Staying busy during COVID-19 quarantine has been … challenging, to say the least.
After cooking countless meals on my Pinterest board, trying my hand at new art projects, and attempting at-home workout classes before realizing, even in my pajamas, I don’t like workout classes, I finally found a new outlet: bringing some feng shui to my tiny apartment.
What Is Feng-Shui, You Ask?
Pronounced “fung sheway,” this practice originates from China and is a system of laws in relation to spatial orientation, which is intended to improve the flow of energy within a space. Or, put in layman’s terms, it’s organizing your living environment in a more harmonized, open design.
While you may think this is a hint to head to the Target website and order a bunch of adorable items to decorate with, that’s actually not necessary to improve feng shui in your own home. Sure sometimes redefining your space through items such as architectural resin panels and new objects can be fun and productive, but feng shui does not require this. When I took the time to redesign my bedroom, I didn’t buy a single thing. In fact, the process was more about removing items and decluttering the space, as well as rearranging my furniture in a more fluid way.
“It’s important for good energy flow not to store items under the bed,” said Betsy Kornelis, designer and owner of Paisley & Pine Interior Design in Bremerton. “Storage boxes full of belongings create stagnant chi, and should be relegated to a closet or basement. Keep this space clear for good energy flow.”
The results of my bedroom project are incredible! Plus, I’m not just imaging the benefits, either. Some perks include more energy, better sleep and a sense of calmness or relaxation when at home.
Feng shui theory is based upon the Five Elements. It is believed that each element must be represented and artfully present within a space to maintain optimal energy and balance. What the heck does that mean?
Here are a few examples and ways to incorporate each element:
Fire represents passion
This can be expressed through angular shapes (a square coffee table, perhaps), leather and, my personal favorite, candles or even a fireplace.
Wood represents motivation, inspiration, creativity
Many use wood furniture, house plants and the colors green or purple to meet this need.
Water represents wealth, professional success
This is often incorporated into a room through the use of glass, mirrors, moving water (like a desktop fountain) or the colors black and blue.
Earth represents stability
Stone or clay items, square shapes and the colors yellow, brown and orange are commonly used to bring a sense of groundedness and connection to nature.
Metal represents energy attraction
Have metal items like lamps or picture frames? Then this one is easy! If not, you can also incorporate round shapes, chrome, brass, wrought iron, stainless steel or the colors white and grey.
The Layout of Your Room
While being aware of the presence of all 5 elements is important, the overall layout design also influences and positive flow of energy. So if you’re thinking your bedroom could also use a little feng shui boost, try these organizational tricks:
Place the bed in a command position
What this means is instead of lining your bed parallel to the door, you actually want to be facing the door when you’re laying down. It’s also preferred that no doors open towards your bed, as to avoid what is known as the “coffin position” where your feet would be pointing out the door. The ultimate goal would be that your headboard will be against a wall, while the other three sides (left, right and foot) have available space.
In feng shui, mirrors can also be used strategically.
“They should be placed so they do not reflect the bed, but perhaps a lovely landscape outdoors or a nice piece of art instead,” Kornelis said.
Get a headboard!
It is believed that a headboard for your bed represents stability and support in your life. Which, if we refer back to the 5 elements, is one of the reasons wood headboards are so common and popular! If you need to add a new mattress to that mix for freshness and cleanliness, then you can Click here as well as check out your local mattress store for any types that may suit your needs as you give your bedroom a new breath of life.
“The biggest feng shui rule for bedrooms is no TV,” Kornelis said.
This one probably isn’t a new idea for most. Psychologists have been recommending for quite some time now to limit the amount of electronics we have in our sleeping space as these items can greatly impact the quality of our sleep and overall mental well-being. And, as it turns out, the art of feng shui agrees!
Clear the clutter
From your bookshelf, your closet, even under your bed. Clutter can disrupt our energetic flow and even subconsciously create blocks in your life. Take some time to really go through and evaluate what it is your holding on to. Does this item serve you in a positive way? If not, it may be time to let it go and make some space (both physically in your room and metaphorically in yourself.)
Focus on the colors you need
Ever heard of the psychology of color? It’s pretty neat. Basically, the mental and emotional impacts of color have actually been studied and categorized. So, let’s say you feel like you need more peace and a sense of calmness in your life? Then focus on more neutral or earthy colors like blues, greens, and gray. Search for things such as aesthetic wallpaper and bedding in those tones. Yet maybe you’re seeking passion and energy? Then a splash of red or yellow may bring a little zing to your day!
Ultimately, pay attention to what colors attract you and try and incorporate those colors where you can. Wallpaper and accessories are usually the go-to options, but you should also take the time to consider the difference that a neon sign can make. Provided that they have your favorite color, somewhere like the Neon Mama store is a great place for you to browse the selection of the different neon signs that are on the market. Not only can it improve the overall design of your home, but it could also make a difference to your mood too, so it is definitely worth considering. Sometimes, we know exactly what we need if we just listen to our gut.
While this is very much a basic overview of a much more complex practice, implementing even a few of these tips into your home can bring incredible benefits. Since rearranging my bedroom, the space feels significantly more relaxing and calming. I’ve found myself falling asleep faster, sleeping more soundly, and waking up feeling more recharged for the day ahead!
Image by ArchiViz