The ancient Chinese practice of feng shui is all about striking the perfect balance between the five elements of nature: Water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. According to Nicole Seidlitz, founder of Tree of Life Feng Shui and instructor at International Feng Shui School, "The goal when applying feng shui is to ensure a space is supportive and nurturing to its inhabitants." No matter a room's square footage, even the smallest of spaces can be organized in such a way that it brings a sense of calm and relaxation with the help of feng shui.
Meet the Expert
One room in your home that should certainly feel supportive and nurturing is the bedroom. "Bedrooms are spaces for rest, relaxation, and romance," explains Seidlitz. Using the principles of feng shui, you can turn a pint-sized room into a sanctuary that feels far more expansive than the square footage might read.
Remember that a basic premise of feng shui assumes that your home is an outward expression of your "inner world."
In other words, "The things we have in our home, the number of them, and the way we place them is directly linked to the experiences, emotions, and situations we are living," she says. It's the same reason things tend to get cluttered when you feel stressed and why cleaning has the ability to make you feel calm and in control. If you're looking to apply the principles of this ancient practice to your home for a soothing space that feels expansive, take note of Seidlitz's nine feng shui small bedroom ideas, plus eleven more tips.
Create Good Vibes
"Crystals can be very soothing and relaxing," Seidlitz explains. Although she notes that these stones can affect people in different ways, so you'll want to find ones that feel best for you. A good place to start is with rose quartz, a crystal known for its healing, relaxing qualities. "I have yet to find someone who is not soothed by this crystal," she says.
If crystals aren't for you, opt for a salt lamp or an essential oil diffuser. Salt lamps are thought to promote sleep and cleanse the air by reducing electromagnetic frequencies, according to Seidlitz, and essential oils like lavender and chamomile can help soothe you to sleep.
Utilize Natural Light
Light is vital for both making a small space feel larger and for balancing the feng shui of a room. "Ideally you want to have natural light in the morning to awaken your body naturally and, conversely, have less light at night to signal your body it's time to wind down," Seidlitz says. If your small bedroom doesn't allow for much natural light to shine through, you can always strategically place a mirror to enhance any small amount of light that does peek through, or opt for full-spectrum light bulbs that mimic natural light.
"Art in bedrooms should reflect the ultimate goal of the room," says Seidlitz. For example, if you're looking for love, perhaps hang a painting or a print that evokes the feelings you want to experience. If you already share a room with a significant other, consider displaying photos of special moments that the two of you have shared together. As with other elements of décor, you'll want to hang art in pairs.
In order to make the room feel the most expansive, hang pieces at eye level and be mindful that artwork doesn't overpower the space. "Less on the walls is better as it will give the room a feeling of being larger," she says.
Choose Light Paint Colors
Lighter colors work to make a space feel larger and to create a more soothing, relaxing atmosphere. Try off-white tones or pastels if you can't go without a bit of color. While the paint color may be muted, Seidlitz suggests adding pops of color through your artwork and décor.
Keep Just the Essentials
Search for small pieces of furniture that you truly need in order to make the most of a small space and keep the positive energy flowing. You might find that all you really need is a bed, nightstands, and a dresser if you don't have enough closet space. This will keep any small bedroom looking and feeling as large as possible (plus, it will be easier to keep tidy with fewer places to stash clutter.)
Display a Mirror
Not only do mirrors reflect natural light, they can also make a space feel much larger than it actually is. The only rule Seidlitz has for bringing mirrors into the bedroom is making sure they're placed in such a way that you can't see your reflection when lying in bed. "From a feng shui perspective, a reflection of yourself when sleeping causes restlessness in the body and is not conducive to a good night's sleep," she says.
"Keeping the room tidy and organized is crucial when wanting to promote good energy," according to Seidlitz. "Accumulation of things, especially unused things, makes it hard for the body to relax and rest properly, not to mention the reduction of space in an already small room." That said, find a place for all of your clothes, books, and knick-knacks, and only keep items you really love.
Balance All Five Senses
A small space can still be a welcome respite when all five elements are balanced. For example, consider soft textures, aromatherapy, gentle earthy tones, a carafe of water with lemon in easy reach from the bed, and perhaps a white noise machine for example.
Learn to Read a Bagua Map
A bagua map is the code to unlocking all of feng shui's energy-balancing principles, and can help you arrange your small bedroom in a way that enhances good energy and focus intentions. If you're serious about feng shui, use the bagua map to guide you.