Red: The Color of Good Luck

Good Luck Exterior

When used properly, the color red in feng shui can be the fastest, most auspicious way to alter an environment for the better.  Connected to the fire element, red is symbolic of  reputation, prosperity and success.  Red feeds the flames of passion, romance and sexuality, causing a space to have  more yang, sensual energy.  Because of this, in feng shui and Asian folklore, red has often been deemed the color of good luck.  There is one very prosperous lounge in Los Feliz that exhibits scarlet hues in all their elegance, and that would be the aptly named Good Luck Bar.

Good Luck Booth 01

From ornate wallpaper, to comfy leather seating, to the glowing lights scattered throughout, shades of ruby and cardinal permeate the area.  Wood carvings and a metal ceiling evoke a Bohemian Orient-Express feel to the establishment.

Good Luck Interior 02

A jukebox in the corner allows guests to select songs of their choosing.

Good Luck Potent Potion

Now while the environment is Asian inspired, the drinks served at Good Luck are mostly Hawaiian themed.   Many of the specialty cocktails are served in Tiki-esque glasses or ceramic coconuts.  My favorite is the Potent Potion.  Sailor Jerry Rum, nutmeg, bitters, cream, pineapple juice, and toasted coconut are blended together, instantly exporting one to a tropical paradise.  Very, very strong and alluring.

Good Luck Interior 01

Another symbol of good luck is the paper lantern.   They attract positive energy, and conjure a festive and lively atmosphere.   Paper Lantern LampThey are also commonly seen during celebrations, such as the Chinese New Year.   In feng shui folklore, is it believed that two red paper lanterns on either side of the bed can increase fertility for a married couple.  Now, while I am a strong advocate of having two light sources on either side of a bed, they do not have to be red paper lanterns.  One common trait in the San Francisco area is to use paper lanterns as shades for ceiling or wall sconces.  Inspired by this, I refurbished an old lamp, whose glass shade had long since perished.  Using a paper shade from IKEA, I affixed it to the top of the lamp, held in place with decorative twine and the lamp’s original hardware.  A very nice “IKEA Hack” if I do say so myself.

Good Luck Interor 04

There are many ways to incorporate red into one’s environment.  For my clients, I always suggest having some red in the bedroom. The shade in this room will attract more passion and zest to one’s romantic life.  Try sensual red curtains,  a down comforter, or a cozy pillow in red hues.  A romantic painting with red as a dominant color can also improve the intimate atmosphere.    The important things to remember when looking for red objects for the bedchamber are:

  • One must like the object.
  • The object should blend in with the other possessions and decor of the room.
  • One should consider the object to be romantic and/or sensual in nature.

There are many possibilities, and any shade of red can work – from brick to ruby to cranberry.

Good Luck Booth 02

Another highly beneficial way to add more red to one’s life is by wearing the color.  In an article by Dr. Melissa Burkley, a social psychology professor at the University of Oklahoma, she discusses the direct and yet subconscious connection to red and sexual attraction.  The article mentions studies that were conducted on how red in Western cultures signifies sex.  It states that men who wear red are perceived to be more dominant and of higher status that men not wearing the shade.  Women wearing red were perceived to be more sexually alluring than those not clad in cardinal.  This is completely supported from a feng shui standpoint because red is representative of fame, prosperity, passion and sexuality.   The complete article can be found here:  http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-social-thinker/201008/seeing-red-does-wearing-red-make-you-sexy  Because of this, any shade of red is excellent to wear on dates (for added romance), for business interviews (for greater success), and for festive occasions (happiness and abundance).  One can wear either a lot or a little red, depending on their mood and personal style.

Good Luck Interior 05

Sometimes the color red gets the short end of the stick – such as with automobile color.  Although it is a complete urban myth that red cars cost more to insure, they do cost more to purchase.  Because of the positive connotations of the color red and the wonderful yang energy the color encompasses, the price of red cars never decreases.  It is also an urban myth that drivers of red cars get more tickets, and that red autos are stolen more frequently.   Drivers of sports cars do get pulled over more so, and many of these happen to be red; hence the negative connotation.

