In Feng Shui each of the Five Elements, or five stages of chi, have attributable colors, textures, patterns and shapes. Since shapes correspond to an element they can be used just like color to help balance a space and activate the ba gua, the energy map of your home. Find out more from Katherine Graham
Below are some examples of ways to use square versus round shapes to help you achieve the invisible luxury of Feng Shui.
Round rugs represent Metal
Most interiors I see have an overabundance of the Wood element. This happens easily when you have hardwood floors and most of your furniture is made of wood. To “cut” an overabundance of the Wood element, one of the simplest cures is to bring in a round Metal element rug.
Additionally, in a room with all square shapes or furniture with hard angles, a circular or round rug is just what you need to smooth out the edges and bring harmonious chi to your space. Feng Shui literally translated means “wind” “water.” Chi likes smooth, round edges over hard angular pieces so that it can easily flow throughout and nourish your space.
Square rugs are Earth Element
Square shape represents the Earth element; the element we resonate with most easily. We naturally relate to a square shape on the ground since our toes and feet are used to standing and being connected to the ground.
Natural fiber rugs in earthy tans, beiges and creams go with most interiors and are a great starting “ground” if you don’t know where to start or what type of rug to buy. Just be sure that if you use a large square or rectangular rug that you also bring in some round objects, like the white garden stool shown above. Intermittently placing round with square shapes helps bring visual interest as well as balance the flow of chi in and around your space.
Pattern, Texture, Shape and Color representations in Feng Shui
In addition to shape, pattern and color, materials matter as well. A round rug is Metal element however, if it is in a floral pattern this also brings in the Wood element. If you are looking to cut down on the Wood element, go with a solid round rug over a floral pattern or you will just be adding additional Wood element.
On the other hand, if you are looking to add Wood to a room with an abundance of Metal, go with a floral rug and use the shapes present in the room to determine which shape you need to bring in to create balance.
For additional practice on how to use shapes to balance your space, below I break down the elemental components of 5 different rooms and rug shapes.
Strong Fire and Earth
The bright colorful rug is square so the shape itself brings in the Earth Element. Notice the active pinks, yellows and oranges- these are all Fire colors as well as the zig-zag pattern. Score two for the Fire Element and one for Earth on this rug. This colorful combination of shape, color and pattern would be excellent in the South area of the bagua, which is ruled by Fire or in the SW area, which is ruled by Earth. In the Creation Cycle of the Five Elements, Earth is created by Fire. These two elements are naturally supportive and bring upbeat, positive chi to a space.
Combination of Elements plus yin/yang – Metal with Fire and Water
This is an excellent example of how design elements, especially patterns, can often blur the lines when it comes to categorization. Is the zebra patterning fire because it creates active upward chi or is it water element because black is a water color? Go by how it makes you feel- does this rug activate you like the Fire element or bring flow to the space like water? I read this rug as all three elements: Metal, since it is round, Fire because of the zebra pattern and Water as well because of the black.
Also notice that the amount of white in this room is well balanced by the black in the rug. Yin and yang, or the balance of opposing forces, is also very important when looking at your interiors from a Feng Shui perspective because balance is key to a harmonious, soothing, good-looking space.
Dominant Metal with Earth
White is metal – and is balanced with fire and wood. This is an overall very strong metal room with almost all the furnishings and accessories in white. The rug which is square and brings in the Earth element with its shape, is more actively metal since it is white. However, it also brings in a sneaky Fire Element since it resembles mohair and animal skins and furry things are Fire element. Score one for the Earth element, and one each for Metal and Fire.
The room itself, while it has an overabundance of metal, feels balanced. This is because it has alternating square and round shapes and also represents the Fire element, wood element and Earth element through accessories.
Floral patterns are Wood Element
Here is a floral patterned Wood Element rug in Earth tones in a Metal shape. All we need now is Fire and Water element to make this space balanced.
Are you getting the hang of it now?
Article/Photo Source: Square or Round Rug? How to Use Shapes in Feng Shui
Read another article about Feng Shui and Shapes by Kathryn Wilking, Common Feng Shui Shapes for Decorating