Feng shui translates to "wind water" and is a bit like Chinese medicine for the home. Feng shui is an ancient Chinese practice to balance the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood, to create optimal energy flow in any given space.
Before mankind changed the natural world by adding to and taking away from nature, there was considered to be perfect balance between the elements. As humans built cities and created structures, natural balance was lost.
Feng shui uses the luo-pan (feng shui compass) to determine directions, the ba gua (eight sections of yin and yang) to divide the space, and the construction year of the building to determine the dominant element.
Every lunar new year brings a shift in the elements, which can set things off balance. Balance is remedied through rearranging the elements and understanding how to create harmonious flow.