Good Luck Interior 03

I usually come to the lounge on the weekend.  On Fridays and Saturdays, the bar is packed with swanky patrons, while Sunday nights offer a more subdued crowd.  The service here is fast and excellent.  In addition to a stellar drink menu and full bar, daily specials are also available.  Rumor has it there is also a hidden drink menu, but I’ve yet to explore this personally.  For a powerful beverage in a highly auspicious setting, I suggest the red-hued environment of Good Luck Bar.

Good Luck BarGood Luck Asian Lamp

1514 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027

323 666-3524

Hours:  Monday – Friday 7:00 pm – 2:00 am,   Saturday – Sunday  8:00 pm – 2:00 am

http://www.goodluckbarla.com/

Finding a Place to Sit

It was the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright who put it most eloquently:  “Dining is and always was a great artistic opportunity.”  One piece of furniture that often gets overlooked in a home is the dining chair.  Most people will go out, buy a table, and the chairs come with it.  No muss, no fuss.  However, in many of these prefabricated sets for sale, usually the chairs aren’t the most optimal option by feng shui guidelines.  In fact, at times they can be downright uncomfortable or ugly.  To add some more artistic opportunity to one’s dining room, here are my suggested specifications for getting the right kind of dining chair:

  1. You need to like the chair!  If one doesn’t like the shape, size, color, etc. of the dining chair in question, it will never be used.  Or on the rare occasions when the chair is used, negative feelings will arise.  It should be something stylish that reflects one’s own personal taste.
  2. The chair should be comfortable.  No one likes to sit in discomfort.  The chair should have  a comfy seat.  Upholstered seating rarely has this problem, but some wood, plastic and metal seating can cause inadequate relaxation.  A quick way to fix this issue is to add a seat cushion.
  3. The chair needs a solid back.  In feng shui folklore, it was believed that one’s enemies could stab you much easier if there were openings in the back of the chair. While I may not necessary follow that line of thinking, I do believe in back support.  The more solid the back of any seating, the better the reinforcement.  Also, having a solid chair back can make the occupant of the chair feel much more secure and at ease than sitting on a stool or ladder-back chair.
  4. Choose comforting materials.  Generally, a chair should ideally be constructed of wood, or upholstered in some way.  While there are some exceptions to this rule, I find these are the best choices.  Keep the weight of the chair not too heavy.  Avoid getting white or cream-colored chairs, as these tend to get dirty much faster than their darker counterparts  – especially if there are children, pets, or unruly people in the home.

Now, where does one find a nice chair?  A good quality dining chair can be somewhat expensive.  I would first suggesting acquiring chairs from estates sales, Craigslist, or consignment stores.   One can find much better quality of a chair for far less money.   As always, use your best judgement.  (All of my dining chairs I’ve either purchased at gently used thrift stores, or have been given to me by friends)  As for buying new, I’ve comprised a collection of some the best dining chairs currently available, all of which are under $80.00 each (excluding shipping and taxes) that are ideal feng shui selections:

The Harry from Ikea is a standard classic, at the affordable price of $49.99 each.  The cover can be removed easily for washing, or one can cover it in the fabric of their choice.  This chair is comfy and lightweight.

From Overstock.com we have the Classic Parson Red and Gold Damask Chair.  Each individual chair sells for $76.09, and is upholstered in a rich red and gold paisley design.  This chair would bring a wonderful fire and earth element to any dining area.  One reason I love Overstock.com is their shipping prices.  No matter how large or small the order, the total shipping is only $2.95.

The Decor Dining Chairs also from Overstock.com come in three different upholstery options.  However, I did not care for the third one, so I only posted the two I liked.  The first is a contemporary red striped pattern, adding passion and fire to any room  on the left.  On the right, we have flowers covering a chocolate background.  This would bring a beautiful earth and wood element to a space.  Either of these options are sold in pairs for $135.00, plus the $2.95 shipping fee.

For a more masculine feel, this set of two Black Walnut Dining Chairs, offered by Coaster Home Furnishings runs at $127.00.  The warm walnut hues add a dramatic richness to any environment.  These are available at Amazon.com, and I believe are eligible for free shipping.

This set of two Cappuccino Finish Dining Chairs, also by Coaster Home Furnishings are priced at $66.67.  Although these chairs do not have a completely solid back, they are mostly solid, which provides more security and stability to the chair’s occupant than say a chair with many more open areas.  This specific style and type of chair is available all over the internet from various distributors.  I found the Amazon.com price to be the best, but it does not include free shipping.

