Pity the poor bathroom. For much too long it has been the afterthought of home design. The fact that every home must have one doesn’t seem to earn it much respect either. As long as it’s large enough to accommodate a toilet, sink, vanity, and bathtub, everyone’s happy, right?
Wrong. Take note: there’s no need to settle for the same old style.
Bathrooms may be basic in their function, but there’s no reason they should be basic in their form. Quite the contrary, bathrooms should be beautiful and relaxing places. Your bathroom might be small and cramped (most are), but you can still turn it into a spa-like space. Take it from me. One of mine was quite literally a water closet. One renovation later, and it’s now a clean, cozy room. Granted, we can’t just launch into renovations whenever we want. Imagine if that were possible, though!
Enter feng shui.
When you can’t knock out walls or move the pipes, adding elements of feng shui will give your bathroom a spa-like feel. This ancient and traditional Chinese art is all about the movement of qi (pronounced chee). Qi is good energy, and it connects us to each other and the natural environment we inhabit. Feng (wind) shui (water) encourages good energy to flow readily so that it’s always present and powerful in our lives. We can arrange the space in a room to allow that good energy to build up and flow around us. If done correctly, refreshing the bathroom will leave you feeling calm and happy.
Some of the principles of feng shui are just plain old common sense. For instance, don’t block an entranceway with furniture. Originally, the door to my closet-sized bathroom wouldn’t even open all the way because the previous owner had constructed a built-in vanity that was too large for the space. No surprise, it was the first thing to go during the renovation!
the health connection
Tradition suggests that the bathroom, kitchen and bedroom are all connected in a kind of a healthy home trio. It makes sense, doesn’t it? Each of these rooms is vital to our overall health. Designing each one to maximize the flow of good energy is key.
Aromatherapy plays an important role in feng shui, and it’s an easy principle to put into action in a bathroom. Buy a vaporizer that will fill the room with calming aromas of lavender or mint.
Art, too, is vital. Add a beautiful painting or sculpture to the bathroom. Resting your eyes on something beautiful brings tremendous pleasure, which translates to good energy.
control the energy
One of the reasons that the bathroom is reviled in feng shui is because water is an integral part of the belief system, and water is constantly flowing out of a bathroom. It’s as if all that good energy is going down the drain. The goal of feng shui is to stop that qi from flowing away. Make sure the toilet cover is closed and that the sink and tub drains are covered when not in use.
Decluttering will also go a long way in allowing energy to move around freely. Keep the vanity countertop free of all the little things that usually end up accumulating there, like elastic bands, combs or make up. The only object taking up space on the vanity should be a beautiful piece of art or a plant that will help to purify the air.
Because feng shui is all about balancing the natural elements, it’s important to include all of them in the décor. Bathrooms are naturally unbalanced spaces. First, there’s all the water that runs down the drains, and then there are mirrors, which symbolize water because they’re reflective.
Create balance and offset all that water by introducing some earth elements. Paint the walls a rich brown; purchase a vanity made from natural wood; hang textured white towels; light the room with a crystal chandelier and soft white candles.
Is feng shui just superstition? Maybe so. But its value is in the beautiful, spa-like space it creates. You don’t even need to renovate! Keep the bathroom neat, clean and colorful, and before long all that good energy will be leaving you relaxed and happy the whole day through.
Over to you: Tell us your stories about how you made your bathroom space more zen-like.