In the last of her series on designing a home for health and harmony, Nina Kati recommends combining feng shui with interior design principles to create serene and stylish sleep spaces.

The bedroom

Specifically relates to health, healing, relationships and self-development and should be cosy and intimate. Children’s rooms particularly relate to feeling secure, developing social integration skills and having a positive attitude. The direction of the bed has the most important influence in feng shui terms, because energy relating to these areas of our lives is absorbed during the night. Each person has a set of best directions based on their date of birth so the head of the bed can be positioned to maximise their potential and to ensure they have the best chance of being happy, healthy and successful. For a fresh start and a new beginning, purchase a new bed.

As a general rule, avoid positioning a bed or a child’s cot too close to the door of the room. Never hang anything over the head of the bed or locate a mirror in the bedroom especially if it reflects the sleeper, or you won’t sleep well or wake feeling refreshed. All beds should have headboards and should never be positioned under the window, under a sloped ceiling or against a wall behind which there is a toilet or your health and relationships will suffer. Never line up a bed with an entrance/exit door to the property – known as the ‘coffin position’ – as this is considered very unlucky indeed. Position the bed diagonally across from the door to the room so that occupants will have maximum control over their own destiny.

Children and the elderly benefit from having their beds positioned against two walls for maximum support in their lives and to make them feel secure. Regularly give the room a thorough clean and a good airing. Do not have plants, windchimes, water features or fresh flowers in bedrooms. Avoid storing things under the bed – the energy whilst sleeping must circulate and be harnessed by the sleeper in order for them to feel rested and rejuvenated when they awake. No sharp angles should face towards a bed or a cot or the door leading into the room. For children’s rooms place loving photographs of parents and other family members in the room and use lots of soft toys.

For styling any interior, colour, warmth and practicality are three important considerations. Calm colours tea med with an accent palette of wint er berry colours are ideally suited to the Irish climate and light.

For master bedrooms, position a photo of you both showing a happy couple so that it is seen first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Mirrors are very powerful. They expand energy, and brighten and enliven a space. They should be hung flat against a wall and positioned so they reflect a good view. They should always be framed so that your reflection is framed, and ensure the glass is clean and untarnished - the reflected image should not be distorted or tainted in any way. Ensure they are hung at a level that reflects the head, neck and halo or the whole body and aura with a little room at the top for growth (we should always strive to develop ourselves personally).

Badly hung mirrors and mirrored tiles cut up our image sending a negative picture to the sub-conscious mind and this in turn damages our self-esteem and well-being. Never hang a mirror opposite the front door or it will reflect away opportunities and luck, and never hang them in bedrooms or you won’t sleep properly and will wake exhausted. For styling any interior, I feel that colour, warmth and practicality are three important considerations, and that calm colours teamed with an accent palette of winter berry colours is ideally suited to the Irish climate and light. I usually select soft muted colours (such as stone, cappuccino and pale grey-green) for a gently blended background and then I add certain proportions of rich colours (such as burgundy, olive, pumpkin, grape or aubergine) and luxurious textiles. I love finishing touches that add sparkle; I look on accessories as ‘jewellery for the home’. It’s important not to reveal everything to the eye in one glance. There should be enough visual interest to hold someone’s attention no matter which aspect of a room comes into view. Aim to get the proportions and style of a space correct and then make the scheme truly outstanding by using the right balance of colour, texture and pattern. Choose simple and timeless for the main aspects of an interior, as it’s cheaper and more practical to update the accessories than to create a whole new scheme.

I love finishing touches that add sparkle and consider accessories as ‘jewellery for the home’

White: The colour of purity and innocence in the West but in the East it is u sed to clothe the dead and worn for mourning. 

Black: Associated with death and mourning in the West, but in the East it is associated with money and power but used sparingly. 

Grey: The colour of vagueness, things that are hidden and people or situations cannot be trusted. Because it isn’t actually a colour, we cannot really judge it so therefore we cannot judge a situation in which it has been used or trust a person wearing it. 

Green: The most balanced colour of all because it falls in the middle of the colour spectrum and is the colour of nature and healing. It represents balance, harmony and peace.

Red: Considered a lucky colour and in the East is often used for protection. It represents importance and emotion and is associated with enthusiasm, activity and passion.

Blue: The colour of trust and reliability. Much used in the corporate world (e.g. uniforms and corporate colours) to give consumers the impression that a company is considerate, caring and stable. Blue is recommended to wear for an interview as it gives the impression the prospective employee will be loyal, trustworthy and reliable. 

Yellow: The colour of the sun and therefore is associated with joy, summer and warmth. It stimulates the intellectual side of the brain and is also thought to aid digestion.

Purple: The colour of sacrifice so use sparingly and is associated with emperors and martyrs, wealth and power, suffering and sacrifice. 

Pink: The first colour we ever see - the colour of the interior of the womb - welcoming and soothing we associate it with love and comfort. It has the effect of calming us even when angry.

Orange: It is the colour of communication so it is a social and creative colour. People become more talkative when they see it! 

Brown: Associated with steadiness, stability and practicality but people who use or wear it too much will be seen as boring by others!

Peach: Is a fire colour so use with care - never use it in a master bedroom as it will bring too much fire energy to the relationship and then sparks will fly! 

Nina Kati is an interior designer, Chinese master trained feng shui consultant and tutor. Her work is u nique and has attracted much attention from both the media and the public – she has been feat ured in magazines and newspapers, and on radio and television. Her services range from an hour’ s advice to one day services and from small schemes to full projects. She also runs interior desi gn and feng shui workshops, produces feng shui horoscopes, offers a gift voucher service, and is a popular and inspirational guest speaker. Her clients say that Nina is their most worthwhile investment. She strongly believes in getting the best value for money for her clients and insists on top class workmanship. She takes the hassle out of planning and decision-making, and saving clients valuable time and costly mistakes. Visit www.workingwonders.ie.