The Bedroom

The Bedroom

Traditional Harmony

The bedroom, our private sanctuary, should be honored as a place of rest, rejuvenation and romance. It's our place of retreat, for comfort and restoration. The bedroom is best when clutter free, predominantly yin and comfortable, with a decor which soothes rather than distracts.

As such, the bedroom should not be activated too heavily with Feng Shui cures. Water features are a no - no in the bedroom, as the Chinese believe they provoke bad luck and disturb sleep. Avoid indoor plants or electrical equipment such as clocks, radios, televisions; their yang energy is too invigorating for this space. Keep an eye out for generators of poison arrows - sharply angled walls or the corners of furniture pointing toward the bed. Remove them, move them or opt for rounded shapes and soothing colors instead.

The position and placement of the bed is paramount in Feng Shui. Balanced furnishings should be placed on either side of the bed, but leaving ample room to move. It is considered inharmonious to push a bed up against a wall or otherwise constrain it. Check for beams and storage overhead - both can be oppressive. Consider altering the direction of your bed so that it is in your favorable direction, with your head facing that way when you are lying down. The Chinese believe that the bed's best position is diagonally opposite the door, with an unobstructed view to the door. Avoid positioning the bed between the door and the window, or between two windows, as a line of Qi crossing the bed is thought to cause illness. Having the foot of the bed in a direct line with the door is known as the "mortuary position" in China - coffins are placed in that position when they are awaiting collection.

A window behind a headboard is bad Feng Shui, as the headboard is then unsupported, leaving the person sleeping there unprotected. A dressing room is good, as it frees the bedroom for rest and romance. A connecting bathroom door opening directly onto the bed should be avoided, as it will drain positive Qi.

Modern Design

Furnishing either side of the bed don't have to be identical, just balanced. Sensitively maintaining balance within the home is one of the keys to auspicious Feng Shui. Bedside tables and lamps should be of equal height, size and proportion. Try wood or woven fiber furniture, as the Metal element is too "sharp" for the bedroom. If that's not possible, cover metal furniture with a yin cloth to soften its effect. Also consider clutter: select bedside tables with drawers for storage. Apply candles to create soft pools of light, and sweet - smelling potpourri or burning oils to keep the air fresh. Scatter the bed with silk cushions or mohair throw rugs. Adorn the walls with yin - colored wall hangings, woven rugs or tapestries - but be minimal. Place a picture of you and your loved one by your bed or in the relationship sector of the room. Consult your Bagua to establish where this is positioned in your bedroom. Images of a single person may evoke feelings of loneliness, as does a single bed. Hang a red and gold "double happiness" calligraphy in this sector to strengthen your relationship or marriage.

Where possible, banish work - related objects such as date books, mobile phones and laptops. Remove piles of unread books and magazines. And select battery - operated devices such as clock radios over electrical ones - the aim is for relaxation and calm. If it's not entirely possible to remove this day - to - day hardware, at least arrange appropriate storage to conceal it at night. But remember, don't store this bric - a - brac under the bed, as this is thought to represent sleeping on issues you're not willing to face. The best spot for storage would be in an enclosed basket, a wooden chest or in the closet.

If having a view of the door proves difficult, use a mirror to reflect anyone entering. You can also use mirrors to correct the situation when a bedroom door directly faces another door. Avoid mirrors facing the bed, though, as the Chinese believe the soul leaves the body while sleeping, and it will be disconcerted if it comes across itself in the mirror. Cover mirrors with a yin - colored cloth before going to sleep. Do the same for open shelves and storage spaces.

Ideally, beds should be made of natural materials, such as wood or bamboo, and raised above the floor so that air can circulate underneath. Always purchase new pillows when moving into a new house, as they represent new beginnings and are symbolic of leaving your old problems behind.

Bad Feng Shui - Bedroom
• Windows have venetian blinds
• Unbalanced distribution of space; for example, the bed is very close to the wall
• The front door is aimed directly at the bed
• The office space and electrical items are too close to the sleeping area
• The fish tank should not be in the bedroom-it creates too much yin
• The toilet is in a direct line with the bed
• The square coffee table creates poison arrows and promotes the inauspicious flow of Qi
• The heavy pendant light presses down

Good Feng Shui - Bedroom
• Windows have curtains, venetian blind shave been removed
• Red and gold calligraphy is hung in corner to enhance relationships
• Chinese antique screen placed to divide sleep and work areas
• Round rug with yang colors
• Bedside tables are identical and small lamps placed either side of bed
• The bed is no longer in the coffin position, but is up against a wall for support
• An oval table with a bright lamp and plant lifts the corner
• The fish tank has been removed

Used indiscriminately, the color orange may be too mentally stimulating for the bedroom. If avoiding orange proves difficult, dilute its potency by adding muted yin tones as exemplified in the bedroom above. And a word of warning: avoid peach. "Peach-Blossom Luck" is a famous concept in China, pertaining to a husband or wife with a roving eye. Apply peach in your bedroom and you're asking for trouble if you're married!

The position and placement of the bed is paramount in Feng Shui. Furnishings that are balanced in size, proportion and color should be placed either side of the bed, still allowing ample room to move. Pushing a bed up against a wall or constraining it with bedside tables or shelves is considered inharmonious. Consider moving your bed so that it faces your favorable direction. Choose décor that soothes rather than distracts.

Battery - operated devices (such as this clock radio) are preferable to plugged - in electrical devices for the bedroom. Electrical devices, which also include televisions and stereos, are too yang and energetic for the bedroom, which should be predominantly yin.