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 “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.

Water element

​​Each of the five elements is essential to creating balance in a feng shui design, but water is unique because it helps to harmonize and balance all the energy in your space. Water represents flow and movement, so it is vital for unblocking stagnant energy. It is also known for attracting positive opportunities, so it is a popular feature near front entrances.

Qualities of the Water Element

The water element, when used and balanced correctly, produces the positive qualities that we associate with it. 

  • Emotional Well-being – Water is closely associated with emotions. The sound of flowing water can have a calming effect on a disordered mind and heart. 
  • 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. 
  • Reflection and Clarity – Water’s reflective qualities symbolize introspection and clarity of thought. 
  • Wealth – Feng shui belief associates water with bounty. Use a water feature in the area of your home that is connected to 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. 

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. 

Representations of the Water Element

  • Colors – Dark blue, black, or dark gray. 
  • Shapes –  Wavy or wave-like lines
  • Symbols – Aquariums, water fountains, art with water motifs, mirrors, water plants, glass and crystal objects, sheer fabric

Yin and Yang of the Water Element

The water element is primarily yin in nature. This means that water is both passive and receptive, as it can adapt to various environments and take on various forms. However, the water element can also take on more aggressive yang qualities. 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, 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. In the Western bagua map, the water element corresponds 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.  

Water Element in the Constructive and Destructive Cycles

The five elements coexist with one another. Certain elements feed and reinforce one another. In the constructive cycle, the metal element strengthens water. This means that you can boost the water energy in your home by incorporating objects and colors that represent the metal element. These can include metallic objects, metallic colored fabrics, or the colors white and gray. 

The destructive cycle demonstrates which elements weaken one another. According to the feng shui tradition, the earth element weakens the water element. You can use symbols that signify the earth element, like pottery, earth colors, and natural stone, if you sense an abundance of water energy.

Water Elements in Home Design

Utilize these symbols to create positive energy in areas of life that correspond with the element of water.

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 way 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.