Whether you believe in feng shui or not, there's no denying the benefits of a great room layout or a space that just seems to "flow" well. Not every interior designer actively practices the ancient Chinese art, but most probably unwittingly abide by its principles, at least in part. That's because oftentimes, feng shui is common sense as it pertains to your home's layout and natural flow. After all, making sure that where you live isn't cluttered and that what you own reflects what you want to attract in your life isn't too far off from having a well-organized, clutter-free, and nicely decorated home.
But there is one item in particular that mystifies feng shui experts everywhere—and not all agree on its best use. Mirrors are viewed as having the property of reflecting (and effectively multiplying) things in your home. For example, they can expand a space, but they can also multiply a stack of bills, or they can speed up or slow down the flow of energy in your space. So, how do you know if you're using mirrors correctly in your home, according to feng shui principles? Follow these rules according to feng shui experts and you just might feel all the bad vibes leave the building.
Generally speaking, feng shui experts do not recommend placing a mirror directly across the front door, but rather on a wall perpendicular to it. "The front door is very important in feng shui," The Holistic Home author Laura Benko tells MyDomaine. When you hang a mirror, Benko advises connecting an intention to it, like expanding the opportunities in your life.
Experts believe that the best room to hang a mirror in your house is in the dining room, which represents your capacity to hold wealth—a thing we would all want to reflect a little more in our lives.
Conversely, experts generally avoid mirrors placed in the kitchen—especially if they're facing a stove—because this placement is believed to host negative energy. If you were contemplating a mirrored backsplash, you may want to rethink things.
Most experts will warn you to be careful with what your mirror reflects, whether inside or outside the home. "Mirrors in feng shui are like aspirin," says Benko. "They're prescribed often to treat many ailments. They're a quick adjustment when you want to expand a space and bring in more light." Just make sure it's reflecting a beautiful view and not a stack of bills, she added.
Mirrors located in the hallway are generally seen as a positive thing, except when they're placed at the end of a hallway, where they can slow down the flow of energy in your house. Conversely, they can be great on landings of small staircases, to help widen the space.
Just like a mirror reflecting a stack of bills can bring negative energy, a mirror facing your desk will work against you, effectively doubling your workload. Besides, no one really wants to look at themselves while they work, right?
In the living room, mirrors are believed to make gatherings more festive by effectively doubling the number of people present in the room. However, it can also amplify bad energy if guests are negative—so be careful who you invite over, or kindly tell your guests to leave the drama at home.
One place where feng shui experts warn against hanging a mirror is behind a sofa or a bed, where you can lose the sense of security you feel by having a solid piece of furniture set against a wall. Certified feng shui expert Marianne Gordon also warned about the weight of objects above sitting spaces: "Hanging large, burdensome paintings and photos over your bed, couch, or chair is a no-no. Feng shui is all about feeling safe and secure in your space, and it's hard to feel safe with something heavy hanging directly over your head."
Mirrors should be used carefully in the bedroom, warns NYC-based feng shui consultant Laura Cerrano: "It's believed that mirrors have the ability to activate the energy within a room. Clients I work with will sometimes choose to keep a mirror in their bedroom and tell me that they sleep soundly. Some clients love the idea of no mirrors in the bedroom or may just place a long mirror inside the closet door. If you do that, just make sure the closet is organized, because mirrors double what they project."
"If you have trouble sleeping, let's talk about why that mirror on your bedroom wall might be the culprit," says Amanda Gibby Peters. She suggests a quick test to see if your mirror might be affecting your sleep: "Cover the bedroom mirror(s) for a couple nights and notice if your sleep improves," she advises. "If you do sleep soundly with them covered, consider replacing them or moving them to a wall that's not facing your bed."
In the bathroom, feng shui experts suggest avoiding hanging a mirror directly across from the door or the toilet. Aside from the fact that mirrors placed directly opposite doors are generally viewed as a bad idea in any room, one could also argue that it's never comfortable to be looking at yourself while sitting on the toilet.