Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art and science of arranging spaces according to the flow of energy or ‘chi’. While the practice is over 3,000 years old, these days it’s a favorite tool employed by interior designers to create a positive home environment. According to many Feng Shui books, bathrooms tend to be negative places, best closed off and ignored. The explanation is not just due to the nature of the ‘dirwty’ activities that occur in the bathroom but the fact that the ‘good’ energy in the house (‘chi’) literally drains away through pipes and drains. Since the goal of good Feng Shui is to invite vibrant chi through the front door of the home and encourage it to circulate evenly, having an area where this energy can escape so easily presents great challenges. Here are some basic tips for creating a good Feng Shui bathroom that should bring prosperity to the home and nourish your body, mind, and soul.
The Water Element
With the bathroom being a space for cleansing and purifying the body, for relaxing and unwinding in the bath or having an invigorating shower, water is the element that renews your spirit, restores your physical health and refreshes your mind.
But water in Feng Shui also represents wealth and money – which is problematic in a bathroom context since you are literally flushing your money down the drain! The toilet is the worst offender since it has the largest drain opening but the flushing mechanism makes it worse by sucking and pulling waste, water and energy down and away from your home.
To minimize the negative effect, make sure you always keep the toilet seat down and the bathroom door closed. Where possible, make the toilet as inconspicuous as possible, perhaps screening it off from the rest of the bathroom or having a separate room for the WC. Ideally, the loo should be located as far away from the bathroom door as possible. Cover the sink in your bath, shower, and washbasin with a rubber stopper when not in use.
In Chinese philosophy, the water element is represented by the colors blue and black, so it’s wise to avoid these for decorating your bathroom, along with images of water motifs such as oceans or lakes. Instead, white (metal element) and warm skin colors (earth element) are friendly and welcoming for the body.
Light and Air
To counteract the water’s downward yin energy, bring in plenty of natural light and fresh air through windows, which is also helpful to prevent condensation and damp problems that can often arise in bathrooms. If there is no window or other ventilation, make sure you air the room after a bath or shower by keeping the door open for a few minutes.
Artificial bathroom lighting should be used to supplement natural daylight, particularly where the room may be a little dingy and the window small (or absent altogether), while full spectrum daylight bulbs are best at simulating natural daylight, boosting the energy.
Bathroom light fittings come in a wealth of attractive styles and designs including ceiling mounted, wall mounted and mirror lights – just make sure that whichever solution you choose carries the appropriate IP rating. Another way to help strengthen the energy in your bathroom is to fit an LED nightlight that can be kept on 24/7.
Mirrors are a popular device often used by Feng Shui consultants to raise energy levels in the room, increasing the amount of light and speeding up the circulation of chi. This can be a great solution for a bathroom as long as what is reflected in the mirror is good, positive energy. You should never hang a mirror opposite the toilet!
Beauty and Harmony
It should go without saying that your bathroom should be kept sparkling clean at all times. In terms of Feng Shui, any lack of hygiene or order can quickly exacerbate the negative quality of the energy in the bathroom, so be meticulous and uncompromising in your cleaning routine. Obviously, the fewer items you have to clutter up your bathroom, the easier it will be to keep everything neat and tidy. The minimalist zen-like styling works well with Feng Shui in the bathroom.
Finally, it’s important to bring an element of beauty into the bathroom, something to nourish the spirit. Why not create a spa atmosphere in your own private sanctuary by adding an uplifting piece of artwork, a beautiful seashell, some scented candles, flowers or a houseplant to your interior bathroom design? Make sure the plant is healthy and is positioned higher than the toilet to help lift the energy.
Follow our recommendations and notice the difference in how your bathroom makes you feel while benefitting from the Feng Shui improvements that will positively affect the energy in your home and all that live in it.