Posts Tagged ‘feng shui’

energizing your career area

June 23, 2009

an interview with feng shui master Kate MacKinnon


As we explore feng shui and how to work with it in your home, it seems to be a good time to work with your “career area”.  In the bagua, this area is located is on the lower center area as you walk in your home.  If it turns out that your home or your apartment is square in floorplan and fits easily into the bagua diagram below, the “career area” is in the center lower area as you walk in your home.  For those of you who live in a traditional colonial home, that will be right as you walk in your front door with the living room to the right and the dining room on the left, that small entry way/vestibule/foyer is your “career area”.  For those of us who live in a city, that is not what happens, often we open our door either to a narrow hallway.  In my case, we enter into the “mentor corner” and my entire career area was missing.  So Kate has helped me with feng shui cures to create the area in my home that was energetically missing. copy

a feng shui diagram of your “career area"


In the ideal situation, your career area is a generous foyer/entry way allows the chi – the life force, as known in Chinese culture, into your home.  The idea is to do everything possible to welcome this energy into your home with ease and grace.  Traditional, the color of that area is dark blue to black, like water – the element associated with this area.  The color can be used as painting a wall, or in accents or the actual element of water – a fountain or a fishbowl or tank.  These elements, a fountain, are “active water”, bringing good energy, money and abundance to your home.  Additionally this is a great spot to have bookshelves in your career area, books about your career, your aspirations, your passions, etc.


Foyer by Shaun Jackson, Elle Decor October 2007, Photographer Roger Davies

Foyer by Shaun Jackson, Elle Decor October 2007, Photographer Roger Davies


In my case, Kate needed to energize  the “career area” because that area was missing because you enter my home through a slender corridor.  Her recommendations were to place mirrors the entry foyer.  In addition, I installed bookshelves in the niche in my entryway, which were perfect in the “career area”.   So after a bit of ruminating and pushing and pulling with Kate about the placement of these mirrors – she really wanted the whole place plastered with mirror and I just couldn’t walk into my home and into one of those 70’s discos, I mean who wants a mirrored ball in the foyer – ok, so Hugh Hefner would be ok with it, just not for me.  We came up with a solution, to mirror the three sides of the bookshelf alcove and add a slender frame to accent the architecture of the space.  On the wall facing the alcove will be a large mirror with a floating photograph in the center of a library that I particularly love.


Foyer by Dan Barsanti, Metropolitan Home, December 2008, Photographer: Antoine Bootz

Foyer by Dan Barsanti, Metropolitan Home, December 2008, Photographer: Antoine Bootz


In your home, if you have the “skinny hall” version of an entry foyer, Kate recommends mirroring as much of the walls as you can stand and there are many way to achieve this.  This is to allow for the expansion of the energy, bringing you abundance in your career.  If you have the career area of your home and it is not your entryway, reference the Bagua chart above, then this is a good spot for your home office/desk area.


Aquarium at the Galleries Lafayette, Paris, France

Aquarium at the Galleries Lafayette, Paris, France


This same position for your career area of your home, is also the location of the career area in room, however Kate made a point to say that she often does not emphasize the career area of each room, often only focusing on the entry way, the living room and the home office.  Since you really don’t want to have a fish tank as you enter each room, Kate recommends that the career area of your living room or office is a good spot to have a fountain, bookshelf, a painting of moving water or a if you are doing painted accent walls then this is where you might want a dark blue wall or painting with deep blues and blacks.

Jean Jorges Vongerichten's Restaurant 66

Jean Jorges Vongerichten's Restaurant 66


Interesting footnote, when you sit at your desk, you are sitting in the career area of your desk.  So use a beautiful, comfortable chair.


If you have any questions, please post them to blog and Kate will answer them.


dale b. cohen

posted from Eilat, Israel


activating your “wealth corner”

January 16, 2009

Ok, I hear you looking at this page and saying to yourself, what on earth is a wealth corner?  Well, let’s back up and let me share with you a little bit about feng shui.  At its most basic, feng shui is about creating balance in your home and workspace. It addresses the need to energize your dwelling spaces – where you eat, sleep, work, play – so that more good things can flow into your life.

This week launches a series of conversations with my friend, feng shui master Kate MacKinnon. She trained in the form of feng shui from China called the BTB School, as taught by the feng shui master, Professor Lin Yun.

Today’s conversation centers around activating your “wealth corner”.  In the school of feng shui that Kate practices, as you enter through the front door, the far left corner of your home is your wealth corner. This same position, the far left corner from the entry door, is also the location of the wealth corner in each room of your home, and your office.

a feng shui diagram of your “wealth corner”

So, for those of you who are considering creating a home office, the far left corner of your home would be an ideal location for it.  And if your bedroom happens to be in that area, this is good, simply place a lovely green plant in the wealth corner.  However often the existing architecture of one’s home, prevents the installation of an office in that far left corner . . . your kitchen, for instance, may already be there, or your bathroom, or a stairwell.  Feng shui has solutions for these architectural impediments to the flow of chi, or energy, through your dwelling.  Since every room has a wealth corner, a feng shui master would work within those spaces to improve the flow of energy through them.

Here are a few things that you can do to “activate” or “energize” your wealth corner:

1. The placement of your desk – facing the doorway of your office is the best position.  Make sure it is not directly in line with the doorway but is either to the left or right of it.

