Have you ever walked into a room and instantly felt at peace? Conversely, have you walked into a room and instantly felt uncomfortable? Those instant, subconscious feelings can be explained by the ancient practice of feng shui; a belief that humans and their environment are made up of different types of energies, and, when those energies are in harmony, the currents sync up to create prosperity and promote well-being.
Feng shui may have Chinese roots, but devotees across the world are incorporating this art of balance into their own homes. If you’re looking for a little personal alignment yourself, start in what’s arguably the most personal spot in your home: your bedroom.
What are the rules of feng shui for a bedroom?
According to the rules of feng shui, everything has energy (people and their stuff), and when those energies are well balanced, it can have favorable results — think wealth, health, and happiness. Now we’ve got your attention, right?
The format, however, isn’t formulaic. It’s not as simple as “put your bed here, have matching nightstands, include three lamps, and — voilà! — you’re on your way to becoming a millionaire.” Instead, feng shui consists of principles that allow for creative solutions. Want to find a romantic match? Try painting your bedroom peach. Looking for artistic growth and inspiration? Find an painting of nature to serve as your muse.
Try adopting some of these feng shui bedroom rules and let the good vibes flow.
1. Choose calming bedroom feng shui colors
Colors are very important in the feng shui world. For a more detailed breakdown of the five key feng shui elements, their corresponding colors, and what they mean, check out the PODS Blog article on how to feng shui your home. In the meantime, we’ll hit the high notes.
Since the bedroom is meant for relaxation and personal rejuvenation, the color needs to evoke these peaceful feelings. Think calming neutrals like creams, grays, beiges, and earth tones. If you’re drawn to a more colorful room, go with a teal or light blue for wellness, a lilac for prosperity, or a subtle yellow for happiness. Avoid stark colors, though. White may make a clean, modern palette, but its vibrance can be overly stimulating, preventing you from getting that optimum inner-beauty sleep.
2. Put your bed in a commanding position
Commanding positions are a big part of feng shui. This means that a centralized place or piece of furniture in the room gives the owner the ability to view or take control over actions happening in that room. In a bedroom, this translates to putting the bed in a place where you can see the door — metaphorically meaning you can see opportunities entering into your life.
What is the best direction for your bed to face? Ideally, the side of your bed faces the opening of your door. Just remember that you don’t want the bed to be directly in line with the door — that’s called the coffin position. You can likely guess why we suggest shying away from that placement.
If you can’t place your bed in a position that’s perpendicular from the door, or if it’s not possible to see the door from your bed, don’t worry. You can put a mirror between the bed and door so you don’t miss out in case those opportunities come-a-knocking.
|Q: What is bad feng shui for a bedroom?
A: For feng shui to flow properly, energy has to move in a productive manner. Having a bed in front of a window, for example, can cause the energy entering from the window to be disrupted by the bed. Also, energies leave homes through bathrooms, so don’t have your bed facing a bathroom door. If this is unavoidable, close the bathroom door and put a mirror on the side that faces the bathroom so the energies are redirected back into the bathroom and not the bedroom.
3. Have a symmetrical bedroom feng shui layout
Think of your room as being dissected down the center of your bed — you want to create balance on each side to cultivate harmony. You don’t have to have the exact same pieces of furniture on each side of the bed, but you do want to weigh the space equally. For example, if you have a dresser on the right side of the room, put a painting or floor lamp on the left. This doesn’t only apply to furniture, either. Artwork can also be used to evenly divide the room.
4. Remember that good things come in twos
Not to contradict ourselves, but while you don’t have to have two of everything, feng shui does place a lot of importance on pairs. They’re thought to create loving energy (even if you’re not coupled up). It doesn’t have to look like a room for identical twins, but it is a best practice to have matching nightstands, lamps, and pillows.
5. Detoxify and declutter
Chemical cleaning products are thought to add more than literal toxins to the room. Swap them out for organic, green alternatives. Another way to detoxify the room is to cut the clutter. Like blocking the window or placing the bed across from the bathroom door, clutter can prevent energy from flowing, causing blockages in your life as well as your bedroom. And don’t stuff that pile of dirty clothes under the bed, either! Energy flows under and around the bed, so storing things under the bed can cause poor sleep. Consider alternative decluttering methods like donating or hosting a garage sale.
6. Ditch the tech
Another thing that can disrupt sleep is technology. We’ve all read the studies about limiting screen time before bed, but feng shui takes things a step further. To follow strict feng shui rules, take all electronics out of the bedroom. Yes, that includes your television and iPhone. The electromagnetic fields can not only mess with your REM cycle, but they can apparently affect your immune system.
7. Avoid sharp corners
Some feng shui practitioners believe that chi has a more difficult time flowing around sharp corners as opposed to rounded surfaces. Something to keep in mind if your bedroom isn’t achieving the calming effects you’re intending. Switch that square end table for a round one or trade the sharp-edged dresser for one with softer lines.
8. Get ahead with a headboard
As you can imagine, the bed is the most important element of the bedroom. Not only do you need to focus on proper feng shui bed placement, but the bed also needs a headboard to provide a sense of support. Make sure it’s in a secure position, too. A wobbly headboard doesn’t emit optimal stability. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a looming and heavy headboard can overwhelm the space. Go with Goldilocks and find something middle-of-the-road, like an upholstered headboard with a soft look and feel. Match it to your linens and comforter to complete the zen-like style.
9. Limit the mirrors
While we’d normally recommend mirrors to make a room look larger, bedroom feng shui mirrors have different rules. Mirrors can harness energy, so some people believe that one in the room may help the flow, but others find that too many affect sleep because of the imbalance. Try it for yourself and find the right fit. Remember that mirrors are meant to project, so make sure they’re bouncing off a tranquil, organized scene — not a cluttered mess.
10. Enhance access to natural light
Feng shui is all about the natural elements, as they are the drivers of chi. The light of the moon and sun help with sleep and personal energy levels through the day. Let them into your room by opening the curtains every morning. Draw the blinds at night to keep excess moon and street light from interrupting your sleep. And be sure to keep windows fully exposed during the day to — let’s all say it together — allow energy to flow unimpeded.
Once you get your bedroom looking and feeling great, you’ll probably be motivated to shui on over to the other areas of your home. The best way to do that? Consider having a PODS portable storage container delivered to your driveway for easy sorting and on-site storage. After selecting the final arrangement of your rooms, whatever doesn’t make the cut can be donated or stored until you need it again.
LB Gabriel is a freelance writer who lives with her husband, daughter, and Golden Retriever in Memphis, TN. A frequent PODS Blog contributor, she's a sucker for any tip she can find on downsizing, cutting clutter, or minimalist living. When she's not on a deadline, you can find her on a tennis court or golf course.