Friday, April 1, 2011

New Website: Feng Shui Creative!

I launched my new website but forgot to post it here, sorry!! You can find my new blog posts here. Seriously. This is not April Fool's joke! See you soon!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vandaag: a northern breath of fresh air

Great sign and an exterior you can't miss
Sleek interior at Vandaag

Needing to warm up with a cup o' joe, we popped into a new venue (for us) in the East Village. The place was called Vandaag. Maybe we were lured in by the sign outside that promised "Bierrestaurant." Or maybe it was the window framed in bright yellow. When we walked in, the initial feeling was good - an open space and an immediate welcome from the hostess. All great chi features! As a designer, I was amused every time I turned my head: an unexpected bike in the center of the space, dark sexy tiles in the bathroom. Obviously, everything was very well thought out. Coffee wasn't bad either but I just had one qualm.

Every time I picked up my coffee cup, the teaspoon would fall to the center of the saucer. Small detail I know, but as a designer I couldn't help overlook it and as a Feng Shui consultant, it bugged my chi each time I picked up my cup and wanting to place it back down, couldn't. Luckily I got smart fast and placed the teaspoon on the table. My calm quickly resumed just in time for the arrival of a delicious frisian suger bread. Since this isn't a food blog - although I often restrain myself - I won't go into the food details. Just check out their menu here.

The culprit and its accomplice
all other photos: schan

Beautiful design details

And my favorite - the orange bike!

This space gave us a reprieve from all the retro dark wood that has been infiltrating interior design in New York lately. My only one suggestion - add some lush green plants to balance out the cool textures and clean lines. Then, save me a seat!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year 2011!

Happy Year of the Rabbit! To encourage a positive start, spend some time today doing something that makes you feel good. It can be just taking a small break to get your favorite cup of tea or even doing something nice for somebody else which in turn, will make you feel great. Positive energy is contagious!

Then have your favorite meal tonight and finish it off with aromatic oranges that will infuse your home with auspicious chi. This weekend, share a meal with friends to welcome in the new year together. We are invited this weekend to a dumpling party with some dear friends. I can't think of a better way to start the new year! Wishing you all a very peaceful and harmonious new year of the Metal Rabbit!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Feng Shui Staging on the Wall Street Journal

The sofa in the command position

The bagua, a Feng Shui tool

Giving a tour of the Feng Shui staged apartment
all photos: Natalie Keyssar for the Wall Street Journal

I have some exciting news! I was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal last week for a Feng Shui Staging job I completed in Spanish Harlem. It was alot of fun and Craig Karmin the WSJ journalist and Hilke Schellmann the WSJ videographer were wonderful in capturing the essence of Feng Shui principles.

Watch my TV debut, Using Feng Shui to Lure Apartment Buyers (I guess it's really my online video) and read the article Why Chinese Living Quarters Are Superior. Please feel free to leave your comments!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Has anyone seen my office?

An office wonderland 
photo: countryliving

As a native New Yorker, I am no stranger to space envy. I am one of those people who has dreamed about opening up a door in my current residence to discover a whole new wing that, for some strange reason, I had never noticed before. I realize that it was only my dream state but it was a lovely 3 hours in my palatial residence.

During my consultations, I am often presented with these types of questions, "What do I do with all this stuff/clutter? Why don't I sleep well? Why am I so unfocused? How do I make my home feel better and have better flow?"  Added to these challenges is the fact that many people are now working from home. Challenges 3, You 0. So how do I address these things in Feng Shui?
photos: top health blt, bottom thomas j story

If you have read Feng Shui books, it often recommends that your desk stay out of your bedroom so it can remain just that, a room for your bed. A quiet and uncluttered sanctuary for when your body is resting and in a state of rejuvenation. New Yorkers these authors are not I say. So here are my 3 main suggestions for a home office that has limited space and abundant paperwork.
  1. Make your work area a place you love. Paint the room, closet or wall a cheery color. Buy binders and boxes that not only organize your papers but bring a smile to your face each time you pick them up.
  2. Be in charge. If you are not facing the door or room (like the ones in the photos), place a mirror on the wall you are facing so you can see behind you. This will put you in a position of command and you will be able to focus your energy better.
  3. Be sure that your chair is in the optimal position. This means that you are not up against a wall, in the direct line of the door to the room or in the passageway. If you are cramped, push your desk further away from the chair to give you ample room to be expansive and creative. If you are in line with the door or passageway, hang a crystal on a red string above so that the energy slows down and mitigates its effect on you.
I have included many photos of offices that were created in closets. Not suggested in Feng Shui, but in my opinion, they do the job well. I would just suggest putting the mirror I indicated in point #2. These definitely get my vote because the best part is - when you're done, you can shut the door and get back to what you should be doing at home - relaxing!

The Container Store must have read my mind. 
They are holding their annual 30% sale off Elpha configurations
photos: top, bottom

Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving in the Right Direction

This building may be LEED certified but it's a Feng Shui eyesore!
all photo:

In today's, the discussion is over a new regulation for commercial buildings to measure and divulge how much energy they are consuming:
This year, for the first time, owners of 25,000 commercial properties in New York must report their buildings' energy use to the city. The data will be compiled into publicly posted report cards that officials hope will shame energy hogs into making the renovations needed to improve their scores, much the same way that issuing letter grades to restaurants is making owners shape up. Read complete article here.
I am definitely eco-conscious, especially since Feng Shui is about enhancing nature in our everyday environments while seeking to deplete resources as little as possible. So I am happy to hear today's news. I took the opportunity to find a couple of buildings that are already LEED compliant in NYC. What I found was a building that I unfortunately am not a fan of - 41 Cooper Square in Manhattan’s East Village - at least not on the exterior. I do give them credit for what they have done but I can't help to cringe each time I pass it by. It seems as though the building has been slashed with a knife while it is hanging precipitously over its feeble foundation. It does not evoke a sense of serenity for me. But upon further inspection of photos on the Green Review website, I fell in love with the interiors. Not only are the light and airy but luminous and inspiring.

Interiors that inspire creativity

I am fortunate to live in New York so I will go pay a visit before I make my final verdict. Apparently the chi of the students who attend is strong since Cooper Union produces many of the most talents architects, artists and engineers that New York has to offer. Way to go NYC!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Multiple Accents

A simple weekend project
photo: Thomas J. Story

Lose 10 better.....get to sleep earlier.....spend more time with loved ones.....These are some usual new year's resolutions. Mine luckily is much easier - to paint an accent wall. I will take some of my own Feng Shui medicine and become my own weekend warrior! Our hallway wall is empty, sad and begging for some Feng Shui love. I know, most people are terrified to choose paint colors and can seem like a daunting task since there so many colors out there. But here's an alternative way to think about it, trembling commita-phobes. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a whole home or room, choose just one accent wall to paint.

A fun idea for a kid's room

As you can see, it doesn't have to be complicated. I am always asked if there are colors that pertain to Feng Shui sections in your life. As a Feng Shui consultant, my answer is yes but what is most important is to choose a color that makes you happy and feel uplifted when you see it. As a designer, I emphasize using color to emphasize what you want to "pop" and make what's less flattering recede. So go on, buy a can and splash on a new color. Worst case if you change your mind, do it all over again. It can be a very dramatic change in a space that is very wallet-friendly!

This wall is comprised of cork! Beautiful AND sustainable!!

 A great solution for slanted ceilings
top photo:, middle photo:, 
bottom photo: