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Colorful Beach House Project

I’m currently working on the interiors of a charming beach house for a young family who has a love of color. Here is what I’ve pulled together so far…


I think the use of color in this seaside home is wonderful (from New York Spaces magazine).  Since my clients are urban New Yorkers, I think the home should be a relaxed and beachey, but also a little funky and unexpected.

In Feng Shui, the shape of the octagon represents balance. I’d love to use this coffee table from Room Service  in the living room…

 along with a fabulous tufted sofa in burnt orange velvet. (If you are familiar with Feng Shui and want to bring “Earth” element remedy into your home — which is grounding and comforting — this is a perfect color.)

In the dining room (or maybe the screened porch) I’m starting with this fixture from Curry & Co. (The turquoise blue beading represents the “Water” element in Feng Shui – good for abundance.)

                   It would be great over a simple zinc table like this from Home Decorators. (Zinc is a good “Metal” remedy and protects health.)

This festive bamboo dinnerware from Viva Terra  fits beautifully (and in Feng Shui, its a nice “Wood” remedy – health):

For the kids playroom,  I am considering the classic Mah Jong modular seating from Roche Bobois – comfy and cool.

My clients recently had a baby girl, and based on her birthday, her Feng Shui element is “Fire”. Therefore, the best colors for her room are fire-tones of red, purple or hot pink. This bed  is perfect. (Yes its big, but she can grow into it)! 

 For the kids rooms, the eco friendly Indi B kids rugs are so sweet and totally safe:

 I would like to turn a small space at the top of the stairs into a reading nook something like this (by Ann Wolf):

Check back for Part 2 of this project, including colorful outdoor furniture, and great accessories for the bathroom and kitchen.

If you have any “bright” ideas to offer, feel free to share!


May 30, 2012   6 Comments

Feng Shui Bathroom Before and After Photos and Tips Part 2

Vanity After


Vanity Before

As promised, I’m  going to follow up today on the Feng Shui principals that were involved in my recent NYC bathroom renovation.  In the last post I discussed the “big picture” decisions that affect the broader feeling of the space.  Today I’m going to look at the subtler, energetic factors that went into making this a strong Feng Shui design.

At the start of every project I begin with an in-depth Feng Shui consultation to find out the exact colors and elements needed for the space. By incorporating good energy into the design plan from day one, we ensure that the new and improved space looks good and supports everyone in the home. In this particular bathroom, the needed Feng Shui elements were METAL and WATER. Metal Element to help to protect health, Water Element to foster harmony and peace.

 In Feng Shui Design, there are three different ways to incorporate good energy into a space:

1. Add the best Feng Shui ELEMENT for the room (based on the five elements of Feng Shui, water, fire, etc)

2. Add the best Feng Shui COLOR for the room, based on the best Element

3. Add the best Feng Shui SHAPE to the room, based on the best Element

 All 3 levels of Feng Shui went into this bathroom makeover:

 1. Best Element: As I mentioned earlier, the best Feng Shui Elements for this room were METAL and WATER. Metal was incorporated in the cast-iron claw foot tub, the sconces and the towel holders. Water was already present in the sink, toilet and tub (as it is in all bathrooms), so there was no need to add an additional water feature, such as a fountain.

 2. Best Colors: Metal is represented by White, Gray, or Silver. Metal colors were incorporated into the white vanity and bathtub, the silver feet on the tub, the silver painted ceiling, and the pale gray floor tiles.

 Water is represented by Blue or Black. Water colors in this bathroom were incorporated into the pale blue penny round tiles on the walls, and the black chandelier, which adds a pop of glamour.

 I want to note something here. In the interest of creating an expansive, unbroken feeling in the space, I was determined to create a largely monochromatic color scheme (this fancy design term simply means “sticking to one color.”)   I did this, while still honoring the necessary Feng Shui colors, by working off of a white palate and finding shades of blue and gray at the very lightest end of their respective color spectrums.  The effect is a room that feels airy and open, allowing the client to take a deep breath and relax after a hectic day at work.  (It’s good to remember that we never need to sacrifice principles of fine design while incorporating the necessary Feng Shui elements.)

 3. Best Shapes: Metal is represented by the shape of a circle. This I accomplished by installing two full walls of penny round tiles.

 Water is represented by the shape of a wave. I incorporated this shape into the smoothly flowing curves around the window, in the shampoo niche, and at the most visible corner in the room.  This required a little extra engineering, but the end result was well worth it.  (See the shapes and colors in the pictures below.)

Rounded corners promote balanced chi flow and create a soothing space

Now compare these images to what came before…

See how chopped-up and discordant the shapes and colors were in the original bathroom?  A few key changes along those lines made for a big impact aesthetically, and accomplished a world of good in terms of Feng Shui.

 So, there you have it, and just in time for the holidays…


…a Feng Shui bathroom that will help this home owner to have a healthy, prosperous and happy New Year!

December 29, 2011   7 Comments

Feng Shui Bathroom Design Before and After Photos and Tips

In the spirit of Christmas: “I’m dreaming of a white bathroom…

  …not like the one I used to know”

 I just did a renovation of a small NYC bathroom. I hope that by showing you some of the details of the new bath, you will be inspired to perform your own makeover.

What gives this bathroom good Feng Shui?

Well, there are always two levels to Feng Shui design: 1) “big picture” decisions that affect the broader feeling of the space, and 2) the subtler, energetic changes, that have a deeper impact on those who reside there.  In every project I address both. 

Today we will look at the first of those levels.  Specifically, let’s tackle making an inherently small, cramped bathroom feel tall and spacious.  From a Feng Shui point of view this is important, as we want to allow the Chi energy to flow easily and fluidly through the room, not to get pinched off. 

 So, how did I make this bathroom look bigger and taller?

1. I chose a petite tub that had a grand look. The claw foot tub in this bathroom is less than 5’ long. However, it creates the feeling of luxury, while still allowing room for a relatively large vanity with ample storage and surface space.  Also, the fact that some floor space is visible below the tub adds to the sense of openness, and allows the Chi energy to flow freely. 

2. I used an oversized floor tile. These tiles are 18”x36” – not what you would expect in such a small space.  However, by using a big tile and staggering them, it tricks the eye into thinking the room is much larger than it actually is (compare the flooring in the two pictures above, and you will see what I mean!)

3. I went with a clear shower curtain. This was an easy way to open up the feeling of the room. By allowing the eye to “see through” an object in the foreground, an elongating effect is achieved.

4. I hung the shower curtain from the ceiling. Shower curtain rods are often hung a foot or so from the ceiling, and make the ceiling look lower than it is. In this bathroom, I used ceiling mounted track hardware (from a company that makes drapes to separate cubicles or hospital beds).  In order to disguise the shower track a little, I painted the ceiling the same color as the track, metallic silver.

5. I installed a show-stopping light fixture. The black chandelier is a strong focal point that draws the eye up and emphasizes the ceiling height. If you don’t have room for a hanging fixture, you can do the same thing with an exciting flush mount or semi flush mount fixture.

In December posts, I will address several of the other Feng Shui aspects of this bathroom renovation. You can read all about it and see more pictures soon.

But hopefully this already gives you a few things to think about if you are considering your own bathroom renovation.  Remember, using Feng Shui principles, combined with some neat design concepts, you can paint a grand picture even if you are working with a small canvass!  

To be continued…

December 6, 2011   11 Comments