Are you at once at ease upon entering your home? Do all the stresses of work wash away once you're within your walls? If not, you need to brush up on your feng shui.
Feng shui is an ancient Chinese metaphysical system that harmonizes the individual with his or her environment. Essentially, it's an art of placement that works to create peaceful environments and promote health and happiness.
The idea of feng shui is to achieve harmony through the flow of chi, a sort of life force or universal spiritual energy that binds the universe, earth, and humanity together. If feng shui and a harmonious chi is attained, your environment will vibe with you and create a place of peace.
For this article, we're going to focus on how to practice feng shui in one particular room -- the bedroom, as it is one of the most important places to retreat to and emerge from rejuvenated and relaxed.
Before rearranging your furniture, it is important to understand the room's energy by reading the bagua -- the feng shui energy map. This tool allows you to discover what parts of your space, whether it be a room, a yard or your entire home, correlate with certain areas of your life. There are two types of bagua maps -- the classical and the Western (pictured below).
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To read the Western bagua energy map:
Though the bagua provides a general outline for a space's layout, there are more complex tips when it comes to decorating your home to achieve feng shui. Here are some simple tips on how to feng shui your bedroom:
The bed is the centerpiece of the bedroom, and as such it must adhere to many rules of feng shui. It's recommended that you use a wooden headboard because it is supposed to provide strength and support behind your head. Contrastingly, steer clear of footboards, which symbolically block forward progress in life.
It's also vital to avoid king size beds. Although the extra space might seem perfect for stretching out, the bed adds distance between you and your partner. And because king size beds are usually made of two separate box springs, this symbolically divides the bed into two parts and separates you from your partner.
Placement of the bed is important. Adhering to the rules of feng shui, you want to place your bed far away from the door and, ideally, in the far right area of the room. According to the bagua map, this is the Relationship area, and placing your bed as such will enhance your love life and strengthen your relationship.
A key element of feng shui to achieve in regards to your bed is symmetry -- symmetrical placement of pillows, have your bed easily approachable from both sides and place one nightstand on either side. Even if you're single, it's good feng shui to stage your bed like there are two people inhabiting it. One lone nightstand is symbolic of solitude, so adding another will improve the room's chi.
While feng shui colors differ from room to room, in the bedroom it is recommended to use earth tones or soft natural colors such as light blues, greens and purples to promote tranquility. The bedroom should be a calming space and bright colors like oranges or reds are too overwhelming. Some experts suggest sticking to skin tones in the bedroom -- coral, tan, cream, peach, cocoa, etc. -- while using lavenders and soft greens and blues as subtle accents.
It's important to surround yourself with positive images that help you envision what you want in life, and this is true in feng shui as well. In your bedroom, decorate the wall opposite your bed with a favorite piece of art. It will be the first thing you see in the morning and the last thing you see at night. It should be an image of what you want to promote in life, whether it be happiness, depictions of love or peaceful imagery.
If the wall opposite your bed is a closet or a bathroom door, it is important to keep the doors closed and not open to the clutter that lies within.
This is a staple of feng shui. In feng shui, clutter symbolizes unfinished business, raises anxiety and prevents forward motion in your life. Though well decorated, rooms should be as sparse as possible and all small knick knacks and clutter should be contained. You should still surround yourself with items that promote happiness and wellbeing, but you need to carefully cherry pick them. Instead of having seven items and memorabilia sitting on a shelf, bring it down to three.
Your bedroom is a place for restoration, so cleanse the space of items that spike stress and work energy. This includes workout items, phones and electronics like TVs, radios and computers. These items distract you from the rest that the bedroom should be promoting. If you must have these items in your bedroom, use a decorative room divider or hanging fabric to hide them from view when they're not in use.
Relying on an overhead light installation alone can be harsh and harmful to a room's feng shui, so it is important to have multiple light sources to turn to. During the day, it is best to have as much natural light as possible to fill your bedroom. As the sun sets, turn to soft lighting from different sources -- a lamp on your nightstand, fairy lights on your wall, etc. Candles are also a great source of lighting for a bedroom because they promote intimacy.