Feng shui centers around the idea of Qi, which is a flowing life force that basically rules the earth. Qi (pronounced chee) swirls all around us, the vital energy of life. Everything and everyone on earth gives off Qi and is affected by it.
The words feng and shui are Chinese and literally translate into wind and water. If you think about the wind in the mindset of the Chinese, it translates into human breath. So feng shui represents the most crucial elements of life: wind (the ability to breathe) and water, which composes up to 60% of the human body. No human can last long without either. Not coincidentally, both wind and water are primary distributors of Qi.
The theory of feng shui is that you can control and enhance the flow of Qi with the design of spaces and placement of objects. You can see why that would be relevant to the bedroom. Since we’ve already done a post about basic bedroom feng shui, 8 Feng Shui Principles for a Better Bedroom, we figure you are already semi-pros on the subject. You know never to sleep with your feet facing the door, to avoid sharp corners, pick a room at the back of the house and choose soothing colors. Now we’re moving on to some more advanced ideas to really bring on the zen.
Skip the monoliths
No hulking furniture next to the bed, blocking the Qi, making you feel small, obscuring your view or subconsciously feeling that it might tip over and crush you. Likewise, chandeliers and ceiling fans are great, but not over the bed. One surprising tip: huge bedrooms aren’t great for sleep. They can actually make you feel vulnerable, because it’s harder to keep track of what’s going on in a big room. There’s more stuff in the room, and you may not have a good line of sight to the door or the window. This may be a leftover instinct from caveman times.
Headboards create a feeling of safety and solidity, protecting your head and also shielding you from anything behind you that you can’t see. They’re a great choice if you must put your bed underneath a window or in the middle of the room. Make sure the headboard is solid and attached to the bed, so you’re not creating a feeling of unease, worrying that it might tip over. Avoid placing your bed near a window, where your body’s Qi may fly up and out the window.
While clean air is essential for Qi, carbon dioxide is not. Having plants in your bedroom is a contested point of feng shui—as plants often grow at night, emitting carbon dioxide. If you like plants, we recommend keeping them across the room rather than next to your bed and keeping them on the small side. In the morning, open the windows to let out carbon dioxide from your own breathing. A colossal bedroom feng shui mistake: dried flowers. They connote death. #Avoid
Clutter not only stops the flow of Qi, it stresses you out. Get rid of it. All of it. Also stressful? Intense or disturbing artwork in the bedroom. The Delacroix battle reproduction or neon Peter Max poster is better for the living room. Likewise, bizarre or precarious furniture should be banished. Glass tables, grotto chairs and psychedelic pillows should be relocated elsewhere.
The bedroom is no place to hold on to negative energy. Toss your ex’s old sweatshirt and that mix CD in the bottom drawer. Use a sage stick to burn away bad vibes and remember to wave it in the corners, where bad Qi can get trapped. For obvious reasons, if you have an en suite, keep the bathroom door closed. Keep your bedroom door closed, too. The idea is to keep Qi in the room at night, freely circulating.
Give peace a chance
Good sleep hygiene is something we often talk about on this blog and, unsurprisingly, it is also good bedroom feng shui. Eliminate noise. Bring nature in with organic sheets. And invest in quality window treatments. Look for ones that block out light and can be easily opened and closed. You want to shut out light when sleeping, but also be able to welcome it into your bedroom in the morning. Ease yourself gently awake with a smartphone alarm that uses chimes or other peaceful sounds. Or get a combo alarm clock/light that brightens slowly, waking you by simulating the rising sun.
It’s like dating advice, but good feng shui involves inviting the kind of relationship you want into the bedroom. Symmetry around the bed is good. Go for two lamps, two candlesticks and bedside tables on both sides. Include artwork that depicts a couple rather than a single person. Peonies in the room promote love; avoid single flowers. And never put the mirror over, next to, or opposite the bed. Not only can the reflections be distracting, but feng shui says bad mirror placement is a triple threat. It can magnify problems, make the Qi bounce around the room uneasily and invite others into your relationship.
All in all
The more we learn about feng shui, the more it seems grounded in common sense, a light understanding of the workings of the subconscious mind, and even some principles of physics. You know the saying, “Good luck is good planning.” Well, good sleep is good planning, too. We encourage you to give your bedroom a makeover with some of our feng shui tips, and let us know how they work for you.