Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for visiting my blog!

I give very thorough advice in my books, lectures and consultations, but I encounter new feng shui problems all the time. Here, I’ll be sharing new solutions I come across and answering questions you might have.

If you have a question that you can’t find the answer to (please use the search box at the bottom of this page to see if I’ve covered the subject before), leave a comment here and I’ll consider writing a future blog post about it.

Feng Shui & Floor Patterns


For better feng shui, remove the rug—it’s the stripes that are the problem! Photo by J. Latter Design via Houzz

Floor patterns are important because things that are below us represent that which is fundamental. As a general rule, floor patterns should be subdued. Floor patterns that are visually arresting have the problem of pulling energy down because our eyes are drawn to the floor. Down implies down & out and it is almost never a good direction to move energy.

Stripes are very bad as a floor pattern—because they symbolize argument, and also because they can be extremely noticeable—imagine black & white stripes.

Checkerboard patterns do not have the problem of portending arguments, but they sure can be noticeable. Personally, I’m not sure I could stand living with a checkerboard floor day in and day out. I think it would work my nerves. However, if you like checkerboard patterns, I should say that I don’t think the visual busyness is a very big problem in the scope of things.

Royal York Apartment

I’m not a fan of checkboards myself, but if you like the look, the noticeability is a relatively small feng shui issue. Photo by Peter A. Sellar – Architectural Photographer via Houzz

There are two floor patterns to avoid: Diamond and Starburst. They are never a good idea! A diamond pattern is like a checkerboard, except it has been turned 45 degrees. (Compare the photo below, left, with the photo above.) The right angles of the pattern then make poison arrows at every door—very bad feng shui. (So keep that in mind if you do happen to like checkerboards—the orientation is very important.) A diamond pattern is sometimes called a harlequin pattern, and it is often more of a parallelogram than a square (which makes the two of the angles sharper than 90 degrees, so more problematic). Starburst floors have the same problem of aiming poison arrows at all doors, and the arrows are sharper than right angles.

Tuxedo Road

This is an example of a diamond-patterned floor. Photo by Dillard Pierce Design Associates via Houzz

Traditional Staircase

This is an example of a wood-inlay starburst. Pretty, but very pointy. Photo via Houzz

I recently consulted for a client who bought property only to find out that there was a tragic history associated with the lot. The previous owners had died in a house fire there. When I looked at the cement foundation, I noticed there was a steppingstone beside the patio and the stone was placed oddly. The cement had obviously been poured-in-place, so the orientation of the steppingstone was original to the house. The steppingstone was placed at a diagonalit aimed a poison arrow at the house, so the fundamental energy of the old house was that it was turned against itself. The builders had installed a poison arrow on the ground from the get-go.

That covers the “don’ts,” so let’s move on to what you can do. Hex shapes can never make poison arrows, because the angles are too wide. Hex tiles come in large and small sizes and many colors, so you have many design options.

Contemporary Home

The large hex tiles on this floor add subtle visual interest. Photo by Doors For Builders Inc via Houzz

Master Bathroom

Photo by Martha O’Hara Interiors via Houzz

Floors can still be interesting and fun, without being chaotic or implying disharmony. This bathroom floor to the right is nicely active, but in a subdued way because of the color. The simplicity of the decor is perfect for a bathroom.

By the way, I devote a section of Feng Shui for Love and Money to the problem of a Wealth Corner in the bathroom. A wood floor is a subtle way to counteract the water-draining-away energy of a bathroom; wood comes from plants and they suck up water. (This “wood” floor is quite clever, too, since it is actually porcelain—much less maintenance and risk of damage in a wet bathroom. Porcelain and clay items are also excellent to bring into a bathroom, because they’re made of earth and earth controls water—think of an earth dam holding a pond.)


To Hilo, With Love

A view of downtown Hilo. Photo by Wade Morales from the Hilo Downtown Improvement Association website.

I always enjoy a visit to lovely Hilo on the other side of the island, but this most recent trip was extra special for the rewarding (and romantic!) feedback I received.

I was called to Hilo this month for a feng shui consultation. I had been to the client’s home before, so my visit was mostly selecting wall colors and fine-tuning some object placement. My preferred way of enhancing a Relationship Corner is by using objects a client already owns and likes. I suggested moving two Balinese masks from being together on the same wall to being on adjacent walls in a corner. That way, the two faces looked more at each other. This was the email I received the next morning:

“Your visit helped me to feel good!

I did not plan it, but when I put the two masks in the corner, the male is slightly higher than the female and seems to be LOOKING RIGHT AT HER ADORINGLY!

Every time I look there, I feel like it is just around the corner that someone will look at me like that.  When I woke up and saw the masks like that first thing this morning it was an amazing feeling of upliftment and is continuing to have this effect on me.”

While I was in the area, I wanted to take care of a few errands in town. For most of the state’s history, Hilo was the second largest city in the state. Downtown Hilo is ultra charming—it’s small, but packed with nice authentic vintage architecture, including fabulous Charles Dickey buildings. My errands in Hilo took me to all three of the downtown bookstores: Basically Books, Still Life Books, and Big Island BookBuyers. Even in Honolulu, you won’t find as many nice bookstores so close together in easy walking distance.

Basically Books interior

A view of Basically Books’ store interior. They stock many local books and are very supportive of local authors and publishers.

When I was in Basically Books, one of the customers came up to me and asked, “Are you Clear?” I replied, “Yes” and she said, “I took your class in Volcano [at Volcano Garden Arts] a couple of years ago, and I’d like to tell you what happened.” I said, “I’m all ears.” She said she had gone home and put two roses in the Relationship Corner of her bedroom. Two weeks later, her boyfriend proposed to her. She had known the guy for twenty years. Numerology is not a part of my practice, but I do notice when there is good symbolism in numbers—two roses, two weeks, twenty years.

