Wabi Sabi…what?


wabi sabi

Wabi Sabi took the interior design community by storm in 2020, and endures in 2021. But what is it and does it even relate to Feng Shui? Wabi Sabi is a Japanese concept, roughly translated as seeing beauty in imperfection. When I lived there, I saw effortless examples of this in pottery, furniture, tea ceremony and flower arranging.


It’s a concept that really can’t be forced, and I think, in that way, it relates to Feng Shui. Wabi Sabi is not cluttered, or austere- it’s real and you can see the human touch. I think in Feng Shui, there is almost always imbalance and constant change and there really is no such thing as perfect Feng Shui or perfect chi. 


There’s a transience to Wabi Sabi as there is in a Feng Shui; it does not sit still. Both Wabi Sabi and Feng Shui are intrinsic to Japanese life. Japanese do not talk about things being Wabi Sabi, and don’t try to make things Wabi Sabi- it just is. It is the same for Feng Shui; it is practiced when choosing a home, remodeling, and location, but it is so woven into their lives, they don’t recognize either concept as things.


If you want the Wabi Sabi design aesthetic and you want that as an example of good Feng Shui, here you go…

Image Credit: VanSeo Design
Crab Plate from Japan

Rainbows and Butterflies….and Feng Shui


After my dad passed away, every time I saw a double rainbow, I decided that was him saying “hi.” Rainbows evoke feelings of positivity-the storm’s over, sun coming out and butterflies.


2020 was a year of tremendous loss, so, recently,  anytime I’ve seen a rainbow, I’m hopeful.


Rain, of course is water, and the water element is very powerful in Feng Shui. Water is akin to stimulation of ides, communication, business and the flow of currency. 


Rain water is also cleansing, ridding of negative chi, new beginnings. Too big a storm, or a destructive storm,  is not good, nor is a little spritz helpful.


We probably all need a good storm now to quite literally clear the air and offer a chance for better communication.

6 Feng Shui Tips For 2021


luo pan

Seasons Greetings! As we enter into 2021, the year of the Metal Ox, there are some Feng Shui tips that we can all apply that will help make the year easier for us. 


In a perfect world, to optimize the best Feng Shui, we must take into consideration the occupants birth date and time to choose best directions to sleep, work, and prepare food, where to break ground and where not to, as well as a host of other activities. 


The tips below apply to everyone for this coming year… so here we go. 

1.You’ll need to get a compass or use your smartphone compass to orient yourself to your home’s directions if you don’t already know them.


2. It is best to not occupy the Southeast or East of your home longer than is necessary this year.


3. Seek out the West and North, Southwest and Northeast areas of your home.

4. In the Northeast and the West, if you can, leave lights on 24/7 or if you have natural light, let it in consistently. 


5. In the Northeast and in the Southwest, it is helpful to place 4 plants or 4 stalks of bamboo stems in water-these must be healthy and alive! Replace them with like item if they die. 


6. 2021 is supposed to be a year of recovery and restoration, with less volatility.  Let go of objects and clothing you no longer use or need. Be light with your belongings. Declutter and keep surfaces clean. Work on letting go of resentment and anger. This is a good year to reset your temper. 


Try some or all of these to set you up for a better balanced 2021! 

Here Comes the Metal Ox


2021 ushers in the year of the Metal Ox and we bid adieu to that Metal Rat that literally plagued us in 2020!

metal ox
Metal Ox


The Metal Ox year should be one of recovery and renewal. Things will not change overnight, but it should be less volatile than the Metal Rat of 2020. The Metal of this year is not as sharp or as antagonistic as the Metal element of 2020, but the events of this year have already put into motion change for the coming year.


To prepare, sage your home and workspace on Dec 21, the Winter Solstice. Sage is an antibacterial (yay! but better for you than hand sanitizer) and you should use white sage-they are often sold in bundles and there are even sage kits in abalone. Open your doors and windows-hit every corner of every room. Keep it lit, but embers burning only, which creates a strong smoke.

white sage
White Sage

A Year of Restoration


2021 ushers in the year of the Metal Ox. This year is supposed to be a year of restoration. Phew! We all need that after 2020. 


Pantone has chosen the colors for 2021; a neutral gray, Ultimate Gray, and a bold yellow, illuminating yellow-2 colors! The gray I immediately get-it represents metal, precision, yielding. 

via Pantone


The bold yellow is less obvious. Yellow is usually about communication; this yellow, however, is bold and may not set the stage for communication. To me, it evokes getting up and going, fast…illuminating, like the sun, it may help reveal some ideas that we can only see after living through 2020. 

by Intexure Architects
Hinkley was ahead of the curve using yellow.

What do you think? Do you like both? One or the other? Where would you put this in your home? 

Elements and the Visible Planets


I learned today that the 5 elements integral to Feng Shui come from the five observable planets we can see from Earth with the naked eye. It makes sense that what was observed is the basis for science thousands of years ago. 

Interestingly, this month is the easiest to see all 5 planets at various times from sunset until sunrise, depending on where you live. 

The element planet connection is also likely based on colors-Mars looks red, Mercury has a blue hue, Jupiter, browns and greens, Venus looks golden, Saturn is considered earth. Jupiter is 木星 (Mùxīng), the Wood Star. Mars is 火星 (Huǒxīng), the Fire Star. Saturn is 土星 (Tǔxīng), the Earth Star. Venus is 金星 (Jīnxīng), the Metal or Gold Star, and Mercury is 水星 (Shuǐxīng), the Water Star.

Stay tuned for more elemental information, and be sure to try to spot the planets this month if you are able.