All plants belong to the Wood element, and experts use them as a way to balance the elemental energy of a specific area. For instance, it can help boost the energy level of an area associated with wood, or weaken an area associated with water. But of course, there are other factors to consider when balancing the five elements, which we will discuss later.
But when you follow this guide, you'll end up with colors that fit just right — they'll help your house work exactly as it should, and make you feel right at home. We tapped Laura Benko, holistic Feng Shui expert and author of The Holistic Home: Feng Shui Your Mind, Body, Spirit, Space, and New York-based interior designer Elena Frampton, who's been a Feng Shui hobbyist since she was a teen, for their most thoughtful advice on the subject. Consider this the color primer you've been waiting for — even if you don't think you're the Feng Shui "type."
To get started with laying out your desk, a bagua map is recommended. A bagua map is an ancient instrument used in feng shui developed to help bring overall good Chi energy. When applied to an area, each section aligns with a different aspiration like your career, wisdom, family, etc. Some also have colors and elements associated with them. A good place to apply your bagua map for office feng shui is on your desk or workspace. The chart below will help give you an idea of how to break up your desk using a bagua map.
Houseplants can be an important Feng Shui tool to help activate positive energy in your home or office while they purify the air. Many people think that lucky bamboo is the only Feng Shui friendly houseplant, but there are actually many choices that can fit your décor. The best time to add a new plant is at the beginning of a new month or at the new year, when it symbolizes a healthy beginning for you and your family.
"Once you have that initial question answered, ask yourself, how many pieces of functional furniture do I really need within my office? This helps weed out unnecessary clutter and guide you to utilize furniture that contributes to your productiveness and sharp focus when occupying that space." The feng shui expert notes that investing time in establishing an office environment that speaks to the level of respect, motivation, and growth you envision for yourself is one of the best and easiest ways to bring good feng shui energy to your space.
2. Generates Happiness. Multiple studies have cited that plants in the workplace increased employee satisfaction. Further, flowers are found to have the greatest impact. Research conducted at Rutgers shows that flowers have an immediate impact on happiness. The researchers were even shocked, because 100% of the people responded to flowers with a true or excited smile.
As an example, let us say that you work in a very bright office (the fire element) with an abundance of light colors including metal filing cabinets, computers, faxes, etc. (the metal element). In this case, you would want to focus on bringing in the other elements. You could bring in some plants for the wood element, some earthy colors for the earth element, and an aquarium for the water element. Read more about the feng shui elements here.
When it comes to the link between colors and performance, Feng Shui distinguishes between tones which stimulate the mind (gray, white, and muted shades) and those that invigorate the body (brown and bright hues). For this reason, medium-toned wooden desks are considered the best office option as they provide optimal contrast and minimal distraction.
Dana Claudat is a modern feng shui master, designer, and founder of the blog The Tao of Dana. She is a Stanford-educated art historian with more than a decade of experience in design, feng shui, and research with thousands of clients, yet her approach to space is simple. Starting where you are, using what you have, you can create more of your dream home—and dream life—every day. Dana is a longtime mindbodygreen contributor and instructor (she may have had a hand in the hundreds of plants in mindbodygreen headquarters!), and her work has been featured in design and lifestyle publications around the world. You can work with Dana from wherever you are in the world in her online Feng Shui Camps and through her Online Feng Shui Consultations. For more art and feng shui lifestyle inspiration, you can follow Dana on Facebook and Instagram. Join in her weekly feng shui notes, including monthly New Moon Full Moon feng shui rituals, here!
The surface of your desk can also be arranged according to feng shui’s bagua. This is essentially a map that can be applied to the surface of your desk just as it would be applied to the floor plan of a home or office. Different areas of the bagua are associated with different areas of your life, and you can focus in on specific areas that need a little bit of a boost.
The Phalaeonopsis orchids, or moth orchids, has recently become popular in Asia as a decoration in major business establishments, as Chinese entrepreneurs find them both auspicious and inspiring. Moths are symbolic for good luck because they are nocturnal creatures that do not stumble in the dark and are never afraid to go close to the night; the orchid's flowers are believed to resemble moths in flight.
When you’re setting up your room (or cubicle), you'll want to first look at its layout. Is there an even distribution of furniture on both sides of the room? Is there art only on one wall, or is it sprinkled throughout the space? Is it too bright? Is it too minimalist? How balanced and even do you feel in your workspace? Where and how do things feel off?