My nephew recently got married in a warehouse in Portland, Oregon. Are you imagining cement floors, exposed brick walls, and air ducts in the ceiling? You would be exactly right – except now imagine sparkling crystal-like bead curtains separating the ceremony from the reception tables, white chairs facing a simple altar, a flower-strewn path, candlelight shimmering. The place had been transformed. The Left Bank Annex offers open warehouse space for conferences, dances, exhibitions, and weddings. Just like our homes, this annex provided a blank space upon which the couple could express themselves. Standing in this beautifully arranged space reminded me of the Feng Shui truism: environment mirrors consciousness. My nephew and his bride created a beautiful environment for us to anticipate, experience, and then celebrate their wedding. Isn’t this what we want in our homes and offices — a space that expresses who we are at this moment in our lives?
In the space, the couple hung from the ceiling opaque white gauze curtains to separate the bar from the ceremony area and transparent crystal-like bead curtains to separate the ceremony space from the reception tables and dance floor. White chairs faced the front of the building through windows that framed the sunset. Each chair had a beautiful printed schedule with the names of the family, the attendants, and the music being featured. A small white table served as the altar and held a simple wooden wine box for the couple to enclose letters they’d written to each other along with a bottle of wine to be opened when they needed to be reminded what brought them together. Battery-operated tea lights hung from wires along the back wall of the reception area. The flowers, tablecloths and placards all matched the wedding colors – silver, spring green and white. At the end of the evening, guests were given sparklers to send the couple off on their honeymoon. As guests, we felt entirely taken care of – a schedule told us what to anticipate, placards told us where to sit, sparklers were passed out: every detail was handled. It was a Feng Shui triumvirate: we felt safe, comfortable, and surrounded by beauty.
A blank space invites us to decorate. Frankly, it can be harder to look at our own rooms filled with stuff – furniture, lamps, pillows, rugs, artwork, and clutter– and imagine a blank canvas upon which to describe who we are. Just like weddings can rekindle thoughts of romance, an empty room gets me thinking about what to arrange in it!
I invite you to imagine starting fresh with your space – like a big, open warehouse. What would you do differently? What would you keep the same? Would you paint the walls or hang wallpaper? Would you consider separating the room with a curtain hung from the ceiling? What artwork would stay, be sold or given away? Would you change color schemes? Go from traditional to modern? Feng Shui reminds us to create our spaces to help us reach our goals. The decoration of the warehouse for my nephew’s wedding was an apt reminder of how we, too, can start fresh — turn a space into exactly what we need and want. Feng Shui gives us the tools and guidelines – and inspiration — to do it.
Now, where can I hang a beautiful beaded curtain?
(For photos of the Left Bank Annex – before and after – go to: http://www.facebook.com/thrivingspaces)