Fen Shui can be quite complex, encompassing sophisticated Chinese philosophical ideas, ancient traditions and cultural beliefs. According to Wu Xing theory, the structure of the cosmos mirrors 5 phases. Each phase has a complex series of associations with different aspects of nature and the elements. The perfect home and garden must incorporate the 5 Chinese elements of water, fire, wood, earth and metal. To demonstrate how to successfully feature an element in your home, here’s a guide to metal furniture, accessories, décor and colour.
Each room in your home should have a working balance of between 3 to 5 elements. The idea is to find your own individual balance, depending on who lives in the house and the areas of your life you wish to work on. Many beginners use straightforward percentages, start at 50% Earth, 40% Metal and 10% Water as a guide. To personalise your Feng Shui, find out your birth element and Kua number. If metal is your birth element or your Kua number is 6 or 7, it’s lucky for you to increase representation of metal in your home and garden. Instead of just using a planter or mirror, you may want to consider metal furniture, such as a metal bed, dining set, coffee table or patio set.
Metal furniture, décor and accessories must be positioned North or North West, in accordance with the Bagua. This is your placement map symbolising how your environment is connected to your life. The North is known for life’s journey, opportunities and your career, so positioning metal furniture in these areas will strengthen these aspects of your life. The West is known for completion and creativity and the Northwest for helpful people and travel.
When looking for metal furniture and accessories for your home and garden, you must also take into account that its associated shape is round. Therefore, choose a round wrought iron patio set or anything circular to strengthen the effect. When you include metal furniture in your décor, be especially careful of sharp edges. A sharp corner is considered ‘Shar’ which means killer or disharmony. So again, always go for round shapes.
Metals associated colour is white; to really strengthen life’s opportunities and your career, add white cushions to metal dining chairs or white bedding with your metal bed. Or you could perhaps consider wonderfully elegant white metal furniture to really enhance this area. If you don’t like the idea of metal furniture you can use white or metallic coloured accessories or mirrors to represent the element. For instance, use shimmery fabrics, silver picture frames, bronze or pewter statues or figurines.
The element is also related to the season of autumn, which can be quite tricky to represent in your interiors. Wrought iron shelves could display some autumnal landscape prints or photographs. Or large metal planters could contain plants that manifest the changing seasons. The key to successful Feng Shui is creativity.
Be wary of the fact that shiny metal radiates a greater amount of chi than dull metals. Wrought iron furniture and accessories are a good choice, so you won’t need to worry about overdoing it. A wrought iron theme is also really easy to implement throughout your home and garden. Classic, timeless furniture and many great trimmings such as wall art and light fittings are readily available.
Chopping and Melting
The elements are referred to as phases because of their relationship with each other; there is a productive phase (harmonious) and a destructive phrase (inharmonious) – so the elements work in harmony or destroy each other. In the productive cycle earth hardens into (creates) metal and metal erodes into (produces) water. Whereas in the destructive phase, fire melts metal but metal chops wood. So increasing your metal element doesn’t necessary mean adding more metal furniture you could in fact use more Earth as this encourages metal. Similarly, if you need to lessen its influence add fire to ‘melt’ it, using a vibrant red painting or print for example. Complicated isn’t it?
Whether you choose metal furniture, mirrors, candelabras, planters, a coat stand or a gazebo, make sure you get the balance and positioning right. Enjoy the qualities of intellect, sharpness, clarity and efficiency that metal will encourage in your life.