From Baxton Studio we have the Spain Dark Brown Modern Dining Chairs.  A pair of these elegantly refined chairs is $148.00 from Amazon, with free shipping.  I like the taupe microfiber as the upholstery, which adds a tactile, nurturing earth element to the dining experience.

Target.com is currently having a furniture sale.  Of the many offering of dining chairs there, I really like the Oval Back Chair.   The oval shape and the gray/dark blue of the fabric brings water and metal to the party in high elemental fashion.  A pair of these beauties sells for $139.99.

But how many chairs do I purchase?  Well, that is entirely up to you.   If one has a circular or oval table, any amount of chairs will work.  If one has a square or rectangular table, the number of dining chairs should be an even number.  As for chairs having arms or not, that is also entirely up to one’s own taste.   In most formal dining rooms, the seating at the ends of the table will have arms, while the ones flanking the sides will not.  For more information about selecting a prosperous dining table, take a look at my article here:  https://fengshuifoodie.com/2012/04/22/how-to-choose-a-dining-table/   If you don’t currently have the right kind of seating, don’t worry – chair covers and seat cushions can go a long way in improving the energy quality of a space, and make the seating much more desirable.  Having the correct dining chairs and table in your environment will bring further prosperity to one’s dining experience.

How to Choose a Dining Table

Once upon a time, in an age before the term TV Dinner was coined, people actually had most of their meals in a room devoted to dining:  The Dining Room.   Can you imagine that?  All kidding aside, due to our fast-paced modern world, most of us rarely have time to sit down with our loved ones around a large table and catch up over food at home.  The Dining Room in feng shui is one of the most important rooms in the home that often gets overlooked.  For example, most condos and apartments do not have a separate dining room, but a dining area or breakfast nook.  Not having a separate dining area is neither good or bad, it’s what one does with the dining space that is important.

There are many aspects to the dining room that need attention, but the one we’re going to look at today is the star attraction of any dining room – the dining table.  A round or oval table is considered to be the best by feng shui guidelines, as the smooth flow of the curves can be relaxing to the diner.  Square and rectangular are tables are not as good; the harsh corners can affect how people interact within the space negatively.  Also, children (and some adults) can bump into the sharp corners, causing pain.   Two ways to fix the “harsh corners” would be to select a table with softened or rounded edges.  The other way is to put a tablecloth on the table.

In feng shui, we generally like  some open space in the middle of each room or area.  One of the few exceptions to this is in the dining room.  The table should be placed within the direct center of the room (or close to it) with enough space for each guest to move from seating to standing position around the table and not bump into anything.  If you have more of an open floor plan with a dining area rather than a separate room, try looking for a light source – such as a chandelier or ceiling light.  The table would then be placed underneath it, with the light over the center of the table.  Enclosed dining rooms should have a light source as well; this can help in finding the best location for the table.

Below are some examples of the best tables I could find currently for purchase, and all of them are under $250.00 (shipping and taxes excluded).

The Svalbo table from Ikea is an excellent choice.  Although it is more rectangular in shape, the corners have been completely rounded, making it more harmonious for any room.  Also, it comes in unfinished pine, which can be left as is, or finished to one’s desire.  Four sturdy legs support the table top, and an extra leaf is included, so the table may accommodate four to six people.

Another Ikea option is the Liatorp.  Curves abound in this charming white table that can easily blend into most environments.   A pedestal base acts as support, with an extra leaf for additional table space, altering the circle to more of an oval.  Both of the pieces above are available at Ikea.com.

Amazon Tables 01

Amazon.com also has a few choice selections.  From International Concepts comes their Dual Drop Leaf Table (left).  Ideal for apartments, this little table has two leaves that fold down, as well as softened edges all around.  The item also comes unfinished.   The Light Oak Dining Table (right) from Winsome Wood is also a great piece.  In addition to the two drop leaves, the legs fold inward, making it perfect to store away if need be.

Another example is the Brannan Pedestal Dining Table by Coaster.  The elegant curves and ideal size make this a classic table for any home.  Available in Cappuccino (pictured) or Dark Oak.

