The Power of Design

You should be surrounded with whatever gives you joy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Feng Shui [fuhng shwey]

You've all heard of this term, but most of you don't know what it entails. Some designers always follow these rules with very design and swear by it. Some of the elements in Feng Shui are just logical ways and ideas that most designers mention and follow anyway. 
The formal definition is : the Chinese art of determining the most propitious design and placement of a grave, building, room, etc, so that the maximum harmony is achieved between the flow of chi of the environment and that of the user, believed to bring good fortune. 

I am going to give you a few examples of the main elements to follow when designing the Feng Shui way :
Five elements of feng shui:
1. Wood
2. Earth
3. Metal
4. Fire
5. Water
Bagua — a feng shui map for your home that combines nine zones with nine major areas of life, called the guas (pronounced gwa).
1. Wealth and Abundance
2. Fame and Reputation
3. Love and Marriage
4. Family and Friends
5. Health
6. Children and Creativity
7. Wisdom
8. Career
9. Travel and Helpful People

The Do's & Dont's of Feng Shui article by Stephanie McWilliams that I read & copied for you all to read:

The Southwest Corner — the segment of your house where love reigns. It governs the luck of love, romance and family happiness and can be activated by using any of the following accessories:
Mandarin ducks (non-wooden)
Soft lighting
Pink bedsheets
Love Symbols

  • Create an inviting and eye-catching entrance, both inside and out.
  • Include uplifting "greeters," such as a waterfall or piece of artwork.
  • Add bright and beautiful lighting so the pathway is safe and visible.
  • Place inspiring objects leading up to the door, like a meandering pathway and flowers.
  • Add plants, especially evergreens, which will stay lush all year.

  • Pile up paperwork, trash or broken objects near the doorway, inside or out.
  • Walk into a wall or dead end. If necessary, add a mirror to help visually expand the space.
  • Have objects that get in your way or block the flow of energy moving into the home.
  • Leave broken steps or items in poor maintenance.
  • Let your garage door draw more attention than your home's entrance.
  • Make sure you can see the entrance of the kitchen when you're cooking, either by installing the stove on an island or by hanging a mirror on your backsplash to reflect the room.
  • Keep drawers, cabinets and pantries clean and organized.
  • Add seating, regardless of the size of the room.
  • Add warm lighting, like incandescent or halogen, which makes you and the food seem much more appealing.
  • Keep your stove clean and be sure to use all the burners.

  • Have clutter or unnecessary objects and appliances sitting on countertops or tables.
  • Keep old food, whether it's leftovers, dried foods, packages or cans.
  • Use fluorescent lights, as they're harsh and unappetizing.
  • Have sharp points or dangerous edges on cabinets, furniture and tables.
  • Keep knives visible; instead store them away in drawers or cabinets.

Dining Room
  • Use rounded and oval tables.
  • Use white plates, as they allow the natural beauty of the food to be the focal point of the meal.
  • Incorporate soft, comfortable chairs that are of equal size.
  • Give each person and chair a pleasant view.
  • Add serene artwork or imagery of food.

  • Have sharp, pointed edges on tables and chairs.
  • Use glass or metal tabletops, which are hard and unfriendly.
  • Hang intense or negative artwork.
  • Have low-hanging ceiling fans, which create an unsafe atmosphere.
  • Create cramped spaces, where people can't comfortably sit or move around the table easily.
Living Room
  • Use beautiful, yet comfortable and safe furniture.
  • Arrange the furniture so the room is inviting and easily accessible.
  • Put the TV and other electrical equipment into a cabinet to be hidden from view when not in use.
  • Hang objects at the same height and create strong visual horizontal lines, especially when ceilings are extremely high.
  • Marry objects and face furniture together so they're in relationship to one another.

  • Use uncomfortable furniture and seating.
  • Have too many decorative objects, unless they are organized together as a group.
  • Place too many pillows on the couch.
  • Use the TV as the focal point of the room or seating arrangement.
  • Have beams in the ceiling or sit directly beneath them for long periods of time.
Home Office
  • Place your desk in the power spot, the area directly opposite the door.
  • Add sensual objects and artwork to inspire resourcefulness and productivity.
  • Bring in rounded shapes and move sharp-edged furniture out of the traffic flow.
  • Add healthy plants, which are beneficial to counter-balance the effects of electrical equipment.
  • Create a filing and storage system that is clearly labeled and easy to use.

