While we’re on the subject of transformation, if you have an interest in improving various facets of your life via feng shui, I highly recommend Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life, by Karen Rauch Carter. I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s been ages so I’ll take a shot at repeating myself. Her approach blends thousands of years of tradition with modern sensibilities, and it’s written in a very down-to-earth, approachable style. Although it’s already February, I’m still working out the kinks in my new year’s resolutions, and one of them is to feng shui my office. My goal?


Haha, ok, so that’s just one of my goals. Probably most of the other goals have a lot to do with this goal–and since this is my office, I’m only talking about professional stuff. I want to grow my business, increase web traffic, figure out how my writing partner and I get our book published (first draft of first book nearly completed!), build up my savings account again, etc., etc. I thought I’d share the tweaks I’ve made, in case you have similar dreams in mind.

First, let’s start out with the bagua–a way of dividing your room into a grid. Each portion of the grid corresponds to an area of your life. Here’s a handy-dandy visual…and since this is a home decor blog, let’s say it in FLOR tiles, shall we?


If you stand with your back to the doorway of whatever room you want to feng shui, you can map out your room’s grid if you imagine you are standing on the bottom of any of the three bottom squares–Knowledge & Wisdom (if your doorway is at the far left of the wall), Career (if your doorway’s in the center) or Travel & Helpful People (if your doorway’s on the right side of the wall).

While I would love to tell you everything you wanted to know about how to feng shui your space, there is far too much ground to cover in a blog post, and truthfully, I’m no expert. But following along with the book, I performed the following tweaks:


If beefing up black content in my career corner is good, this vintage “Number One” lucite tray that Claire gave me once upon a time should really do the trick. Right now I have it sitting on my bookshelf, but I intend to figure out a way to hang it on one of the shelves itself, so that it faces out like this.

"You're #1" black vintage lucite tray.

Thank you, Claire!



The author recommends putting pictures or books written by famous “helpers” in this corner, and she included Dr. Wayne Dyer in her list of examples. Way back when I first met Design Star alum Trent Hultgren, he talked me into buying Dyer’s book, The Power of Intention. I think I got about halfway through before I abandoned it, but now that dude’s going to hang in my Helpful People corner! Also recommended: a silver box with a lid containing three situations that need helpful people, so I was psyched to find this cute little mercury box at Anthropologie recently. Since silver is a big deal for this corner, I also included the tiniest trophy you’ll ever see in your life. I won it as a high school senior, having been voted “Most Artistic.”
My "helpful people" corner includes the Wayne Dyer book, The Power of Intention, a small silver trophy won in high school for "Most Artistic" and a silver-toned mercury glass box from Anthropologie holding a list of people I hope will help me.

I hadn’t remembered the part where she said you shouldn’t include more than three items on your list in this box until I referred to the book just now. Oops! So I have some editing to do, but you get the idea.

My helpful people corner includes a mercury glass box with a lid and holds my list of people I hope will help me achieve my goals.


Attempting to beef up my Wealth & Prosperity corner, I pulled a bunch of books with purple spines off my bookshelves and styled the top of my filing cabinet with them, since the color purple enhances this area. Funny range of titles, I must say. Would Kurt Vonnegut shudder at the thought of hanging out with Jacqueline Susann or would he be delighted? Hard to say…

In my attempt to feng shui my office, my wealth and prosperity corner now features a stack of purple books and a purple bowl.


I’m dying to make a good showing for Apartment Therapy’s Homies awards for Best Home Design and Inspiration Blogs (if you haven’t voted for FU FOR THOUGHT yet, please go here and vote for us!!!) so I’ve printed a picture of a volcano erupting (to tap into the fire element) and written specific goals on this sheet. To remind myself often, I’ve just placed the paper face up on top of hanging files in the filing cabinet. Every time I pull out the drawer, I see them and re-read my goal list. (I did this also in my Wealth & Prosperity corner with a pic of a water fall.)

Feng shui reminders--a picture of a volcano erupting in my wealth & prosperity corner.


If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while, you know I’ve had my fair share of injuries and have spent far too many months hobbling around on crutches. This is not only painful and costly in terms of copays and pain meds…being a self-employed person means that sick time is what an economics professor might call an opportunity cost. If you are not an economic wiz, here’s how an opportunity cost was defined for me. If you clean your own house, you save yourself the expense of paying someone else to do it. If the cost to hire someone to perform the task is $40/hour but you could earn more than that if you were working during those hours, that is an opportunity cost. You have cost yourself the opportunity to earn more than you saved. So I wanted to prevent injuries for a number of reasons, and after reading this section of the book, I discovered I had a metal side table in this corner (metal=bad in your Physical & Well Being corner), so I moved that to another area in the room. Greenery and foliage are good to have in this part of your space, so I dangled some faux botanicals from Crate & Barrel over the top of the art I had hanging on that wall–which, fortunately, already featured a lot of green. Faux is probably not what the author had in mind, but I say, use what you have! At least it won’t die. Dead foliage in this spot would be much worse than faux, no?

My physical health & well-being corner features some greenery.

Let’s see if it works!

Have you done any feng shui in your own space? What kinds of “cures” did you perform? Have you had success with feng shui? I’d love to hear your stories–even if you think it’s all a bunch of bunk.