A growing number of people across the nation are exploring the ancient art of Feng Shui as they design both interior and exterior spaces. This centuries-old practice involves using color, materials and object placement to enhance positive energy, or “Chi,” in homes and offices.

“People are often surprised at how incorporating Feng Shui into their design choices can have a positive impact on their lives,” says Linda Binns, executive director of the Feng Shui Success Institute and a certified Feng Shui practitioner. “By considering how various objects and colors affect the environment, we can direct energy to work for us in supporting our life goals.”

Binns notes that use of color is an important, but often overlooked, consideration in creating a space with plenty of positive energy. “There is a whole science that focuses on how color affects us. Certain colors are stimulating while other colors are calming,” she says. “We also have to bear in mind that the use of colors in one culture may be completely different in another.” For example, white is often a key color at weddings in Western cultures because it is symbolic of purity and new beginnings. However, in China white is associated with death and is worn at funerals. In India, red is the most prevalent wedding color.

Personal preference and cultural norms are important considerations when working with color in Feng Shui. Colors that have any sort of negative connotation for the building’s occupants should be avoided in decorating. However, some general rules do apply when choosing colors for various parts of a home.

There are several ways to think about color in Feng Shui. The first is in terms of color’s connection to the five elements – fire, earth, metal, wood and water. Feng Shui practitioners work to balance the presence of these elements in order to bring a sense of balance to a home, and each element is associated with specific colors. “We instinctively feel most comfortable when all elements are present in a room, often through a combination of using items that are composed of the elements themselves and using the colors that represent them,” Binns says.

The colors associated with each element are: red spectrum for fire; yellow, gold and earth tones for earth; white and pastels for metal; blue and green for wood; and black or very dark tones for water.

Binns advises her clients to make sure they do not overdo any one element in a particular space. For example, bathrooms, by their very nature, contain an abundance of water. Using black or very dark colors adds even more elemental water to the space, which can result in a sense of passive fluidity and lack of structure for the home’s occupants.

Another example is the overuse of wood. Many new homes feature hardwood floors, which create an overabundance of wood when paired with wooden furniture, predominantly blue or green furnishings and lots of plants. Feng Shui practitioners warn that too much wood in a home can cause the occupants to feel overwhelmed. “Creating a good balance with all five of the elements will not only help us to feel better, it can help us to be more successful in life as well,” Binns says.

Another way to use color in Feng Shui is to focus on enhancing specific life areas with the colors that represent those areas. For this, practitioners use a “Bagua,” which is an energy layout of a space that identifies specific areas that correspond to various parts of the occupants’ lives. (See illustration.)

Wealth & Prosperity

Colors: purple, green, blue, red Fame & Reputation

Red Love & Marriage

Pink, white, red
Health & Family

Blue, Green Unity

Yellow, earth tones Creativity & Children

White, pastel colors
Knowledge & Self-Cultivation

Blue, green, black Career

Black, very dark tones Helpful People & Travel

Gray, black, white


Although each area of the Bagua corresponds to a complementary color, simply using one or more accents in the appropriate color may be enough to enhance the area and encourage the flow of Chi, Binns says. In fact, the best color choices often combine the personal favorites of the occupants with the colors used in Feng Shui.

When assessing spaces with Feng Shui in mind, it is also important to consider color choices in relation to a room’s primary purpose. For example, adults’ bedrooms are for rest and relaxation. Therefore, the best bedroom colors are calming, muted tones. Green and blue are good choices for children’s bedrooms because these colors encourage growth and development. However, hyperactive children often do better in rooms that use earth tones and muted yellows, which have a grounding effect.

Red is often considered to be the color of choice for a “Feng Shui-friendly” space. But Binns cautions against tossing around too many red throw pillows. “It is true that red is often used in Feng Shui as an ‘activating’ color,” she says. “It is a high energy and very auspicious color and therefore may be recommended. But it’s definitely not always the only option. For instance, you may have heard that it is good to have a red front door. This does not mean that you absolutely must have a red front door in order to create positive energy. Red may not be your favorite color and may not match the rest of the house.”

However, it is not a bad idea to have at least a splash of red by your main entrance. This can be achieved with red flowers, a welcome mat with red accents or a wreath with a red ribbon on the door. “Remember, the most important thing is personal preference when it comes to color – do not use a color that you do not like just because you think it would be ‘good Feng Shui’,” Binns says.

Author's Bio: 

Linda Binns shows you how to be more successful in all areas of your life by working with your environment. Get FREE Feng Shui Success Secrets. These powerful and practical secrets can help you transform your life. Go to www.fengshuiexplained.com, now.

Linda Binns is author of Feng Shui for Your Relationships: Changing Your Environment to Create Better Relationships. She has been a Feng Shui Practitioner, Author, Speaker and teacher for over 10 years. She has appeared internationally on television and radio and in local publications. Linda is also the founder of The Feng Shui Success Institute – which teaches in-depth Feng Shui training and practitioner certification.