Monthly Archives: April 2010

Five Affordable Feng Shui Fixes For Decorating Dilemmas

Applying practical principles of Feng Shui can solve common decorating dilemmas.  Any of these principles can be applied in any room.

1-  If you don’t have a foyer or if you have a large room needing several different conversation areas you can create the illusion of a separate room by placing an area rug in the center of the space, coordinating with the color palette in the room.  For example, to create the feeling of a foyer place a circular area rug in front of the front door.  You can use area rugs wherever you want to delineate a space or create a conversation area.  Circular rugs are particularly good for pulling together a space.

2-  To complete or find inspiration for decorating a room, look for artwork that speaks to you.  Artwork  gives a room a finished feel and creates coziness as well as visual appeal.  I like to hang pictures so that the middle of the piece is one or two inches above eye level.

3-  Dark areas?  You can add balance and movement with mirrors, artwork containing fire colors (red, orange, pink, and purple) and circular or wavy objects which create movement.  If you have a corner that feels “dead” revitalize it with “up lighting” that’s placed on the floor, a decorative floor screen, or a standing mirror.

4- Does a room feel stark or sterile? “Cozify” it by adding soft drapes or roman shades, using earth and fire colors (brown, yellow, beige, red, and orange), and adding area rugs and soft fabrics such as cozy throw-pillows.

5-  If you don’t have a wall where you need one, you can invent one by placing a console behind a couch, using a decorative floor screen to separate areas, using bookshelves open on both sides, or drapes hung on side mounted retractable rods.  Floor screens also work well in corners to soften the area and create energy.

Feng Shui 101- Ten Easy Tips

1.  An altar or meditation area is best placed in the Northeast area of a room as this is the location that corresponds to inner knowledge, reflection, and stillness.

 2.  Don’t use a lot of the colors red and gold in the bedroom.  These are yang colors and they create activity and energy.  A little is fine but too much is bad for relaxation.

 3.  Don’t place the head of your bed on wall shared with a toilet.  You’ll inevitably absorb harmful energy you while you sleep.

 4.  Cleanse the  energy in a room or in your entire home to keep the environment healthy.  Cleanse at least a couple of times a year. You can cleanse in several different ways – with wind, with bells or chimes, with fire as in smudging with incense, and misting with salt water.

 5.  If you have a bathroom adjoining your bedroom, close the door while you sleep.  Actually, it’s best to have any doors leading into your bedroom closed so that you aren’t disturbed by energy flowing at you while you sleep.

6.  If you place your bed against a window, ensure that you have a solid headboard or heavy drapes to block off the window.  Your head needs protection while you sleep.

 7.  The first rule of Feng Shui is to allow chi (energy) to circulate.  Clear clutter and clean often to allow the movement of chi in your home and in your life.

8.  Keep in mind the principles of yin and yang when decorating.  Balance light and dark colors, soft and hard surfaces, and smooth and rough textures in your choice of wall color, furniture, flooring and window treatments.

9.  Use curving paths in your garden and yard to encourage chi to flow in a naturally organic way.

10.  Keep something uplifting on your dining table.  Fresh flowers, a colorful table runner, interesting salt and pepper shakers (kept full), and/or a nice piece of pottery will uplift your spirits when you eat at the table, causing good chi.

Seven Tips for Selecting Wall Color

Don’t be intimidated by choosing a paint color for your walls!  Painting is relatively inexpensive and easy to change don’t worry about making a “mistake.”  Have fun with it!

1)  In small rooms, using a lighter color is best because it will make the room feel larger and open.  Your best bet is to choose one of the first two colors on a color sample swatch.

2)  If you want to lighten-up dark rooms, choose a pale shade of yellow – it’s the best color for reflecting light.

3)  A plan that consistently gives good results is to paint walls a neutral color (Barely Beige by Benjamin Moore is terrific) and add color with art work and accessories.

4)  Don’t over-paint.  If you want to paint different walls different colors keep in mind that if you simply use one color, it will look differently on each wall because of the light and direction the wall faces.

5)  Don’t know how to pull a color palette together?  An easy way is to use something that you really like as reference.  For example – a piece of art, a greeting card, or even something in your closet.  Use the colors as a basis for designing the room.  Use the most neutral color for the walls and the remaining colors for accessories.  It’s best to choose three to four colors depending on the size of the room.

6)  To create a cozy and balanced room, use the same color three or more times in the room in different ways. If you like red, you could use a red vase, an area rug with red in it, and artwork containing red.  And don’t worry about finding the exact match for a color for the different applications…different hues of the same color is fine and will add depth to the room.

7)  Before committing to a paint color, try out a minimum of three colors on different parts of the room, in at least 2 x 2 ft. swatches or use poster board and hang it in different areas of the room.  You want to see how the color looks in the morning, afternoon, and evening.