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Feng Shui Solutions for Sleeping Under Beams

A creative canopy bed at the Barcelo Asia Garden Hotel in Malaysia

I often need to find good ways to cover beams in the bedrooms I design. In the past week alone, three clients contacted me for solutions to sleeping under beams, so it seemed like a good moment to share some of my Feng Shui remedies with you.

 Here’s the reason why sleeping under beams is a Feng Shui no-no: beams break the natural flow of chi energy that moves throughout the room. A steady, smooth flow of chi in our environment supports healthy circulation and promotes a feeling of well being. When the flow is disrupted, it can affect health.

However, it is important to keep in mind that sleeping under a beam will not make you sick. Rather, if you already have an underlying physical issue, the break in chi flow around the bed can aggravate that weakness.

Here are three solutions that I use to address beams in the bedroom:

1. Do It Yourself Canopy

2. Canopy Bed

3. Drop Ceiling

Let’s look at each one…

1. The DIY Canopy:

This simple piece of cloth elegantly hides the beam above.

The solution above is ideal for a client from LA who called last week and is considering moving into an apartment with this beam in her bedroom:

Someone recently sent me a picture of this bedroom beam - a prime candidate for the DIY canopy.

This is how to do it: just find a pretty piece of fabric the width of the bed, attach one end to the seam where the wall behind your bed meets the ceiling.  Then attach the other end of the fabric to the ceiling just above the foot of your bed.  Try to keep a gentle, hammock-like bow to the fabric so that it clears the beam without touching it.  The picture of the remedy above shows a rather sheer piece of fabric, but I would recommend a thicker fabric to fully hide the view of the beam (it isn’t a complete remedy unless the beam is entirely obscured).A nice variation on this is to take a much longer piece of fabric (like an Indian sari) and let the rest of the fabric drape down the wall behind your bed, which creates an elegant headboard.

 2. A Canopy bed:

A canopy bed hides the beams at the Little Olarro Kenya Hotel

When dealing with a lot of beams, a good solution is to invest in a canopy bed. The fabric overhead will separate you from the beam above. My clients in New York just moved into this charming apartment in Greenwich Village, and a canopy bed would be ideal for their bedroom:

My client's romantic bedroom could use a canopy bed.


The Asseman Canopy by Patrizia Cagliani, sold through Suite New York.

3. Drop the bedroom ceiling to hide the beams.

In this NYC apartment near Wall Street, I dropped my client’s bedroom ceiling to cover the beams. 

After: My client's bedroom after I dropped the ceiling.

My client was having difficulty sleeping when under the beams. But after this renovation, he has reported that he sleeps wonderfully. Here is how the bedroom looked before:

Before: My client's bedroom before I renovated and dropped the ceiling.

 Another perk of dropping your bedroom ceiling is that you create space above the ceiling to add lighting. In this bedroom, I added recessed lights and a ceiling fan to help air circulation, which also supports sound sleep.

So whatever your budget, there is a way for you to create your own Feng Shui “remedy” and support good sleep and good health.

June 21, 2013   43 Comments

Before and After Brooklyn Loft Renovation Part 1


The loft After - like the design gods intended!

Our client had a simple request: make her loft feel like a loft again.

As so often happens in Brooklyn, a beautiful old warehouse had been poorly chopped up into a bunch of “spec” lofts. The developer had covered old brick walls and gorgeous beamed ceilings with sheet rock, removing all of the character and history.

The loft before - hiding its greatness

Our client was longing to have an authentic loft lifestyle, and wanted to incorporate good Feng Shui energy into the renovation of her home. She was an amazing collaborator with a wonderful sense of style, and is a big reason why this loft turned out so beautifully!

 One of the key things we did was take down a wall between the living room and the master bedroom to create one open space.

Before - The wall on the left made the space narrow and dark.


After - Removing the wall made this space feel huge.

We also removed the dropped ceilings, exposed and refinished the original beams, and installed recessed lighting to bring light throughout the space while keeping a warm, rustic feeling. As an added effect, I found two pairs of 19th century French doors that we used to line the closets  (shown on the left side of the photo).

The daughters’ room, located behind the kitchen, had been a windowless space…

Before - the girls' bedroom longed for sunlight.

By installing high transom windows around the perimeter of the room, we brought in light and increased the air circulation.

After - the cheerful girls room has windows along two sides for sunlight and air flow. (Yes - that is the same corner of the room!)

 To keep within the client’s budget, we made minimal changes to the kitchen and bathrooms – with one key exception:

Before - the original kitchen went from blah to wow, with one key change...

The important addition of a custom concrete island brought great “bang for the buck.” With it as the centerpiece of the kitchen, the original cabinets and appliances instantly looked as good as new.

After - the custom concrete kitchen counter transformed the original kitchen.

Check back soon for Part 2: Design Details and Feng Shui tips for your home!

November 15, 2012   4 Comments