Bed Against Windows Feng Shui
Web posted at: 1:45 p.m. EST (1845 GMT)
From Mary-Jo Lipman
(CNN) - The walls of Melissa Boshart's bedroom are painted a soothing buttery yellow. A bookcase filled with romance novels stands in the corner. Two elephant candlesticks - trunks facing each other - rest on top. A night stand with a lamp is on each side of the bed to provide harmony and balance.
These may seem minor decorating decisions to some people. But they're part of Boshart's plan to turn her bedroom into a serene, romantic retreat using the principles of feng shui ("fung shway"), embodying ancient Chinese concepts of placement. Feng shui - in literal translation "wind and water" - is about enhancing the environment or the energy around you.
"The structures around you also emanate energy, " Too says, "and if these structures are placed in a harmonious fashion based on feng shui guidelines, you attract good energy, and therefore you attract good fortune and good luck."
It works for Boshart. "I do like that part of my house, " she says of her carefully thought-out bedroom. "That's where I go to sit, reflect and meditate."
Feng shui guidelines, developed over thousands of years, take into account compass directions, colors, natural elements (wood, mineral, fire, water, earth) and aspirations (wealth and prosperity; recognition and fame; marriage and love; creativity and children; mentors and helpful people; career; knowledge and education; and family relationships and health).
Those categories correspond to one another. For example, people seeking recognition and fame may choose to decorate certain segments of their homes with fire elements - candles and lots of red paint.
Feng shui consultant Terah Kathryn Collins, who just completed her third book, "The Western School Guide to Feng Shui: Room by Room" (Hay House Inc.), says she often sees the bedroom as one of the places organized with the least feng shui consciousness.
"Because we all live very busy lives, " Collins says, "many of us create bedrooms that are very awake and busy also. What we need to do is create bedrooms that are very serene, restful and very good at getting us to relax. When we walk into it, we should actually begin to relax instantaneously."
Collins and Too follow different schools of feng shui. Too practices the more traditional compass school, which relies on calculations of actual dimensions, compass directions and sectors of main entrances and important rooms. Collins employs the form school, which concentrates on correcting and enhancing the energy flow through a home or building.
The two specialists, however, say they subscribe to the same basic principles on decorating a bedroom.
Mask the mirror
Feng shui guidelines take some strong positions on reflections in the bedroom. "You shouldn't have a mirror facing the bed directly, " Too says, "because mirrors that reflect the bed usually cause marriages to become rather complicated due to the presence - or entry - of a third party into the relationship."
Collins says mirrors also "keep a space awake ... open a space up, they make it bigger, they make it brighter, " she says.
"In the middle of the night, if we need to go from the bed to the bathroom, and we see our reflection in a mirror, it can wake us up because we have to make sense of what we see moving in our own room, " Collins says. "So it (a mirror) can send a danger signal, even though there's nothing actually dangerous going on. We're just seeing our own image. Getting scared ruins a restful state."