Feng Shui is holistic in practice and comprehensive in design. In its comprehension, it can be overwhelming at times. But in the true spirit of Feng Shui, as with everything, it's best to begin simply. For the Feng Shui novice, this is a practical guide and a functional approach outlining the fundamentals of Feng Shui in the bedroom.
On average, approximately one third of your life is spent in the bedroom. Whether you're sleeping, loving or self-nurturing (perhaps with a good book,) the bedroom is your very personal space. A comfortable, calming and re-invigorating Feng Shui bedroom won't feel crowded with junk, distractions or work. You bedroom isn't a business office or a gym. If you can afford the space elsewhere, it's suggested that you strip your room of anything impersonal to you. If you aren't comfortable in your bedroom, if your bedroom doesn't feel like your personal space for passion, pleasure or at the very least refuge, then your bedroom needs work.
Before you do anything, go into your bedroom and be quiet. Listen. You're listening for any unwanted sounds: a noisy thermostat, a leaky faucet, an obnoxious neighbor &c. Do what you can do alleviate those sounds; they're noise clutter; they're distractions. Do you feel excessively hot or cold? Are you aware of a draft or stale and stuffy air? These are most likely issues related to air flow. A clean, minimal space will keep fresh energy circulating properly. Cut drafts off. Invest in a space heater, air purifier, fan or simply open a window to circulate fresh air. You might be missing other details too, never mind the mountain of clothes in the middle of your room, what about a broken window or window screen, a stain or tear in the carpet, a hole, scratch or mark in the wall or even a loose door handle or dresser knob. These are the first items on your list to fix. Do what you can to make the space feel fresh again. Vacuum or steam clean the rug if need be. Touch up or repaint the walls, perhaps with a new Feng Shui conducive color.
Next, all other clutter has to go. It's possible for clutter to be hard to see. Perhaps you've been staring at it for so long you don't notice it anymore. The smallest things seem to pile up the most as clutter, like coin change. Feng Shui in practice is minimal living. If you can't find a place, need, use or reason for something, get rid of it. There's a place for everything and the garbage is certainly a place too. It's important to keep a clean room, keeping up the habit by making sure your bed is made each day and everything is picked up off the floors, surfaces &c. This is of course common knowledge; proper bedroom mannerisms are often conditioned at an early age. So you know already that a clean room will have a sense of organization and a sense of necessity, rather than a wanting or an excess. Never clutter your room with an obsessive compulsive need to accumulate stuff - no matter how well the stuff is organized. Get rid of clothes you no long wear and books that you don't feel attached to. Organize your dresser drawers and your cabinets. Tidy your closet and keep the closet door shut when you can, especially when you sleep. Clean off surfaces of whatever isn't functional or characteristically decorative. Get rid of any item of furniture that feels old or discomforting.
TIP: Sorting clutter can be tedious and sometimes overwhelming. I recommend putting on a new or favorite album and listening to music during the process.
The lighting in your room should be
right during every moment of the day. You want to find the right balance between light that's too harsh (yang) and light that's too
dim (yin.) Your room should receive enough natural light in the day and
be dark enough at night to sleep well. In the daytime, you want to allow as much natural light into the room as possible. A lit lamp in the daytime or excessive light at nighttime is abrasive and exemplifies thriftlessness; it's a Feng Shui faux pas. For
the dusk till eventide hours, a dimmer switch might be useful in adjusting the light gradually to suit the lighting condition or even
the intended mood of your room. Dimmer switches
are easy to install and can be found at most local hardware or general appliance stores. Lighting a room by way of candle flame is the Feng Shui preferred lighting technique, often considered the best technique.
If you are open to completely renovating your bedroom, going as far as to repaint walls, it's recommended that you work with a 'skin toned' color palette. Skin toned colors are warm and soothing. They range in tone between cream, beige, coral, peach, yellow, tan and cocoa. Other calming, restful colors range in hues of blue, green and lavender. In a room, a good color balance split evenly between the calming restful blues, greens and lavenders and the warm, soothing and sensual skin toned colors is a good balance between yin and yang. Other colors (e.g. blacks & whites) are harsh and can interfere with your sense of comfort.
If you have begun, are in the process of or have
finally completed the process of consolidating the stuff your room, by limiting
the objects in your bedroom space you will begin to see more clearly the
symbolic/iconic role each object has. If your room is empty except for a bed, the bed takes on a greater
importance than it would if it were balanced with a lamp and a dresser and a
bookcase and throw rug and perhaps a fireplace. The same concept applies if your
room were clear except for a television. Each object in the room should have
significance within the room. You should limit outside interferences as much as possible. The
prizing of a television, computer or exercise machine in the room is
discouraged by Feng Shui. Machines like that will keep you from resting. They
are a drain on your energy, not to mention an eyesore. The bedroom is
for resting, relaxing, restoring and love making - not business.
As for furniture, consider what you need. Because of its prominence in any room, furniture
can be intrusive. Don't let you room feel like a consignment warehouse. As a rule: edges, corners and sharp objects are threatening, where organic shapes, ovals and circles are inversely non-threatening. With furniture, particularly with adult bedrooms and bedrooms shared by couples, pairing is more than appropriate. As another rule: symmetry is an aesthetic likened to beauty. Having two nightstands rather than one paired on both sides of the bed, for instance, is proper Feng Shui.
Images and mirrors are important to the symbology of Feng Shui and according to Feng Shui they can hold a great deal of power which can be positive or negative. Feng Shui teaching recommends that you avoid large mirrors in the bedroom, particularly mirrors facing the bed. If you must have a large mirror in your room, the closet might be a good location if you have the space. It's good advice to avoid upsetting and negative images, as well as images with only one person (these images should be avoided because of their asymmetry and their allusion to solitude.) As for art or images which retain a positive quality, the best location for their display is on the wall opposite your bed. Whatever you display on that wall will have special significance; in theory, you will see that image first when you wake and last before you fall asleep.
TIP: Keep bedroom doors closed at night. This includes closet doors and en-suite bathroom doors.
TIP: If possible, avoid synthetic materials in the room. They are conducive to an electro-static charge, and can be disruptive to your chi.
Regarding the the size of your bed, no matter what bed you choose (twin, queen or king) the bed will take up a good deal of room. The bed however, should not take up a third or more of your living space, that would be excessive.
As for bed placement within the room, under the best conditions:
- Your bed should be easily accessible from both sides.
- It should have a headboard and the headboard should be flush with a wall that has no windows or doors (to enhance your unconscious sense of security.)
- The bed should be opposite the bedroom door so that you immediately aware of every welcome or unwelcome guest.
- Though the bed should not be directly in line with the door (which is known as the 'coffin' position in Feng Shui.)
- Objects should not be stored under the bed.
- The bed should not be in the path of heavy objects, no matter how secure they are; tall standing armoires, bookcases and other structures are a tax on your sense of safety.
- Try to avoid placing your bed directly under a ceiling fan, the low end of a ceiling slant and overhead beams.
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