Adding the Earth Element to Your Interior Design

The earth element is one of the five elements that balance energy in feng shui design practice. The earth element, along with water, fire, metal, and wood, represent the elemental energies that represent the cycle of nature. Each element is supportive but independent of the others. Feng shui practitioners believe that the balance of these energies creates a harmonious environment that promotes health and well-being. A lack or an overabundance of one type of energy is not ideal for a well-balanced space.

Earth feng shui element

The earth element represents stability, grounding, and nourishment. You create more balance in your elemental content by understanding the earth element and how you can add this energy to your space.

About 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 as you decide which characteristics you want your earth element to represent.

Earth Symbols That Represent Yin Energy

  • Rock 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 map out the energy quadrants in your home. The Western bagua map is divided into nine sections that each correspond with an area of your life. Each area also corresponds with one of the five elements. There are three areas that are associated with the earth element. These are the love and relationship section, the health section, and the wisdom and knowledge section.

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 the earth element.

Qualities Associated With the Earth Element

Each of the five elements symbolizes certain characteristics and qualities. Use the earth element to optimize these qualities in your life.

  • Grounding and Stability – Use the earth element to represent both physical and emotional grounding and stability. This element is also related to feeling rooted in a specific space.
  • 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 present elements.
  • Fertility and Growth – The substance of the earth feeds living things. Use this element to promote a sense of fullness and nourishment for all living things in your home 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.

Colors and Symbols That Represent 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

The Earth Element in the Constructive Cycle

The five elements work in connection with each other. The constructive cycle of the elements shows how each element supports another element. The fire element supports the energy of the earth element. Therefore, 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.

In its turn, the earth element is supportive of the metal element. Use earth symbols to help promote the qualities that are associated with metal energy.

The Earth Element in the Destructive Cycle

The five elements are also joined in a cycle where each element can weaken the influence of another. In this destructive cycle, the wood element serves to weaken earth energy. It is helpful to use wood symbols to weaken the earth element if you feel like this energy is out of balance because of an overabundance.

You can also use symbols that represent earth energy to weaken the influence of water energy if you feel like you have an excess of this energy.

Excess of the Earth Element

When the earth element is out of balance, you might sense some of the following characteristics.

  • 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. Yet, you might feel stifled or trapped if you can never take any chances.
  • Excessive Focus on Materialism – As this is the element that we relate to material possessions, too much of this energy can lead to an overemphasis on gaining material goods.
  • Insularity – The earth element is needed to help you feel rooted in a particular space, but too much can create isolation that makes you hesitate to go out into the world.

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 bring in more earth energy. These include muted tones like soft yellows, beige, dusky peach, ivory, ecru, and tan. You can also use darker tones like brown and gold. You can also use brighter colors like red and bright yellow, which represent the fire element, if you want to strengthen earth energy.

Natural Materials

Earth feng shui element

Incorporate natural materials such as clay, wood, and stone into your decor. You can do this by displaying pottery, adding natural stone decor, and using wood furniture. Another way to incorporate the earth element into your design is by using textiles woven of natural materials like wool, silk, and cotton.


Earth feng shui element

The shapes that symbolize the earth element include squares, rectangles, and cubes. Use these shapes for home decor items like coffee tables, throw pillows, and wall art to increase the earth energy in your space.

Crystals and Stones

Simple decor for feng shui

Make use of crystals and stones that symbolize the earth element in your decor. These include quartz, jasper, and moss agate. Spread 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 provides a double benefit as most of it also has a rectangular shape. Use wall art that displays earth scenes or earth colors. Remember that if you want to promote yin energy, the earth shapes should be soft and undulating. For more aggressive earth energy, use pictures that display sharp angles or jagged mountain peaks.