Although the basic principles behind the use of the feng shui elements have remain unchanged over the years, sometimes it can be a little difficult to understand the many different ways they can be used in today's modern environment. Every one of these different elements has its strengths and weaknesses. Just as is the case with the balance of these elements in nature, it's important to find a way to create a similar balance between the elements in your home. If you'd like to better understand the elements and how you can use them properly to create harmonious surroundings, here are a few tips that can help.


Water is one of the basic elements of nature that no living creature can do without. As such, the addition of a water feature to your home can be a very positive thing. However, water is not always interpreted in the same way under all circumstances, according to feng shui principles. For example, a water fountain in your home can help to promote prosperity, good communication, learning and bountiful possibilities. However, when water is associated with basic plumbing needs, such as is the case with a toilet or a sink, it can sometimes be thought to encourage a negative state of health or even a reduction in prosperity and opportunity. As such, it's important to always use the feng shui elements in the most positive way possible, if you want to create a harmonious atmosphere within your home.


Wood is often used in feng shui to represent birth, innovation and creativity. There are many positive ways that you can use wood throughout your home. For example, wood paneling in your office could provide you with creativity and innovation as you work. It can also be used to add a warm and sociable aura to the family room or any other area where family members and friends tend to congregate.


If you'd like to introduce a sense of stability into your surroundings, the earth element can be quite useful. It's also a symbol of honesty and patience, making it a great choice for areas of your home where family members interact together. However, you want to avoid using too much earth in any one area of your home, to avoid making the area feel a bit too somber, demanding and serious.


Metal is another element that can have very different meanings, depending upon the context in which it is used. On the positive side, metal is often seen as being representative of success in business or life in general. However, when used in the context of a knife or other sharp object, it can be seen as a destructive force that has the ability to cut through positive energy. To avoid this negative possibility, try using rounded instead of sharply contoured metal objects throughout your house.


Fire is representative of high energy, enthusiasm and activity. It is a great element to use whenever you'd like to create a more energetic and exciting environment. However, it's important to remember that fire also has the ability to destroy. As such, you should usually use the fire element with restraint and good judgment within your home.

Author's Bio: 

Online contributing editor for, Jessica Ackerman has extensive design experience, using metal wall grilles and wrought iron door toppers.