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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Dorm Room Feng Shui Solutions

KRT Wire | 08/04/2005 | Paperback shows feng shui in the dorm way: "Paperback shows feng shui in the dorm way


South Florida Sun-Sentinel

(KRT) - "Dorm Room Feng Shui" (Storey Publishing, $10.95), by Katherine Olaksen, is a simple paperback that promises to change your life. Girlfriend, who doesn't want a little help?

Feng shui is the Chinese art of placing objects that some folks believe will do everything from improve your love life to help you make better grades. The explanations can get pretty complicated (and boring), but not this time.

I was ready to dismiss this as still another way to make bucks out of the Asian design concept that has gained popularity in the United States over the past decade. But this charming 144-page paperback is fun and easy to browse, unlike some of the other feng shui books that read like a text in a class you would give anything to drop.

Olaksen knows how to talk the talk and she does it like she's your best buddy giving advice.

"Come on," she writes, "don't even try to fake me out with, `There's so little room in my dorm and that's why there's so much crap under my bed.' I know you have always had crap under your bed. Let's be honest. The fact is, there shouldn't be anything under your bed, including dust bunnies. ... So if you're going to put stuff under the bed, make sure it's not dirty laundry ... Use the space for storage bins that are neatly placed and pulled out often enough that they don't get covered with so much dust that they look like they've spent years in a crypt."

The book is far more than clever, down-to-earth writing. It's practical, too. There are plenty of illustrations, in and out lists, dos and don'ts as well as before and afters.

Now entering her senior year at Wooster College in Wooster, Ohio, Olaksen has been there. The first big challenge she says she faced in college wasn't zoology or economics but how to make a 10-by-15-foot box feel like home. She sought the help of her aunt, writer Elizabeth MacCrellish, and feng shui expert Margaret M. Donahue to transform her dorm room into what she calls a "super-cool crib." When her college mates loved the look, the three decided to collaborate on this book.

Here is a sample of some of the book's suggestions:

Your door: Make a statement. The dorm police probably won't allow you to paint it purple or drill holes, but you can tape up your fave poster.

Your windows: They represent your outlook on life. So clean the windows, move the boxes and let the sun shine into your room.

Your bed: Position is everything. Place the headboard against a solid wall and make sure you can easily see the door. You don't want it to be directly in front of the door. If there is no other choice, add a bookcase or other piece of furniture at the foot of the bed to shield you.

Your desk: Again, you don't want to be surprised by someone going up behind you, so the best position is with a view of the door and a solid wall behind you. Can't move the desk? Place a small mirror on the desk so you can see the door. And keep the desk clutter-free.

Your computer: Don't keep it running. If you can't put it behind closed doors, cover it with an attractive cloth when it's not in use. Electric appliances create EMFs or electromagnetic fields, which some experts believe can lead to cancer.

What do you have to lose? Chill and read the book. If it works, have a tall, skim double latte to celebrate.


© 2005 South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Visit the Sun-Sentinel on the World Wide Web at http://www.sun-sentinel.com"

Sam, Feng Shui Tips


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