A pair of mismatched bedside tables that defy a feng shui principle.

A pair of mismatched bedside tables that defy a feng shui principle.

Trying to get your love groove on? If you’re having trouble with your mate or problems finding a date, the feng shui solution could lie in your choice of bedside tables. Traditionally, feng shui for activating the Love & Relationship sector includes the following ‘rules’ about bedside tables;

*Always have two bedside tables, not one.

*Always have matching bedside tables to represent a balanced, equal, loving relationship where one person(table!) doesn’t dominate or overwhelm the other.

Rules are made to be broken (and it’s so much more fun to break them, don’tcha think?). I found this photo on Apartment Therapy that illustrates my point. Here are two not-so-obviously mismatched tables that work beautifully. And, I think they represent a union of two individuals, separate but equal, finding common ground in love. What’s next to your bed?

UPDATE 3/17/2010: Here’s a photo from Apartment Therapy that I just love. The homeowner used etageres as nightstands. Good feng shui? Yes, these work because they are the same but also importantly they do not overpower the bed because artwork was hung properly to balance it out in the center.

Here’s another bedroom with beams and a beamed bed.


Filed under Design, Feng Shui, Feng Shui Home, Interior Design, Love & Relationship


  1. Ahem, this worries me now. I have the bedside table equivalent of pulling all the covers to my side of the bed. A huge, four drawers dresser for me, and a flimsy girly-girl one for him. See here:

    Am I a Feng-sui hog?

    • Well, Corine I finally got to review your photo. The good news is that you have matching lamps that give you some balance. But the bedside tables are mismatched with one dominating the other. I advise you to go out looking for a more substantial pair of tables for better visual harmony and see if your relationship doesn’t prosper even more. If you can’t find matching ones that go with your shabby chic style, get at least the same sized ones and paint them the same color. 🙂

  2. Our immediate environment plays an important part in providing us with a sense of place and Feng Shui, properly applied, can support us to improve all areas of our life, including relationships.

    However, there are many different so called ‘classical’ styles and it can be rather confusing so I wrote a book titled The Feng Shui Way. I draw this to your attention because it is unique in that it explains the basic premise (without the nonsense) behind each method and demystifies Feng Shui. More information is available at

    If you have any questions I am most willing to offer my views on this topic.

  3. Sorry I took so long to approve your posts. I have been relocating to my summer residence and our DSL is not up and running yet (so I am only online briefly at the library). Thank you for your comments.

  4. Nikki

    What is the effect of two bedside cabinets that are of the same construction but with different paintings on them? I am considering redecorating my bedroom in an oriental theme and am looking at some antique Chinese cabinets… Also, is there any effect of using antiques… will their previous history affect the energy?

    • Hi Nikki,
      So sorry in delaying my response to your post–I’ve been traveling and still no internet connection in our summer place. Anyway, here’s my answer to your question and thank you for your patience:

      Antiques often do carry emotional/psychic residue from the history of their past. This can be counteracted by cleansing the old energy away and imparting them with new positive energy.

      In the case of antique Chinese cabinets you will want to use some strong incense or sage smudger and thoroughly “cleanse” them with the smoke. Waft it throughout the interior and exterior of the cabinet.

      At the same time as you are smudging, you will set the intention —say it aloud!— that you are banishing all negative energy and residual chi from the previous owners, sending it back to The Creator. Do / say this 9 times…a good feng shui number. Then set intentions for what you want the cabinets to do for you now (IE: “I infuse these bedside cabinets with loving energy and good luck for me and my partner”–that would be a good intention). Again, repeat it 9 x.

      Unless the antique cabinets were witness to a murder or suicide, that should be enough to clear their chi. You may find you need to repeat the procedure a few times a year to reinforce it unless you bring in a professional feng shui expert to do a complete blessing ceremony. But don’t be intimidated: you have the power to cleanse them yourself.

      As to them having different paintings on them….you didn’t tell me what the two images were. I would need more info to see if the two images were conflicting or harmonious symbols.

      Thanks for posting and let me know what you end up doing!

      • Nikki

        Hi Katy, thanks for your reply!

        The cabinets I am considering are wooden, each has two doors (opening at the middle front) and two drawers (above the doors). There are several available, the body is finished with black lacquer and each has a different painting incorporating flowers, birds and/or butterflies. The paintings are mostly orange, yellow and red, some black and some have a bit of green and gold in them.

        Do you have a preferred incense for smudging if sage is not immediately available? I usually have sandalwood and nag champa on hand, would they be suitable?

