A Feng Shui Guide to Color

Transform your home with these tips on using colors that will boost your energy and promote health.

Adapted from Interior Divine, Walking You Through the Transformation of Your Home, by Jayne Pelosi

Feng shui is the Eastern practice of analyzing where things go to create the most healthful and beneficial energy flow. Using colors in your home based on how you respond to their energy is a crucial component of the process. If you have a living room full of hot, fiery colors that sometimes leave you feeling burned out, bring the heat down with simple accessories such as blue silk pillows, blue blown glass and candles that are pumpkin-colored rather than red. Sometimes a room just needs some relief from the energy associated with its predominant colors.

That said, while a room with too much fire energy may be frenetic and not relaxing, a room with too much blue may be too cold and uninviting. To help you make sense of it all, here's a primer on the five elements of Feng shui and the associated colors that elicit specific energies in your home:

  • Blue and black, associated with water energy, support inner work, helping us to concentrate, contemplate, mediate and handle creative endeavors. Blue can slow the heart and breathing rates and lower blood pressure. It can be used to increase coolness, to calm and to create privacy.

  • Green is associated with wood energy, the energy of growth, decisiveness and action. It can motivate internal change.

  • Red is associated with fire, which supports life energy. The color of blood, it can increase heart rate, respiration and blood pressure. It also can promote activity and alleviate depression. It's clearly the color of passion and love.

  • Yellow is associated with earth energy, representing Mother Earth. It can cheer, infuse with hope, clarify and elevate mental activity. It also creates a sense of stability and nurturing. Yellow is often used to help children with dyslexia improve their focus.

  • White and metallic colors are associated with metal energy. They can support carefulness and focus as well as purity.

As for mixing colors, that can also mix the Feng shui energies related to them. Here are some things to consider when choosing combination colors:

  • Salmon, a combination of yellow/orange and red/orange, is a unique balance of earth and fire elements that's quite harmonious. Use salmon to call attention to the heart of a space, create a sense of abundance and encourage conversation.

  • Turquoise, a blue-green combo, evokes the qualities of wood and water. It has both the contemplative qualities of blue and the life of green, making it a great choice for spaces that allow movement and growth.

  • Lavender, a mix of the qualities of blue and purple, can evoke a sense of calm, spirituality, contemplation and quiet. Use lavender to minimize high activity, calm a stressful situation or create a special spiritual space.

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