11 Ways to Bring Good Luck Into Your Home—And Avoid Bad Luck


man alone in his bedroom
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You’ve certainly heard that breaking a mirror is bad luck. That’s because it is believed that the looking glass absorbs what it sees. “The mirror contains an image of what is in its line of sight, and if a mirror gets broken, that image is damaged too,” Stevens explains.

Shattering aside, when you decorate with mirrors, consider where the reflection falls. Avoid placing it directly across your bed, as some traditions believe that the soul leaves the body during sleep and can spook itself, causing tossing and turning. Feng shui principles echo the idea of disruption since your energy flow is bounced back to you. Similarly, don’t put the mirror across from the entryway, as it can prevent good energy from coming in.


pretty elements in rustic styleYuliia Karpyshyn//Getty Images

The hat, much like the umbrella, is thought of as a symbol of protection from outside elements, and should be left in the foyer or a coat rack. Dropping it in the very personal space that is the bedroom can bring havoc and mess with intimacy. Back in the day, women might call the priest or an exorcist to cleanse the space from “temporal elements,” Stevens says.


antler, horn, wall, room, branch, deer, interior design, natural material, wood, furniture,
Victoria Pearson

Horns are universally powerful because they project power and protection. “Even little antlers can have the same attributes,” Stevens says, and so can horseshoes, which represent horns. To bring a little protection into your space, you can either place a decorative horseshoe above a doorway or perhaps get some mod faux taxidermy, like this gilded resin moose sculpture.

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Worried about spirits knocking around at night? Keep them busy. Stevens notes that people in rural communities once believed that they could manipulate ghouls by pasting pages from phone books all over the walls to give wandering souls something to read, distracting them from causing mischief. Similarly, placing an open book, like the Bible, in a front hallway or near a bed was thought to keep ghosts from haunting. “Words represent literacy, and newly literate people believe that spirits, like them, want to read,” Stevens notes. “Sacred words have power; power emanates from an open Bible; it’s the sacred power that keeps spirits away.”

For a modern interpretation, look for text posters to add to your gallery wall, frame the ketubah or invitation from your wedding, a botanical print, or any other artwork that contains words. And maybe add a framed map so that they can really get lost in the details and forget all about you.


dwarf pineapple flower arrangement
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A dozen roses are nice, but for luck purposes, 11 or 13 blooms may be better. A common Russian superstition is that bouquets should always have an odd number of flowers, as even numbers are used in funerals. If you are given a dozen roses, perhaps pull one and place the solo stem in a separate vase. And if you follow Swedish superstitions, skip heather (Calluna vulgaris) in a bouquet. The taboo flower is associated with death.



Seems like a no-brainer because shoes are dirty, but even if you have new shoes, keep them off your dining, coffee, or end table. This superstition goes back to England. When a coal miner died in an accident, his shoes went on the table to honor him. Placing a pair on a table for no reason is considered a way of messing with fate and could result in a loss of a job or a quarrel. (The latter totally makes sense because someone is going to get yelled at for putting dirty footwear where you eat.)

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nonbinary person putting on shoes, getting ready on bed with dog
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Feng Shui experts will tell you that the “command position” is the optimal place to put the bed in your bedroom. You want to see the door, ideally at a diagonal, but not be in front of the door, which is called the “death position,” because feet-first is how the dead are carried out. Having the door in your line of vision is said to be protective and also awaken creativity, since your energy is not blocked.


courageIlka & Franz//Getty Images

As the old English nursery rhyme says, “If you wish to live and thrive, let the spider run alive.” Some consider spiders as protectors of the house, so killing one is a bad omen. The arachnids are also said to be spirit guides for creativity, artistry, and writing—as anyone who has read Charlotte’s Web already knows. If you prefer not to reside with an eight-legged roommate, catch it in a container and it into nature.


soft bristled broom for hardwood floors
House Beautiful/Brad Holland

In Belgium, sweeping dirt out of your home is a don’t in case you can also sweep out your luck. In the American South, some say that it is bad luck to sweep under a sick person’s bed, as you could be spreading their misfortune. Folks in Russia used to say that you can’t sweep (or clean, in general) until your guest has safely returned home. The jury is out on whether or not running a Roomba counts as sweeping.

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roast duck with celeriac puree cherry and pinot sauceBRETT STEVENS//Getty Images

Eating in a dark room is an invitation for demons to join, according to Ugandan folklore. It can cause grave misfortune, and should the lights go out during your meal, it is wise stop eating right away. Regardless of whether you believe this or not, it’s pretty sound advice that will likely keep you from choking.


obsessively clean toilet bowl
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According to Zen philosophy, since the toilet is guided by water, an element associated with wealth, keeping it clean means you’ll be um, flush with cash.