75 x 190cm
Why the Bed Can’t Face the Door: Fengshui and How You Can Use It In Your Bedroom
A bed can’t directly face the door. That’s not something we’re telling you. No, it’s one of the basic rules of Fengshui, the ancient Chinese art and science of creating harmonious environments based on the understanding of our connection to them and how they affect us. The science concerns itself with chi (the energy of life) and introducing positive changes to open up energy channels, which can then strengthen one’s own energy. In this guide, we’re going to explore it, including the reason why you can’t sleep in line with the door, and how you can use it in your own bedroom.
What are the basic principles of Fengshui?
One of the most basic Fengshui principles, but also one of the most important ones, is that of the commanding position. It’s easy to implement and you should apply it to the bed, which represents you; to the desk — which is work; and to the stove, which is your wealth and how you nourish yourself in the world. The commanding position rule is that you should be facing the door without being directly in line with it i.e. you want to be able to see the door but not be directly in line with it.
There are eight baguas (energy areas), which form an energy map that you superimpose onto the floor plan of your home. The baguas are all configured around the centre, the centre representing overall health and wellness. Each bagua represents one of the following areas of your life:
It’s best not to address all eight areas at once. Instead, choose the three areas that need the most attention in your life. Work with them in the corresponding position of your home to trigger the energy.
There are also five interdependent elements: wood, fire, water, metal and earth. Each element corresponds to a different bagua and must exist in balance with the other elements. They all have their own qualities, including shapes and colours that we should associate with them. You can improve an area by identifying the elements relevant to them and adding something that embodies the energy of that element e.g. a flat, brown rug to bring some earth energy to the room.
Why you shouldn’t sleep in line with the door
Positioning your bed in line with the door is the worst possible position, according to the principles of Fengshui. People who practise Fengshui call it the ‘dead man’s position’ or the ‘coffin position’ because the feet or head are facing the door and resembles the way we carry the dead through open doors from the house. This is a position to avoid at all costs, if you can.
Chi enters rooms through the doors and windows. Sleeping directly in line with the door places you right in the pathway of all the forces that enter the bedroom. You should feel safe and secure when you’re sleeping, not worried and vulnerable. If you find yourself sleeping directly opposite the door, you can add a footboard to your bed to increase the feeling of safety and security.
A footboard isn’t always ideal in this scenario, however. You may feel trapped by the footboard or not have the necessary space for one. Maybe a footboard isn’t your style or doesn’t fit in with the design of your room. Other options include creating a ‘shield’ by placing a chest at the end of your bed filled with heavy blankets or placing a low screen between the bed and the door. You should also place a mirror on the side wall so that you can see anyone who enters the bedroom.
A note on other positions to avoid when it comes to the bed
The chi needs to flow and you shouldn’t position your bed under a sloping ceiling or dormer-style one. Avoid, too, positioning it under any type of fan, chandelier or pendant light. All of this creates pressure. The presence of the bed under a beam cuts the energy of the room. Note that paintings above your bed can also disturb the quality of your sleep.
The command position reigns supreme in Fengshui and you should be able to see the entrance to the room, even though you’re not in line with it. In view of this, you should not position the bed along an entrance wall, nor should it go against a party wall. You need maximum support, which means the bed should be against a solid wall and shouldn’t go in front of a window either.
Fengshui solutions for unfavourable positions
What if you can’t avoid an unfavourable position? The good news is it doesn’t mean everything’s over for your Fengshui. You can still minimise the disturbance of the energy in the room and let the chi contribute to your wellbeing. We’ve already discussed the importance of the command position and what to do if you can’t achieve it, so let’s take a look at what to do when you can’t avoid other chi-disturbing circumstances.
Bed in front of a window
You never want to have your bed in front of a window if you can avoid it because the energy entering through the window will disrupt sleep. When you find yourself in a situation in which the bed must go in front of a window, try to find a high bed. The bed should have a headboard that lends solid support. You should also be able to walk freely around the bed so that the energy can also move around the bed freely.
Bed beneath beams
Not only does placing the bed beneath a beam create pressure and dissect the energy, but it can also make you ill because the beam is cutting across your body. You certainly don’t want that, so if you have no choice but to position your bed beneath a beam or a set of beams, suspend two flutes with red ribbons above it. Angle the ribbons so that the open ends are pointing upwards. This interrupts the cutting effect of the beam and allows the energy to flow into the flutes and away from you.
Bed and bathroom door
You never want to face a bathroom door. In Fengshui, bathrooms are a place from which energy leaves the house. The presence of the water element in them — which represents wealth, prosperity and cash flow — suggests they have good energy, but because germs can gather in the toilet area, this part of the house also experiences disturbances to its energy.
