A popular misconception about the practice of feng shui is that its main focus is wealth creation. Put a water feature here, a windchime there and what’s to stop a cheque for thousands of dollars plopping into your mail box? But there are many things more valuable than money and one of them is sleep. A good night’s sleep means you are rested and fit to face whatever the next day throws at you. It gives your body time to recover and rebuild and it allows us to have wonderful dreams. It’s one of the first things I look at when I’m assessing someone’s home. Even if we can’t easily change where our home is located, most of us have the ability to create the best bedroom in which to sleep.
A well-placed bed is, I think, one of the most important things to address in the home. So what do we need to do? Just as the best building sits against a protective slope, so a bed is best placed with its head against a solid wall. The movement of chi within the home basically follows a path from door to door and from door to window. These are active areas. A bed placed underneath a window means that the flow of chi coming through the bedroom door moves toward the window meaning the energy over that bed is active. This means disturbed sleep patterns. Whereas a bed with its head set against a solid wall is supported by this quiet mountain-like energy. If your bed has to be under a window, think about installing solid shutters to close the wall down (at least at night) and add a solid headboard. For a child’s bedroom this is especially important as they are susceptible to strong currents of chi. But for guest bedrooms, don’t worry – it means your guests won’t overstay their welcome!
Given that chi moves from door to window, that often means that the bed is positioned directly between a door and the bedroom window. Not much you can do about this but it’s more important that the head of the bed is against a wall. Adding bedside tables gives additional support. For couples, try to make sure that the bedside tables and lamps are identical to reflect balance in the relationship. I usually advise people to keep the wall above the bed clear of any artwork as this draws energy over the bed (just as your eye is drawn to the artwork). If you must have artwork on that wall, keep it to the wall above each bedside table instead.
The energy of a bedroom should be quiet. Large windows with big views, busy artwork or artwork with aggressive imagery, and too many mirrors can all disturb this feeling of tranquility. For large windows, think of curtains to frame the view and soften the atmosphere at night. Generally keep artwork to a minimum. For couples it’s a good idea to have an image of you both together (and looking happy!). Avoid pictures of the kids or other members of the family as this room is for you and your partner, so claim it. For mirrored wardrobes, try opening them at night and if you find you sleep better then think about replacing them with solid doors or covering them with opaque film. I know someone who draws a thin curtain across her wardrobe mirrors at night, which gives a lovely soft atmosphere to the room as well.
Think about the imagery of your bedroom. This is your private sanctuary and it represents the inner you. Don’t overload bedside tables with work-related reading. Put something you find beautiful there instead so that it’s a gift to you every time you wake up. It goes without saying that the room shouldn’t appear disorderly or cluttered to you.
If you’re single and looking for a partner, check whether your bedroom is really set up for one or two people. I often see single people living in bedrooms that have only one bedside table, a small bed and imagery of single people – the whole room screams singleness.
Of course bedrooms aren’t all about sleep. Add some spice with a touch of red (a cushion, perhaps) and warm lighting. Think of bringing in different textures – velvets, mohair, even a good fake fur – anything that feels good against bare skin.
The list of do’s and dont’s for bedrooms goes on but ultimately the main thing to get right is the bed placement. After that, the rest is pure pleasure.
As the Italians say, I wish you golden dreams. (And I promise I’m not talking about money).