Adding the Earth Element to Your Interior Design

The earth element is one of the five elements that balance energy in feng shui design. The earth element provides stability and a grounding force in a given environment. Earth, along with water, fire, metal, and wood, represents the elemental energies that represent the cycle of nature. Feng shui practitioners believe that balancing these energies creates a harmonious atmosphere that promotes health and well-being. A lack or overabundance of one type of energy can block or inhibit the healthy flow of energy.

Earth feng shui element

The earth element represents stability, grounding, and nourishment. When the earth elements are balanced with the other elements, a positive flow of energy results. When the earth element is out of balance, negative qualities may manifest in your home environment. 

Beneficial Qualities of the Earth Element

Each of the five elements represents different characteristics and qualities. Use the earth element to optimize the following qualities in your life. 

  • Grounding and Stability – Use the earth element to represent both physical and emotional grounding and stability. This element is also associated with a sense of being rooted in a specific location. 
  • Nurture and Support – The earth element represents nurture and support, so use to increase a sense of protection, safety, and security. 
  • Centering and Balance – Feng shui practice associates the earth element with the center of the bagua map. Use earth energy to create a sense of equilibrium and to balance the other elements present. 
  • Fertility and Growth – The substance of the earth feeds living things. Use this element to create a sense of fullness and nourishment in your home for all living things, including plants, pets, and people. 
  • Materiality and Practicality – Use the symbols of the earth element to promote a connection to the physical world as well as support material goals and aspirations. 

Excess of the Earth Element

When the earth element is out of balance, you may sense some of the following qualities in the atmosphere of your home. 

  • Immobility – We associate earth energy with rootedness and stability, but too much of this energy might create a sense of being stagnant or stuck. 
  • Overwhelming Heaviness – The earth element is protective and supportive. However, if you never take chances, you may feel suffocated or trapped. 
  • Overemphasis on Materialism – Since materialism concerns our relationship with material possessions, an excessive amount of this energy may result in an obsession with accumulating material goods. 
  • Insularity – The earth element helps you feel rooted in a particular space, but too much can create isolation that makes you hesitate to go out into the world. 

Representations of the Earth Element

  • Colors – Muted earth tones like soft yellow, beige, deep ochre, warm neutrals like ivory, tan, rust, light peach, burnt sienna
  • Symbols – Squares, rectangles, and cubes
  • Materials – Terracotta, stone, ceramic, pottery, clay, natural fabrics

Yin and Yang of the Earth Element

The earth element has yin energy, which is both feminine, passive, and receptive. This is because the earth is a nurturing source that protects and guards. Yet, like many of the five elements, the earth element also possesses yang energy that is more aggressive and assertive. Understanding which symbols represent which type of energy will help you decide which characteristics you want your earth element to represent. 

Earth Symbols That Represent Yin Energy

  • Rocks and Boulders – Large rocks and boulders represent grounding and stability. You can use these symbols to anchor and stabilize the energy in a given space. 
  • Pottery – Pottery is a shaped and formed object. Pottery symbolizes nurture and support. 
  • Shades of Yellow and Brown – Use muted shades of brown and yellow to bring more of the yin qualities of the earth element into your home. 
  • Mountains – Mountains represent strength and stability, which you can use to create a sense of security and peace. 

Earth Symbols That Represent Yang Energy

  • Pointed Mountain Peaks – In general, mountain shapes represent yin energy. But mountains with pointed peaks represent more yang energy. These symbolize ambition and the drive to seek new achievements. 
  • Clear Quartz or Pyrite – Clear crystals such as quartz and pyrite represent more yang energy as they symbolize focus and clarity. 
  • Shades of Orange – Shades of orange represent the more aggressive side of the earth element. 
  • Stones with Sharp Edges – Stones with sharp edges symbolize strength, strong will, and the energy to overcome obstacles. 

The Earth Element and the Bagua Map

The bagua map is a tool that Feng shui designers use to determine the energy quadrants in your home. The Western bagua map divides your space into nine sections that correspond to one of the five elements. You should incorporate the earth element into each of the nine sections of your home in order to create the most balance. But the earth element is the most effective in the three areas that are associated with it. 

The earth element corresponds with three areas: love and relationships, health, and wisdom and knowledge. 

The Earth Element and the Constructive and Destructive Cycles

The five elements are interconnected. The constructive cycle of the elements demonstrates how each element helps another. The energy of the fire element strengthens the earth element. You can also use symbols that represent fire to support qualities that we associate with the earth element. These symbols might include candles, a fireplace, red colors, triangles, and pyramids. 

The five elements are also linked in a cycle in which each element can diminish the influence of the others. In this destructive cycle, the wood element weakens earth energy. If you feel like the earth element is out of balance due to an overabundance, you can use wood symbols to weaken it. 

Earth Element in Home Design

Use these ideas to help you add more symbols that represent the earth element in your home’s feng shui design.

Earth Colors

Earth feng shui element

Use earth colors throughout your space to attract more earth energy. These include soft yellows, beige, dusky peach, ivory, ecru, and tan. You can also use darker tones such as brown and gold. If you want to strengthen earth energy, use brighter colors like red and bright yellow, which represent the fire element.

Natural Materials

Earth feng shui element

Incorporate natural materials into your decor, such as clay, wood, and stone. You can accomplish this by displaying pottery, adding natural stone decor, and using wood furniture. Using textiles woven from natural materials such as wool, silk, and cotton is another way to bring the earth element into your design.


Earth feng shui element

Squares, rectangles, and cubes are shapes that represent the earth element. To increase earth energy in your space, use these shapes for home decor items such as coffee tables, throw pillows, and wall art.

Crystals and Stones

Simple decor for feng shui

Decorate with crystals and stones that represent the earth element. These include quartz, jasper, and moss agate. Distribute these throughout a larger decor display or group them together for a more dramatic look.

Wall Art

Earth feng shui element

Earth-toned wall art has the added benefit of being rectangular in shape. Use wall art depicting earth scenes or earth colors. Remember that if you want to promote yin energy, the earth shapes should be soft and undulating. Use images with sharp angles or jagged mountain peaks to attract more aggressive earth energy.