Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 49, Tuesday July 25, 2006














feng shui & colour

One of the most important things you can do to reduce the level of stress in your home is to choose calming colours that speak to your spirit. Indeed, colour is so powerful that its influence is felt even when we are sleeping. Everyone, including those without sight, senses colour because it is actually composed of vibrating light waves. Perceived through the skin as well as the eyes, these waves stir physiological responses that are instinctive and universal. Warm tones like yellow, orange, and red are act as stimulants. They increase our pulse rates and respiration and may produce either excitement or anxiety. Cool colours such as blue and green are calming. They decrease our pulse rates and respiration and may encourage relaxation.

All things in the universe are composed of energy; endlessly rotating electrons and neutrons make up every living thing, every object, every swirling molecule of gas and grain of dust. Modern physicists are only just beginning to unlock the mysteries of energy and matter, but philosophers have been exploring these concepts since before the dawn of recorded history. In some cultures, ruminations about the forces of nature have evolved into sophisticated guidelines for aligning energies and achieving order and balance in our lives. Perhaps the best-known philosophies are feng shui, originating in China, and vastu shastra, originating in India.

In this week's feature, we will discuss about the significance of colour in feng shui. Feng shui is not one philosophy but many. The complex system of ideas began in China and spread through Tibet and the rest of Asia. Over the course of six thousand years, the tools and techniques expanded to include a broad range of ideas and approach. According to feng shui teachings, all things in the universe are made up of two polar energies, yin and yang. A profoundly restful environment has more yin energy: every aspect of the decor encourages peace or introspection. A room that excites and inspires is predominantly yang: the decor promotes activity and extroversion. However, both yin and yang are essential to life, and the goal of feng shui is to achieve a harmonious balance between the two.

The concept of colours in feng shui comes from the Five Element Theory and the proper application of colours to derive feng shui benefits must follow the Five Element Transformation principle, also known as Wu Xing. The five-element transformation describes the interaction of the five elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. Each element is represented by specific colours, which can be used to enhance, weaken or control different qualities that affect an individual. But which colours to use and when?

Red has many guises-; from deep wine and crimson to soft, gentle pinks and lilacs. The stronger rich tones of red absorb light and make a room look smaller, while the lighter hues create a warm and cosy feel. When you use red on a single wall or ceiling, it make this area appear closer to you, so we can easily use it for open plan living room or open study. On one hand fire is vibrant and energetic but on the other it can be cosy and relaxing.

Earth-Brown Yellow
Colours drawn from the earth are comforting because they affirm our connection with nature. According feng shui brown and yellow represent earth. Brown suggests stability, strength and maturity. Wooden furniture is made of natural pigments and looks brown. If we decorate a room with wooden furniture, it looks elegant and rich. Brown tiles always give us an earthy, rooted feeling. It harmonizes easily with other colours.

Metal-White, Silver, Gold
These three are representative of the metallic look. White suggests spirituality and encourages meditation, while gold suggests wealth and luxury. Sometimes we use golden lacquer furniture for living room, while younger people prefer silver-plated or bar combination furniture for their office or home.

Water- Black and Blue
Black suggests safety and protection and calms anxieties. It represents spirituality in Eastern cultures and death in Western cultures. Black is a dynamic colour. We can use it in our showroom, restaurant or bathroom.

Since we live on a blue planet, the colour blue takes on a special significance. Deep blue affects our metabolism and body clocks and like the midnight sky, has a sedating effect, slowing down all our body systems so that we instantly begin to feel calm soothed and relaxed. So blue is ideal for bedrooms.

Wood-Green & Lemon
The last feng shui element is wood, represented by green and lemon. Green is an easygoing colour, its close connection with nature helps to link us to the cycle of life so that we can relax. Decorating a room in green creates a relaxing space where we can stop and breathe. It is ideal for bedroom. In the theatre the 'green room' in which actors rest before a performance is designed to convey this calming quality.

So, according feng shui the personality of a colour can be a guide to where to use it in your home. If you want to feel more sociable and communicative you might introduce orange and yellow tones. It you prefer a quieter life include some calming blue or green. Choose the colours right, and you have a house that fits your needs.

Interior Consultant
E-mail: journeym@citechco.net
Photo Credit: Hasan Saifuddin Chandan
Special Thanks : Mr. & Mrs. Shamim



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