poster by Avanda

Feng Shui is an ancient philosophy from ancient China used to create positive energy in any space. The key factors of feng shui are those of the eight divisions of space and the five elements. The following is an introduction to these five elements and how they influence the colours and spacial organization of your home or workspace to create a positive atmosphere of good health and prosperity.

The 5 Elements of Feng Shui

In feng shui theory there are five main elements: wood, fire, water, earth and metal. Each one of these five elements plays its own role in your living or work space. Once you have prepared your bagua or energy map by using a lo pan compass and your home's floor plan, you then need to consider the elements that govern each of the eight areas.

Each of the five elements influences a specific life area. If you can discover which areas these are then this will help in the design of your home and how to use furniture and accents that highlight that particular element.

Lucky bamboo and other ways of bringing feng shui elements into your home

Lucky Bamboo - the feng shui wood element

KL Design & Import - 100 Stalks Of 4 Inch Straight Lucky Bamboo For Feng Shui Or Gifts
KL Design & Import - 100 Stalks Of 4 Inch Straight Lucky Bamboo For Feng Shui Or Gifts

In Asia, Lucky Bamboo is one of the most popular gift items people give away for all occasions, like wedding, house warming, business opening, Christmas, new year, birthday, anniversary, etc. And it is also a great touch when you decorate your house or office since they don't need any sunlight. More importantly, Lucky Bamboo is considered as the "Wood" element people use it in Feng Shui. I kept Lucky Bamboo over two weeks after I got my shipment from China, just to make sure they are healthy and strong. As you can see from the photos, all the bamboo are healthy and beautiful, all have full leaves and roots. It is very easy to take care of Lucky Bamboo, just put roots in water, and keep them in door with room temperature, and stay away from direct sunlight, that's it!


Bring the water element into your home with a table top fountain

Water cascades from beneath the gently spinning marbled orb, showering the rock-like tiers below.

Rock Design Gift Indoor Tabletop Desktop Water Fountain
Rock Design Gift Indoor Tabletop Desktop Water Fountain

Beauty and small

I have this in my office/studio to keep the atmosphere calm, peaceful, creative yet productive. It's a compact fountain that fits in small spaces and offers a lot. Love the rotating sphere.

(Review by ClaireOKC)

Quiet little wonder

It's a nice fountain. It doesn't have the flash or flare that some do; it's just a simple little fountain that sits on your desk and makes that pleasant water trickling noise. You don't have to worry with refilling it every day like some unless, like me, you have cats that use it as a water bowl, and the pump for it is super quiet as well and I have yet to hear it running. Overall, I am very pleased with my purchase. If I were to say anything negative about it, it is the absolute simplicity of the thing and that it has no lights on it so that if you actually want to see it, you do have to have the lights on, so it's not good if you like to sit in a dark room with that water trickling sound and some minimal light for ambiance from the same device. My advice in that situation is to use candles.

(Review by Jessica Simmons "Azzie Lynae")


Focus on the Five Elements of Feng Shui

Feng Shui elements
Feng Shui elements


Anything associated with fire inspires deep burning passion. The fire element also, as you can imagine, brings great energy to any activities. One's sex life is probably what springs to mind first with such a passionate element, but this can also include your work and career as well as leisure activities.

The colors associated with this element are, as one might expect, red, orange, bright yellow, pink and purple.


Water is a refreshing element and when it is allowed to flow freely brings with it an abundance of good fortune. Used as a purifying agent in the ancient rituals of many cultures, using the water element in your home adds purity, energy in abundance and a sense of freshness.

The colors for the water element are blue, and the less obvious black.


We often refer to people as "down to Earth" because it's well-known that the Earth element brings a feeling of stability and security to your home. Mother Earth nurtures all of us who live on this planet and same goes for the earth element in your home - it nourishes every member of the family.

The colors assigned to the earth element are shades of beige and pale yellow.


Whilst the metal element may seem so hard and impersonal at first, in fact, metal is used to bring efficiency, clear mind and focus into your life. The presence of the metal element will bring a clarity of purpose.

The colors gray and white are associated with the metal element.


