Despite your best efforts to make your bedroom a serenity sanctuary, life often gets in the way. It’s easy to let decorating goals slip away and just accept your room the way it is, but if you’re looking for a way to turn your bedroom into a restful retreat, feng shui is a good place to start. It’s an ancient practice that aims to create harmony between you and your environment. While it may seem mysterious and complicated at first, feng shui expert Catherine Brophy knows the easiest ways to incorporate feng shui into your day-to-day life. Brophy’s simple dos and don’ts will have you well on your way to getting the zen bedroom of your dreams.
Don’t store anything under the bed.
“Not a single thing!” Brophy says. She adds that every item has its own energy, so the more stuff that’s piled under the bed (even if it’s just extra bedding!), the less space there is for your own energy to pass through while you sleep. This can be a tough one, especially if you’re lacking in the square footage department, but Brophy swears this is helpful to everyone, and particularly recommends it for people who have difficulty sleeping.
2 Do clean and de-clutter.
The first step to creating a calm, relaxed environment is making sure your surroundings are clean and clutter-free. Do a deep clean — pull everything out of your closet, vacuum under the bed and challenge yourself to get rid of stuff you don’t love. “Evaluate what’s around you and allow yourself to streamline,” Brophy says. “If you have clothes you know you’ll never wear again, give them to charity. Don’t let them take up your energy.”
3 Don’t live in the past.
According to Brophy, clinging to the past disturbs peace in the present. “Keeping objects out of obligation or reluctance to let go is an issue,” Brophy says. “I worked with a client who kept a bed frame that her husband used to sleep in with his ex-wife. Every time she looked at that bed frame she was reminded of his past. If you have furnishings or artwork that you fought your family member to obtain, or won in divorce proceedings, evaluate the energetic cost of keeping such things.”
4 Do think practically.
“Practical considerations carefully met will increase ease and restfulness,” Brophy says. Other questions she recommends asking yourself: Is there enough room on each side of the bed, even if only one person sleeps in it? “Most people will benefit from room on both sides,” she says. Is it the right height for you to get in and out of easily? Is it easy for everyone who sleeps in the bed, including any pets? Is it attractive? Does it look inviting?
5 Don’t skip a headboard.
The head of the bed should feel definite and purposeful, so it’s important to have a headboard. Even if it’s a DIY take on one, like hanging some fabric on the wall the bed sits on, there should be a clear head of the bed. “A headboard creates a sense of safety and helps us feel protected when we sleep,” Brophy says.
6 Do fix anything that’s broken.
It’s easy to push aside problems in our homes, like that squeaky door hinge that you make a mental note to take care of, but don’t ever seem to get around to fixing — or that broken alarm clock that’s become purely decorative. Brophy suggests making a list of everything that needs to be addressed and setting deadlines for yourself to get it done.
7 Don’t forget about dimmers.
“You should always be able to control the level of light in your bedroom,” Brophy says. She recommends having lights on a dimmer, so you can have exactly as much or as little light as you want. “Lighting has such an effect on our moods and energy. I tell people to buy a few different kind of light bulbs and test them out,” she says. “See what kind of light works best for you.”
8 Don’t hang a lot of mirrors.
If you’re going to have mirrors in the bedroom, Brophy recommends avoiding hanging them across from the bed or across from windows. “Mirrors reflect energy and light,” Brophy says. “Being able to see your reflection while you’re in bed can be distracting. And if you hang a mirror across from a window, it will reflect light and may make it more difficult for you to sleep soundly.”
9 Don’t skimp on comfort.
Comfort is a key element of quality rest. “The better you rest at night, the more restful your entire day will be,” Brophy says. “Pay attention to your bed. If it’s not comfortable it would be a wise investment to get yourself the most comfortable bed you can afford.”