Tag Archives: dwell magazine

COFFEE TALK

I give the Feng Shui By Fishgirl stamp of approval to the Toby’s Estate coffee shop in Brooklyn, NY. There is a good mix of elements, a nice balance between yin and yang shapes, I like the lighting hung in 3’s that add up to 9 in this photo (all auspicious feng shui numbers). The couch is comfy and makes you want to sit and stay awhile even though the ceiling height is so high. Painting the ceiling black brings it closer. Nicely done and see more pics at Dwell Magazine.

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LANDSCAPE DESIGN IMPACTS YOUR FENG SHUI

Amber Bravo wrote a wonderful article about Missing The Mark in Landscape Design for Dwell Magazine. If you’re considering redoing your home’s exterior landscaping, start with this article on what NOT to do. If you want to add some good feng shui, consider curving your walkways for a meandering effect, putting up barrier shrubs to poison arrows from oncoming roads or powerlines, and adding an orange tree to your money corner for starters.

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Filed under Architecture, Design, Feng Shui, Plants & Outdoors

LIGHT MY FIRE

 

Photo from Dwell.com

 

While orange is my favorite color, I have mixed feelings about its use here. The bookcase and wall portion is yummy. Can you guess why I don’t like the floor painted orange? Orange / red tones are the color of fire. In feng shui terms we use this color to activate and stimulate, especially the top 3 sectors of the bagua. It’s not such a problem in the living areas or kitchen (as long as the other elements are balanced accordingly) but in the bedroom you want to create tranquillity not overstimulation. Having red walls or accents is okay. Having the foundation beneath you (the floor) in bright firey colors might give you a sleeping disorder. This color scheme could work well however in a retail space where “hot deals” are on display for eager buyers. I do like how this space has incorporated yin and yang aspects (round and square, soft and hard) in the decor. See more at Dwell.com.

 

Photo from Dwell.com

 

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PATIO PERFECT: Considering feng shui in outdoor living spaces

A plan for a Tuscan Dining area, outside!

I love the idea of taking outdoor space and making it actually an extension of living space. If you have acreage–or if you cleverly use what you have–you can substantially expand your square footage of living area. The layout shown above has a good balance of yin-yang shapes (round feminine vs. square masculine). See how many circles and squares you can find. Then go look at Sunset Magazine for more images of this beautiful garden space.

In contrast, above is a photo recently featured in a house tour on Dwell.com (“Double Time“). I liked much of the house until I got to the back door and outdoor space. What a perfect opportunity for the designers to incorporate a little feng shui balance. For example, the window in the upper right hand corner of the photo could have easily have been a round one. Or, the terrace stones could have had rounded yin shapes instead of echoing all of the squares and grids (a very tired trend). What else doesn’t feel right? The step down and the fact that it is all grass. I’ll bet that back space would be utilized a lot more if the upper terrace under the roof was a solid floor (either decking, stonework, or concrete) instead of grass. What more perfect area for an outdoor living space than one like this—opportunity squandered. Do you agree? Check out the rest of the pictures at Dwell.

A nice balance of feng shui elements.

I like the use of wood, earth (slate tiles), fire (hot pink tablecloth) and I’m hoping they have some metal and some water feature that is off camera. This is another patio example seen at Sunset Magazine. I also want to point out the wonderful use of vines crawling up the corner of the house. This is a great example of using plants to eliminate/solve/cure a feng shui problem known as a knife edge. All corners jutting outward create knife edges. It’s not a problem unless you plan to sit or sleep in front of one. This one was completely neutralized by the rounded leaved plants growing up and concealing it.

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Filed under Design, Feng Shui, Feng Shui Home, Plants & Outdoors

AIRSTREAM BACHELOR PAD

Photo Credit: Mark Compton for Dwell Magazine

This sweet little vintage 1959 Airstream trailer was lovingly remodeled by Andreas Stavropoulos in Berkeley. See the interior renovation at Dwell Magazine. There’s something to be said for living in a compact space: it forces you to deal with your clutter! That’s good for your feng shui. It looks like this guy has eliminated the bathroom facilities that are usually so cute in Airstreams. I’m not sure that’s good feng shui or very practical but I do like how he organized his interior.