If your bed really must face the bathroom door, you should close both the bathroom door and your bedroom door. Hang a mirror on the inside of the door facing the bathroom. The mirror will reflect any negative energy leaving the bathroom back into it.
How to Fengshui your bedroom
There’s a whole lot more to organising your bedroom Fengshui style and managing the life energy flow in your room. Here are some more ways to manage bedroom chi:
Add a headboard
Headboards are an important element in bedroom Fengshui. They symbolise strength and stability in life, especially in romantic relationships. There should be no perforations in the headboard, so, ideally, you should have a solid wooden headboard and/or an upholstered one, rather than a prison-like bar style one. You should fasten the headboard to the bed securely to enjoy the most support and strength from it. Your headboard should also have solid support behind it, which means you should place the bed close to the wall.
Detoxify and declutter your room
Detoxification is important. You want to remove as many chemicals and toxic elements from your bedroom as possible and replace them with organic ones. Using green products and non-toxic cleaning products is a good start. Such products could include organic linen and sleepwear, which leak toxins and gas into our skin. Infusing the room with some sweet, orange oil can lift the energy in the room, as well as make it smell that little bit nicer.
Clutter is another element to address. Start by looking under your bed. The clutter under there may be affecting you while you sleep by causing subconscious blocks in your life. Letters from an ex, for instance, may be influencing your current relationship status. Luggage underneath your bed could be making you feel as if you’re never quite at home. The best case scenario, Fengshui wise, is to have a clear space under the bed so that the energy can flow freely. Failing that, store only linens and blankets under your bed.
Use Fengshui friendly colours
Different colours take on different significance in Fengshui. It all depends on what you’re looking to achieve with the Fengshui in your bedroom. Light neutral colours encourage restful sleep, as do earthy colours, and provide extra support and relaxation. Splashes of red are the way to go if you’re looking for more passion, whereas pinks and peaches are the order of the day if you’re focusing on partnerships and on attracting your soulmate. Meanwhile, blues and greens can promote health and vitality.
Choose restful art
The artwork in our bedrooms speaks volumes about our private lives. If you’re looking to attract a partner, and although you should keep in line with your tastes, no artwork you place in the room should depict solo persons or solo objects. When practising Fengshui with artwork in your bedroom, there should be an element of ‘pair’ about the piece(s). You should also save family photos for other rooms. Keeping the artwork up at eye level or higher can increase life force energy.
Lessen the electromagnetic fields in the room
Electric devices and power lines create electromagnetic fields (EMFs), which can harm your wellbeing as well as your quality of sleep. When you’re having trouble sleeping, you want as few electronic devices as possible in the room. How do you stay entertained? Go back to basics and read. Worried about sleeping in for work? Leave your phone outside the room and use an alarm clock instead.
If you keep a television set in your room, cover it up or put it away in a cupboard when you’ve finished using it. This goes for laptops, too. Close the laptop and then put it away. In any case, a bedroom should be a place of rest, not work, and you shouldn’t have a desk in your bedroom if you want to optimise the space for good chi.
Change the bed
If you or your partner has been seriously ill, this will have brought negative energy into the room. As a result, you’ll have to think about changing your bed to get rid of it. If you’ve found a new partner and have decided to live together, be mindful of any predecessor chi.
Other Fengshui taboos
As you’ve seen, positioning of the bed is hugely important in Fengshui. It’s not just about the bed being out of line with the door, however. There are further Fengshui no-nos besides the ones above. Here are some more Fengshui faux pas to avoid:
Head facing the wall behind a toilet bowl
According to Fengshui principles, when a bed faces the toilet door, the position can cause the loss of wealth and damage the bones and muscles. This is because of the bad smell, moisture and germs associated with the toilet. If you have a bed on one side of the wall and directly on the other side a toilet bowl, the position can create confusion, lead to headaches and cause loss of concentration.
Bed above the toilet or the stove
As you might have guessed, any kind of positioning which leaves the bed in line with the toilet is bad Fengshui. If you have a downstairs toilet, be careful not to position a bed above it because of the impact it can have upon your health. In the case of placing the bed above the stove, the position can harm your liver as it increases the element of fire.
Air con above the bed
Air conditioning may provide comfort, but it’s not good if it’s directly above your bed. The cold air will move directly towards your body and your pores will be open slightly. This can lead to stiffness, headaches and colds. Avoid if possible.
Fengshui is an ancient practice designed to enhance your wellbeing and, in general, your life, based on the understanding of the connections between ourselves, our environments and how these affect us. A bedroom is a place of relaxation. You can implement Fengshui to manage the energy in the room to transform your wellbeing and your life for the better. It’s definitely worth a try and remember: your bed should never be in line with the door.