  • Sit in the line of energy coming in through the door.
  • Hang uninspiring or mismatched artwork.
  • Paint the room in drab colors.
  • Use broken or uncomfortable office chairs.
  • Pile up paperwork or create clutter and disorganization.
  • Sit with your back toward the office door. If you must, hang a mirror to see behind you.
  • Sleep in the power spot, which is located directly opposite the door.
  • Add a solid headboard, ideally in a warm, friendly material such as wood or leather.
  • Replace bedding at least once a year to add a fresh, positive energy to the space.
  • Add romantic imagery or objects grouped in sets of two or pairs.
  • Use warm colors, flesh tones or red and pink to spice up the room and your romance.

  • Sleep with your body in line with the path of energy entering through the bedroom door.
  • Have TVs, computers or exercise equipment, unless they're hidden away or in a storage cabinet.
  • Have an excess of mirrors, which can sometimes activate too much energy.
  • Use footboards, which prevent you from easily moving around the bed.
  • Place one side of the bed against a wall. There should be equal space on either side for two people to comfortably enter and exit.
  • Create a beautiful, uplifting and organized space.
  • Add new linens, bath soaps, plants, soft lighting and other beautiful accessories.
  • Add a mirror to the door to help the bathroom visually disappear.
  • Put a divider between the bathroom and bedroom in master suites.
  • Add earth and fire elements.

  • Leave the toilet seat up or drains uncovered when not in use.
  • Create clutter on the sink, countertop and tub edge or in the shower stall.
  • Hold on to old or unused bottles of shampoos, products, creams and potions.
  • Have the toilet in plain view. Try covering or screening it when possible.
  • Create a small, cramped area. Try adding mirrors to help expand the feeling of the space.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mother's Day Ideas

Yes, it's just around the corner, and I'm sure most of you haven't even thought of ideas for that wonderful Mother of yours. Things that you can never go wrong with : Gift card for a favorite salon of her's, massage, pedicure, etc. Also, here are some other simple, under $50 ideas to add to get you thinking about how to make her special day!
Jewelry travel case.

Give her a best sellers cookbook, look at the ratings before you buy!

Gardening chair

3 tier oven rack.

Jewelry Holder

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring Cleaning

I figured this article was appropriate for a few reasons, one in being that it is actually starting to feel like spring has come. My number two reason is because I am a germ freak, and actually read these kinds of articles daily. I also have had pneumonia  for the past few weeks and I'm almost positive I gave it to myself by inhaling excessive amounts of bleach. 
Anna is HGTV's manager of online programming, and she has a wonderful checklist that I've posted below (notice she didn't mention cleaning with bleach, but instead peroxide & vinegar) :

  • Pour boiling water down all sinks
  • Run the washing machine with only vinegar added
  • Move all large appliances and large pieces of furniture for vacuuming and mopping (and removal of dreaded dog hair dust bunnies)
  • Wipe down all small kitchen appliances, including the power cords (you’ll be surprised what you’ll find stuck on the cord of your mixer)
  • Wash all dog beds and refresh with cedar chips
  • Take down all hanging art, mirrors and picture frames, dust and dust picture rails
  • Wash baseboards throughout house
  • Q-tip clean all corners and crevices (around sinks, faucets, light switch plates, doorways, etc.)
  • Per’s Help Around the Home: swap out high wattage bulbs for energy-efficient 3-way bulbs
  • Take all books off bookshelves, dust and downsize
  • Take all rugs outside and beat them
  • Use peroxide to whiten porcelain in the cast iron clawfoot tub
  • Give all indoor plants a bath
  • Dust all light fixtures and ceiling fans, reverse direction on ceiling fans for spring
  • Downsize, donate and pack up winter bedding and clothes with tons of bay leaves
  • Wash and bleach the white cloth shower curtain, window curtains, mattress pad and bed skirt
  • Remove everything from the refrigerator, freezer and pantry, wash top to bottom, return only what’s fresh along with new boxes of baking soda
  • Empty the linen closet, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, dust, downsize, return only what’s needed
  • Replace all spices with new ones from the international farmer’s market
  • Clean the vacuum cleaner
  • Buy a new broom for good luck, make the broom from this year’s spring cleaning the outdoor broom
  • Buy a new front door mat, move old one to the back door

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Clap Lighting

Right before I fell asleep I was watching an hgtv episode where a little girl was receiving a room makeover. She was so little and young but acted so mature and bossy. She knew exactly what she wanted and claimed her room was way to "young & kiddish". She then was asked what type of light fixture she would like and she said "a clap light". This made my day. She said it would be great for reading at bedtime and then not having to get up to get the light. This is genius. I totally forgot about those, and her reasoning is so perfect. I have that problem a few times a day actually. I take a lot of naps and also like to read before bed but when I'm getting sleepy I dreeeaaaaddd getting out of the coziness-half naked & disorientated to get the light. Sometimes I think about it so long that I pass out with it on and my room mates have to get it. If this is lazy and wrong, I don't want to be right.