Chances are you’ve heard of feng shui, but do you really know what this concept is, particularly in relation to interior design? This term can be liberally bandied about and often brings to mind chic, minimal Asian-inspired rooms. This month, we’ll be taking a more in depth look at feng shui and how it can be used in an average room.
What is Feng Shui?
Feng shui is the ancient art of placement which is over 3,000 years old – although some influential elements are older still – and has its origins in China. The practice aims to tap into the natural ‘energy’ of a space – also described as ‘life force’ or ‘chi’ – and ensure that buildings and belongings are placed in harmony with their surroundings.
Achieving good feng shui in your bedroom is about creating a room with a good flow of energy which is enjoyable, comfortable and relaxing to be in. Contemporary uses of feng shui tend to be based around designing a well-balanced room arrangement and, in bedrooms, ensuring that the space is peaceful and promotes good quality sleep.
Basic feng shui for your bedroom:
Glaring screens emitting sleep-disrupting blue light have no place in your bedroom. TVs and computers are the biggest disruptors but even your phone screen can have unfavourable effects. Computers in particular combine bright, unnatural light with the association of work and stress. Feng shui suggests that such items can cause negative energy in a bedroom due to the stressful associations, distracting presence and wakening consequences of using tech.
The placement of your bed in the room is an important decision. According to feng shui, the direction your bed faces can channel different energies; however, changing the angled orientation of your bed is not practical in most rooms. Nevertheless, some more basic tips can still help encourage a peaceful sleep. For example, placing your bed with space on either side with two balanced bedside tables. Avoid having your bed directly opposite or on the same wall as your door as this can be disrupting or distracting. Equally, having your bed against or under a window or opposite a mirror can be unsettling.
Balance and solidity
You should aim for balance in the layout of your room for a harmonious atmosphere. Overpowering or intricate furnishings may be interesting in design but can lack comfort, tranquility and practicality. Features such as a solid headboard, supportive bed frame and slick storage can all contribute to a calm and contented space.
Choose colours which are soothing and relaxing for a bedroom. ‘Skin colours’ which can range from light off-whites to dark, rich browns are a good choice and feel both natural and calm – perfect for encouraging restorative sleep. Loud, bright, pigmented colours can be distracting and contribute to a sensory overload.
Good lighting in a room is crucial, with ample natural light being closely tied to positive energy. Adjustable lighting with a dimmer switch is an excellent choice, allowing a range of lighting levels which can be complemented by lamps. The addition of candles is good for feng shui as they are believed to clear and refresh the energy of a space.
Clear clutter: clear and organised rooms are visually relaxing – built-in wardrobes and fitted furniture can be a great way to achieve this.
Air out your room: get rid of stale air and refresh your bedroom by opening your windows during the day.
Keep doors closed: at night, open doors can make you subconsciously feel vulnerable and uneasy.
Assess your artwork – unpleasant, sad or creepy artwork can impact your room and how you feel in a space, negatively affecting the atmosphere.