Feng shui practitioners believe the ancient Chinese art plays a role in everything we do, from helping us feel balanced and happy in our daily lives to changing how the energy circulates in our homes. But there’s more to achieving good feng shui than just furniture placement. Color feng shui, specifically, focuses on how color adds to the practice of feng shui. And expert Laura Benko, author of The Holistic Home: Feng Shui for Mind, Body, Spirit, Space, says it’s a lot more involved than heading to your closest hardware store and picking out some paint chips. “In a consultation, I always make the connection between the emotional underpinnings of the clients’ challenges in life and how they are manifesting in the space,” says Benko.
Whether you’re selecting colors for your new Boca Raton, FL, real estate or think your San Antonio, TX, home needs an update before you list it for sale, take heed of these eight colors that help influence the energy in your home — then save it to your Pinterest boards here.
The traditional hue of love, power, and good luck (across several cultures), red is the most “fire” element of color feng shui and is said to bring joy, excitement, and even arousal. But use it thoughtfully: Benko cautions against using red in a bedroom, because it is an active yang color and can be too stimulating. Instead, use the color in a dining room, because it can aid in digestion and create a sense of awakening, she says.
Blue comes in innumerable shades, and while each of them might add a different look to a room, regardless of the shade, the color gives off free-flowing energy, a sense of concentration, contemplation, and serenity. Use it in a master bathroom to evoke a sense of calm, the ceiling of a patio, and even scattered throughout a children’s playroom. Having a hard time choosing a shade of blue? Benko advises “looking at your wardrobe and seeing what colors are missing. It is important to always look deeper below the surface.”
Orange might be bright and loud, but that’s because it’s the “socialite” of colors. “Use fire colors like orange in foyers and hallways to create a dynamic energy to express movement and help people circulate through a space,” says Elena Frampton, founder and creative director of Frampton Co. and a feng shui hobbyist. Whether on the wall or as an accent, orange helps sets a high energy in any space and can even promote lively conversation.
Yellow is more than just a sunny shade: in feng shui, it also signifies power and stimulates health (and even fertility). “Start with a yellow throw or flowers,” says Benko. Use it in a home office, because one way to offset the headache of work is to add a nurturing color that helps elevate mental awareness.
This cheery hue has long been the color of royalty, and when used in light shades (such as lavender or purple-gray), it comes off as elegant and chic. As purple signifies prosperity, Benko recommends using it in the wealth area of your home, the rear left corner farthest from your entrance. “When you make a feng shui adjustment, think about what your hope is and visualize that you are increasing the prosperity in your life,” she says.
Green is a great all-purpose color, signifying balance, growth, and abundance in feng shui. Consider it in a kitchen, says Sarah Campernel of Campernel Design Studio in Portsmouth, NH, who often references color feng shui practices in her classes at Endicott College. Opt for a mossy green, which, according to feng shui, can aid in digestion.
Pink might call to mind Valentine’s Day — and it does bring love, according to feng shui experts — but it’s much more versatile than you might think. A pale pink can be a soothing neutral tone to help detox your bedroom, and Benko says it’s “more conducive to a peaceful night’s sleep” than a vibrant hue like orange or red. She cautions against using bright pink, however, as you risk “being too yin, or feminine.”
White exudes cleanliness, innocence, and a fresh start, which makes variations of white the perfect palette for selling your home. “I love layers of creams and whites, and bringing in texture, as well as metallic gold and silver,” says Benko. Opt for whites with cream and blue tones to lend a friendly, welcoming feeling to any space in your home.