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Setting a Serene Scene With a Touch of Feng Shui

When interior designer Kay Kollar was having trouble sleeping at night, she tired of tossing and turned to feng shui, the ancient Chinese practice of creating environmental well-being. “I’m interested in things that heighten my awareness,” Kollar says. “I was drawn to investigate feng shui in the same way I investigate the color for a room.”

Kollar brought in feng shui consultant Simona Mainini, and together they considered every detail of her 1926 Mediterranean-style apartment in Los Angeles--the way it relates to the surrounding landscape, the magnetic fields within each room, the floor plan, the alignment of doors and windows, even the age of the building. Mainini developed a plan for the most propitious placement of furnishings and other design elements believed to enhance the flow of chi, or positive energy, throughout the apartment.

As it turned out, Kollar’s interiors--already a quiet study in dark woods, off-white textured upholstery, antique silk throws and Fortuny pillows--needed only a little tweaking to produce a more tranquil setting. To improve the energy in the living room and kitchen, fresh running water now

gurgles in two small fountains that Kollar fashioned from old planters. Kollar’s bed, once in the center of the bedroom, is now “grounded” against the southeast wall for a favorable sleeping position. And vintage wind-up clocks were added by the bed, entry door and studio drawing table to provide the moving metal that is said to balance magnetic fields.

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Her personal exploration of feng shui completed, Kollar now reports getting a good night’s rest and more. Besides being a residential interior designer, she is an architect on the new Chicago prototype for Tiffany stores, a project that requires commuting between the East and West coasts. “It would be wrong to call me a feng shui designer or crusader,” Kollar explains, “but the changes have helped me to have peace of mind.”


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