Wood is synonymous with trees, the lungs of the earth which provide oxygen for all living creatures which need it to survive. Not surprisingly, therefore, the wood element brings health to the body. When feng shui is used for healing the wood element is included in the design. Prosperity in your home is also dictated by the presence of the wood element.

Like the lush leaves of new growth in a forest, the colors for this element are green, and also brown.

Feng Shui Color Theory

Feng Shui candle gift set - Candles are another way of bringing feng shui elements into your home

Feng Shui Candle Set
Feng Shui Candle Set

This Feng Shui candle set comes with an 8-1/2" black ceramic plate (for your candle arrangement), 24-28 river rocks, a Feng Shui story, and 1 of each candle: earth and metal (each 2x2"), water and wood (each 4x2"), and fire (6x2").


Feng shui and YOU!

Have you applied aspects of feng shui in your own home?

See results

Feng Shui Your Life - by Jayme Barrett and with a forward by Mary Steenburgen

Feng Shui Your Life
Feng Shui Your Life

Easy, beautiful, organized, guide to Feng Shui !

I was very pleased to have found this wonderful book. I have read many books on Feng Shui in the last 2 years, and this one was definitely one of the very best ! With lovely pictures, a brilliantly organized -- and easy -- description of the ba-gua and how to use it, and an intelligent, simple, solution oriented approach to lifting the energy/increasing the harmony/blessings of each area/room of your house and garden.

Thoroughly enjoyable reading. The kind of book that you keep. And read again and again. This is a great guide to Feng Shui. It takes away much of the contradictions and confusion presented by other people, yet does not leave out a single important point. Better yet, all the solutions are easy to do!

Jayme Barrett will be someone whose seminars I would attend, and who I would definitely seek a feng shui consultation for in my home !

(Review by Jody A. Clark)

Feng Shui works!

I first heard about feng shui from a woman who had been a physicist for eleven years, and then decided to become a feng shui practitioner. She found it to be totally consistent with the laws of physics. That made me interested in finding out more about it.

No one could explain it better than Jayme Barrett, who's beautiful book should be on everyone's coffee table! She makes feng shui simple and easy to apply to your home or office right away. Just simple realignment of objects and furniture can help you sleep better, have more harmony in your relationships, and help more money flow to you more easily and Jayme shows you how. In the 24-hour period after I installed a fountain in my wealth center, I received nearly $2500.

Jayme is a true transformational coach with years of professional experience, and her book is a real find!

(Review by Chellie Campbell "The Wealthy Spirit" )


Did you enjoy this Hub? Please leave a comment before you go! - Feng Shui fan or not, I'd love to hear from you!

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    • darkflowers profile image

      Anja Toetenel 4 years ago from The Hague, the Netherlands

      I'm very interested in Feng Shui! But somehow I find it a little bit difficult. Your Lens is great and educational, love it. I have a Feng Shui frog with a coin in his mouth at the left side of my door and I believe it works.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Thank you. I've learned a little more about Feng Shui.

    • waihou profile image

      waihou 5 years ago

      I am a Feng Shui fan. Great information. In my opinion, Feng Shui is a kind of science study. Although I took a lot of time to study Feng Shui, I enjoyed the moment. Nice:)

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Great article! I've added you to the side of my article of Feng Shui Move Your Stuff Change Your Life book review. Blessings! :)

    • pimbels lm profile image

      pimbels lm 6 years ago

      Very interesting, thank you.

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      Great intro to Feng Shui. Blessed by your friendly home decor neighborhood squid angel and featured on "Wing-ing it on Squidoo," our tribute page to bless-worthy lenses. (You can see it at

    • CreativeHome profile image

      CreativeHome 6 years ago

      Reading the descriptions, I'm glad we carry lots of solid wood furniture in our store. Very cool lens, really enjoyed checking it out.

      Cheers from Coquitlam!

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 7 years ago from Canada

      You have certainly taught me a few new things. Best wishes for you in the New Year.

    • patinkc profile image

      patinkc 7 years ago from Midwest

      Thanks for these Feng Shui Tips. I've been dabbling for a while, learning a little here and there. It's really a lot of fun!