The concept of elements can be traced back to a Greek philosopher, Empedocles, in about 450 BC. He defined the key elements of the universe as earth, air, fire, and water. He also was wise enough to throw Love and Strife in as being necessary emotion to mix and mingle elements together.
Aristotle came around about 100 years later. He agreed and added a 5th element called "aether," which represents the energy beyond the material world.
When thinking of the home and its furnishings. we believe there are some key elements to that too. There's the physical aspect. Solid woods, genuine leathers, fabrics and metals, for example. But there's also love and strife, and those are the qualities that transform a house into a home.
Creating the perfect home is a very personal experience. Designing the right environment to nurture yourself and your family is a gift. We bring you some wisdom and ancient thoughts on this subject.
Feng Shui is a popular home decor theory. It was created about 3,000 years ago. Enthusiasts believe bringing natural elements into your home is key to creating a balanced, harmonious life. This ancient method identifies the elements as fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Devotees believe these elements should be represented in each room of your home. They can be present in their real form, or there are corresponding colors that represent these elements.
Feng Shui goes a step further than just adding the elements to a room. It dictates where these objects should be placed within based on Bagua, which is an energy map of your home. Think of it as a way to balance each room with the right energy. These home furnishings are solid design tips, and the furniture is gorgeous, so what's not to love?
Real leather makes a statement. Its timeless elegance never goes out of style, and it seems to only get better with age. Ancient Feng Shui traditions believe animals protect homes and the people who live in them. Genuine leather is said to create a smooth flow of positive energy and protection.
Solid wood furniture is eco-friendly in the sense that it will last for generations. Signs of wear can be sanded and stained or left as a mark of time. The natural beauty of wood grain and striping cannot be duplicated. Feng Shui principles state that wood influences growth. However, too much of a good thing can cause bad energy. A room with too much wood (think log cabin) can restrict ideas and creativity. Custom says it can be "cut with another element. Metal "cuts" wood, so add metal to tone down a wood-heavy environment. Don't add water to a room with too much wood, as water "feeds" wood.
In the Circle of the Elements, think of it like a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. (And don't forget the love and strife!)
Fabric adds a warm and cozy texture to a room. It's softer than leather and it's not hot in the summer or cool in So Cal winters. It comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns making it feasible for any room in the house.
Gray is considered the most composed color in all of Feng Shui. It brings calm energy to any space, with its delicate balance of both light and dark. It is best used in rooms where relaxation is at the top of the list. It is also great for office spaces where professionalism is key.
Brown represents stability, comfort, and protection and reminds us of the natural world. Feng Shui belief states that it is connected to the growth of money and prosperity. Avoid this color if you need to expand your horizons and "branch out". Color psychology says that if brown comforts the body, but it does not stimulate the mind. Perfect for a comfy sofa! It is also the most common color of sofa sold in the world.
Blue represents the water element. Water is the beginning of the cycle of elements and as such, it promotes new beginnings, peach, and tranquility. It is best used in the east, south, and southeast corners of your home. Avoid blue if you're depressed. There's a reason they call a low energy mood "the blues."
Metals are the most durable of all the home furnishings elements. They are almost indestructible. Styles and designs skew towards a more contemporary look and its sleekness can really polish up a room. Metals represent purity, discipline, and clarity. When used in a room it adds clear and fresh energy. Great for rooms with a low buzz of lazy energy. Metals draw water, so metals are best placed in the north corner of your home.
Mixing metals used to be a decorating faux pas, but not in today's world being matchy-matchy is not longer desired. Be sure and bring in the different tones with accessories. Picture frames and wall art is a great way to meld metals.
Think of your jewelry. Is everything silver? Is everything old? Probably not. As long as the room is pleasing to your eye, you will have nailed the subtleties of utilizing different metals, while creating a harmonious, creative environment.