Feng Shui For Your Bedroom: What To Do & What Not To Do

Photo by Kristian Lynae Irey

The bedroom should be a place of rest, romance, and relaxation—and nothing else. Since we tend to spend upward of eight hours a day in this sacred space, we should try to maximize its feng shui to its fullest potential.

Before getting started, I recommend a quick decluttering and energy clearing to bust through any negativity in the air. Consider burning sage, palo santo, or cedar. This will ensure that you have a fresh foundation on which to build the bedroom's chi (life force energy). Now, let's go over the most effective feng shui tweaks for your bedroom:

What to add to your bedroom to boost feng shui:

1. A soothing color scheme.

I always tell my clients to opt for wall colors that are skin tones to promote maximal rest. Off-white, creams, chocolate browns, and peach tones are great. These colors are thought to promote maximum sensuality and peaceful vibes. One word of caution: Don't overdo it on the peach! It is thought to be very effective at attracting a partner—so effective that we need to use it with care. If you paint your whole bedroom in peach, chances are that you will attract someone, and then someone else, and someone else... If you're married, you might attract unwanted attention. Consider instead using peach as an accent tone on pillows, throws, and small objects. While accent walls and wallpapers can be tempting, they should be kept to a minimum and also have gentle colors and limited patterns.

Crisp white walls should also be avoided because at night they can become too activating. Stark white is a color of the metal element, which is mentally stimulating and not conducive to rest.

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2. A well-placed bed.

Another way to quickly promote harmony and relaxation in your bedroom is to place your bed in the "command position." This means placing it so you can see the entry door when you are lying in bed. According to feng shui, placing your bed on the same wall as your door will cause you to feel threatened, like someone might surprise you in your sleep.

However, do NOT place your bed directly facing the door (in the same alignment as the door) as this is believed in to be the position of the dead ("to go feet first"). It is also best to avoid placing your bed directly underneath a beam or a window. The window will deprive you of the feeling of security we all need when we sleep, and the beam will have a "cutting" effect. If something cuts you from above, you will feel subconsciously threatened by it.

Speaking of beds, they should always have a headboard. In feng shui, headboards provide a feeling of support in life. If you have a box spring only, you can get a headboard separately, but make sure to attach it very well to the bed. You don’t want it to wobble! When choosing a headboard, go for one that has soft edges whenever possible. Heavy cast-iron headboards or ones that have bars have that same "cutting" energy you're trying to avoid in such a relaxing space. Instead, I recommend ones that are made of fabric, as they provide a soft, inviting feel. Platform beds are great too, but make sure that the platform has no sharp angles where you could hurt your shins.

3. Pairs of everything.

I always tell my clients to outfit their bedroom for two people, even if they're not currently in a relationship. Leave a little extra room in your dresser and nightstand, and present everything in pairs. That means:

  • 2 similar nightstands
  • 2 pillows
  • 2 seats
  • 2 similar lamps

In feng shui, pairs are thought to promote loving, harmonious energy. And who couldn't use more of that in their life?

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4. Accessories that nourish the five senses.

Smell: I advise using essential oils in an ultrasonic diffuser or in a candle diffuser (most wax candles these days are packed with synthetic fragrances). Limit it to a few drops of oil in diluted in water, and don't leave them diffusing for more than an hour or two. They are potent! I love lavender and jasmine oils for a calming smell before bed. If I have a cough, I'll go with ravintsara or eucalyptus. Looking to amp up the sexual energy? Check out cinnamon, ylang-ylang, and best of all, winter savory.

Touch: In the bedroom, it's best to go with soft, inviting fabrics when possible. I'd recommend velvet, satin, and Egyptian cottons for all sheets, pillows, cushions, and curtains. Your bed sheets should feel particularly soft to the skin.

Sight: As I mentioned before, Earthy tones are really what you want to be seeing in the bedroom. Fiery tones (reds, pinks, and oranges) can also be nice in moderation. Again, these accents should always be presented in pairs. In my bedroom, you'll find a pair of small pink Mandarin ducks—a traditional Chinese symbol. I love these because the story goes that the ducks were always faithful to each other. Find accents like this that speak to you.

Sound: I'd recommend a small white-noise machine to play soothing tunes.

Taste: While I do not bring food into my bedroom, I always make sure to keep a small jar of water next to the bed. Place some lemon in there and drink it in the morning for a quick boost.

You'll also want to consult a Bagua map to see what elements to pull into your space. Locate what Bagua your bedroom is located in relationship to the front door of your house, and add accessories accordingly. For example, if your bedroom falls in the Health and Family area, where the dominant element is wood, try to incorporate greens and blues in order to sustain that element.

What to avoid in the bedroom to boost feng shui:

1. Technology.

In our busy modern lives, we spend a LOT of time hunched over a screen. This is why I tell all my clients to make their bedrooms completely tech-free. Remove all TVs, electronics, appliances, and phones so that they do not produce any energy around you. I also go a step further and turn off my Wi-Fi off at night.

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2. Mirrors.

In feng shui, it's said that mirrors in front of the bed invite a third person into the marriage. Mirrors are also thought to reflect energy around a space, which could disrupt your sleep. If you do need to have a mirror, make sure it's facing something that you love looking at. (This may seem like common sense, but it's something a lot of us forget about!)

3. Paintings above the bed.

Paintings and large photographs can produce that same heavy, threatening energy of a window or beam. Instead, I'd recommend hanging a light, flowing tapestry with an inviting pattern.

4. Nightstands with sharp corners.

Nightstands should be sturdy but not overpowering or threatening. They should be discreet, ideally rounded, and lower and away from the sleepers' heads. You don't want anything sharp pointed at your face as you're sleeping!

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5. Large, looming furniture.

Swap out tall wardrobes and pieces of furniture that make you feel oppressed when you lie in bed. I do not recommend keeping bookshelves in the bedroom, but if you already have some, make sure the books are well-organized and lying flat (horizontally), as vertical books can create a sense of being "cut."

6. Plants.

This may be a controversial stance, but I don't like plants in the bedroom. Their energy is too yang, too strong, so leave houseplants, terrariums, and driftwood accents for other rooms in the home. Incorporate earth shades in other ways, like as accent colors on pillows or rugs.

7. Water.

Keeping water features in the bedroom is a major feng shui taboo. No fountain, no pictures or paintings of boats on the ocean, rivers, harbors.

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8. Under-the-bed clutter.

Just like you shouldn't keep anything threatening above your bed, there shouldn't be anything below it either. Clutter creates unnecessary stress and headache, even if you don't realize it at first. A clean, clear bedroom sets the stage for uncluttered thinking, so take the time to keep only the essentials in the bedroom.

Once you've tackled the bedroom, move on to improve the feng shui in your living space and home office. And here's a comprehensive guide to the practice.

And do you want to learn more about how your health stems from one of the most important rooms in your home, the kitchen? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.

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