2. Placing a beautiful tree or plant in your “wealth corner” is a great addition.  Plants represent money.  Of course, make sure that it is a big, healthy green plant.  A few examples of possible plant choices are money trees, bamboo plants, or ficus trees. And remember to water them! Whatever you do, don’t let them languish!


Jade plant, in flower

Lucky Bamboo


Sea Grape, beautiful round foliage


Takashimaya vases (these look like plants, so can also be used)

3. Another good idea is to have ‘moving water” (ie. a water element or fountain) in this location, as it is a great way to energize wealth.

desktopfountaindesktop fountain

4. And, lastly, mirrors are a way to expand energy.  If possible, put a mirror in your wealth corner. Maybe place it on the left wall – if it can be centered there, that is ideal, but anywhere that makes sense on the wall is great.  Alternatively, let’s say you have a view of the river, put a mirror there to reflect the water into your space.

Additional thoughts from Kate!

She emphasizes that, in feng shui, intention is everything.  In other words, as you are working on your wealth corner, visualize what you want to bring into your life – maybe a bigger apartment, more money, a promotion or bonus, a better job or even a new career, a new car, new furniture, a gianormous TV with surround sound… remember, this is about your wealth and prosperity so the clearer your vision, the more command you will have over creating it.

Kate has been in banking for 20 years and for 14 of those years she was a management consultant.  She was certified in feng shui in 2001 and works in both homes and businesses.  As we were starting our session today, she remarked to me that she has lately been working more with businesses, as many companies use Feng Shui, even Donald Trump!

If you have any questions, please post them to blog and Kate will answer them.

blog editing by Lacy Waltzman, a friend and screenwriter in los angeles
you can find her at

cleaning out your closets, making space for the New Year!

January 2, 2009

Happy 2009!   I hope you had a glorious New Year’s Eve!

This weeks’ post is about cleaning out your closets to make way for the new energy and opportunities the New Year has in store for you.  Last month I was making dinner at a friend’s home.  I had cooked at his apartment a number of times and while I tried to be zen about the clutter and disorganization in his kitchen, I just could not handle it that evening.  So as dinner was cooking I tackled the pantry, in the space of 45 minutes the whole thing was organized and orderly.  I had a great sense of accomplishment.  My friend was elated!  And subsequently he began tackling his other closets throughout his home.  A few days later he told me of his adventures in cleaning and said “I feel better, I feel lighter from cleaning my closets and throwing out all the old clutter.”

In conversation with my friend and Feng Shui consultant, Melissa Heebink, she asked some pertinent questions that you might ask yourself while you are cleaning out your closets.  “Are your closets overflowing?  If so, what are you holding onto?  Are you hanging onto things from old relationships?”  She also remarked, “If you have clutter in your home and your closets, it will impact your financial arena blocking money. new energy and relationships from coming in to our life.”  And lastly she said, “Make sure that your closet doors are always closed.”

Melissa recommends the book “Clearing your Clutter with Feng Shui” Karen Kingston

The to do list is fairly short –
1.  Organizing your closest means first culling through what you have and getting rid of old, unused items.
2. Throw out or donate clothes that you have not worn in a year or two and whatever else you can possibly part with.
3. If you are also cleaning out your hall closet, do you really need all those old tennis rackets? And sneakers that don’t fit?
4. Either throw out or have repaired anything that is broken or in need of mending.
5. Call and make an appointment with a consultant if you are hiring a full service company to design, manufacture and install your new closets.
6. If you are going to install the new closets yourself or you are buying the closet interiors and then separately hiring an installer you will need to  –
a. Measure the length/depth/height of your closet and note the door swing.
b. You will need to measure the linear inches of clothing you have – ie. you have X number of inches of hanging pants, shirts and suits, etc.

Closet Manufacturers  –

$$$$ B&B Italia


B&B Italia is a favorite manufacturer of mine.  They produce sublimely beautiful furniture and cabinetry in Italy.  You will need to be working with an Interior Designer or an Architect to order from them and once designed and ordered, your closets will be delivered in 12 – 16 weeks.  Their closets are furniture grade.

$$$   Poliform



Poliform has their own designers who can assist you in the design of your new closets.  They are a US based company.  They design, manufacture and install their closet systems.  Once design is complete it will take from 12 – 16 weeks for the receipt and installation of your closets.

$$    Your local cabinetmaker

There are several ways to tackle this approach.  You can ask a few of your friends for recommendations for local cabinetmakers that they have used and had successful projects with.  You can also go to a site like the Franklin Report and cull through their recommendations.  Some cabinetmakers prepare their own drawings, if so there will be a small additional charge for this.  Others will do it off the back of a napkin, this is not the best means by which to get custom cabinetry because without a signed and approved set of drawings by you, they can build whatever they want.  And others will require you to have drawings prepared by your own designer.  If you choose to hire a local cabinetmaker, please make sure to procure three bids for the same design layout.

$       Elfa Closets from the Container Store



Elfa Closets are an easy and quick solution.  I have found that the closet consultants at the Container Store are knowledgeable and helpful.  With your closet measurements and some idea of the linear footage of your clothing, they will prepare computer generated drawings and your order very quickly and have all the components delivered in a week or so.  Along with your order they provide drawings for the installation of your new closets.  You will need to hire your own installer or install them yourself.

Please post your comments and questions.