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Published October 7th, 2015
Fall Feng Shui and the Metal Element
This table setting incorporates elements of wood, earth and fire for the perfect Thanksgiving feast. Photos provided

It's raining and so lovely today as I write this from my porch in Lamorinda and the wish to reach for a cozy sweater reminds me it is fall.
Typically, the dining room needs a feng shui makeover this time of year as we tend to gather in to warmer spaces with family and friends, lingering over meals on shorter days.
Design with an appreciation of the five elements (water creates wood, wood creates fire, fire creates earth, earth creates metal and metal creates water) integral to Chinese culture, Chinese medicine and feng shui requires a basic understanding of the feng shui Bagua (see diagram on page D12). Overlay the BAGUA map over the floorplan of your residence, and use the actual elements, representative shapes and colors to make the five elements come alive and ignite a nourishing energetic in your home. One of the best places to focus your attention during fall is the dining room and the bounty of the harvest found at the dining room table.
Dining rooms can often become a dumping ground for the entire household's daily accumulations, or worse, a makeshift office. How can we gather with friends and family at the dining room table if it is piled high with household clutter?
Part of getting a handle on clutter anywhere in our homes is by simply observing where stuff tends to accumulate and pile up. These are potentially areas of stagnation, so note what Bagua areas on the diagram are affected.
Fall is ruled by the metal element, and includes metallic colors as well as gray and white. You can balance the metal element with bits of red (fire) and green (wood), both of which present many delightful opportunities for someone with a creative eye.
Highlight and incorporate edgy metal baskets to collect some of the dining room clutter, or add metal yard sculptures or other metallic items in your dining room décor. Sophisticated scented soy Anthropologie candles in silver finish, gleaming silver serving dishes and mixing silver and gold metals with evergreens, red cyclamen and rosemary centerpieces will bring a sparkle to your table.
Be playful, artfully display what you like, and create an abundance of fall reminders with actual harvested items like pinecones for table place card holders, abundant candlelight for glowing conversations, strewn gourds for a casually elegant table, and warmer tones for table linens. Create intimacy since generally only our closest friends and family are invited over to our homes for dinner.
Remember to warm up the area, too, and be seasonal in terms of what you are serving and sharing around your dining room table to balance the cooler weather.
Fall offers us a chance to reflect and gain clarity on the lessons of this harvest, and to ask ourselves what worked and what did not. The vision of that thought may be enough inspiration to start creating a fresh dining room approach that you are inspired to entertain in and that also includes the subtle and ancient art of feng shui.
If the holidays (and clutter) are stressing you beyond imagination, and who isn't stressed in anticipation of multiple fall holidays, use organizing professionals (ask me who) to help clear out, sort and organize. It's win-win way to get your home in tip-top shape for the holidays, clear out the superfluous so you can imagine how you can create fresh holiday glimmer for a truly fresh take on your personal fall holiday design and décor.

Use gourds in your d�cor to highlight the harvest season.
Deep reds of fall can balance with the metal element in home d�cor.
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S. is an Orinda resident who, since 1999, enjoys creating "Space as Medicine" Feng Shui one space at a time, as well as hiking in nature, cooking, and spending time with her family; Canyon Ranch Feng Shui Master, International Feng Shui Guild (IFSG) Red Ribbon Professional. To schedule a professional 2015 Feng Shui Consultation, contact Michele at (520) 647-4887 or send an email to spaceharmony@gmail.com.

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