Artful placement may be the cure for households in need of balance

August 21, 1994|By Elizabeth Large

"Good feng shui doesn't necessarily mean good interior design," points out feng shui specialist and former practicing psychotherapist Nancy SantoPietro. But common sense tells us

a pleasing environment can lead to a sense of well-being. Here are some basic ideas or "cures" suggested by the people we consulted and Sarah Rossbach in her book "Interior Design With Feng Shui" (Viking/Penguin, 1987).

* Mirrors. Ms. Rossbach calls these the aspirin of feng shui. They can create the illusion of space and light, and make you feel more comfortable if your back is to the door. Other bright objects like small, multifaceted crystals are also symbols of positive energy.

* Water. Feng shui literally means "wind and water." Water views, fountains, streams, bubbling aquariums all bring good ch'i, or energy, into a house.

* Entrances. Very important. Feng shui is about bringing balance into your life, so an introvert should not have a hidden entrance. Open up narrow entrances or ones blocked with a wall or furniture.

* Furniture arrangement. The bed should lie catercorner to the door if possible. Living room seating should be arranged to foster conversation. Many of the feng shui cures involving furniture arrangement lead to comfort and hospitality.

* Sharp points. Bad feng shui. A projecting corner can be softened with a screen.

* Plants. Where a plant thrives, so will the occupant of the house. Fish and other living things help the flow of good ch'i, too. (That's why so many Chinese restaurants have aquariums.)

* Wind chimes. They moderate energy flow. Hung near an entrance, they warn of intruders. (And the sound is soothing.)

* Wealth corner. In whatever room you use most, the wealth corner is catercorner to the entrance. Place things that you value here, or a representation of what you are trying to pull into your life.

* Color. Red is an auspicious color. If a client is missing the element of fire, the consultant might suggest painting a room peach or red. Sleeping on pink sheets will increase your love prospects. Yellow represents longevity. Green symbolizes

growth, freshness and tranquillity.

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