What is Feng Shui Exactly?
Most articles and even some books will explain what colors to pick for each room and why without really giving details on the elements of Feng Shui and how it actually all works together effectively. The English translation for Feng Shui is “Wind-Water”, which envisioning this alone can evoke a feeling of peacefulness. This practice is based on the concept that everything in a person’s environment has a life force or energy called “chi”. When you enhance your “chi”, it is said that you become more vibrant, thus, healing your mental health and enhancing your mental capacity. The environment you can mostly control is your house which is why Feng Shui often refers to the home; although, the practice can also be used on an individual’s office. Arranging that environment so that the energy or “chi” flows gently is the process of Feng Shui, and colors play a vital role.
Explaining Feng Shui Colors
There are five elements from the natural world that are connected to Feng Shui colors which are fire, earth, metal , wood and water. Though these elements are connected to other things such as objects, shapes, seasons, internal organs and chakras, colors are the most powerful components that play a role in balancing our living spaces. When practicing Feng Shui for your home, these five elements are important because everything we see around us is made up of them.
It is also important to know how the nature of elements discussed work together to create harmony in the household. Here’s a chart explaining this:
There are also two cycles that happen during Feng Shui which are called The Constructive and Destructive Cycle. In these cycles, the elements create and destroy one another. To understand how that works view the diagram below:
Choosing Colors for Your Rooms And Walls
It is important to first know what feeling you want to achieve for each room such as for a home office where you might want a feeling of success, focus and/or creativity. As we all know, the bedroom is where we go to sleep, the kitchen is where we eat, the living room is where we unwind though sometimes we use to entertain, the office is where we work, and the bathroom is where we well… you know, ha!
Therefore, all rooms are to create different emotions because they have different functions. Color coordination is “key” in bringing all of this together! In some Feng Shui books and articles this is not conveyed, thus, some people have the misconception that because a Feng Shui color is connected to a certain emotion that doing something like slapping yellow paint on the wall will create intelligence. Now that’s not smart!
Before we break down the colors for each room it is also important to consider the “ying” and the “yang” when choosing wall paint and color scheme in each particular room. In short, the ying and the yang simply refers to active rooms (yang) verses non active or quiet rooms (yin). Here’s another chart for further explanation:
Colors for Your Kitchen
Although take-out is fast and easy, it can get pretty expensive, so you will want a wall color that increases happiness, creativity and energy to inspire a desire to cook. In Feng Shui, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms which is why I listed it first. This room is essential because it controls the flow of nourishment and pleasure. Kitchens also are classified by location—south area, southwest, west, northwest, north, northeast, east, southeast and center. However, the most recommended color for the kitchen is yellow. If you don’t like yellow here is a list of colors by location:
- South Area Kitchen – Fire and wood elements are recommended for this location. For fire elements brighter colors are suggested such as, hues of purple, red, coral, orange yellow. Then colors such as, hues of brown and green are associated with the wood element.
- Southwest Area Kitchen – Fire and earth elements are recommended for this location. The fire elements are the same as listed for the south area kitchen. The colors associated with the earth element are earth tones such as brown, taupe, nude, cream and pale yellow. Any of the earth element colors can be used for this area.
- West Area Kitchen – The Earth Element colors in combination with fresh whites and clean grays. It is very important to avoid fire element colors.
- North Area Kitchen – Warm earth element colors excluding pale yellow are recommended for this location. You may also use crisp whites and clear grays in combination with whatever earth tone you choice.
- North Area Kitchen – It is recommended to use metal element colors such as hues of gray, off white and white in corporation with balancing the water and fire elements.
- Northeast Area Kitchen – Any of the fire and earth element colors are recommended. You can refer back to southwest area kitchen or the color chart below.
- East Area Kitchen – Any of the wood and earth element colors with variations of light blue accents are recommended. Refer to the chart below for all of the wood and earth element color options. It is suggested to avoid using stark white in this color scheme.
- Southeast Area Kitchen –Any of the wood element colors with variations of light blue accents are recommended. Refer to the chart below for wood element colors.
- Center Area Kitchen – Any of the fire and earth element colors are recommended. It is suggested to avoid using or incorporating and metal or water element colors.
Suggestion: Make sure your kitchen is lit with natural light and a spider plant is a great addition for removing poisonous gasses and other airborne impurities produced from activities and foods in this room.
Colors for Your Living Room
Whether you are alone or with others this is often the room to unwind, unless you are having a party or get together. Therefore, this room should have a cozy feel to it. If you eat in the living room avoid red because it evokes hunger. A living room with light lavender walls is a great color those who are stressed or have anxiety because this particular color will calm an individual’s nerves. However, it is said that the best color to have as a couch is brown; therefore, warm earthly colors will also be a great choice. You want a warm and inviting wall color that makes it easy to incorporate color in this room since it is usually the largest room in the home with the most items.
