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Make a Splash: How to Decorate with the Water Element

Last month, we explored the Fire Element in considerable detail. The next element in my “Feng Shui Element Series” is WATER! Just as water is essential for all life on earth, so is it essential in the design of our homes and workspaces. It is a mysterious and complex element that can exist in several different chemical states (solid – ice, liquid – water, gas – vapor) and is a powerful way to bring function, freedom and flow to your home. If you are working with traditional Feng Shui Bagua regions, Water is needed in the North, East and Southeast corners of the home to attract abundance, purity and health. The area of the Bagua represented by Water also relates of our “Career,” or more literally our “Path in Life.” This is fundamental to our overall happiness and health.

Color is one of the simplest and most effective ways to harness the power of the Water Element, which is most commonly represented through dark/navy blues and black. These deep, mystical colors are representative of a powerful, hidden strength that lurks just below the surface – exactly the kind of inspiration we’re trying to channel.

Since Water is such a powerful element, it’s best incorporated in “splashes” rather than as an overall theme for the home. It also works as a wonderful base-color scheme to build from (think of sea greens or yellowed straw tones against black or navy – these two colors also look stunning in the kitchen/bathroom coupled with modern cream cabinetry). Perhaps your home already suffers from a saturation of Water colors? “Dam” an over-abundance of Water with Earth Element colors like yellows, oranges and browns or allow Fire Element colors like reds, purples and oranges to naturally deplete Water, as the Water will “douse” Fire. Both of these bring about a sense of balance.

Water can be incorporated through the use of asymmetrical, undulating shapes and materials too. Substitute sharp and jagged edges for soft, fluid curves that evoke images of water and serenity. Mirrors, fountains and images of water are wonderful ways to incorporate the element as well. Flowing water helps us to let go of things we no longer need, while still water helps calm the surrounding energy and offers the feeling of a new beginning and renewed strength. When in balance with the other elements, the Water Element increases sensitivity, helpfulness and empathy. However, if unbalanced and in excess, it will leave you feeling overwhelmed and emotional. Remember, as with all things Feng Shui, it’s the balance of the elements that’s key to creating a truly harmonious space where people want to come, linger, and go with the flow!

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