Feng Shui’s goal is to create homes that feel comfortable and supportive for those who live there. The five elements (water, wood, fire, earth, metal) can be used to create those homes based on what element the people are.
There are a number of different ways to determine which primary element you are (most people actually have several elements as part of their personality, but one may be more prominent). Without getting too involved though, I’m going to give you a general description of personality types, so you can determine which one you most closely match. Then you can match your element with that home design.
Water Personality: Water people are intuitive, creative, spiritual, and sensual. They feel things deeply. They can be easily hurt and won’t show it. Water doesn’t like to be confined or travel in straight lines. It prefers to flow effortlessly. Likewise, water people don’t like confinement and do best in a job that isn’t structured. Nine to five isn’t the best for them. They like to stay up late and sleep late. Laying down is their favorite position. They love the mystery behind things and they enjoy private, alone time. They love loose flowing clothes, have wavy lustrous hair and will have a slight plumpness or softness to their face or body.
Water Home Design: Water people love open floor plans that flow into each other. Being near the water or with images of water in the artwork is important. They love exotic or unusual decor. Heavy drapes add to the cozy feeling of their homes. They don’t like bright rooms, preferring dark corners with just a couple of lamps to create cozy niches. Private space is important along with places to recline. (comfortable couches, recliners, bed). Water features are greatly loved by a water person (pools, hot tubs, bath). Creating a wonderful master bedroom / bathroom retreat area would be important to a water person so they could spend time soaking in the tub before going to one of their favorite places – the bed.
Wood Personality: Wood people are doers. They’re optimistic and active. They’re athletic, competitive, and love the outdoors. They tend to be either tall and lanky or short and energetic types. They have sensible hairstyles that are easy to care for or require just being tucked behind their ears. They like preppy clothing, denim, flats and running shoes. They’re organized and practical. They love to be doing things with many projects going on at once. They start projects, but follow through is more difficult for them. Since it’s hard to hurt their feelings, they tend not to be as sensitive to others too. Under stress they can get frustrated or angry. Wood people make great leaders, good in business, accounting, law, military, working with tools and in nature.
Wood Home Design: Wood people prefer furnishings made from wood, pictures of landscapes, and lots of plants. The decor tends toward simple, masculine or rustic. A place in the home to exercise would be good for them. Also they would love a space to work with tools or to store gardening supplies. Since they love plants, the color green is a great color. They need to have plenty of organizational tools (file cabinets, drawers, shelves) as the wood person loves to organize their things.
Fire Personality: Fire people seem to have boundless energy. They are the vivacious people who love to talk, joke, and laugh. They tend to have quick, fast movements. They can have red hair or extreme hairstyles and have slim hips. They also love extreme clothing that calls attention to themselves – i.e., pointy, high heels, sexy or dramatic clothing. Their skin has a pink flush and they blush easily. Their inner warmth inspires and attracts others. They hate to feel sad and aren’t the best friend to console you when you’re feeling sad. They like to be the center of attention, are flirtatious, and can be a drama queen. When stressed, they can get scattered or go into hysteria or panic attacks. Since they are great with other people and not self conscious, they are great in public relations, marketing, and sales, or as performers.
Fire Home Design: Fire people love drama in their homes too. Strong, saturated colors for walls and furnishings are great for them. A playful decor works as they feel everything should be fun. Plan for a variety of activities in each room with lots of different workspaces. Sharp corners and vaulted ceilings add to the drama of a room for them. Fire people love extreme artwork and abstracts.
Earth Personality: Everyone should have an earth friend. They’re the huggers. These are the nurturing, loving, supportive, sympathetic people who are always wanting to help others, many times neglecting themselves in the process. Families and friends are the most important things in the world. They don’t like to be alone. They’re faithful, sentimental, and always want to feed you! They prefer things to stay the same and aren’t as comfortable with change. They love garage sales and will tend to have more cluttered homes. Cleanliness is not as important to them. When earth people are challenged, they tend to worry, can’t think straight and become confused. The projects that Wood people start, the Earth people love to finish. Earth people wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes. They have a roundness to their face and body. Earth people are the caregivers of the world — nurses, social work, the neighborhood mother.
Earth Home Design: Earth people enjoy small cozy rooms and spaces. They prefer low ceilings and large, soft comfortable chairs and couches. They’ll change decorations with each season and tend to have the most clutter as they love to have things around them – i.e., sentimental items and collections. Adequate wall space is important for hanging photos of family and friends. Earth people need storage and flat surfaces for displaying their treasures. The living room will need lots of comfortable furniture grouped together into a conversation area to enable talking with friends and family. The kitchen is the most important room for earth people as they love to cook for their loved ones.
Metal Personality: Metal people are sensitive, authoritative, gracious, hypersensitive, and an appreciator of beauty. They can see both the big picture and the tiny details and tend to be perfectionists. Fairness, rules and manners are important to them. They strive for beauty in all things. They’re critical with others and especially self-critical of themselves. Because of their extreme sensitivity, they are easily hurt when criticized. They pay particular attention to their appearance and want everything to feel good on their body. Clothing preferences are classic and refined with luxurious fabrics such as silk and cashmere. Genuine jewellery is preferred over costume. Since appearance is important, drawers and closets may be messy, but the top surfaces will be uncluttered. They tend to have a regal bearing, fine bone structure, slim body, and pale complexion. Under stress, metal people may go into grief and are challenged to ‘let it go’. Metal people are good as leaders, artists, and professions requiring precision and detail. They will find the typos.
Metal Home Design: Metal people don’t like to be overstimulated so pale, neutral colors are best for their homes. Large rooms are preferred with large windows that give a distant view. They will choose a few select pieces of art to display and like one nice painting on the wall. They are most affected by visual clutter and need clear, uncluttered surfaces. They are organized and need places to store things. They do well with a place to meditate or to be alone to ground themselves. Metal homes can either be a place of simplicity or wealth, depending on whether the person longs for the good old days of simplicity or prefers sci-fi, with all the latest and best gadgets.