Feng Shui Tips for Beginners

How to Apply Feng Shui Principles to Your Home

Modern living room with yellow chair

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If you’re new to feng shui, here’s the perfect guide for you with feng shui tips for beginners. Get the rundown on the five elements—earth, metal, water, wood, and fire—and how they translate to home design and decor choices. Also, consider a few tips for decorating, keeping feng shui in mind.

Feng Shui Tips

  • Five elements: Discover how the five elements can interact with your space.
  • Commanding position: Determine your power position in the room.
  • Main doorway: Keep the main entryway free of clutter.
  • Living room: Seating should be ample, facing each other, with no backs to the entryway.
  • Kitchen: Maintain cleanliness for good health.
  • Bathroom: Keep door and toilet seat closed.
  • Bedroom: Avoid storing items under the bed.

Read on to learn the feng shui basics, plus more details about these easy tips you can implement in your home immediately.

Five Elements

Feng shui uses the five-element system, which comes from Taoist philosophy. This system looks at the cycles of nature and how they work together to be in balance. The five elements are earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. Each element is associated with certain qualities, as well as colors and shapes that can be used as design elements if you’d like to enhance those qualities in your home and life.

feng shui elements

The Spruce / Nusha Ashjaee


Earth is related to self-care, boundaries, and nourishment. It’s connected to earthy colors like yellow, orange, and brown, as well as square shapes and heavy objects.

You can add the earth element to your home with a square yellow rug, or a solid rectangular desk.


Metal has the qualities of joy, beauty, and precision. White, gray, and metallic colors, as well as circular shapes, represent metal.

To add metal to your space, try adding a round, metallic planter or light fixture.


Water represents deep wisdom and a connection to others and the world. It’s tied to black, very dark blue, and wavy shapes.

You can add water to your home with a water fountain or artwork with watery images.


Wood is related to growth, healing, and vitality. It is represented by green, blue, and teal, as well as tall, columnar shapes.

Green houseplants are an especially great way to introduce the wood element to your home.


Fire represents passion, inspiration, and visibility. It is related to fiery colors like red and bright orange, and triangle shapes.

Light is also connected to the fire element. Lamps are a great way to add the fire element to your home.

Commanding Position

The commanding position is one of the fundamental basics in feng shui. It’s important that your bed, desk, and stove are all in command, since each of these items represents a significant aspect of your life. Your bed represents you, your stove represents your wealth and resources, and your desk represents your career and path in life.

To place your bed, desk, or stove in command, find a location in the room where the following is true: when you’re sitting at your desk, lying in bed, or cooking, you can see the door without being directly in line with it. The idea behind this position is that you have a good view of anyone or anything that could be coming in through the door, which helps you feel more at ease on a subconscious level. It also means that you are more aware of potential opportunities that might be coming towards you.

White and gold kitchen with subway tile

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Room by Room Tips


The entry, called the mouth of qi, is where energy enters your space. It is also what people see from outside your home, so it represents your face to the world. Make sure to keep this area clean and free of clutter, so qi can flow through easily. It’s also important that your front door is easy to find. Is it clearly labeled and free of obstructions? Your friends, as well as delivery people, should be able to find and access it easily.

It’s also a good idea to keep this area clean. Sweep your entry regularly, and remember to wash your door as well. You may also want to add a light fixture to keep this area bright and introduce the fire element.

White house on a street corner

Gustavo Zambelli / Unsplash

Living Room

Living rooms are places to gather with family and friends, so they should feel cozy and welcoming. Make sure you have comfortable seating—enough for everyone who lives in the home, plus a few extra seats for guests. To encourage connection and conversation, face chairs and sofas towards each other. Try to avoid having the backs of chairs facing the door as much as possible.

Healthy green plants can also be a great addition to the living room, as they add vital life force energy as well as the wood element, which represents kindness and compassion.

cozy living room built in with white and blue accents

Jelena Mirkovic / Unsplash


The kitchen is an important area of the home because it represents nourishment. One way to improve your kitchen feng shui is to ensure your refrigerator is clean and tidy. Are there any items in the back of the fridge that are expired? Clear out anything that’s no longer useful to you and compost it. Wipe down the inside with the intention of creating a space where you can nourish yourself.


Because bathrooms have a lot of drains, they can be a source of downward and depleting energy. To minimize this, it’s a good idea to keep the bathroom door and toilet seat closed as much as possible. Since water represents the flow of wealth and money in feng shui, this can help to prevent money from flowing away from you.

modern white bathroom with marble and gold accents

Nathan Van Egmond / Unsplash


Your bed and bedroom represent you, so this is a really important area to look at in feng shui, and a great place to start. First, make sure your bed is in the commanding position. Next, check under the bed. It’s not ideal to use this area as storage, since you spend a lot of passive time resting and sleeping here, so anything underneath you affects you energetically. If you need to store things under your bed for space reasons, make sure you only have soft, bed-related items like sheets and blankets.

You can also add the earth element for support and nourishment; a great way to do this is with a square earth-colored rug under your bed.