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How to Decorate Your Bedroom According to Feng Shui

Jennifer Nielsen.
  • This article has been researched and reviewed by Jennifer Nielsen (Professional Interior Designer) for factual accuracy.

Decorating your bedroom in line with the rules of Feng Shui can be challenging.

Not only can finding the right objects and locations within your existing space be a source of frustration, but it can also be difficult to understand this ancient Chinese system.

So here’s a simple answer that explains how to Feng Shui your bedroom:

To decorate your bedroom according to the principles of Feng Shui, begin by decluttering your bedroom to remove negative energy, then design a floor plan; set your intent, decorate for relaxation/rejuvenation (lighting, bed, and object placement), and then decorate in-line with your personal intent.

Need more details?

Then keep reading because the rest of this article shows you exactly how to decorate your bedroom according to the core principles of Feng Shui.

There’s also a full explanation of what Feng Shui is, the pros, the cons, and 3 fundamental rules that you must follow.

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is a system of principles that suggests locations for objects – such as buildings on a site or furniture in an interior – to control “Ch’i” and create a harmonic energy balance through alignment with nature.

You can push or pull this energy by using “cures”, which are objects crafted from the elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood.

Feng Shui suggests that fire, earth, metal, water, and wood can raise or lower spirals of energy in a space or environment because these elements inherently have their own energy forces.

By adding or taking away cures based on direction, you can create poise within the environment.

This can help you to achieve good health, happiness, and prosperity because positive Ch’i provides a nurturing environment.

Yin and Yang

To understand Ch’i more clearly, you have to understand the source: yin and yang.

Yin and yang represents positive and negative energies that attempt to be the dominant force.

In this act, they create constant movement (Ch’i).

Yin is seen as the passive energy, typically associated with still water, darkness, and relaxation – whilst Yang is seen as the positive energy, typically associated with fire, lightness, and movement.

Within the elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood there is a certain level of yin and yang.

Fire is certainly an element composed of yang, while water may contain both yin and yang depending on the form that it takes.

Bagua and Object Placement

Object placement is crucial and at the center of Feng Shui.

Location considerations are important and you will need to use the“Bagua” as your guide [1].

This tool breaks down where elements (fire, earth, metal, water, and wood) should be placed to control the Ch’i and enhance your pathway. 

The complexity of this system revolves around the elements, their relationship to each other, and figuring out how that works for you, within your space.

Each area in your house lies in a direction on the Bagua and that area has a primary element.

When you add cures to your space, they will need to be composed of, or compatible with, the primary element.

Feng Shui Pros v Cons

Below is a summary of the main pros and cons of Feng Shui:

Benefits

The main benefit to Feng Shui is that by decluttering and arranging elements to cure areas of your life, you can bring good health, joy, and success through a series of aligning energies.

Drawbacks

The biggest drawback to Feng Shui is that it can sometimes be a major commitment.

For example, people may find themselves purchasing new items that best align with their directions while letting go of their existing possessions.

And in some extreme cases, you may want to reorient architectural features to avoid negative energy, called Sha Ch’i, which is created by too many straight lines, sharp angles, and beams that turn the Ch’i energy into straight movements instead of spirals.

There is no doubt that you will have objects, or “cures”, from all of the elements, but they may not fit where they are best suited.

Having the understanding that there may be some items that you need to discard or relocate is important before proceeding.

3 Feng Shui Rules to Follow

Before we jump into the main guide, here are 3 core rules that you should keep in mind and adhere to in order to decorate your bedroom effectively according to Feng Shui:

1: Follow the Bagua

The Bagua is a guide that maps out energy patterns within an environment – each sector contains a direction, a primary element, and a pathway.

The “pathways” are areas of your life, which may need healing or growth.

Narrowing in on some directions and pathways that you would like to enhance is key in moving forward.

These sectors connect direction, element, and pathway as follows:

  • South: Fire – Fame.
  • Southwest: Earth – Romance.
  • West: Metal – Creativity.
  • Northwest: Metal – Communication.
  • North: Water – Career.
  • Northeast: Earth – Knowledge.
  • East: Wood – Family.
  • Southeast: Wood – Wealth.
  • Core: Heart’s Center.

2: Pair Compatible Elements

The Creation Cycle tells the story of how elements can work together and boost the positive energy.

This enhancement can reinforce and harmonize the energy in your home:

Fire > Earth > Metal > Water > Wood

The methodology behind this is that fire creates earth, earth creates metal, metal creates water, water creates wood, and wood creates fire.

3: Don’t Pair Incompatible Elements

There is also a “Destruction Cycle” that breaks down like this:

Fire X Metal; Metal X Wood; Wood X Earth; Earth X Water; and Water X Fire

This methodology is that fire destroys metal, metal destroys wood, wood destroys earth, earth destroys water, and water destroys fire.

To break this down further, here are the relationships between the elements:

  • Wood: Helped by water; destroyed by metal; weakened by fire.
  • Fire: Helped by wood; destroyed by water; weakened by earth.
  • Earth: Helped by fire; destroyed by wood; weakened by metal.
  • Metal: Helped by earth; destroyed by fire; weakened by water.
  • Water: Helped by metal; destroyed by earth; weakened by wood.

