Every color features an expression of the Feng Shui elements – Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. From a 5 Element theory perspective, white is a Metal Element color. White is the color of clarity, purity and simplicity. Indicative of positive and enthusiastic emotions and clear thinking, it is the energy of joy, completion and helpful people. Metal is a more yin (inward looking) contracting and consolidating element and is often associated with late summer and fall.
So what does Metal Element look like? Shapes that reinforce Metal Element are predominantly circles and ovals. For color, it’s associated with white as well as gray and metallics, but since we like to think in terms of balance, if you choose white walls (for example) you might choose Earth element colors to support it, just as Earth forges Metal. These would be taupes, browns, yellows, and sometimes dusty pinks. It is also conducive to control Metal whites with Water Element colors like black and dark navy, since suppression in elements can ultimately support balance.
Starting to get the picture?
Because of these qualities, white can be very useful in every room of the home. And let’s not conclude that we are meaning white only for the walls. White furnishings, carpeting, cabinetry and more can be the Metal additions to a space. Let’s talk about how you can incorporate Metal Element in each room:
Bedroom: White brings peace, tranquility and calmness. Exactly what you need in your bedroom! Metal Element colors are prosperous in West and Northwest rooms.
Kitchen: There is an intrinsic reason that white is such a popular color for the kitchen. As a symbol of cleanliness and purity, it’s a natural for the space where you cook up health and prosperity. And since the kitchen has an abundance of both Fire and Water energies, the addition of Metal is a great balancer.
Living Room: As we all recall from our school days, white is the presence of all colors of the light spectrum. As one of the gathering places in the home, white is a perfect metaphor for the living room. It also has the ability to reflect and brighten spaces visually. This makes it great for a living room with limited natural light. And better light = better Feng Shui!
While using white doesn’t have to mean just walls, paint is an impactful way to bring an element into the space. Picking the right white paint means paying attention to lighting and warm or cool palettes. Another factor to consider is LRV (light reflective value), which scale from 0-100, with the higher the number the brighter the white. Regular white starts around 83 and goes up. Off-whites run about 72-83.
I recommend that you always sample your chosen color(s) in the room to assess the different lighting conditions. Here are some that I like to choose from Sherwin Williams:
Alabaster SW7008 is a warm white that none-the-less has an LRV of 82. So it gives a light glow without any yellow undertones. Great for walls or trims, and kitchens.
White Heron SW7627 is an off-white with a hint of grey and an LRV of 76. It’s restful for the eyes and feels comfortably natural. I like it in dens or transitional living spaces.
Creamy SW7012 has a cozy vibe that makes it great for bedrooms. With a slightly beige undertone, I love using it to paint antique furniture or cabinets in a traditional kitchen.
Pure White SW7005 is a fully neutral white that is great for cooler looking interior spaces for a clean contemporary look. With an LRV of 84, it’s a great bright white.
Remember that white doesn’t mean boring. It’s a great way to provide your home with healing energy that will provide you with a sense of calm. And of course, it’s a great balancer for the other elements in your home.
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