Houston Community News >> Feng Shui Makeover Retreat

2/13/2008-- The call came out of the blue. A public relations executive for a New York City television show was looking for a feng shui expert to work with a couple willing to undergo a feng shui makeover of their bedroom. They asked if I could do it and I said yes. But I needed to find a couple who’d consent to a feng shui makeover of their bedroom – and fast. Feng shui is often called the art of Chinese placement.

I contacted the Victoria Advocate and then a local dentist friend who knows just about everyone in town. Several interested couples volunteered for the makeover and to possibly go to New York City for the show. But, as it often works in television, the show dropped the idea and two of the couples got cold feet. Even so, the remaining couple and I both went ahead with our plans and scheduled our makeover day.

Commuter marriage

Sally Delgado-Francis, 51, wrote in her e-mail how she and her husband of six years, Deryl Francis, 56, are in a commuter marriage. He works in Houston as an engineer at the Johnson Space Center and she works as an executive assistant at Invista in Victoria. They see each other only on the weekends, so their time together is especially precious.

Because of work, Deryl was unable to be at the makeover, but when I spoke to him on the phone, I asked if he was averse to making changes to their bedroom that would create a change in energy in the room.

“Hell, no,” Deryl replied. “I’ve been a martial artist for over 40 years, so I know this stuff works. There’s a saying that Westerners build muscle and Easterners build chi.”

To say the least, Deryl was very enthusiastic about this transformation. Both he and Sally indicated that their home, and particularly, their bedroom, isn’t as supportive of their lives – and their relationship – as they would like. Sally wrote that she wanted their bedroom to be a restful, relaxing sanctuary for the two of them.

Saturday morning

I showed up at Sally and Deryl’s townhouse ready to go to work.

The master bedroom is a critical space in feng shui. The marriage is the bedrock of a home and it must be supported with the right environment that keeps the focus on the marital union and on the health and well-being of the couple. Their bedroom wasn’t the feng shui ideal, but it was typical of many master bedrooms in several ways. Besides sleeping, the room was also used for activities such as bill paying and working on the computer. There was a small alcove that had two full bookshelves, a bed that was on the floor and baskets of towels along one wall. The room was very cluttered.

Looking around, though, I had to admire Sally and Deryl’s willingness to share themselves, their marriage and their bedroom for this article. It’s not an easy thing to share your marriage and your bedroom in such a public way. But, they saw the makeover as an opportunity for growth as a couple. I admired their courage.

Decorating goals

Like a makeover on any decorating TV show, we focused on clearing out as much as possible. The books and shelves had to go. Books in the bedroom make the occupants turn to other pursuits and ideas besides R&R – rest and romance. This was going to be the focus of our makeover.

The room also needed a serious decluttering. Interestingly, the guest room was clutter-free and attractive with a proper bed. My advice to Sally was to switch the two bedrooms by making the guest bedroom into a hub of activity with reading and computer work and make a clutter-free, attractive room out of the master bedroom. We focused on what we could accomplish in a day and made a shopping list for decorating supplies.

After clearing out the room, we put the bed onto a frame with a headboard that we took from the guest room. To create more symbolism and a focal point for the bed – and fire up the romance quotient – we hung a red sheet behind the headboard to bring male, or yang, energy to the room. The red sheet behind the bed also served to block the energy from the bathroom that shared the same wall as the bed.

The night tables were too short, so we repurposed two red filing cabinets, putting gold tablecloths over them to stand in as bedside tables. We hung curtains and made a meditation space out of the alcove that used to house bookshelves. A red curtain hung from the ceiling made the alcove more private.

Baskets that had lined one side of the room for storing towels were removed, and a wicker trunk was moved to the end of the bed to provide closed storage. As we worked, we talked about the meaning of what we were doing.

The bedroom also needed artwork. We hung a piece of artwork made up of two rectangles with two half circles opposite the bed. When hung together, the halves created one circle, a powerful symbol for marriage, evoking the marriage ring itself. Eleven hours later, the room was complete.

Now a beautiful, spacious room replaced the cramped and cluttered space that was a romantic letdown. “I never realized how our relationship had been buried under all the dust and clutter. I have such a sense of relief,” Sally said when I asked how she felt about the room the day after the makeover. “I know we’re both going to feel better in the room and that we’re going to refocus our energy on our relationship instead our fatigue.”

The room is beautiful and restful and the emphasis is on the couple instead of the couple’s stuff. And that’s the goal of any romance makeover – making your relationship stronger and more unified.

Feng shui romance tips

The bedroom is a symbol of the marriage. This is the place from which the couple rest and rejuvenate and reconnect with each other. Anything outside of rest and romance becomes a distraction. Many couples unknowingly invite disruption to their marriage by bringing more into their bedroom than themselves. Here are some tips and ideas from Sally and Deryl’s makeover that you can apply to your own bedroom, as well as some feng shui tips for making your bedroom more inviting and marriage-focused.

Focus on the bed. The bed is the symbol of the conjugal union and should be placed where you can plainly see the door. It should be in good condition with comfortable sheets. Beds should never be on the floor or have misshapen mattresses. Avoid flowery bed linens because these will drain the man’s energy. Flowers are the male expression of a plant and compete with a man energetically.

Make it beautiful. Too many couples focus on beautifying living areas and not their bedroom. A couple’s bedroom should be beautiful. Clutter and unattractiveness should be banished. Artwork should be chosen carefully. Avoid excessively floral art and religious pictures. Instead, focus on pictures of the couple and of pairs to symbolize the marriage. This is also a good place for artwork that is mildly provocative or romantic.

Interrupted sleep. Sleep is crucial to a good union. It takes a rested person to be interested in romance and to keep the household going. Common disruptions to sleep are oversized dresser mirrors, computers, books, telephones, exercise equipment, and pictures of other people. Many couples have pictures of family members, particularly children, in the bedroom. These disrupt sleep – and privacy. The marital space should only have photos of the couple in the bedroom. Sleep is also interrupted by too many activities. In Sally and Deryl’s bedroom it was two bookshelves full of books. Too many ideas crowded the bedroom, making the removal of the shelves important.

Sleeping position. Sally slept in the man’s position in their bedroom. She was on the left side of the bed as you lie in the bed. Women should be on the right side and men on the left. This balances the energy. With Sally sleeping in the man’s position, it wasn’t necessary to have Deryl there. Avoid having mirrors reflect anyone in the bed as these cause insomnia.

Color. Skin-tones of yellow, taupe, beige, brown, yellow and pink are good choices for wall color in bedrooms. Blue colors can smother the flames of romance and red on all the walls can cause marriages to flame out. Greens can also cause romantic fatigue. Skin tones will make the people in the room more appealing.

Feng shui no-nos. Ceiling fans are thought to disrupt the energy of a sleeping couple and cool down their physical relationship. Keep them turned off and use a standing fan instead. Televisions are also an intrusion. We kept Sally and Deryl’s television because it has a black screen, which is not reflective as a silver one. Plus, most couples want a TV in the bedroom even though they’re discouraged in feng shui. Another no-no is a mirror. The mirror in Sally and Deryl’s room is round and placed over the chest of drawers. Its round shape and silver color symbolizes their platinum wedding bands. But most importantly it does not reflect the bed which could disturb sleep, limit privacy and symbolically adds people to the room, which is thought to promote extramarital affairs.

(Contributed by Victoria Advocate)