How does a 5000-year-old Chinese philosophy make its way into mainstream, modern interior design?
This is just one of the many fascinating things about the feng shui bedroom, whose fans (including the likes of Oprah Winfrey), argue can help with everything from better sleep, to calmer energy.
Feng shui takes a similar approach to design as minimalism but comes with its own set of rules and practices for maximum flow, which is believed to be the state in which we are at our most balanced.
Its naturally thoughtful approach also makes for a bedroom that just looks and feels clean to the eye, so even if you're not sure your energies need balancing, there's still plenty to benefit from this bedroom decor technique.
Feng shui is about the bond between your home, mind, and body, so the place you lay to rest and spend a third of your life on counts for a lot. Sleeping on an old or used mattress can actually dredge up energy that feels burdensome or negative - some experts go so far as to recommend you leave the space under your bed clear, suggesting old memorabilia or clutter will negatively impact your rest.
The size of your mattress, the placement of your bed, and your general bedroom layout can be just as important. To find the perfect mattress size for your bedroom, you'll need to work out just how much space you have to play around with. Permit at least two feet of space around your bed for maximum comfort and ease.
Finally, your mattress position plays a really significant role in a feng shui bedroom. Experts recommend keeping your bed near a spot that has access to the entrance of your bedroom, without being directly in front of it. According to traditional feng shui practice, your bed should also come with a headboard, which helps facilitate feeling supported and grounded.
One of the most basic facets of feng shui bedroom design is the belief that pairs can help promote loving, harmonious energy to space, regardless of whether you're single or coupled up. So long as you have space, try decorating your bedroom with paired-up bedroom furniture.
While a sense of asymmetry is necessary for a feng shui bedroom, this doesn't mean you need to be stuck with a boring bedroom. Though feng shui experts do recommend getting pairs when it comes to bedroom furniture (such as your nightstands, pillows, seats, and floor lamps), they don't have to match. The variety can actually be a really fun creative challenge, and a great way to mix and match really fun pieces of bedroom decor that speak to you.
Traditional feng shui describes our personal energy as containing varying amounts of the five elements - this includes wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. You can find out what your core element is by using this guide.
So for instance, if your personal element is wood, avoid 'fire' tones, such as red or pink, which will cause harm to your energy. If this all sounds a little complicated, there's a more simple way to go about choosing bedroom colors for your space - stick to neutral, calming tones.
Shades like white, beige, and pastel tones won't just help with your personal energy, they're also known to be better for a good night's sleep. A pretty simple win-win.
Every item in your bedroom has a certain type and amount of energy, according to conventional feng shui wisdom. Every space in your home should contain a different kind of energy, and for your bedroom, it only stands to reason that this should be restful and calming.
However, certain commonplace items can actually disrupt this because they house more active, attentive energy. These include books, plants, and any other work-related belongings you might choose to keep in your home.
Try to keep these out of your bedroom - a little bedside reading is fine, but it's best to keep belongings of this kind in your living room, or an office.
While it's important not to get too caught up in the rules (it takes away from the fun) of decorating your bedroom, there are a couple of feng shui bedroom no-no's that are worth keeping in mind.
- Keep technology out of your room. Appliances such as our phones, TVs, and other electronics have active energy that requires keeping out of your room.
- Be cautious about what your mirrors face. Traditional feng shui suggests adding a mirror in front of your bed can bring disruption to a marriage.
- Make sure to stay selective about art. Symbolism has a great role in feng shui bedrooms, so be very mindful to pick out peaceful, calming art for your bedroom. Refrain from hanging any above your bed, since this is believed to directly interfere with your sleep.
All it takes is the right amount of planning and prep to plan out a feng shui bedroom that keeps your energies in complete harmony. Get ready to say goodbye to clutter and negative vibes, and hello to a zen night's sleep.