Bedroom Design for Health? What NOT to do!

A wonderful, delightful client of mine showed me this room.  Pulled from the internet, and described as “a good Feng Shui Bedroom,” he asked me to help him re-create it for him.  It was a challenge because much of it is not ‘good’ Feng Shui for HEALTH as described here.  The nuances are subtle but so very important.

No judgement–as a Feng Shui Designer, I get paid to see the details and interpret how they influence life.  Analyzing spaces through true Feng Shui eyes is the best guarantee for beneficial environment–it takes real knowledge and awareness of how your spaces FEEL–really. The hardest part is seeing it all for what is really there.  Take a look:

Beware: Labeled on the Internet as a Good Feng Shui Bedroom for Health, many things in this bedroom are NOT conducive to Good Health and therefore NOT beneficial Feng Shui.

Let me show you:

Four things stand out  as NOT-SO-GOOD Bedroom Feng Shui for health:

The Colors, The Furnishings, The Bulkhead Treatment, The Bamboo Plants

#1 Color:  

My client is looking to engage more of nature into his home, adding this bright green will do that but it is likely to exhaust him because the energy of the room will be that of early spring and the sprouting plants pushing upward through the surface of the soil–we’ll have to make sure we watch if he’s not sleeping well as sleeping deeply is the first key to good health.

It’s true that Green is a very healing color; just the sign of green speaks to our hearts and nourishes us.  However, it is an active color, upward moving and independent.  Not the first choice for a bedroom where sleep is the main function or where a couple want to get closer together.   Used well it is a good color for independent retreat  and rejuvenation in a spa-like setting but be aware of how well you are sleeping.  The color shown here looks like a subtle version of green, but because lighting and photography change the color, we can’t be sure.  If you need to have a green bedroom, something muted will do well, such as PPG’s 407-3 White Clover or 308-3 St. Augustine or ATC-53 Bay of Fundy.  (I was just there by the way, so beautiful.)    Ben Moore’s 682 Warm Springs is nice and I always love Restoration Hardware’s Silver Sage.  But remember, it’s important to choose your paint color LAST–read why.

#2 Furniture:

#1 “Not Good” Health Thing:  This dresser and its placement looms over the bed, creating a large block that can eventually cause ill health.  Large and looming furniture in a bedroom does just that, imposes a block in our energy.  My priorities:

  • Move the dresser out of the bedroom. Personally I recommend that there be no clothing in the bedroom but in closets or a spare bedroom be turned into a dressing room.  Clothing is of the outside world, and our clothing carries our experiences of the day.  I recommend all laundry go in the laundry room until it is returned clean to the closet, dressing room or drawers.  
  • Replace the tall dresser near the bed with a low dresser.
  • Do not use a mirror in your bedroom as a mirror will activate space and disrupt sleep.  If you want to test this, place a towel or scarf over your mirror and feel the space…it will feel quieter.
  • I highly recommend that if you must have clothing stored in your bedroom,
    • Only have clean and nicely folded and stored in your low dresser, well organized, socks paired, everything folded.  It takes some time, but the energy you put into your clothes will stay with you all day.  I know this for a fact.
    • Nothing hung on the back of a door
    • No jewelry showing (clean your jewelry as well, soak it in sea salt — if it won’t damage the finish or stones– or take it to a jeweler and have them clean it.  Baking soda will also help to clear the energy of jewelry)
The Side Tables
  • Really look at them, they are ‘leaning’ against the wall, not stable on their own.  This fact would speak to your subconscious about the inability to stand firm on your own and lead you to lean or feel crippled.
  • Sharp edges:  this is something that speaks to our bodies and sets us up to be tense; it’s so automatic that we don’t register it in our awareness until we focus on it.  Round the edges and soften them so that you aren’t being sniped by ‘flesh eating furniture”.

The headboard

This is really not so bad, it’s soft and it is supportive.  The color is earth, nourishing and supportive, but it too looms, but is a background, much like the support of having a mountain behind your back, a feeling of safety.  The squares bring an additional element of Earth but the headboard is a bit too high but the  many squares will give you a feeling of segmentation and disruption.

The location of the seams is not-so-good: the seam at your head would be infringing on your brain and the seam between the two people could serve to separate them, especially if there is a split box-spring beneath the mattress.  (cure for boxspring:  place a pink sheet between the box spring and the mattress.)

Feng Shui:  I’d recommend three or four horizontal rectangles rather than all the squares.

#3 The Bulkhead

A very big Feng Shui no-no, this sharp line of the white bulkhead draws itself right across the head of the sleepers.  This would cause headaches or illness along the line where it hits the people, perhaps sore throats, teeth issues, sinus issues.  How?  We are so powerful and our subconscious so strong that we can actually recreate what we see around us.  Try it:  think of a flower for a moment, then notice how many times today you notice a flower–we do this all the time, calling to our attention that which we focus on or ask for.   This shape is talking to your subconscious and the way the energy flows along this surface, it is a constant dripping of too much energy.  Too much or too little is optimal for health.

  • One simple cure:  Paint the bulkhead ‘ceiling’ the same color as the wall and make the edge disappear.  Traditionally, Feng Shui would suggest hanging bamboo flutes with the mouthpiece to the bottom ‘blowing’ the energy upward.  This is not compatible with a lot of decor and is as I call it a “Feng Shui Bandaid” it will work but it shows everyone that you have a boo-boo.  You can also use upward facing lighting to “raise the energy” but it’s still there at night–the flutes would be a better idea.  There are other cures, and if you have an issue like this, comment here and I’ll help.

#4 PLANTS in the Bedroom

1. Feng Shui has recommended against live plants in the sleeping areas.  Here’s the scientific answer:  Plants emit Oxygen in the daytime, hooray, thank you very much.  Plants also go through the process of respiration and at night they take in Oxygen and emit CO2.   You might need a garden of plants to make this a real immediate emergency, however, when you are in an enclosed room with limited circulation and limited access to real natural air, this could have a long term negative influence.  Silk plants would solve this one issue, but then there’s this:

2. Plants are also ‘tree/wood’ energy, meaning the focus is on upward movement.  Sleep is a YIN event, the energy goes down and to the quiet, quite the opposite of the plant energy.  A little is happy and okay, but all these plants are sometimes just an excuse to call something ZEN or Feng Shui when in fact, it is not.

Because something is uncluttered and new-looking, doesn’t make it good Feng Shui.   Don’t mistake a design that looks ‘calm’, ‘clean’, and has a bamboo plant or a Buddha figure in it for a design that is Feng Shui.  (“Feng Shui” is a very hot search term:  and some know that calling something Feng Shui will bring it attention and perhaps sell the item).

No judgement–as a Feng Shui Designer, I get paid to see the details and interpret how they influence life.  Analyzing spaces through true Feng Shui eyes is the best guarantee for beneficial environment–it takes real knowledge and awareness of how your spaces FEEL–really. The hardest part is seeing it all for what is really there.