These are both important to understand while designing your bedroom to make sure that you are utilizing your objects to create your intended energy.

For example, if the primary element in the North is water, you can enhance this by bringing in metal and avoiding earth cures.

How to Feng Shui Your Bedroom in 5 Steps

Here’s a full guide that shows you how to decorate your bedroom according to Feng Shui in 5 steps:

1: Start by Decluttering

In our consumer culture and propensity for buying many things, object arrangement according to Feng Shui becomes increasingly convoluted.

Because with more objects comes the need for more thoughtful placement – or you risk setting up opposing energies.

Therefore, the best way to start Feng Shui would be to simply declutter because decluttering not only allows you to start fresh, but it removes any negative energy.

Another suggested practice would be to “space-clear” by burning candles or incense, clapping briskly to shift any dormant energy, and even touching the things you want to keep to help the objects know that they are wanted.

By doing these preliminary Feng Shui steps, you are awakening the energy whilst also expressing to yourself and your space that you are being intentional about your surroundings and want to create a supportive environment.

2: Design a Floor Plan

The next step is to create a floor plan that allows you to orient yourself with the compass points which can be achieved as follows:

  • Start by drawing a floor plan of your bedroom.
  • On the plan, find the central point to the room by drawing two diagonal lines from the corners and finding where they cross – if your room is irregular, square off the room and make it into a regular shape.
  • Find out the direction your bedroom faces so that you can align your plan with the Bagua’s north, northeast, east, southeast, south, southwest, west, northwest, and mark these on your drawing.

You should have a plan that looks similar to this:

Feng Shui Floor Plan
Feng Shui Floor Plan – custom image created by a qualified interior designer (Jennifer Nielsen from JenniferNielsenDesign.com).

3: Set Your Personal Intent

Now you need to set the intent behind your Feng Shui bedroom design – what are you hoping to enhance in your life?

For example, are you looking to enhance the romance in your bedroom, or are you looking to boost your career?

(See Step 5 for some exact examples).

It’s very important to define a clear focus because incorporating the right cures in your bedroom can create positive Ch’i which can be incredibly revitalizing.

However, any negative energy can be detrimental to your sleep, health, and overall wellbeing.

With your floor plan in hand and your intentions clearly defined, you are now ready to start decorating.

4: Decorate For Relaxation and Rejuvenation

So what is the best way to start on your Feng Shui bedroom?

Within this yin space, relaxation and rejuvenation is the key purpose to remember.

Make sure that when you are moving items throughout the space that there is still a balance that you are maintaining, despite your personal intentions that you bring to the process.

Below, we discuss a floor layout to locate some bedroom elements and then move into talking about the best cures to bring to your space.

These examples and suggestions are primarily for those looking to redecorate, rather than completely renovate their space.

Bed Placement

Bed placement is critical because this will directly impact almost all other object placements moving forward.

Since the bed is where you are going to be for an extended period of time, and it being the main purpose of the bedroom, it’s critical that this piece follows the Feng Shui principle of being out of the straight movements of Sha Ch’i (negative energy) and out of the direct line of the door.

If the bed is placed directly opposite the door opening, energy will flow straight over the bed, without the positive, spiral movement – however, you do want to see the door from your bed, a Feng Shui ideal that allows you to easily see any intruders, allowing the survival mechanism to relax.

Ideally, you will want to have the head of the bed visible from the door, but offset from the direct, negative energy.

Also avoid placing the bed under windows for this same reason.

Lighting

Lighting is extremely important to have under control in your bedroom.

Since lighting can be so energetic, it’s important to maintain the yin energy of your bedroom space.

Think about the current lighting that you have (table lamps, overhead lighting) and think about the brightness those bring.

Can adjustments be made to create a more relaxing environment?

Some major improvements could include switching the ceiling light to a dimmer or adding some sort of filter to other direct sources to create more ambient lighting.

There are plenty of options for lighting, but take care of this powerful energy in your resting space.

Avoid having a television, exercise equipment, or a desk in the bedroom since these create an enormous amount of Yang energy.

Of course, if there is no other place for some of these items, try hiding them behind screens, in cabinets, or in closets if at all possible.

Object Placement

Depending on your intention and the area of your life that you feel you need to boost, object placement could mean different things for your bedroom.

Pull out your floor plan with the overlaying Bagua Map to help guide you in the next step.

Bagua Energy Summary (Direction – Element – Pathway):

  • South: Fire – Fame.
  • Southwest: Earth – Romance.
  • West: Metal – Creativity.
  • Northwest: Metal – Communication.
  • North: Water – Career.
  • Northeast: Earth – Knowledge.
  • East: Wood – Family.
  • Southeast: Wood – Wealth.
  • Core: Heart’s Center.

