Feng shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that is still respected and used by many today. Not only is it important for the Chinese community, but this practice has spread worldwide and influenced many other cultures, including the Filipinos. With a wide Filipino-Chinese or Fil-Chi community, it’s no surprise that the philosophy of feng shui is still practiced by many households.

An Interior Decorating Guide for Feng Shui

This ancient blend of art and science was developed some 3,000 years ago in China. “Feng” means wind and “Shui” means water. Both are symbols of good luck and health in Chinese culture so feng shui came to mean good fortune. The philosophy seeks to find balance and harmony between the five elements. It puts importance on physical and mental state, an abundance of success and prosperity, and happiness in relationships via a positive energy flow or the “Chi” with the help of the elements.

This ancient practice goes beyond the Western notion of aesthetics. Good feng shui is often referred to as the art of placement because it is all about positioning the different elements in your space to maximize the Chi. While the principles of this philosophy often apply to many aspects of life like how to attract prosperity, invite wealth, maintain good health, and an abundance of positivity, feng shui is still more commonly practiced in interior design.

Feng Shui Elements

Feng shui divides the world into five main elements: wood, metal, earth, water, and fire. Each element is as important as the one before or next to it, which is why the goal of the practice is to balance the five. Some people say that when they have a room that “doesn’t feel quite right”, they try to redecorate and move appliances so that the elements are more balanced. Below are the five elements and some daily tips and tricks on how to harmonize them.


The wood element symbolized growth and vitality. It encourages personal growth, promotes creativity, and strengthens intuition. Be careful not to put too much or too little as both can make you feel overwhelmed on one hand or stagnant on another. Use shapes that mimic the vertical, growing shape of tree trunks and the softness of leaves and flowers. The most common interior designs for this include wood furniture, fresh flowers and plants, cotton, and other natural fabrics.


The metal element symbolizes logic and intelligence. It boosts knowledge and mental sharpness and also supports logical thinking and mental clarity. Using too much metal can make you overly critical while using too little can make you too cautious and lack focus. Use round or oval-shaped furniture, anything made out of iron, aluminum, gold, or silver, rocks and stones, and white, gray, silver, or light pastel colors.


The earth element symbolizes stability and balance. The ground can help ground you in every aspect of your life. It can also affect your physical strength and overall feeling of being grounded where you are right now. Using too much earth element can cause sluggishness while using too little can make you feel disorganized and unfocused. Use square or rectangular shapes, earth-toned colors, low and flat surfaces, and images of landscapes.


The water element symbolizes wisdom and serenity. It helps with clarity and relaxation and harmonizes your spirituality and emotions. It can also bring about inspiration, insightfulness, and wisdom. Using too much water can make you feel unstable when it comes to your emotions while using too little might make you feel lonely and isolated. Use black or deep and dark tones, reflective surfaces like mirrors, asymmetrical shapes, and water features like aquariums and fountains.


The fire element symbolizes passion and energy. It represents transformation, expansion, and enthusiasm. Using fire can encourage boldness and expressiveness, which can be a good thing if it’s balanced out. Too much fire can manifest as anger, aggression, and impulsivity while too little can cause lack of vision and emotion unavailability. Use candles, natural sunlight, shades of red, pink, or purple, electronic equipment, and animal prints.

feng shui home decorating tips

Bagua Map: How to Use Western Bagua Map

The most common tool in feng shui interior designing is the bagua map. The map helps create and analyze the chi in any given space and will help you figure out what elements you need to balance everything out. A Bagua map has nine quadrants and each has an element and color associated with it. The nine Bagua quadrants in a feng shui home are Love, Family, Health, Children, Wisdom, Career, Wealth, Fame, and Helpful People.

The traditional map is defined by a compass direction but for beginners, you can use the Western version unless you want to hire a feng shui expert to do it for you how it was meant to be done. The Western version simply divides your house’s floor plan into a grid. The easiest way to do this is to overlay the Bagua map onto your house or space’s floorplan. The front door should always be facing south and should align with one of the three bottom squares in the quadrant.

Bagua Map Decorating Tips

To promote a better flow of chi into your home or space, there are some tricks for making a good but simple feng shui home. Each quadrant should be decorated with its designated element and colors to have the correct energy flow. Some basic tips include things that you probably already own or have laying around somewhere in your house. First up is making a good front door as the door to your house is the first layer of attracting good energy inside.

Clear the space and clean it as well. Cleanliness is next to godliness, after all, and it makes you feel so much better to have a wide and open space where you can think and breathe and relax. Make use of a crystal or stone to amplify good energy. Make sure the air and natural light, both natural elements, can easily get in easily. Place your bed and desks facing the front door to increase power and decrease vulnerability. Lastly, add natural elements as much as you can like plants, a fireplace, or maybe even a water fountain.

Feng Shui Decorating Tips By Room

You don’t have to apply feng shui principles and use the Bagua map on your entire house. You can also choose to stick with smaller spaces, especially ones that you always frequent or stay in for prolonged periods. This can be your living room, kitchen, bedroom, home office, workspace, dining area, or wherever else you fancy to help you with having a good energy flow, prosperity, and luck. Below are some tips on how to decorate some of these smaller spaces.

Feng Shui Tips for Living room

Begin with the largest piece of furniture in the area and make sure it is against the wall and faces the front door or any opening. Avoid sharp angles for tables and other furniture as much as you can. Do your best not to cramp the space too much so that conversation between people can flow as easily as the chi. Use sheer or light curtains to allow the sunlight to come in. Place plants and two elements or more like fire and water.

Feng Shui Tips for Bedroom

Similar to the living room, start with the biggest piece of furniture, which is most likely the bed. Place it far away from the doorway without it facing in that direction. Avoid a fill of electronics in your room as much as possible, including a television set. Choose soft-colored linens to balance out wood or metal bed frames. Throw in earth tones to create calming energy and throw out clutters under or beside your bed to help with the energy flow.

Feng Shui Tips for Home Office

A home office can be difficult to decorate because you are always tempted to leave the clutter since you think they are all important. It doesn’t have to be a disorganized mess and everything can go to its proper place without cluttering your desk. As much as 50% of your work desk, the space you use the most, should be clear. Place the desk facing the door for a wealth of power and productivity. Place personal objects like photographs and add in plants and more earth tones.

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