Color choices provide a lot of information about what is going on with the people in a house. In addition, color is effective in engaging with the dynamic energy of Flying Stars, along with other adjustments. Color is a practical solution in this sense because the Flying Stars energy changes annually and it’s fairly easy to change the color scheme of a given room either with paint or decoration. With the change of the year, color has been on my mind.
I love playing with color and I enjoy working with it in my own home. Any time I see what I would call a “good” paint color I get a sample for my collection. I am careful to choose colors that work both for my decor and for my Feng Shui purposes. That means the color is appropriate for the ch’i of the location and the look/style of the house.
Because I’ve been giving the north room of my house a makeover, I’ve been making multiple trips to the paint store gathering samples to try. I’ve been going to a particular paint store in south Seattle for 11+ years and one of the clerks, who is actually really good at color, is legally blind due to a cataract on one eye. You kind of know this already when you see how thick his glasses are.
Last Sunday when I went in, there was a woman at the counter with the legally blind clerk, and the counter was covered with photos. She had also brought a piece of wood trim. She was describing the color of her soapstone countertops. She and the clerk were in a what looked to be a lengthy discussion about what shade of “off white that doesn’t have yellow in it” she should choose for her open concept kitchen/great room. She didn’t realize he couldn’t actually see the photos because not only does he listen well, he seems to pick up an understanding of what is needed by some other means. I’m not sure how, but he can picture a color, think of its name and get you a swatch.
As she kept pressing him to choose for her, he was becoming more and more uncomfortable, walking away and coming back, cracking jokes and puns, then apologizing. She could tell he was holding back. He had opinions but kept saying “there are no wrong choices” and “I don’t want to push you into anything”. I think he knew from experience that if you agree to choose for people and they don’t like the results, they will blame you for it. If you choose for them and it’s right, they will take responsibility. Anyhow, I think they finally settled on a color called Cotton Balls. Make of that what you will!
It’s funny how some people feel like color is risky. Is the risk that you paint a whole space and then you don’t like it? Or is the risk that it’s too revealing of your self? Is the risk maybe being called out for having bad taste? Maybe it’s just a reluctance to commit in general. Maybe not. Choosing to paint everything in a neutral sends a message too. In the interplay of yin and yang that happens when we make choices there’s usually an emphasis on one or the other. Whatever the case, if you get the right (or wrong) color for the ch’i of the room you’ll feel it. Put a sample on the wall before you buy a whole gallon. I find it takes 3-5 samples to get the right color. Trust that it will happen.
As a Feng Shui consultant, I am often asked to choose paint colors. I mean, specific paint colors. So if I tell someone to use blue they want to know: do I mean turquoise? Teal? Baby blue? I have learned that it’s best to leave it to them. My advice on color is strictly based on Wu Xing (Five Agents) so if I tell you to use white, Bavarian Cream is not going to work. That’s really all you need to know.
But back to my story of redecorating the north room. It had already come a long way from the all-red decor it had when we moved in. And by all-red I mean the textured wallpaper, the trim, and even the tiny attached bathroom were all a screaming scarlet. Oh and did I mention the pink carpet? When we first saw it we called it the murder room. Here was a visual illustration of a clash. Girls against boys. A rejection of communication and emotional articulacy. An artificial and forced overvaluing of joy. A water place invaded by fire. The color choices in most areas of the house continued the theme of suppressing sons and husband by draining the Metal ch’i and making the Wood ch’i sick. These might have been the choices of a woman who felt dominated by men.
By the way, the paint color I chose for the north room, which is going to be my new office, is blue: Benjamin Moore New York State of Mind. I went dark. That doesn’t mean you have to.
For the last nine years I’ve been writing in the kitchen. I made the most of my stolen moments. Now it’s time for a space that can support a more intentional style of writing. I’ve selected a date and will move into my new office later this month. This is my gift to myself in 2018.
As some of you know, I’m taking a risk using the north room because there is some nasty ch’i there this year that should be avoided. I’ve learned a couple of tricks in the past year that I’m going to use to work around the Wu Wang and the San Sha, which you can employ in your home too if you like. Or, just get in touch if you want to know how I’m faring in my new space.