Even though I don’t usually recommend roses in a Relationship Corner (because of their thorns), the arrangement looked romantic to her—and that’s the point (pun intended). It’s been my repeated experience that when the enhancements are very personally meaningful, the result is more profound.



Feng Shui for Collectors

I’m a collector, and I appreciate good writing that takes collecting seriously. This New York Times article is interesting and the exhibit sounds very interesting. In the next three to five years I hope to get around to writing a book that I have a passion to write—Feng Shui for Collectors. In the meantime, here are some of my thoughts on collecting as it relates to feng shui.

Keep the knickknack collection under control. This photo appeared in my book Feng Shui for Hawaii with the caption: Beware of letting your home get cluttered with objects that don’t reflect you. Remember, each object has a voice.

This photo appeared in my book Feng Shui for Hawaii with the following caption: Beware of letting your home get cluttered with objects that don’t reflect you. Remember, each object has a voice.

Collecting is a huge topic. I’ve framed these suggestions as don’ts because it keeps the openness of collection categories. I have one thing to say about categories of collections at the end.

Firstly, don’t collect beyond your means. My father had a saying, ‘If you can’t pay for it, you can’t afford it—don’t buy it.” If you collect more than you can afford, you have to harness your willpower and put more money in the bank. Bad finances erode the stability of your life, and anything that does that is bad feng shui. Collections are not necessities.

Secondly, don’t collect beyond your space—not if you want to continue collecting. Making your home too crowded will affect your health; that’s from my twenty years experience as a feng shui consultant. The feng shui message you are putting out into the world if your home is stuffed with things is “I have no room for new energy.” Be prepared to edit your collection when better items come along.

Thirdly, don’t collect everything—it’s not possible—you must specialize. Narrowing a collection makes it feel smarter. Perhaps continue to narrow it down. It’s fine to have several collections—especially if you’re not actively adding new items to most of your collections. I have several collections, but only one active collection (books). I recommend having sub-collections within a larger collection—the sub-collections showing specialized aspects of the whole collection.

My readers and clients always comment on the plentiful color photos in my books.

My readers always comment on the plentiful color photos in my books, many of which are taken at the homes and gardens of my clients. I hope to include lots of collection examples in the new book.

DecorativeObjSpreadFourthly, don’t collect objects when money (investment value) precedes love in their acquisition. Love an object first, before collecting it. Don’t let investment value be your main motivation. Here’s what the Oct/Nov. 2013 issue of the AARP Bulletin says, “…just about anything recently produced that’s touted as rare or limited edition is unlikely to appreciate in value.” In feng shui, objects are symbols representing your desire to affect the energy in your home; they are much more powerful when they have meaning for you, and especially if you love them.

Lastly, don’t collect disturbing images—anything morbid or ghoulish. It’s not good for your spirit to have those images in your environment. A collection should be more uplifting than that.

I anticipate that when Feng Shui for Collectors is published, it will be beautiful—with color pictures as in Feng Shui for Hawaii and Feng Shui for Hawaii Gardens. To that end, I need photographs. So, calling all collectors out there—you know who you are. If you’re interested in having pictures of your collections in the book, please contact me. No money or book exchange involved—you would just be able to point to pictures in a lovely book and say, “That’s my collection.”


Feng Shui and Bookends

There is a particular kind of bookend that should never be placed in the Relationship Corner of the house or of a room. I’m referring to a pair of bookends which look like one complete object when placed together with no books between them. This brass pineapple bookend set separates so each end is half of a pineapple. That’s the kind not to put in your Relationship Corner, because it’s essentially singular — it’s one thing, chopped apart.

pineapplebookendtogether pineapplebookends

Because they are metal, I’d put them in the Creativity/Children Area or the Travel/Helpful People Area, where they would be excellent. Make sure you position pokey bookends like these pineapples in a place where the points don’t aim at people—which could easily be the case if they are placed on something low such as a coffee table or end table.

These vintage McCoy bookends are not only cute, they’re perfect for a Relationship Corner—and that’s where we keep them.When the pottery bookends are placed together with no books, it’s obvious that it’s the same thing twice—neither bookend is half of anything.

planterbookends planterbookendtogether

They make up a pair, and pairs are good in a Relationship Corner. Part of the cuteness of this set of bookends is not just the surprising color combination, it’s the silliness of the whole design—at least for me. The maroon part is meant to be a planter, or possibly even a vase—neither of which are good to have around books because they add humidity, and books need dry air. We keep clothespins in them because we have a clothesline nearby. Silk plants of the appropriate shade for the bagua location would also work nicely. Remember to keep them nice and clean.



Feng Shui for Prosperity – Excerpt in Conscious Lifestyle Magazine

ConsciousLifestyleClipLast year, I was asked for permission to excerpt content from my most recent book, Feng Shui for Love & Money, in Conscious Lifestyle magazine. I readily granted that permission, and you can read the excerpt, which they have called “Feng Shui For Money and Wealth: How to Apply The Ancient Chinese Science of Decorating Your Home For Prosperity,” on their website.

I have to note that I was not consulted on the photo they used as the main illustration, and I would have strongly urged them to reconsider, had I been asked. It’s very disorienting and not good feng shui at all. That being said, the information is what I consider the basics of feng shui, as well as some good starter advice for bringing more prosperity into your home.

Most of the advice regarding prosperity that’s included in this excerpt has to do with how you decorate your Wealth Corner. The longer and more correct name for this part of the bagua map is the Fortunate Blessings Area. It’s important to remember that fortunate blessings can take many forms that don’t directly involve money.