My boyfriend owns 4 vintage Airstreams. One of them is being totally redone (we’ll post pics in the fall when it’s ready) and we’ll be taking it on the road hopefully this winter. Two others will be gutted and converted into gallery space eventually. The fourth is in mint condition and serves as a guest house on the apple orchard in Stonington, Maine. We welcome visitors!

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Filed under Creativity & Future Projects, Design, Feng Shui, Fun, Interior Design, Uncategorized

POISON ARROWS

When I look at magazine layouts of architecture and design, I look at them with my feng shui eyes. While it’s always impressive to see luxury homes where no dollar was spared, that doesn’t mean they got the feng shui right. Here’s a recent example I found in Dwell Magazine. The first photo is the view of this new Hamptons home from the street. You can see right inside the living area. But not only that, you can see right THROUGH to the backyard! This is a big feng shui no-no. It’s called a “poison arrow” as it is more than one window or door in direct alignment (especially negative when it exposes your home from front to back like this one does). The magazine said there were plans to add some shrubbery for privacy. That’s a good start but more will be needed to solve the feng shui problem. A better design for privacy and feng shui would have been to have a solid wall towards the street side with a clerestory window running all along the top of it, letting in natural light and a narrow view of the trees and sky with NONE of the street exposure.

Another view of this interior shows a long corridor like feel with a bedroom door at the end of it. This is yet another “poison arrow” and it crosses the first one created by the window-window arrow. A better design would have been to create a barrier wall so the entry to the bedroom was unseen and one would have to change directions a few times to enter the room. Keeping the door closed will help a little in the meantime.

What does a poison arrow matter? It creates too-fast-moving ch’i energy. If you’re “caught in the crossfire” of one poison arrow (let alone two or more) you will not feel comfortable or at ease. Often people will move into a house like this and move out within a short time, not knowing why they do not like living there. It’s about the “feeling” and subconsciously we will not feel safe here.

Here’s the master bedroom of the same house. I think it feels rather cold and uninviting despite the sunny yellow upholstery on the chair and the warmth of the wood floors. The feng shui problems: the closet doors to the left appear to be mirrored. In a room like this where there is already so much natural light from floor to ceiling windows, having the mirrors will cause an overabundance of stimulating ch’i. The light and the energy will be bouncing all over the place. Another problem is the choice of lamp overhead. Much cozier and more intimate to have two lamps, one on either side, instead of what looks like a stand up lamp hanging overhead. The window treatments look very industrial. Altogether not a successful room (in my opinion). Do you like it? Let me know why.

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Filed under Architecture, Design, Feng Shui, Feng Shui Home, Interior Design, Qi

BEDROOM ADDITION CAUSES MISSING BAGUA

Photo from Dwell Magazine

What’s wrong with this picture? It certainly looks cool. But the new addition has caused an L or cleaver shape to the home and that has changed the feng shui. From what I can tell, this photo is a view of their backyard so I’m basing my reading on the front door being out of view on the other side of this house. That would mean that by adding this addition, the owners have created a missing sector of their bagua. In this case, the addition is locate in their Love & Relationship sector. Can you tell what’s missing? Yes, it’s their Wealth area (and also Fame & Reputation in the middle). Yikes! Do you have a layout like this one? No worries. You can complete the bagua —add it back in— by adding a large tree(lighting it would be even better) at the exact point formed by drawing a line from the house and a line from the addition (so you now have a square again). You could also not plant a tree, simply put a tall lamp post there or a flagpole–something tall to anchor and balance out the missing sector. The tallness is to make sure the addition does not dominate the Wealth area, overshadowing it. See more photos of this house at Dwell Magazine.

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Filed under Architecture, Feng Shui, Wealth & Finances