The Bedroom Colors That'll Help You Fall Sleep, According To Feng Shui
Crafting a bedroom that lulls you to sleep is an art, not a science. All the warm lighting, cozy sheets, white noise machines, and blackout curtains in the world can't guarantee a good night's rest if the underlying energy of your space is off. According to feng shui design philosophy, there are many factors that contribute to a room's overall feel—and color is a biggie.
I reached out to three feng shui designers to get their take on which shades will leave you counting sheep and which ones are better left outside of the boudoir.
First off, what's the luckiest color in feng shui?
All three of the experts I talked to agreed that red is the most auspicious color in feng shui since it's so fiery, passionate, and life-affirming. "That said, red is a very strong color, so you don't need to use a lot of it," Anjie Cho, an architect and feng shui educator, clarified. "It can be very overwhelming, so even a small bit of red in your space—like an accent pillow or piece of art—can make a huge statement."
Are there any unlucky colors in feng shui?
No colors are strictly off-limits in feng shui, but some can be problematic depending on how you use them.
Since each color is associated with a certain energy, you'll want to make sure that you're thinking carefully about what room you're placing it in. Rebecca West, a design psychology coach, interior designer, and author of Happy Starts at Home, gives the following example: "Orange might be well-used in a family room where you wish to promote social interaction and a lively, fun feeling, but it might be at odds with your goals in a quiet room meant for reflection, like a bedroom."
In other words: While a bright, fluorescent shade may not be inherently "bad" in feng shui, that doesn't mean it belongs in your sleep space.
OK, so what colors DO belong in the bedroom?
If you're looking to bring a more soothing palette into your bedroom, using shades that you'd find in nature is your best bet. These include warm, earthy greens, sky blues, and muted browns. Mary Lambert, an international feng shui and decluttering consultant, is also a fan of the strategically placed soft pink accent.
"Earth tones are toned down, and they provide healing and support," explains Cho. "Think about the earth: It's there to support us. It's reliable and it gives us a sense of stability and grounding. That's so important, especially in this day and age when we're so in our heads."
To start, try to introduce more earthy colors to the area directly across from your bed since it's probably the last one you'll look at before closing your eyes to fall asleep. You can bring them with a fresh coat of paint—yes—but also with smaller accents, accessories, and art.
Remember: How you combine colors matters too.
"In feng shui, it is less about one specific color and more about the balance of color and elements in a room," says West. "The best color choice is one that promotes a feeling of balance, health, and wellness in the user." According to Cho, one earth-inspired combination that is almost sure to bring relaxation is soft brown and muted green since it mimics the color scheme of a tree.
At the end of the day, choose the colors that speak to you.
Feng shui says that earthy greens are relaxing and red accents provide an extra burst of luck—but that doesn't mean those colors are right for you or your space. Before deciding on any new bedroom scheme, check in with yourself and get real about the effect that a certain color has on your mood.
"The easiest way is to check into what makes your heart sing," says Cho. "That would be the best color for you."
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Emma Loewe is the Sustainability Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.
Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.