Thursday, June 14, 2007, 10:14 AM
Did you know: when I'm not transforming spaces, I'm designing and building sculptural lamps. It all started about 6 years ago with a vision of creating gorgeous, transcendent light art that would remind people of their nature, which *is* nature. Lights that are beautiful and alive, like us! I am finally manifesting my creations and installing them at events, sharing their magic. Soon I will be offering them for special event rental, taking orders for fine art commissioned pieces, and offering a line of mesmerizing designs. It's another way for me to help make the world more beautiful. That is one of the things I'm here to do!
This image shows the piece I am currently working on right now... it is about 6' tall, and filled with color-changing LEDs. I call it "Luminous Tease".
Monday, April 23, 2007, 03:42 PMSpaceTransform got a little write-up last week on NWSource.com's "Daily Find." Check it out:
Change your world with an interior 're-designer'
Thursday, March 22, 2007, 08:08 PM
Ah... sweet spring!
Growing up in Minnesota, where winters were long and frozen, I developed a deep appreciation for the return of spring. During the painfully cold and grey winters it would seem almost incomprehensible that the season would again change to one of warmth and life. But of course it always would, eventually. Sunny days in March (or April) would feel like a miracle, a surprise blessing from the universe. Spring's ecstatic return after a dark winter would remind me of the reliability of the change in seasons. That I could trust in nature! That change was inevitable. That new life wants to emerge... and that we all are given opportunities to renew ourselves, to grow and transform. Even now, living in temperate Seattle I am deeply moved by this time of transition and the energy it carries.
The Chinese theory of Yin/Yang complementary balance explains the normal change of the seasons in this way: winters show the Yin aspects of darkness, passivity, and coldness. The cycle in spring then naturally changes to the Yang conditions of brightness, activity, and expansion. This is why we are in harmony with nature when we rest and go inward in winter, and when in spring our energy raises and we grow and express ourselves.
Spring is here again, for the land and for us. What new discoveries will you find within yourself, what new activities will you begin, how will you grow and transform in this exciting, revitalizing time?
Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 01:10 AM
Healthy indoor plants are incredibly beneficial to the beauty and energy of a home.
* They clean the air, taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
* Plants in potting soil bring both wood and earth elements into a space, which represent growth and stability.
* If placed in appropriate locations, plants will always have an extremely profound positive effect on the beauty and power of a space.
Following a few guidelines will help you best integrate plants into your home.
* In terms of plant shapes to choose, keep in mind that form defines energy. Which plant would you imagine would have more harmonious energy -- one with sharp spiky leaves, or one with soft rounded clusters? In general, choose plants that have rounded or oval leaves rather than spiky leaves or cacti.
* Choose plants that are appropriate to the light levels and other conditions in your home.
* Place plants in pretty pots that are big enough (but not too big) for their roots to grow and expand. Repot them when necessary for their continued radiance.
* If well cared-for and healthy, plants' vitality will generate chi (life-energy) for their environment. If they're unhealthy or contain dead plant-matter, they will actually have a negative effect on the energy of the space. It is therefore important to take good care of your plants, to pay close attention to their health, and to trim off dead bits when necessary.
Life is better with plants!
Monday, January 29, 2007, 01:06 PM
From a Feng Shui perspective, the front entrance is one of the most important features of a home, strongly affecting the experience of its inhabitants as well as its guests.
The front entrance (or the entrance used mainly) is the face of the house, and in that sense it represents a home's image and character. It greets you as you return after each excursion. It greets guests as they enter. And it leaves the final imprint as we depart into the world. It is the window between the inside sanctuary and the outside environment, the vital passageway through which chi energy flows. The entrance therefore has a very important role and should be given appropriate care and attention.
The following should be considered:
* The entrance should be clear, visible, confident. It should not hide behind overgrown bushes or plantings.
* The front porch is not a good place to store clutter or belongings which don't have a place inside the house. Many people spend time and energy carefully arranging the interiors of their houses to create a good feeling, but if the front entrance is cluttered then the experience will still suffer; by the time they and guests have arrived in to that space, they have already been negatively affected by the entrance's first impression.
* The flow of energy into the house is affected by the objects in its way. So in addition to affecting humans' perception of the home, clutter and overgrown foliage will hamper the ability for chi to enter and vitalize the space.
* Design front entrances with care and intention: clear of clutter, with a few beautiful objects arranged in a simple, balanced, harmonious way. This will provide a positive first impression, visually and energetically, for you and your guests.
* The area just inside the entrance should also be arranged well, providing a welcoming and spacious place for us to transition between the outside and inside.
Next time you enter your front entrance, pay attention to the subtle impressions it creates. What simple changes could you make to optimize this facet of your home?
[photo: front door designed by Morris Sheppard]
Monday, January 8, 2007, 09:45 PMIn Feng Shui we talk about living in harmony with nature, and that includes considering the rhythm of the seasons as we go about our lives.
