Feng Shui for Everyday: Grounding the Bedroom

Hello Karen,

In our bedroom, the bed directly faces the bathroom, which also has the washer and dryer in it. My limited understanding of feng shui suggests this is a challenging layout. Can you advise us how to deal with this? It really doesn’t feel right to me, and unfortunately, there is no other place to reposition the bed.

Dear Layout Challenged,

Your assessment is correct, and I’m not surprised this layout feels off to you somehow. Having your bed directly facing a bathroom with its energy of draining water is not the most harmonious position for deep, restorative sleep. Our bedrooms are most supportive when they look and feel grounded. For this to happen, it’s helpful to be surrounded by the earth element with the enhancements of fire, metal, and wood.

Let’s take a look at your bedroom being mindful of the important use of the five elements used in feng shui in their natural or productive cycle. Water will nourish wood, wood feeds fire, fire burns to create earth, earth’s minerals bring forth metal, and metal holds water. In this sequence and progression the elements strengthen and feed each other in a continually regenerating cycle.

The elements before and after earth in this cycle — fire and metal — are also helpful to encourage optimal sleep. Earth is represented by earth tones, terra cotta, and anything rectangular in shape. Fire is found in lighting (natural and artificial), the color red, anything made from animals, animal prints, and discreetly pointed or triangular shapes. Metal is found in all of the pastel tones, metal material and round or oval shapes, as well as stone.

First, make some obvious corrections. Be sure the bathroom door is closed at all times, toilet seat is down, all drains covered. Removing an unhelpful, visual cue goes a long way in shifting the energy!

Next, create an energetic barrier between both areas. Use wood energy to halt the influence of draining water into your sleeping area. On your bedroom wall closest to the bathroom, place wooden furniture and use wallpaper to call in more wood. Fabric is also the wood element, so drapes, curtains, and bedspreads are a wonderful elemental balancer as well as a beautiful, decorative enhancement. Do not use a mirror here, as it faces the bed and it will not be conducive to restful sleep. You can also hang pleasing artwork with a botanical, natural, or floral theme to further reinforce wood.

Consider the décor of your bedroom as well. Are there too many blues, flowing, asymmetrical lines, glass, crystal and mirrors being used? These are symbolic of the water element and will contribute to the imbalance. Remove a table water fountain if you have one. Water in your actual sleeping area contributes mightily to an ungrounded feeling. Perhaps a quick change of non-toxic paint color into a soothing tone of pale sage green or earth tones is in order.

Notice the yin and yang balance of your bedroom as well, which is important if the intention of the space — a private sleeping space — is to be successful. A quiet, non-public space such as a bedroom functions best when yin energy is present in the form of soft furnishings, dimmed lighting, plain surfaces, patterns and textures. You may discover there is too much yang energy — hard, shiny surfaces, intense patterns, primary colors and intense lighting being used. Strive towards moving your attention and feel of the room towards a sanctuary of pleasing softness and stability.

Hi Karen,

My husband and I recently purchased a new home, and we’re excited about moving in. However, a challenging issue between us is the presence of two very old, large trees on either side of the front entrance. Their size dwarfs the front door and gives the appearance of concealing it from plain sight. My husband wants to remove them, but I am conflicted. Can you help us? — Susan

Hi Susan,

You are both correct in understanding the need for an easily accessible front door. The door is considered the “mouth of chi” or vital energy that flows into a home and nourishes it for the benefit of all concerned. Anything that blocks or restricts this life-supporting energy is not desirable.

However, I would be very cautious about simply removing these trees as the only solution to your dilemma. These beautiful living beings may be 100 years old and they are a big part of the neighborhood tree “family.” This is a tightly woven, interconnected and supportive ecosystem that purifies the air, stabilizes the land, and allows the flora and fauna of the area to thrive.

Another approach is to view their presence as a help, not a hindrance. Feng shui wisdom notes, “where intention goes, energy flows.” So let’s consider this alternate response by aligning with the power and protection of those trees for your good. Intend they are Helpful People placed perfectly in your path. They now function as symbolic Fu dogs, which in ancient China signified guardians of an entrance and were often used in front of sacred structures such as temples. Your front entrance now becomes an attractor of vital chi, not a repeller of it. Embracing nature is one of the tenets of feng shui as well. Whenever possible, align with nature and call it into your dwelling.

Obviously, some judicious trimming may also be in order so that the front door can be seen. Check to make sure the approaching pathway is similarly clear, and ideally in a curving pattern so the energy isn’t shooting abruptly towards the door. Use other low plants, shrubs and flowers to disperse the visual effect so the trees don’t feel so overwhelming.

One of the most famous and memorable uses of this concept of embracing the landscape and incorporating it into a dwelling can be found in Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, Fallingwater in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. The challenging and dynamic aspects of the natural setting such as boulders, cliffs and the waterfall were deftly integrated into the building’s design. You are in good company — enjoy your new home!

Karen Feldman is a certified feng shui practitioner and interior designer, and the owner since 1994 of Urban Eden, a full-service holistic interior design firm in Providence, RI. Karen helps her residential, commercial and corporate clients to co-create spaces that are beautiful, functional and in alignment with the best interests of their well being along with the planet’s. Contact Karen at urbaneden@cox.net or visit www.karenfeldmanurbaneden.com.