Your bed is much more than a piece of furniture. It is a place for repose, dreams and love.

According to feng shui--Chinese for “wind/water”--the ancient system of architectural and interior organization which maximizes the flow of auspicious energy (“chi”), your bed and bedroom support your personal chi. Indeed, feng shui declares your bed to be the most important piece of furniture in your life!

The placement of your bed and other furniture, the materials and colors you choose, and the way you live with modern technology all serve to create good feng shui in your bedroom. 

1. Let’s start with the bed itself. Feng shui experts tell us it must have a solid headboard, good mattress and good frame height. Storage underneath is discouraged; it blocks energy because it is a way of holding onto old stuff and worries. Captain’s beds are therefore forbidden, which they should be anyway because they smack of student life. Also, no mattresses on the floor. Air and energy must be able to circulate beneath the bed, so choose a bed frame elevated on legs or wheels.

A headboard symbolizes strength and support, so your bed should have one, made, preferably, from wood. Metal is to be avoided, particularly the type with bars like a hospital bed as they offer no support to the head. A firmly upholstered headboard is good because it is solid yet gentle.

Choose a good mattress and never a used one, as it has accumulated energy, possibly negative, from its previous owner.

2. Positioning the bed correctly in your room is the most important Feng Shui strategy, and, for many of us a challenge because of space constraints.

The ideal spot for your bed is the so-called feng shui commanding position, the area furthest from the door, at a diagonal, not in line with it. (The term “commanding position” both amuses me and makes great sense, reminding me of the 16th and 17th century kings of France who received visitors, including important ones, while propped up grandly in bed.) The idea is that you see the door while in bed, but not be aligned with it. Think of the injunction, in many cultures, against sleeping with the foot of the bed facing the door. The superstition behind this is that corpses are removed from a bedroom feet first. If the ‘corpse’ position is unavoidable in your room, place another piece of furniture such as an ottoman or trunk between the foot of the bed and the door--and this goes for all doors, including closet and bathroom.

A solid supporting wall behind your bed is recommended to create strong, protective energy around you. To augment the strength of the wall, paint it an accent color that meshes with your decor.

You should have two nightstands, not one, to cultivate balance on either side of your bed, but interestingly, they need not match. Your bed should have access from both sides.

There should be no Sha Chi--sharp “attack” angles-- pointing at you while you sleep, the corners of nearby furniture, for example.

3. Limit or avoid the proximity of electrical appliances to your bed. This includes computer, fridge or TV, and, yes! iPad and cell phone.

As Westerners, we should not try to use feng Shui too rigidly, but rather integrate its dictates into our own traditions of furniture arrangement and quality. Feng shui provides surprising insight into the unsuspected importance of the inanimate things which populate our lives. A bed is a bed is a bed, and yet, feng shui reveals there is energy surrounding its simple construction of four legs, a headboard and a mattress. We want the energy encompassing our sleep, our dreams--and our adventures in love--to be positive, unobstructed by negative symbols, spirits or objects. Feng shui gives us a fascinating blueprint for good sleep, good dreams, and yes, good sex!

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