Feng shui is an ancient Chinese concept concerning the flow of positive energy, known as qi, and how it relates to objects in a space. According to its principles, how you arrange the decor in your home matters, and it can impact your sense of wellbeing. Naturally then, when undertaking an overhaul of your belongings, it makes sense to start with your bedroom — the place where you go for peaceful, restorative sleep. The good news: Making a few feng shui changes is easy.
We turned to modern feng shui master and designer Dana Claudat for tips on how to feng shui a bedroom, and in doing so, create a powerful sanctuary in your home. “While fun and practical,” she says, this strategy “works like magic.”
First, let's start with why you should feng shui your bedroom.
“The number one reason to feng shui a bedroom is [to get] sleep that is deep and restorative,” says Claudat. “Even when my clients log enough hours of sleep, the improvement in their quality of sleep is often tremendous after making feng shui shifts.”
Making feng shui changes in a bedroom can also improve your relationships. “In feng shui terms, your bedroom is always linked to love. Many clients have found ideal relationships, improved their relationships, or ended toxic relationships that they felt stuck in after applying feng shui with a clear intention to bring more love to their lives.”
Here are some tips to help feng shui your bedroom:
Place your bed away from the door.
Ideally, your bed will be a comfortable distance from the door, facing it to some extent, but not beside it, with a clear view of anyone entering the room. It should be lifted off the ground, allowing energy to circulate freely underneath. And it should be backed with a well-made headboard that feels solid and supportive while you sleep. Claudat says that good feng shui can be achieved even if some of these rules are bent based on your own space and preferences — but mind these two important ones: “The only rules I truly don’t like to break are sharing a bed wall with a bathroom and sleeping directly beneath beams.”
Make sure you're working with the right colors.
Selecting colors that are soothing and attractive is a key piece of the feng shui puzzle. “When you are adding colors to a room, you can choose colors that bring you the type of energy that matches your intentions in your life,” says Claudat. “It's easiest to begin with neutrals in a bedroom — or less-saturated colors — and then add richer color as it matches with your intentions.”
If you have trouble sleeping or you have a very fast-paced life, Claudat suggests choosing neutral or lighter shades that are more calming. But if you're looking for more of a spark in a relationship or a more vibrant life — and you already sleep well — you might choose to explore more vibrant color.
“Colors like red or others that are deep, saturated, and fiery, bring a lot of energy to a space,” she says. “You don't need a lot of these fire colors to have a big effect.”
Clear clutter in your bedroom.
It’s well known that clutter anywhere in a home can cause stress, so it’s important to clear it out in your bedroom. “Clutter blocks the flow of positive energy and all the glowing vitality and great feelings that come along with it,” Claudat says. “Also, when people store unwanted things under a bed, or store filing bins of papers under their bed, it can be like ‘sleeping on problems,’ which is not very restful.”
Even outside the practice and belief in feng shui, clearing clutter can have a “positive impact on the quality of every day,” Claudat says. “Clearing clutter from a bedroom — including the closets — has a profound positive impact on the quality of your sleep and also on your mindset and mood.”
And you may need to get rid of some books.
According to the principles of feng shui, both books and materials related to work should be kept outside the bedroom; that choice will allow you to turn off your mind more effectively when it is time for rest.
“I like to minimize and curate books rather than eliminating them 100%,” Claudat says. “If you pay attention to the messages and themes of your books and ask yourself, ‘Is this book what I'd like to dream about?’ before you bring it into the bedroom, you should be fine.”
Take note of symmetry.
In order to arrange a bedroom for good feng shui, pay attention to its sense of symmetry. “Balance is something you can feel, and that balanced feeling is calming and grounding,” Claudat says.
“Not every room has space for nightstands, and that's OK. But, if you do have space for nightstands, it's great to have two — especially as an adult in a relationship or wanting to be in a relationship — so that both partners have their own personal space beside the bed. The nightstands don't need to match, per se, but when they harmonize and look great together regardless of whether or not they're identical, this brings a sense of balance to a room.”
And remember, it's okay to break the rules.
When you commit to adjusting your bedroom for feng shui — especially if the practice is new to you — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But try not to get bogged down by the rules.
“Every home is different, every bedroom is different, and every person is different, so to try to apply every ‘rule’ of feng shui strictly can lead people down paths of confusion that don't feel fantastic,” Claudat says.
She notes that she’s seen clients place their beds in awkward positions or panic because they can’t fit two nightstands in their space, both of which are completely unnecessary. “This fear and dogma never needs to be involved in the feng shui process," she says. "If you've made feng shui changes that feel wrong to you, change them back if you can, or trust your instincts to adjust things in your bedroom so that they feel better for you.”
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