One of the biggest challenges we all face in this fast-paced world is finding time to relax. Not everyone is lucky enough to have the opportunity to take time off work or visit a spa, but we do have the opportunity to create a space at home where we can unwind and recharge our batteries. The bedroom is an ideal room in which to create a haven of tranquility — after all, sleep is the ultimate level of relaxation. Find out how to encourage tranquility in your bedroom with these professional interior design dos and don’ts from Home Club ME’s expert Simone Osswald, founder of Dubai-based SO Feng Shui Design, which combines Eastern feng shui techniques, global wellness standards and Western interior design principles.
Feng Shui Dos: 6 Important Elements To Consider
The colours that you feature in a bedroom will influence your mood and therefore your sleep quality. If your bedroom has mainly white walls, a white ceiling and white bed linens, you may find it difficult to calm down because white is the colour of alertness and clarity, the opposite of what a bedroom should express. To create a relaxing mood, colours should be toned down to darker hues with a soothing and balancing energy. A great way to bring colours into a bedroom is through painted walls or wallpaper, and papered walls are a great way to feature a design element — I advise going for soft, floating patterns.
Bed and Bedding
A good quality mattress, pillows, duvet and bed linens, not to mention a quality bed, are all crucial elements in creating comfort. In terms of relaxation and good health, your bed is probably the most important piece of furniture in your house. For example, a high and padded headboard invites you to read comfortably, leaning against it before falling asleep. It also protects the head against any disturbance from the wall behind, such as gurgling water pipes. The headboard and the bed frame should ideally be fully upholstered and should not show any metal elements because metal is known to amplify negative energy, from headaches to electrical waves.
Curtains perform multiple functions in a bedroom. The primary function is to keep out daylight or any light source from the outside environment to help facilitate a good quality of sleep. Secondly, they function as privacy shields if the window is facing an adjacent building or the street. Curtains are made from sound-absorbing material so they contribute to the desired quietude needed in a bedroom, and they also contribute aesthetically, helping to decorate the room and give it a comfy feel. To increase the wellbeing factor, choose a curtain fabric that is natural and soft, in soothing colours and with an organic pattern.
Carpets and Rugs
Whether you live in a cold or a warm country, a carpet or rug is key to promoting a cosy and comfortable mood in the bedroom. The softer and thicker the carpet or rug, the more inviting it will be to step onto. The recommended material is real wool or a natural material that’s soft. Sisal, outdoor materials or any artificial material such as nylon or polyester have no place in the bedroom. The patterns and colours should be plain or reflect an organic and natural feel, while any kind of geometrical design should not be placed in a bedroom as it will add sharp energy and movement, which can be unsettling.
There are three types of lighting: functional, decorative and mood. Instead of using a bright and functional ceiling light or decorative light features, mood lamps on the floor or table will help to generate a warmer and indulgent atmosphere in the bedroom. Candescent bulbs are more suitable over fluorescent ones as they reduce tension on the eyes and switch the brain to evening mode. It is vital to ensure that all bedroom lights give off low electrical pollution, especially bedside table lamps that are close to the bed, as they could otherwise help to cause headaches and restless nights.
The more fabrics and soft surfaces there are in a room the more silent and calming the room will be, as such materials will help to absorb sound waves of any sort. Curtains, carpets, rugs, bedlinen and cushions all help to reduce the sound in a room. Minimising noise will be more challenging if a bedroom has wide or high walls, as sound may travel through such a room with an unpleasant echo-like effect. An easy and simple way to fix this is to add padded wall panels to at least one wall and make this the feature wall of the room; you’ll soon notice that noises inside the room will be absorbed.
Feng Shui Don’ts: 3 Factors to Avoid
Radiation from electric and smart devices is a concern in our lives today. We can’t live without our smartphones anymore and the latest ‘wellness’ innovations invite us to wear sleep trackers, step counters and exercise ‘buddies’ on our wrists. My recommendation is to stay away from these devices at least during the night. Keep your smartphones at least two metres away from your bed or — even better — out of your bedroom. The blue light from a mobile phone screen is known to hinder the brain’s production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which is crucial for a deep sleep, so it’s important that you avoid checking your phone for messages or the time just before you sleep or if you wake up during the night. Ban televisions, radios and any other electric and electronic devices from your bedroom, too. Some table lamps emit a high radiation even when they’re switched off, so switch them off at the wall sockets to cut the power completely.
Home Work Stations
The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to set up a home office and the bedroom has become a favourite spot where people can find privacy and focus. This setup can work, however, all computers and electronic devices need to be switched off during the night, and work material should be tidied away out of sight as it could unsettle you before going to sleep. I recommend that you don’t keep your desk in ‘ready to work’ mode, but tidy up the surface once the work is done and, if necessary, hide or cover up the work material in order to help your subconsciousness relax.
Decluttering plays a big role in feng shui, which states that clutter hinders an even Qi-flow, blocking our personal energy. Just like in acupuncture for the body, good feng shui ensures a smooth flow of energy in our homes and especially in our bedrooms, resulting in ease of mind and spirit and therefore a good night’s sleep. The rule of thumb to follow is to avoid having items and clothes in your bedroom that you haven’t used for the last 12 months, and keep your decorative items at a minimum. Why not donate to charity and give away what you no longer need to the people who are in need of them now.
If you found these bedroom tips useful and you’d like to read more insightful advice from Simone, check out her five tips to feng shui your home workspace, discover how colour can impact your home, and find out some surprising truths with these feng shui myths debunked for modern living.