Suggestions: Use himalayan salt lamps because they mimic sunlight and daylight which is great for when there is neutral light. Add plants for energy flow and healthy chi.
Colors for Your Bedroom
The primary function of this room is obviously to go to sleep, that is why it is suggested to work or study in your home office and watch TV in the living room. The secondary function of this room is romance which would make sense to paint the wall a light shade of red but this is a risky color because it will bring a great amount of the fire element which is evokes a profuse amount of activity (yang). If you want to add passion in the bed room Feng Shui recommends a peach colored wall instead of red. The ultimate wall color is sage because it is peaceful and calming. However, in Men’s Health researchers conducted an experiment and found that people who had a light shaded blue room slept the longest out of all the colors they tested in the Feng Shui color spectrum. If you wish not to have colored walls in your bedroom, “skin colored” walls are recommended such as nude, cream, ivory, tan and beige. Earthy tones give more options for the main item in your room which is the bed.
If you are expecting or already have children, the children’s bedroom walls should never be pink or purple. A children’s room should have a good balance of both the ying and the yang because it is an active room during the day and a quiet room at night. If you have a girl and she loves pink, just accessorize the room with a light version of that color. Feng Shui advises to avoid busy wallpaper, ultra bright or neon colors for the wall. Those colors could over stimulate a child; consequently, affecting his or her nervous system which will be disruptive to his or her sleep.
Suggestions: If you stick to a neutral or nature wall color, please avoid the colors black, yellow, red, all white and dark brown for your bedding. Also, do not keep any electronics near you when you go to sleep and shut them off or move them out of the room when you are not using them. This improves sleep quality by reducing radiation and EMF exposure.
Colors For Your Bathroom
This is the ultimate room where people get their much deserved personal time; therefore, is important for this room to be relaxing and encourage healing physically, mentally and emotionally. With that said, hues of blue and green seem to be the obvious suggestion in some articles, but please do not be misled by their ability to promote tranquility. Feng Shui teachers suggest that those are the worst wall colors you could choose for the bathroom because green is associated with wood and blue falls under the element water which can cause an imbalance. Also, remember green was a perfect choice for the bedroom because it is quiet (Yin); however, the bathroom needs calm but active (Yang) as we wouldn’t want you falling asleep while brushing your teeth! According to the Feng Shui chart, the colors that are associated with the earth element are recommended, such as pale sand, tan and terracotta. These are colors you also expect to see in spas because they represent nourishment. Sunshine yellow is also a fantastic choice because it stimulates health and healing.
Suggestions: The toilet is the most important element in the room according to Feng Shui; therefore, is critical that you keep the toilet clean and the toilet seat down to avoid energy (chi) from escaping. Also, if you have a window in your bathroom an Aloe Vera plant is a great addition since it soaks up toxins from the air and aids in healing skin irritations among other things.
Colors for Your Office
This is a place where you want to feel energetic, smart, focused and in some cases creative. Bright color walls will create energy for this room; however, to avoid being unbalanced or drained, be sure the color is not too loud and more of a toned down version. If the room is small, a pale yellow, cream, off white or white are great colors because they will make the room feel open and airy. Moreover, these colors are effective in activating the mind. White and cream colors are exceptional for home offices because they represent the metal element which supports mental clarity, according to the Feng Shui chart. Through research, I have seen some people paint their walls a pale purple which is acceptable in this practice because it creates a feeling of self-worth and is known to manifest prosperity and wealth. The color is also connected to the element wood which indicates this being a great color for late spring. For those that are partial to a more of a clean wall, adding color in the room is essential. So let’s discuss the best Feng Shui colors for the most important item in this room, which would be the desk.
- Black – Not only is black easy to match with other items in the room but it attracts energy which evokes introspection and manifests opportunity. If you are the type to crave career advancements and job offers, this is the best color desk to have in your office. I’ve always done well in business and work well on a black desk in my home office.
- Green – If you are someone who typically pulls out all-nighters, this color desk or work space will help you stay alert and energized with a good balance of mind and body.
- Wooden Colors – Medium-toned and lighter wood tones are suggested. The medium toned colors will provide stability and strength while the lighter tones will stimulate and energize your mind.
Suggestion: A waterfall picture on the wall and a Pilea Peperomiodies plant aka Chinese Money Plant (found on amazon here) on the floor or stand are two great additions for this room.
There are many factors that play into the practice of Feng Shui such as, season, year, personality or attitude and personal goals. For instance, you might be seeking wealth, working on your mental and emotional health or needing more excitement in your life.