And for those who are in need of extra storage space, the Cottage Drop Leaf Table by TMS comes with two large square shelves in the support base of this round table.   The shelving here would be an ideal storage space for table linens or pottery.  All four of the above mentioned tables can be found at Amazon.com

Home and Living.com is an excellent online source for furniture, and they offer free shipping for most of their items.  The Rich Cappuccino Table is an excellent choice if one is looking for a more oval table with a contemporary feel.  And, for those who want a more rectangular table, The Cappuccino Finish Dining Table (below) is another prime selection, with its softened corners and beautiful finish.

I have perhaps neglected the most important thing when selecting a good dining table.  It’s important that you like your selection.  If you purchase a dining table that you’re not thrilled about, chances are you will rarely use the table.  Stay on the lookout for my article on how to select the best dining chair, which will be posted shortly.

Tercero Wines Tasting Room

Tasting Room – Photo courtesy of Tercero Wines.

When I was in high school, science and math were not my strong suits – so much so that I put off taking biology class until senior year.  Which, in retrospect, was a good thing.  (I got to be the cool senior in a room full of sophomores).  On my recent wine tasting excursion in Los Olivos, I was instantly transported back to Mr. O’geene’s bio class when I entered the Tercero Wines Tasting Room., which has a distinctive scientific vibe.

My friends and I actually stumbled upon Tercero by accident – we were looking for a place to access wi-fi in Los Olivos, and the coffeehouse we’d been directed to was closed.  The friendly proprietor of Tercero, Larry Schaffer, invited us over to use his wi-fi and take in another tasting.  After a day of hopping from one vineyard to another, Tercero was the last stop, and the wines offered were delicious.  Larry and his wife, Christie, founded Tercero about 5 years ago, and their labs have been creating some amazing libations.  Here are some of my favorites:

  • 2010 Grenache Blanc – A crisp white wine with hints of pear.  Although I am more of a red fan, this was pretty tasty.
  • 2007 Watch Hill Grenache – A rich and bold red with deep berry flavors.  Unlike most grenaches, which are a blend of grenache and other grape varieties, this is %100 grenache grape.   For the discerning connoisseur of wine.
  • 2007 Thompson Vyd Syrah – A savory Rhone red.  The only word I can come up with is Superb.
  • 2007  Cuvee Christie – An enticing blend of grenache, syrah and mourvedre grapes.  Very flavorful.  I wonder if he named this after his wife?
  • 2007 The Climb – Without a doubt my favorite of all the wines here.  A sophisticated blend of syrah and petite syrah.  I could drink this ambrosial wine all day!   I restrained myself and only brought one bottle home.

Tercero is tucked away in a gray vintage-inspired building shared with a few other businesses.  Although the address is Alamo Pintado, the entrance is actually around the corner on San Marcos (there’s a sign, and it’s easy to spot)  Chrome metal stools, chalkboard walls (pictured above) ,chrome shelving and beakers filled with colorful concoctions help to achieve the laboratory feeling.  The swanky metal shelving is the Grundtal Towel Shelf from Ikea.

Numbers also play a major part in Feng Shui.  The word Tercero in Spanish means Third.  This number is highly significant to Larry and Christie.  Growing up, they were each the third child in their families.  They were married on the third, and they have three children together.  The address of the tasting room is also connected to the number 3.  815 times 3 is 2445.   Also 2 + 4 + 4 + 5 = 15,  divided by 5 makes 3.   The number three in Feng Shui signifies family, health and community cultivation – all of which can be connected easily to the production of wine, and the creation of this establishment itself by a husband and wife team.  The continued use of this number can add up to nothing but further success for Tercero.

Landscapes are an excellent feng shui choice for artwork, especially when there is an amount of depth to the picture.  Try to choose a landscape that is serene and peaceful,  such as sunset, forest path, or winery setting.  Avoid landscapes that are dark and destructive.  The photography of Tom Ives is an excellent choice for almost any environment.  His calming art captures all of the elements with his color choices and subject selection.  Three of this paintings for sale hang in the tasting room, and you can see more of his incredible work at http://ivesphotography.zenfolio.com.

I liked Tercero so much that I joined their wine club, and plan on visiting them in Los Olivos a few times a year. I think I may have to open my bottle of The Climb tonight…

Tercero Wines

2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Suite 104 (the entrance is off of San Marcos)

Los Olivos, CA 93441

805  245-9584

Hours:  Friday – Monday Afternoons, 12:00 to 5:00.  Other days and times are available by appointment.

http://tercerowines.com/