The Water Element: How to Use it in Feng Shui Design

The water element is one of the five foundational elements in feng shui practice, along with fire, wood, earth, and metal. Though the presence of all elements is important, the water element is one of the most vital because water represents the flow of energy. The flow of energy or the “chi,” is crucial for creating a harmonious and well-balanced environment. The water element is essential in getting this balance right to promote prosperity, tranquility, and abundance.

About the Water Element

Water element

Each of the five elements has unique properties and qualities that interact together to create a balanced living space. The water element has yin characteristics primarily. This means that water is passive and receptive because it can adapt to different environments and take on different forms. But the water element can also take on yang qualities that are more aggressive. It is essential to understand that the water symbols that you use represent either yin or yang and how to use both.

Water Symbols that Represent Yin Qualities

Yin energy is used to promote a calm and peaceful atmosphere. These water features symbolize the yin qualities of water

  • Still Water – A quiet pond or lake, either physical or a picture
  • Gentle Movement – The quiet flow of water like a small fountain with a gentle flow
  • Reflective surfaces – Quiet and still waters or glass or mirror features
  • Dark colors – Dark colors like deep blue and black

Water Symbols that Represent Yang Qualities

Water is one of the most adaptable elements. In larger or stronger forms, it represents yang qualities.

  • Dynamic Flow – Rushing water over a waterfall or rapids
  • Power – A large ocean or river symbolizes power
  • Heat – Water that is heated to create a mist
  • Transformation – The transformation process from water to mist or ice

The Water Element and the Bagua Map

In feng shui practice, a bagua map is a tool that you can use to determine the energy flow throughout your home. The Western bagua map is divided into nine segments, each associated with a different area of your life. Each segment is also related to one of the five elements. The bagua map connects the water element to the career area of your life. In many home layouts, this is the area near your front door. Water element energy is particularly effective in this area because it symbolizes the flow and attraction of positive energy and opportunities.

Placing water elements near the front door can enhance positive energy. There are also some practices that hinder the flow of energy into your home. These include clutter, broken items, images of violence, and lack of light. These can create negative feelings causing a drain of energy.

Areas of Life Connected to the Water Element

Water elements represent different aspects of our lives. Use water elements to increase the flow of positive energy to these areas.

  • Career – Feng shui practice associates the water element with the energy flow that is important to your career growth and success. A water feature in your home office can enhance your opportunities and advancement.
  • Good Fortune – We associate the water element with luck and good fortune. Add water features in strategic areas if you want to increase the good fortune in your life.
  • Wealth – Feng shui belief associates water with bounty. Use a water feature in the area of your home that is connected with wealth to increase your prosperity.
  • Relationships – Feng shui practitioners believe that water enhances communication and connection, which is important in developing your relationships with other people.
  • Wisdom – Feng shui belief connects the water element with wisdom, clarity, and intuition. Use water elements to increase your proficiency in these areas.

Colors and Symbols that Represent the Water Element

  • Colors – Use deep and mysterious colors to represent the water element including dark blue, black, or dark grays.
  • Symbols – There are many diverse symbols that represent the water element. These include wavy lines, waves, fish, shells, mirrors, fountains, and water plants.

The Water Element in the Constructive Cycle

The five elements exist in relationship with each other. Certain elements nurture and strengthen each other. It is important to understand the water element in this context. In the constructive cycle, metal is the element that carries water. This means that you can strengthen the water energy in your home by using the metal element as symbolized by metal objects like metal frames and decor and also the colors that symbolize metal like white and gray.

Likewise, the water element nourishes the wood element. Use objects and colors that symbolize water if you want to increase the wood energy in your home.

The Water Element and Destructive Cycle

The destructive cycle shows which elements cause the other to weaken. In the feng shui tradition, the earth element weakens the water element. Therefore, it is important to use symbols that signify the earth like pottery, earth colors, and natural stone, if you have an abundance of water energy.

You can also use water to weaken fire. Use dark colors like deep blue or pictures of calm water if you want to lessen the fire energy in a particular area.

Excess of the Water Element

A lack of balance or an overabundance of one of the elements will generate negative qualities. An excess of the water element will lead to the following qualities.

  • Heaviness – Too much water in a space can make it feel heavy and sluggish.
  • Coldness – Water can create a sense of coldness when there is too much of it.
  • Emotionality – We associate water energy with emotion and intuition, but too much of it can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed and instability.
  • Lack of Structure – An overabundance of free flowing water leads to a lack of organization and structure.

Water Elements in Home Design

Use these symbols to generate positive energy in the qualities and areas of life that we associate with the water element.

Water Fountain

Water Fountain - Feng Shui Design
Aerie Interiors

Use a small tabletop water fountain to enhance the water energy in a particular area of your home. The movement of the water is both soothing and attractive.

Black Front Door

Black front door Feng Shui Design
Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

A black front door magnifies the power of the water element by using the black color to attract positive energy and bring it into your home. Black is also one of the most elegant and popular front door color options available.

Wall Art

Wall art to Add water element
Preethi Arts

Wall art that features water designs or uses free-flowing shapes with black and blue coloring can enhance the water energy in a room.


Mirrors to create feng shui water element
Studio Kestrel

Mirrors are useful in feng shui practice to reflect energy. Mirrors also symbolize the reflective surface of water, and you can use them to enhance the energy of the water element. You can also use mirrors to enhance the energy of other water symbols like reflecting pictures that symbolize water features.

Black and Blue Decor

Black and white Feng Shui Design
Amanda Kirkpatrick Photography

Adding items of black and blue decor to your room is one of the easiest ways to bring the calming influence of water into your home. Use pops of black and deep in throw pillows, rugs, wall art, furniture and curtains.

Black and Blue Wall Paint and Wallpaper

Blue back feng shui
Jefferson Street Designs

Another easy wall to add water energy to a particular area is by using black, gray, and deep blue paint or wallpaper. Use these on all the walls if you want to create a cozy and intimate look, or just use them on a focal wall if this color is too overwhelming for the space.


Aquariums for feng shui
Domiteaux Garza Architecture

Aquariums are both calming and gorgeous. Aquariums are small microcosms of living water environments that heighten the water energy of the room.

Coffee Table

Glass coffee table to create feng shui with water element
Axis Mundi

A focal point like a coffee table is a good way to incorporate the water element into a living room. Choose a reflective surface like glass and use a round or curvy shape to represent water. Another effective shape is the waterfall coffee table design.