      • Nikki,
        Your preference on the incense. The important thing is that the cabinets be the same size/design/color and it’s okay to have butterflies on one and birds on the other. You may want the more masculine yang image on the yang partner’s side of the bed, though. 🙂
        Good luck!

  5. Jennifer

    ok, here’s one for you 🙂 Does a pair of nightstands which were made for you by your ex-husband and which you have brought into your home with your new partner be positive feng shui? I love these little cupboard because for once in my ex-marital life, I chose the colour to be painted, the size of the cupboards (to fit my magazines) and the shape. I still have good feelings about these cupboards. 🙂 btw, i love your blog. Where have you been?

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Thank you for your post and I am sorry I have been absent from not only my blog but all of cyberspace for weeks now. First we were enroute to our summer location (a small island in Maine). It’s been 3 weeks and our DSL is still not up and running, I am at the library which is only open 3 afternoons a week trying to catch up on my email etc. Supposed to be back online tomorrow night so maybe I can get some posts in on my blog by the weekend. I appreciate your patience and loyalty to my blog!

      Now for an answer to your question:
      IF you or your new husband had a problem with or does not like the tables your ex made, then you would have negative feng shui impact. But since you love them (and have excellent reasons for loving them) and I presume your new partner has not objected, I would keep them. However, I would take the time to smudge them with sage or incense, holding the intention of banishing any negative vibes that could be attached to them and blessing them with new intentions of integrating the best of your past relationship experience into wisdom you can bring into your new relationship. Think of them as a bridge from the past to the present. I would also put some of your new husband’s energy into them….perhaps a photo of the two of you or a gift he’s given you.

      If he hates the cabinets or resents them in anyway, I’d move them out.

      Let me know what you decided!

      • Jennifer

        Thanks for your lengthy response. And your yearly island sabbatical sounds wonderful! How fortunate that you can manage a seachange every year.:) I will do your advice, rubbing the cupboards with incense (only because I have some in the house! but sage, I’ll have to buy some). Actually the only thing that’s rubbed on the cupboards are cup rings from the hot, sweet cups of tea that gets delivered to my bed every Sat. Sun morning while I read the paper 🙂 We’ve never had a problem with the cupboards. I was interested in finding your opinion if it was a bad thing to have them in our bedroom but it seems ok. Keep your library card current so you can visit your library and keep blogging. 🙂

      • Jennifer–I recommend you waft the smoke from the incense, no “rubbing”. I usually have a wonderful hand made sage smudger stick that is especially made for me by a shaman in northern california. I’ll be reordering them once I have enough orders for them. If you’d like to get on the list, let me know. They have other herbs in them, are very large to last a long time, and they come with instructions on space clearing the Feng Shui By Fishgirl way. There’s a photo on my blog somewhere i’m not sure which post now to direct you to but it would be an early one.

  6. priya

    i am married and have just 1 bedside . I can’t find another similar one and can’t afford to buy a new one. Can u plz suggest me a feng shui cure in some other way.

    • hi priya,
      the idea is to have equality & balance (reflected in the relationship). the question is, do you feel your relationship is unbalanced? do you feel one person has more dominance than the other? if not, it’s not likely to be bothering you. if yes, then adding two side tables will help. some inexpensive ideas: you can do two shelves (build yourself pretty cheaply) and use those instead of two tables/ they can be attached to your walls on either side of the bed. then you can put matching lamps one on each side on the shelf or attached to the walls over the shelves. or you could remove the bedside table and both sides of the bed equally have nothing there (inconvenient, i know). if you have two chests or two chairs that can serve as side tables you can use those.

  7. Just wanted to stop by and say thanks. Enjoy reading your stuff.

  8. Pingback: WHAT’S BEHIND YOUR BED? | Feng Shui By Fishgirl

  9. Marc

    I have two almost identical nightstands in height and number of drawers – but they are different colours. One is stained dark wood and the other is natural wood.
    Now there’s other pieces of furniture in the room that are strained dark and natural wood.
    Does colour of the furniture matter in feng shui

    • Hi Marc,
      Color is just one of the feng shui elements to consider when aiming for feng shui balance in a particular space. You must look at all the elements in order to determine if you have an overall harmony or if something doesn’t fit in. With what little info you have provided me I can say that to achieve a more unified look you could refinish/paint both of your mismatched nightstands so that they are the same color. That way their different styles would not be so noticeable. Good luck!

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