Like any modern girl, I’m always trying to diagnose what’s wrong with me on Google and this time it was actually something serious: I had bad Feng Shui!
You’ve probably heard interior designers throw this term around, but does anybody really know what they’re talking about? It turns out this ancient and mysterious Chinese art balances energy flow in a space, which basically means my own apartment could have been sabotaging my health, wealth, and romance for years…and I didn’t have a clue.
It gets weird real fast when you start reading about Feng Shui on the Internet. One minute you’re having an “aha!” moment about cluttered closets, and the next thing you know you’re screaming at your husband: “The front door of our building faces north and that’s my unlucky direction!”
After sorting through Feng Shui philosophies that ranged from the extremely practical to WTF (what the Feng?!), I decided to use a WikiHow article on bedroom Feng Shui. I had a gut feeling this room was a major source of negative energy given the fact that my husband and I had been sleeping in the guest room for months. Our bedroom was the forgotten place where crap went to live when it didn’t have anywhere else to go. It was a graveyard for broken electronics and ill fitting clothing, and probably the cause of countless restless nights and anxious dreams. If Feng Shui could turn this disaster into a sanctuary of love, I was all about it.
First things first: I had make sure the room was optimally arranged. Having only three pieces of furniture in there (bed, buffet, dresser), I knew this part would be simple. Coincidentally, my bed was already in the command position: I was as far away from the door as possible while still being able to see it; my feet weren’t pointed out the entrance in the all-too-common coffin position (who wants to be carried out the door like a dead person?); and the headboard was against a solid wall that did not have a bathroom on the other side (lest my energy literally be sucked down the toilet while sleeping).
With the bed in its most powerful position, I laid down on it and scoured the room for poison arrows attacking my energy field (translation: I looked for sharp furniture corners pointing straight at me). As the buffet was curved, only the dresser presented a problem, an offense quickly “neutralized” by moving it to the adjacent wall where its little dagger corners couldn’t get to me. I thought it looked a little weird there, but at least I wouldn’t be existentially stabbed anymore at night. Phew.
A nightstand on both sides of the bed is the Holy Grail of bedroom Feng Shui and I don’t have them. I’ve never used them…ever. Sure, there were times when I thought about how wonderful life would be with a safe place to put my glass of water, my book, or my glasses, but then I’d just go on putting these things on the floor next to me like I’d always done. If only I had known the catastrophic damage I was doing to my life force then maybe I would have changed sooner.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough “yang” in my bank account (or maybe too little yin?) to purchase nightstands, so I accepted the risk and moved on to less expensive fixes.
Quiet Your Space
Out with mirrors and electronics! Mirrors ideally aren’t in the bedroom at all because they multiply worry and they definitely shouldn’t be reflecting the bed – like mine was – because it’s like inviting a third-party into the mix. Yikes! I removed the mirror immediately, as well as a TV and two cell phone chargers whose electrical currents were confusing my chi.
Was it my imagination or did my bedroom suddenly feel quieter?
Use it, Love it, or Lose it
I followed a simple rule when dealing with my stuff: Use it, love it, or lose it. If I didn’t use it (like those pants I haven’t fit in for six years) and I didn’t love it (and even if I fit in those pants, I would never wear them because I hate the color) then I tossed it out. After going through two large closets, a dresser full of drawers and digging underneath my bed, the donation pile in my living room was shockingly huge. It was wonderful to close drawers easily and have empty hangers again, and I felt my Feng Shui stock skyrocket as I created space for whatever the future would bring.
Bring Balance with Color and Texture
The most important wall in a bedroom is the first one you see when you wake up because it sets the tone for the rest of the day. I had nothing there since the mirror was banned and I also didn’t own anything that fit the requirements (no water, no solitude, and nothing counterproductive to a love relationship like war scenes), so I reluctantly spent money.
I have a very real bias toward cool and neutral colors like blue, green, gray, and white. While this can be a very soothing way to design a bedroom, it can also be so soothing that it kills passion by essentially lulling a couple to sleep. By using warm, energetic colors like red, orange, and pink, I could spice up the energy in the room. I found a simple canvas print of a tree at Bed Bath & Beyond, a steal for only 0, and its colors really did make me want to be awake.
I hung metal butterflies in a random pattern over the bed, the second most important wall in the bedroom. Metal has a clarifying and sharpening effect on the mind, but honestly I used the butterflies because they looked like little dreams fluttering over our heads all night – the metal was just a bonus.
Increase Your Energy
To increase our “couple energy” I created a romance shrine in the back right corner of the room, known as the love/marriage quadrant. Every accessory was placed in pairs and had meaning to our marriage: Two metal elephant statues, a pair of Tiffany’s candlesticks, two wedding photos, two love notes, and two bookends. Even the books themselves all had significance to our relationship or love in general. On the wall behind, I hung a pair of framed prints with gold lettered phrases that were love-centered and playful. (Shine Bright and Always Kiss Me Goodnight).
After two days of nonstop Feng Shui’ing, I realized the room was done and there was nothing left to do but sleep. In the morning, I looked at my husband with what-the-Feng eyes and said, “Did you sleep way harder than you normally do? Because I did!”
I swear I’m not making this up. I don’t know if it was the extra space in my drawers or kicking the third-party out of our bed, but I slept deeper that night than I had in a long, long time.
And now I really do need those nightstands.