Our mechanical world of electric lights, alarm clocks, and year-round availability of all manners of food has confused our bodies' instinctual alignment with natural principles. However, becoming conscious of this fact we can make choices to better honor nature's seasonal intelligence. We should not necessarily try to keep a constant and unchanging state of work, rest, and eating throughout the year.
Many people I've been encountering lately (myself included) complain of being tired due to the winter weather. Instead of seeing this tiredness as a problem to be resisted, why not simply respond to it with more sleep?
As nature finds in winter a time of rest and renewal, so should we. So give yourself permission to go to bed a bit earlier or to sleep a bit later. It's OK to take a brief nap in the afternoon. It's just fine to spend Saturday night snuggled up with a book. We are simply flowing with natural principles when we subtly allow our energies to cycle seasonally.
Spring and its burst of new energy and life will be here soon enough, joyfully pulling us with it... so let's all help each other remember to delight in the calm inward restful nature of winter.
Friday, December 29, 2006, 01:57 AM
The pictures above are from a Redesign I did today... I'll let them tell the story of the incredible feeling a room gets as soon as it has a place to gather, a "conversation area".
Tuesday, December 19, 2006, 02:15 AMWhen the topic of Feng Shui comes up, people inevitably think of mirrors. It is indeed true that mirrors are very powerful, and that they can be used to a great advantage or a great disadvantage in a space, depending on their placement. But additionally, many popular Feng Shui guides utilize mirrors as quick-fix remedies for all manners of problems, and some clever marketers even label and sell small mirrors for this specific purpose.
It is important to keep in mind that authentic Feng Shui is not about products, it is about principles. It is also not about seemingly arbitrary remedies. Feng Shui makes sense, it is intuitive, and it is practical.
So what does that mean for mirror placement? For the most part, mirrors are appropriate under four conditions:
1. To see yourself for grooming and dressing. Of course!
2. To artificially extend a space, to make it feel larger.
3. To create more light.
4. To reflect something beautiful.
Be sure that when hanging a mirror you do so with intention and purpose, and know which of these conditions you're satisfying. I also always try to satisfy #4, regardless of the original purpose of a mirror. That is because mirrors are essentially amplifying whatever they reflect -- why give yourself two of an unattractive area of your home when you could double the effect of something beautiful instead?
It is also important to use extra care when placing mirrors in bedrooms and at entrances. Mirrors are dynamic and create some chaotic energy, so in bedrooms they need to be used sparingly (or large ones covered at night), and placed in such a way that we're not forced to look at them as soon as we get out of bed. And at our front entrances we want to draw the energy and attention into our homes rather than reflect it back out, so that means that mirrors should not directly face the front door.
In other words: What do you want to see?
Friday, December 15, 2006, 02:44 AMIn Feng Shui the bedroom is one of the most important considerations in the home. After all, it is where most of us spend roughly 1/3 of our lives. It is where we go to rest, nourish, and revitalize our bodies and our minds. It is where we go to spend intimate time with our partners, safe and away from the rest of the world. And it is where we go to dream...
It makes sense, then, that our bedroom would affect us significantly. And it does -- it sets the tone for the end and start of our days, and directly contributes to the degree to which we're nourished by the nights in between. That impacts our physical and mental health, our energy level, our relationships -- everything.
It is therefore very beneficial to arrange our bedrooms in accordance with some basic principles of Feng Shui.
The first is that the bedroom is essentially a Yin room, as opposed to a Yang room. Yin is the quiet, calm aspect relative to the bright, dynamic Yang. We should do our best to create a room that is tranquil and nourishing at night by covering up large windows and mirrors, keeping the lights low, and decorating simply and subtly with soothing objects and colors.
The other basic consideration in the bedroom is that of the bed placement. It is important that the head of the bed is against a solid wall, not against a window or floating in the room. If possible the bed should be placed such that the entrance to the room is visible across the room, but not directly in front of the feet -- ideally at a diagonal. This placement makes us feel the most supported and safe and comfortable in our rooms.
Try it and you'll see!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006, 08:08 PMThe underlying dynamic in nature is that of the continual search for balance. Think of the way that branches sprout from a tree, the course a meandering river takes, the rhythms of the season, of your breath, and of each and every day. We simply cannot exist outside of this dynamic energy play -- it infuses every thing, and every action in the world.
It is this universal concept of balance that is at the heart of good Feng Shui practice.
It is also at the heart of good Life practice.
I am reading an amazing book right now which deals with this very subject. It is called "Living in Balance: A Dynamic Approach for Creating Harmony & Wholeness in a Chaotic World". It was written by Joel and Michelle Levey, two highly-respected spiritual teachers who I've been lucky enough to meet. Their authentic presence and sweetness carries over into their writings, which are incredibly accessible and warm.
This book is a powerful yet simple guide for gaining personal insight, growth, and empowerment. By showing us how to honor our place in the natural rhythms of life it teaches us skills to increase our ability to make our journey harmonious. I highly recommend it for a winter read...