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  • Writer's pictureJamie Bass

The Five Elements: Metal

By now, you’re familiar with the qualities associated with the Wood, Fire, and Earth elements. But perhaps there is no element more polarizing or controversial, especially in our modern society, than Metal. Particularly when applied to architecture and home décor, Metal is either excessively overused (which is often perceived as cold and unwelcome but very chic and modern) or underused and avoided (so a space feels cozy but lacks structure and freshness). Intrigued? Read on below to learn more about the many aspects that characterize the Metal element.


Colors: White, ivory, silver, gray, metal colors

Shape: Round, circles, arches

Materials: Any metal object; coins, pots, pans; gold, silver, or any metal-based jewelry; knives; metal trays and other serving utensils; high-gloss surfaces; round- or circular-shaped objects, including tables, toilets, and tubs; electrical equipment, telephones, appliances, televisions, and electrical wiring; fabrics with circular patterns or a metallic sheen; concrete; buildings with domes or round roofs, igloos, yurts, rounded arches, bridges

Season: Autumn

Direction: West (where the sun sets and daylight comes to an end)

Life Cycle Stage: Old age, slowing down, waning

Meaning: Metal is associated with letting go, endings, morality, ethics, precise thinking, structure, planning, organization, systems, control, restraint, concentration, focus, appreciation of beauty and form, refinement, a transfer of power

The use of Metal and its color, shape, line, or symbols can:

Strengthen: Restraint, refinement, discrimination, gratification, grief, grace

Deter: Longing, change, adventure, emotion, greed

A Word of Caution: Don’t bring Metal into a space if you want to invite creative thinking or if you want people to sit back and relax

How to Incorporate Metal into a Space: Wear white or gray clothing, gold or silver jewelry, and metal cuff links or tie tacks; use round rugs; add copper-colored throw pillows; use silver picture frames; add a circular coffee or dining table

And now for the last element, Water!


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