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Updating a Classic New York Building with Feng Shui Design

     I was honored to be asked to update the common hallways, elevators, and elevator landings for The Hampshire House . The 37 story building is a New York City landmark. Sitting on Central Park South just steps from The Plaza Hotel, its steep copper roof and double chimneys form one of the iconic shapes on the NYC skyline.

The Hampshire House was built in 1938 as a hotel, but is now luxury apartments, and most have wonderful views of Central Park, which is directly across the street.

It was a little intimidating to do any design work in the building, originally designed by the great decorator, Dorothy Draper.

I did not touch any of Draper’s work, which is still intact in the main lobby. What I was asked to do was update the public areas which had been poorly decorated back in the 1980 (think peach shag carpet and apricot walls – yuck)! Besides being unappealing design, it was not good Feng Shui.

Even though these are transitional spaces, the energy of public areas effect thousands of people over time. When spaces like these are designed for optimal energy, it increases the well being of all those who live there, and ultimately improves the success of the building as a whole.

So as with every project, I started with a Feng Shui analysis. Based on the Feng Shui reading of this building, wealth and harmonious relationships are enhanced by adding Metal and Water elements. That formed the basis for my design.

Metal colors are silver, gold, white or gray. Water colors are colors blue or black. So I selected a color scheme of pale blue, black and white.

For the floors, I installed a blue plush carpet lined with black and white tiles. The tilework harkens back to the Hampshire House’s art deco origins, and tie in with the original tiles in the main lobby.

We finished the walls in a pale blue venation plaster, the softness of which feels a bit watery (and water enhances the wealth energy of the building).

I selected hardware and light fixtures trimmed in polished chrome, and lined the halls with black and white photographs showing parties from the golden age of the hotel.

I placed a white leather settee in each elevator landing, backed with a mirrored wall in a diamond pattern to bounce light into the windowless space. Finally, I chose sleek white and chrome light fixtures to bring a little modern energy into this elegant space.

While many Feng Shui books and teachers focus on arranging the individual rooms in one’s home, integrating Feng Shui design into public areas is a fantastic way to enhance the well being of all who pass through the space. Who knows how many people will be positively affected by visiting such a place…even if they have no idea what Feng Shui is!


April 24, 2013   No Comments