It is used to create and restore balance and harmony in a space by using energy sources from various elements. ‘Feng’ means wind and ‘shui’ means water, so the very name speaks of the important energies from nature that many people believe affect all aspects of our lives. Feng shui incorporates things like the placement of furniture and colors to create a balanced atmosphere that is said to bring good fortune. We all want good fortune in our work, so using these principles to brighten up a workplace is a popular idea.
What Direction Do I Go with Feng Shui?
Feng shui is an all-encompassing philosophy. The placement and color of your surroundings, furnishings, accessories and walls all come into play. There are five types of energy at work with feng shui that correspond to five elements. These five elements are wood, fire, metal, earth and water. Let’s break them down:
- Wood – Wood is associated with springtime, growth and renewal. The color green represents wood and the primary shapes connected with wood are pyramid and tree-like shapes. Dark brown is also a wood element color. Wood symbolizes prosperity and new beginnings. When you have a new business or a new workspace, consider green as a foundational color.
- Fire – Fire is the summer element and is associated with passion, emotion and the way you want the world to see you. Fire connects with high noon and the colors red, bright yellow and orange. Fire symbolizes your reputation and fame. Fire is symbolized by triangles, living beings and good lighting. Bring in fire with the color red when you want to light up the atmosphere with your excitement and your passion. A red lamp would be a great way to symbolize this element.
- Metal – Metal is the autumn season. It includes the colors of gold, silver, brass, copper and white. Metal is the purest element and is symbolized with a round shape. In the autumn season of metal, you harvest all you planted back in the wood season of spring. The circular shape of metal can be expressed in a rug or a table. It can even include an archway. White and metal represent focus, cleanliness and purity.
- Earth – Earth is the grounding element. It is shown in light browns and tans, pale yellows and neutrals. The earth tones are stabilizing. Earth symbolizes good relationships. These tones are terrific for conference rooms and sales teams. The shape for earth is a square – very stable and secure. If things feel like they are on shaky ground, add the earth tones and square shape for grounding feelings.
- Water – You probably are not surprised to see the color for water is blue. You might not know that another water color is black. Water is winter’s element and symbolizes darkness. It has two different forms, still and moving. Moving water relates to your ability to communicate. Could that be why many offices and waiting rooms have aquariums? Still water relates to your inner depth, your fortitude. Add water to examine your deepest thoughts and when you want to express yourself freely. The black of the water element represents power, sophistication and courage. The blue is related to clarity, calm and peaceful sensations.
What’s Next for Colors and Feng Shui?
Let’s look at some of the furnishings in your workspace. A desk is one of the first things you think of with an office. A traditional wood desk, usually dark brown, is the color of new beginnings, like ideas you create at your desk. The placement of the desk is also important in feng shui. Place your desk so when you are seated in your chair, you can see the door. This is called the commanding position. It means you will see opportunity entering your office. You can further the energy effects of feng shui by the placement of objects and the use of color on your desk. Clutter is to be avoided at all costs, with 50% of your desk space being left empty.
Try to leave large open spaces throughout the office so the energy can move. Avoid glare from the lights and stick to curved edges on furniture.
Try to represent all the elements between your paint colors, furniture, accessories and artwork. This will bring harmony and balance into your workspace. Stick to more muted or lighter colors, especially in large, open areas. Above all, don’t get stressed out about arranging your space using feng shui principles all at one time. That defeats the purpose of feng shui. Start small and add an element at a time.
If you’re ready to explore the variety of colors associated with the elements of feng shui, call one of our color experts at the Arizona Painting Company. We would love to help you find the balance of color you’re looking for in your workspace. Contact us today to discuss how the energy of color can transform your office.