De-cluttering Series – Part 3

Feng Shui for the Bathroom

Jill Kantelberg - House & Home

Of the things I have learned while researching feng shui for the bathroom, what appears to be the most important is achieving a balance. There is a natural tension between the yin force of this room (ruled by water, a calming and restful element) and the negative results of modern, indoor plumbing, which pulls positive energy, (a lay persons way of saying “chi”), and wealth or empowerment, literally and metaphorically down the drain.

So what do we do?

When applying feng shui to the bathroom, we want to focus on two things:

  1. slowing or stopping good chi energy from being drained away before it has a chance to circulate through your home.
  2. balance and harmony between the five elements: water, wood, metal, fire, and earth

First, a few common problems that feng shui practitioners believe can cause disharmony by encouraging wealth and empowerment to flow down and away from the home.

  • bathroom at the end of a long hallway – chi builds up energy and is pulled toward the bathroom
  • leaky faucets – constant draining motion
  • cluttered and busy feeling – detracts from peaceful and calm yin energy
  • toilet in clear view from the bathroom door (behind a corner, half wall, or cabinetry is preferred)
  • bathroom opens into entryway of home – drains chi before it has a chance circulate around the home

Now, before you panic, (my bathroom suffers from at least two of the above problems, so we’re in this together), there are some fairly easy countermeasures that can be taken.

First: Some Basic Tips:

  • Keep the lid of the toilet closed
  • If your bathroom is at the end of a long hall or in an entry hall, keep the door closed
  • Use plants that grow upward to counteract the downward draining
  • Hang small bells or a set of chimes between the toilet and the door if the toilet is in full view
  • Consider a mirror (even a small one) on the outside of the door to deflect chi sending it back out into the home
  • Repair leaky plumbing immediately
  • Keep the room clean and uncluttered

Balance and Harmony Between the Five Elements

A balanced bathroom does not mean equal parts of all five elements. According to Feng Shui with What You Have, by Connie Spruill and Sylvia Watson, harmony is achieved in this room when water is the predominant element, wood is the secondary element (water creates wood according to the Creative Cycle) and there are small amounts of the final three elements, metal, fire, and earth.

So how does this translate into our decor?

The water element can be enhanced by decorating with items such as:

  • art depicting water scenes
  • towels or textiles in shades of blue
  • wavy or undulating patterns
  • glass objects

Clockwise: Anthropologie/The Company Store/Pottery barn

Wood, as your secondary element can be brought in using such things as:

  • decor with strong vertical lines like striped towels or shower curtains
  • introducing a healthy plant that grows upright (does not trail). Two examples of plants that do well in both the low light and high humidity of the bathroom are the Prayer Plant and the Sansevieria.
  • artwork depicting trees
  • cotton and  linen textiles
  • any wooden decor
Clockwise: Crate & Barrel/CB2/Ralph Lauren - Macy's

For the final three elements, try to incorporate them in small ways.

Earth – baskets, ceramics, beige paint or towels

baskets - The Container Store / towels and ceramics - Burke Decor

Metal – a mirrored tray to hold vanity items

Pottery Barn

Fire – candles or incense. My favorite candles are from Voluspa. They are beautifully scented and have very attractive vessels.

In case you are wondering, my toilet is in full view from the door (which is always open). I have a barely living, trailing vine plant in the window, and virtually no wood element in my bathroom. I’m going to get to work on this right away and see what happens. Anyone else have something they might try? How about other feng shui techniques you have read about or put into practice? I would love to hear about them!

A few sources:

Feng Shui With What Your Have, Connie Spruill & Sylvia Watson

The Spiritual Feng Shui

World of Feng Shui

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