Michael and Jill only wanted help with one of the most important rooms in their house – their master bedroom. They had not been sleeping well and knew that changes were needed.
Master bedrooms differ from other rooms. They are the intimate heart of the household, the retreats that replenish our bodies and souls, the temples that honor our love. As such, they need to be beautiful containers if they are to that support our rest and our primary relationships.
I also reminded them to be aware that because we spend one third of our lives in bed, the energy of the Master Bedroom needed to be inviting, calming and wonderful. It needed to reflect both of their personalities as well as reflecting their combined energy. By creating their bedroom with awareness together, they had chosen to make an important statement to each other. A conscious effort to honor each other’s taste and needs as a testimony to their commitment to each other.
I explained that the process of designing their bedroom together would deepen their understanding and appreciation of each other and nurture them on many dimensions. They were up for the adventure! We started by having them think about the essence of what they would like to express in their space. Should it be luxurious, playful, sensual, simple, elegant, traditional, contemporary, cozy and womb-like, or open and Zen like? What were their favorite colors? What did these colors mean to them and why? What textures did they like? What was it about those textures that they loved? They were surprised at how similar their taste was. They both wanted a bedroom that felt sumptuous, luxurious and somewhat exotic.
And then there were the practical matters. Did they have specific requirements about the type of mattress, the size of the bed, reading lamps, the number of blankets, the type of comforter, the texture of the sheets? Was green design a priority? Did either of them have allergies to feathers or dust mites? Did they have back problems that need to address? Did they read in bed and need lighting for that? What intensity of light did they need? Did they need drawers in their night stands? What were their clothing storage needs?
Using the principles of Feng Shui and tuning in to the vibrations of the room, we paid attention to the energy of the space, allowing the room to indicate where the furniture should be placed. I explained that designing a room is like composing space. Just as music requires silence between the notes, making sure that the eye has resting places is imperative. We also used the ancient Indian art called Vastu Shastra which understands the energetic placement of the room itself, as well as the furniture in it. According to Vastu, the ideal placement for the bedroom should be on the South west corner of the house and the ideal placement of the bed has the headboard on the South wall. This is because that is where the earth energy is most strong and it helps ground the relationship. The only place for their bed was not in the ideal spot. So I made sure to honor the earth energy and ground it with a wooden headboard the color choices that referenced to nature in the space.
Because Master bedrooms are in fact sanctuaries, I taught them the importance of honoring boundaries. These include acknowledging the entry to the bedroom. Doors, I told them, are thresholds that invite a shift of consciousness. Each time you step through a doorway it is a highly symbolic act. You’re demonstrating a willingness to shift your energy. When you step into your master bedroom it’s important to release the tensions and impressions of the outside world. There are many ways to honor that shift by emphasizing the doorway with molding, paint colors, or by creating a defined archway. They chose to use double doors that clearly marked the entrance to their sacred space.
A well-defined central focus point also makes people feel safe. In a bedroom the bed is a natural focal point. Beds should be opposite the doorway if possible and not directly in front of a window. A solid wall behind the headboard will provide grounding and support whereas a window allows the energy to leak out, and energy from outside to invade the sanctity of the room and the relationship. The headboard also represents stability and support. Beds made of natural materials such as wood, bamboo or cane also bring in the grounded energy of nature. If their bed was made of metal I would have suggested softening it with fabrics such as soft cottons, floaty gauzes or rich velvets. Their choice of a beautiful wooden screen from India carved with intricate foliage answered their desire for a both grounding and an exotic-looking headboard.
Michael and Jill wanted sheets that breathe best to sleep on, and we found lovely cream-colored organic cotton ones. They found a beautiful silk throw for across the bottom of their bed and some lovely silk cushions to create a luxurious look. A beautiful soft-colored silk oriental rug completed the look.
And they were very conscious to adhere to the Feng Shui don’ts! No mirrors in the room because they are too stimulating for the calm relaxing energy required for a good night’s sleep.
Because TVs, radios, stereo equipment, electric blankets, cell phones, iPads and electric clocks all radiate electromagnetic energy that is detrimental to health, fertility and serenity, these were delegated to other rooms. They agreed that sleep is a time for deep integration and healing. And because bad impressions can have a negative impact on the psyche, they committed to reading matter that would be relaxing and conducive to a good night’s sleep. They also importantly committed to never go to bed angry, and always make up and make peace before they went to sleep!
Because Michael and Jill really approached their bedroom design with beauty, joy and reverence, they love their special space.