Dreaming by design

A Feng Shui master turns your bedroom into a restful oasis.

For interior designer Carole Shashona, a home is more than a beautiful backdrop – it's an energy source. Trained by a Hong Kong Feng Shui master and a firm believer in conscious living, Shashona creates restful, rejuvenating spaces for clients like Susan Sarandon and Annette Bening. Over a calming cup of ginger tea (her suggestion for Type A personalities), we asked her how to turn an everyday bedroom into the ultimate sanctuary.

1. Edit your space
Your bedroom should be a place for personal relaxation and intimacy, and everything in it should send that message, says Shashona. This means no picture frame displays of friends or family, stacks of bills and papers or technology charging stations. Don't take phone calls or send emails in the bedroom — and if you can't bear to part with a TV, at least make sure you don't watch the news before bed. Especially if you have trouble falling asleep, turn the bedroom into a place where you "leave the world behind," says Shashona.

2. Re-think your color scheme
Pretend you're a guest walking into your bedroom: What color or colors stand out the most? Orange is the color of prosperity, but may subconsciously make you think about work. Strong reds and other colors with heat are often too fiery for a place of rest. If you're naturally hyper or prone to anxiety, Shashona recommends balancing your temperament with calming shades of blue or green; if you want to create more warmth or intimacy, yellow accents do the trick. Just don't be too matchy-matchy, she says, since the bedroom should always be relaxed and playful.

3. Fix your headboard
A wobbly headboard will subconsciously disrupt your sleep, says Shashona. Make sure that the screws are tightened, and if you don’t have a headboard, make creative use of bolsters or pillows — since sleeping with your head flush against a wall, especially in an apartment, means your boundaries aren't clearly delineated.

4. Move the bed
Your bed should be a cozy, self-contained space, says Shashona, so you don't want your feet facing the door or your head against the window (both arrangements misdirect energy flow). If the layout of the room necessitates either one, you can cheat: place a chest or bench at the end of the bed as a buffer and use soft, textured window shades to create the sense of a canopy. When rearranging, take the opportunity to clean under the bed and clear away storage, which, Shashona says, can make you feel "stuck" and cause anxiety.

5. Reflect your romantic situation
If you've just gone through a break-up, it's important to get a new mattress or at least flip your old one. ("Let go, literally," says Shashona). For those in relationships, make sure you have symmetrical nightstands with lamps of equal height to court equality.

For more tips and real bedroom critiques, view the slideshow below.