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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Feng shui is malarkey

Wendy Goodman for New York Magazine.

The first post title I tippity-typed was "Feng Shui is Horseshit," but I realize that other bloggers who've been kind enough to include La Lamp Shade on their blog rolls may not appreciate swears popping up on their feeds. The sentiment is the same though.

Now I get that an enormous number of Chinese citizens and women who feel Coldwater Creek is a wardrobing statement are going to be mad at me, but I can prove - prove, I say! - that feng shui has nothing to do with good interior design.

Case in point: the home of feng shui "expert" Laura Benko of NYC. Benko is a "ten-year feng shui veteran" who believes "If the client doesn’t cry, I haven’t done my job." Lovely. 

In a corner of Benko's home are two items that make my toes curl - a bergère used as a desk chair (way too low unless Benko is a former Olympic women's basketball player) and a work of art hung at mid-chest (which would negate the Olympics theory). Art usually hangs at eye level, which can be low, if over a sofa, or high, if adjacent a staircase. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Buddha devil eyes is hanging at titty level.

Feng shui - the ancient practice of justifying poor interior design.

Benko Feng Shui [official site]

19 comments:

Camilla @ Designalogue said...

I looked at my houses feng shui recently & discovered that my relationship corner is where the hot water service is.
So Im blaming that & only that for my recent defacto divorce!!

My Interior Life said...

You know, I must be honest in admitting that I know little to nothing about Feng Shui. I've heard some things in passing, and my house/design usually violates all the things I've heard. The one tenet that sticks out is you shouldn't be able to see the back door from your front door or your $ will just flow right out the back door. No wonder I'm not wealthy!

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

Watched a Bullshit! show (with Penn and Teller) on feng shui and they asked three different fen shui experts on how to arrange the same room... you guessed it, they all arranged it completely differently.

It's not fair that Laura and other people get rich off this. Grr.

Raina Cox said...

Camilla - A cold-water flat will bring out the beaus!

My Interior Life - I read a similar FS (BS?)"principle" that a mirror opposite the front door will bounce money right back out of a house. *eyeroll*

Elisa - I love Penn and Teller with all my bits.

sarah, flourish design + style said...

How many years have I been adoring your wit now? Thanks Raina :) x

wellfedfred said...

I humbly thank you for this.

Peeke said...

Feng Shui Expert = Day Job for a Crazy Cat Lady.

I laugh so hard whenever anyone on an HGTV show starts talking about Feng Shui. They sound so idiotic and they usually have questionable tastes. I start looking for signs of multiple cats in the background....

maison21 said...

tee hee- you said "titty level". ;-)

Petra Voegtle said...

Raina - I could not agree more. But there is one fact to mention: the so-called Feng Shui EXPERTS are 99,9% fakes. Why do people always believe that if they have accomplished a lesson or 2 with another so-called EXPERT that they are now EXPERTS themselves?
Feng Shui is a thousand year old knowledge about the harmony of beings and things. True Feng Shui Masters study this knowledge for decades, have been educated since childhood in various disciplines etc. How could ever a dumb (sorry) Westerner ever comprehend this knowledge in a 2-weeks lesson?

It's the same with all that esoteric sh.. and pseudo Buddhists who suddenly believe that their lives have been enlightened only because they have been in an ashram or have accomplished a Yoga lesson bought on TV.

This drives me clearly mad!!!!

Petra Voegtle said...

BTW - I forgot to say that I also find the painting incredibly creepy if not blasphemous - not the right way to practice Feng Shui!!!!

Jill said...

Thank you. I laughed out loud and released a ton of tension. It's been a tough week.

A Perfect Gray said...

yet another reason to love you.

rebecca said...

where's the *love* button?

jtc said...

Be interesting to analyze the Feng Shui of the ugliest house. It's occupants have repeatedly had tough times.

I once owned a truly gorgeous house that would not sell - was on the market for months - until my agent buried a saint in the front yard and I swear the next day a lady walked in and wrote a really big check for the asking price.

Bromeliad said...

A-men.

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

Ha! Amen indeed! Furniture arranging for me usually involves making sure I can't run into it. I have a tendency to walk right into tables. Maybe I can make money walking around people's houses and telling them to move furniture I run into.

Lekalia Interiors said...

I just found your blog and holy cow you are funny! We should be friends!

Modern Country Lady said...

I just love it when people start seriously talking about fen Shui- I just know I can then lean back and relax and just close mt ears for the next ten minutes of inane dribble hahaha

blueAby said...

You are awesome. I love this post. Mostly because of your incredibly hilarious writing style but also because my neighbor's adult daughter (who thankfully only visits occasionally) talked my ear off about how amazing fen shui is in her loud Fran Drescher voice just a few days ago.