Feng Shui Your Bedroom
Can't sleep through the night? Try these feng shui principles in your bedroom to promote better rest, relaxation and relationships.
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What Is Feng Shui?
Feng shui — which literally translates to "wind and water" — is the ancient Chinese art of placement. The goal is to enhance the flow of chi (life force or spiritual energy), and to create harmonious environments that support health, beckon wealth and invite happiness.
In the bedroom, "Feng shui helps you arrange the space to support your best rest and connection with your partner and with yourself," says Los Angeles feng shui consultant Jayme Barrett, author of "Feng Shui Your Life." Follow these simple feng shui strategies that will turn your chaotic, uninspiring bedroom into the serene and sensual sanctuary of your dreams.
Use Welcoming, Calming Colors
Feng shui practitioners recommend warm, rich earth and skin tones such as terra cotta, copper, coral, cream, peach, tan and cocoa for creating a cozy, welcoming atmosphere in the bedroom. Soft natural colors like light blues, greens and lavenders lend the bedroom a quiet, tranquil vibe and invite healing energy. Bright reds and oranges are typically associated with yang — the masculine half of the yin and yang energy equation — and are too stimulating.
That said, "Pink and red are the colors of romance, and using them in the bedroom can increase the romance in our relationships," David explains. Just limit these passionate hues to accents around the room — in the form of sheets, pillows, throws and other linens. If pink and red aren't your thing, try variations such as burgundy, pomegranate, eggplant and magenta.
Position Your Bed With Care
Choose a Wood Headboard
The Exception to the "No Footboard" Rule
Opt for Curves, Not Corners
Barrett says to limit what's on your nightstand to a lamp, a couple of inspirational books, a picture you love and a plant or fresh flowers, to create a "Zen" nightstand.
Clear the Clutter
What's more, "clutter under the bed has its own energy, which can disturb sleep — especially if it's work-related clutter," claims Jayme. The feng shui consultant was once hired by an insomniac dentist, whom she discovered stored her patients' X-rays under her bed. As soon as the X-rays were moved out, sleep returned, Barrett says.
Also consider what memories and associations the objects in your bedroom hold for you, and then get rid of anything (even the mattress) that you associate with a negative time in your life, a past health problem, or a former relationship. "That includes the bedside tables you bought with your ex, and even the heirloom furniture that generations of your family have hated," says Terah Kathryn Collins, author of "The Western Guide to Feng Shui Room by Room" and founder of the Western School of Feng Shui in Solana Beach, Calif.
Organize Your Closet
Shut Out the World
If your bedroom must do double-duty as a work or exercise space, use a lightweight folding screen or beautiful fabric hung from a ceiling-mounted curtain rod to conceal them. And while a few books on your nightstand are fine, if you have bookshelves groaning under the weight of dozens of tomes, move them elsewhere. Turn off the ringer on the phone, too. And if you're not willing to part with the TV, keep it in an armoire or cabinet so that you can shut the door while you sleep. A nice piece of fabric draped over the set when you're not using it will serve a similar purpose.
Create a Space for Couples
Instead, if you're single and don't want to be, "decorate your bedroom as if a partner is already there," Terah says. Symmetry is key, so position nightstands and lamps on both sides of the bed. Accessorize in pairs or multiples, too: Place a bunch of flowers in a vase and hang art depicting romance and unity, which feng shui gurus say creates a "couples' energy" as well as a sense of balance and abundance in the room.
In the feng shui "map" of the bedroom, called the bagua, the far right corner is the "love center." Whether you're single or coupled, consider building a "shrine to love" in that spot. Accessorize a table, dresser or shelf with a photo of you and your mate (or other art that depicts a happy couple), a pair of candles, a book of romantic poetry and a heart-shaped box. "It becomes an environmental affirmation of your relationship goals," Terah says. A thriving plant with rounded, not spiky, leaves is another nice addition. Silk plants or flowers are OK, according to feng shui practitioners, but never keep a sickly specimen or dried foliage here, since their symbolism is obvious.
Another feng shui no-no: king-sized beds. Not only do they create a physical chasm between you and your mate, but they "are split down the middle by two box springs, which creates a symbolic dividing line between partners that can affect their unity," David Daniel Kennedy, a feng shui teacher and consultant in Berkeley, Calif., and author of "Feng Shui for Dummies" explains. If you're not about to trade in your beloved California King, even for the sake of your other beloved, a red sheet placed over the box springs will help unify the two separate halves.
Open Your Eyes to Beauty
If your direct view from the bed is of an adjoining bathroom or a messy closet, screen those views with curtains, folding screens or simply by closing the door. Also, put down the toilet seat at night, lest the bedroom's energy go right down the drain.
Another thing not to place opposite, next to or over the bed (and definitely not on the ceiling, which is a crime against more than just feng shui) is a mirror. In addition to bouncing too much energy around the room to allow for good rest, these reflective surfaces are thought to magnify problems and worries — and some feng shui practitioners even say that mirrors in the bedroom can invite a third party to interfere in your relationship. If you have mirrored closet doors, "Treat them like windows and hang curtains in front of them," suggests Terah. Move other mirrors out of the room, face them away from the bed or drape them with a pretty piece of fabric when you turn in for the night.
Light It Right
When choosing sources for artificial light, make sure to provide illumination from a variety of them, including overhead, table and wall lights. Balance light directed downward (such as from recessed cans in the ceiling) with up-lit torchieres and sconces, "which cast a softer light and lift your energy," says Jayme. Finally, "Put all the lights in the bedroom on dimmers to that you can calm the energy of the space at night."