Creation and Destruction Cycle Summary:

  • Wood: Helped by water; destroyed by metal; weakened by fire.
  • Fire: Helped by wood; destroyed by water; weakened by earth.
  • Earth: Helped by fire; destroyed by wood; weakened by metal.
  • Metal: Helped by earth; destroyed by fire; weakened by water.
  • Water: Helped by metal; destroyed by earth; weakened by wood.

Here’s what you need to do:

In order to boost the energy for your intended pathway, place a cure and a compatible enhancement – if needed – in the corresponding sector.

Avoid placing too many elements in your sector, which may throw off the balance – remember to keep the yin and yang in harmony.

Here are some examples of cures of each element that you can bring into the sectors of your bedroom:

Fire

  • Color: red & orange.
  • Shape/design element: triangles.
  • Mirrors.
  • Candles or lanterns.
  • Bells.
  • Sun symbols.

Earth

  • Color: yellow, brown, terracotta.
  • Shape/design element: square.
  • Rocks (stones, pebbles, cement).
  • Glass.
  • Tapestries.

Metal

  • Color: gold, silver, black, and white.
  • Shape/design element: round and dome.
  • Picture frames.
  • Objects and fabrics with silver, stainless steel, brass, gold, iron.

Water

  • Color: blue, black, violet, and purple.
  • Shape/design element: waves.
  • Water feature.
  • Artwork with water attributes.
  • Nautical or ship related items.
  • Amber.

Wood

  • Color: green.
  • Shape/design element: columns.
  • Wood furniture, sculptures.
  • Leafy plants with limited sharp or pointed features.
  • Dried foliage.
  • Books or paper products (like origami).

Focus areas:

  • Bedding.
  • Art.
  • Dressers.
  • Window coverings.
  • Wall colors.
  • Lighting enhancements.

5: Add Your Personal Intent

Step 4 focused on decorating with relaxation and rejuvenation at its core.

Now it’s time to revisit step 3 to incorporate your personal intent and bring this out through your bedroom design.

Here are some specific Feng Shui examples to give you some inspiration:

Boost Fame and Recognition

If you are hoping to win that award or gain some recognition around your name, add some light – like a series of lanterns – to the south side of your room.

You can enhance the lanterns with a wooden dresser, but be sure to not imbalance with a mirror hanging above as this will create a fire (yang) imbalance.

Marriage Repair

If you are hoping to heal some marriage issues, add a nice woven tapestry in the southwest sector.

You can enhance the woven wall art by ensuring it contains a lot of red or orange.

Or, if you are able, add in some sun symbols or triangles.

Increase Creativity

If you are hoping to gain some creative spark for an upcoming project, metal additions in some picture frames or decorations in the west of your bedroom is the cure for this.

A square picture with glass covering will help to enhance the metal – since those are earth elements.

Avoid adding imagery that includes mostly red or oranges colors as this will bring in fire that will destroy the metal.  

Forge Clarity and Unlock Communication Channels

If you are needing some clarity and communication with loved ones, you should also gravitate towards metal in the northwest sector of your room.

Maybe a throw pillow with some gold accents can work on either the bed or a side chair.

Get Ahead in Your Career

If you are looking to expand your career and keep in alignment with your professional goals, make sure to add some blue or violet fabric to your pillows, furniture, or window treatments in the north side of your room and bring in the water element.

Be careful that any potted accessories don’t live here, so as to ensure earth will not destroy water.

Further Your Education and Propel Your Knowledge

If you are wanting to expand your education and knowledge base, add in some crystals or decorative rocks, as earth elements, in the northeast area.

Be careful to not add in a green and leafy plant here, as wood destroys earth.

Nurture Your Family

If you want to keep your family life in prosperity, make sure to incorporate wood in the east, with a nice wood headboard or a lush green plant.

Make sure that the metal picture frames do not get placed above your bed as metal destroys wood.

Acquire Wealth

If you are hoping to boost your financial prosperity, keep it green in the southeast of your room.

A green side chair or stack of books can work for you here.

Just make sure that the metal table stays far away from this area as metal will destroy your wood elements.

Conclusion: Orientation and Placement Are Key

Creating a Feng Shui bedroom begins with understanding the orientation of the room to the compass points.

Knowing those locations and utilizing the Bagua map to see where the sectors lie in your room will help you to understand the elements that are necessary and where to place them in cures.

By placing elements, or cures, in certain areas, you can create positive energy flow.

Fire, earth, wood, metal, and water each have their own energies, and knowing where to place them so that you can control the Ch’i flow and also boost areas of your life is critical to the process.

To create harmony within the space, it is necessary to place these items in their ideal location, while avoiding placing their destructive counterparts in that same area.

By placing a non-compatible element in its wrong sector, you will lose any energy you are trying to build up.

Feng Shui is a beautiful balance of energies that everyone can benefit from.


Sources and References

[1] Wikipedia – Bagua. Accessed 19/11/20.

Image Attribution and Licencing

Main image – ‘White Table Shelf With Bagua’ by ArchiViz (Getty Images Pro), used with permission under the terms of Canva’s One Design Use License Agreement.

Feng Shui Floor Plan – custom image created by a qualified interior designer (Jennifer Nielsen from JenniferNielsenDesign.com).

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