Use these things so that you’re always in your element

Words: Patchouli Moonbeam | Photography: Bevan Davis | Styling: Charl Edwards

The Ancient Greeks used the classical elements – earth, wind, fire, water and aether – to explain the nature of all matter, while other ancient cultures in Babylonia, China, Egypt, Japan, India and Tibet had similar lists to describe energy. In fact, the concept of the five elements forms the basis of both Buddhism and Hinduism, and if you want to get really esoteric, then: wood feeds fire, fire creates earth, earth bears metal, metal collects water and water nourishes wood. Or if you’re a glass half empty type, then: wood parts earth, earth absorbs water, water quenches fire, fire melts metal and metal chops wood.

Okay, so what’s this got to do with home décor? Well, while we’re not about to tell you to place a three-toed frog facing your front door as a way to bind the universe, earth and humanity together; what we will tell you is that by incorporating the following five elements into your home you’ll not only make for good feng shui but your home will feel warmer, homelier and calmer, too. The clincher? Simply shop Superbalist for the products we’ve photographed to represent each element and your home will look a damn sight better, too. Namaste.


You can bring earthy elements into your home by incorporating everything from potted plants to a marble countertop to our locally made seagrass mat.  A circular wooden side table is the perfect platform to hold up found objects like pebbles, pine cones, feathers and whatever other treasures you pick up on your hikes. You should look to create balance when displaying disparate things alongside one another, so play with proportions when putting a seashell next to a cactus alongside a freshly picked flower or a bleached bone.


We can’t see it but we are able to see the effects in a tree shaped by the prevailing winds of time, garden furniture found scattered after a storm, undulating curtains caught in a draft or a dancing carpet left to dry on the wash line. If you’re not the type to bring found objects into your home then why not try fabrics, artworks, and pillows with these things printed on to them? A touch of nature will soften angles, so try placing a nature inspired throw over a brutal corner couch unit.


Whether it’s clouds of billowing black smoke in the distance, the aftermath of a forest decimated to cinders, or simply burning the tip of your nose when the setting of your lighter has been switched to high, there’s the undeniable power of fire as an agent to destroy. On the other hand, it’s able to turn clay into ceramics, form sand into glass and then there’s the added benefits of keeping us warm and nourished. This winter you should look at playing with fire by creating assemblages on top of your fireplace’s mantelpiece, adding a warm glow to dim corners using our origami inspired naked bulbs, or simply setting fire to all the pieces you no longer want in order to make way for the new. Out of the ashes rise new ways of looking at the world.


The revitalizing and calming affects of water are unrivalled, and you should look at pouring this element into your home using small glass terrariums holding an assortment of succulents, curating collections of sea shells, hanging ocean themed prints, chucking sea coloured throws, and then bringing in driftwood and other beach-combed finds. A large format coffee table book that celebrates the art of surfing split open and showing off spreads will bring years of enjoyment. Otherwise a tree stump used as a stool is the perfect spot to place your various bath time essentials while enjoying a soak in the tub, a water feature will keep you zen, and the hypnotic effects of a well-stocked aquarium will provide enjoyment year round without any of the responsibility of a conventional pet.


The most difficult to define of all the elements, the envelope of gasses surrounding the earth is best interpreted using the Pantone colours of 2016 - Rose Quartz and Serenity. Celestial prints work well here, as will upping the ante of these soft blues and pinks, which at their most over saturated can appear as brilliant as a supernova. A slice of agate would do nicely here. Again you should look for rugs and cushions that use these celestial colours and patterns, which will make the rest of your displays and backdrops appear out of this world.