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The woman who helped usher the interior design industry into full flower in the United States was prolific in putting out ideas that will help freshen up today's interior design business. Look at our latest Designer Monthly, Interior Design: Look Forward by Looking Back to Dorothy Draper.

Did you ever have a problem designing small spaces?  Take a look at how top interior designers solved this common problem in our latest Designer Monthly, How to Design Small Spaces at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House.





Entries in feng shui (4)


Feng Shui Tip: Hit the Pause Button!

In yoga it is said that the way we transition from one pose to another is just as important as doing the actual pose itself.

If you think about it, many things have a transition time. Every time we get out of bed, we make a few positions in order to finally rise up. Every time we get out of a chair, it takes us a few extra steps to reach a standing position. We may not notice it, but it does happen.

The ones who live in a place where there are seasons are now experiencing the transition from summer to autumn. We’re leaving a period that perhaps was filled with constant barbeques, entertaining out-of-school kids, traveling, and playing sports.

Now, we’re entering the going-back-to-school, returning-to-regular- work hours, and checking-out-the-sweater situation.

It’s also a time to pause.

This is one of the best times to replenish you. Sit quietly outdoors and observe how nature is changing. My sunflowers are still in bloom, but I can see a difference in the leaves on the trees. We can really benefit from reflecting now, as we prepare for our own transition to the next point in our lives.

Write down in a journal anything you’ve learned in the past few months. Is there anything that can help you move forward? Have you realized that there is something you don’t like or you are just putting up with? Have you realized that there is something you really want to accomplish?

Reflecting now can only help us in our upcoming future. Mapping out what we are doing for the rest of the year can only makes us more productive. Because before you know it, the crazy holiday season will be here. Soon we’ll be “dropping the ball” (pun intended) and welcoming 2014, even if we’re not ready for it.

For your homework this month: Stop. Pause. Admire nature and relish the transition to your next pose.

Until next month…




2013 Chinese New Year

(Water Snake)

CHINESE NEW YEAR for 2013 is the Year of the Black Water Snake and lands on the new moon of February 10 in the U.S. The Chinese New Year is a time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity and to eliminate negative chi from the past. It is said a snake is silent and still and may lie coiled and motionless for a very long time. But when it is ready, it strikes.

The Year of the Snake is a time of powerful undercurrents and far reaching efforts. At this time, dramatic history-altering events can happen. The last time the year of the snake occurred, the attack on the NY World Trade Center and Pentagon happened. It is likely in 2013 that powerful forces will emerge and some who are repressed will rise up against authority.

Landmark agreements can also occur, like when Nelson Mandela met President Botha, which led to the end of white rule in South Africa. Snake years also favor innovation. It was the year when Apple introduced the Ipod.

The snake year is when DNA was discovered. There will be considerable emphasis on humanitarian and environmental issues. The arts and culture will thrive and major events and exhibitions will make various art forms more accessible.

For the individual, the snake year offers a lot of potential. It favors learning and personal growth and taking up new skills. It is a year of action and many of us will be happy with the actions we take. The Chinese have the saying, “If you have foresight you are blessed, but if you have insight, you are a thousand times blessed.”

Legend of Chinese New Year: The phrase “Kung Hei Fat Choi,” which roughly translates as “blessings for wealth,” is a common greeting for this day in particular. No one is quite sure exactly when or where the Chinese New Year festival originated. Legend has it that once upon a time, there was a monster called Nian that attacked Chinese villages every spring, eating anything that came its way – people, animals, plants and the odd building. One spring, villagers hung red paper on their doors and threw bamboo on a fire when Nian arrived. The monster was so startled by the bright colors and loud crackling noise of the burning bamboo that it turned and fled. Today the word “nian” is the Chinese word for year.

Since that day, Chinese people hang red paper signs and lanterns outside their homes and enjoy making loud noises on New Year’s Eve. Firecrackers replaced bamboo after gunpowder was invented and the main idea today is the louder and bigger, the better.

In the days leading up to the Festival, every household gets a thorough cleanse since sweeping on New Year’s Day itself might sweep away the year’s good fortune. Breaking dishes or using sharp objects is also seen as potentially unlucky. Bad luck, or huigi has a tendency to build up in the corners. Old huigi can really bring down the party. Plus, only when the house is spic and span can the ancestors and deities be properly honored. Three days before the big celebration, families bust out the brooms and dustpans and give their homes a thorough cleaning.

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Question of the Week: What Field of Study Are You Into?

Welcome to this week’s installment of the Sheffield Says Question of the Week. Each week we’ll ask readers a question pertinent to being creative, earning a living, do-it-yourself projects, and much, much more. We’re excited to hear what you have to say!

Last week’s question was simple. Do you use Pinterest?

This week, we want to know what field of study you are most interested in. As some of you may know, the Sheffield School prides itself on the quality of our courses. And those courses cover a variety of subjects.

We know that not all of our blog readers are students, so we would like to know which field you’re most interested in. Share your answer below, and don’t be afraid to use the comments to tell us why you’re interested in that field!

What Sheffield School Field of Study Interests You the Most? free polls 

Catch you next week. Same time, same place.


How to Celebrate Chinese New Year

CHINESE NEW YEAR lands on the new moon of January 23, 2012 in the U.S.  It is the Year of the Black Water Dragon. The Chinese New Year is a time to welcome longevity, wealth and prosperity and to eliminate negative chi from the past. This year will be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity. The year of the dragon is traditionally associated with new beginnings and good fortune. Those with entrepreneurial spirit are particularly favored to see much success in the coming year. Generally, it's predicted that any new venture may benefit from the outstanding luck often associated with the dragon. Therefore, 2012 will be a very good year to get married, have children, and/or start a new business.

The water dragon is a less imperious type of Dragon who favors optimum growth and expansion. He can put aside his ego for the good of all and is less selfish and opinionated. He can assume a wait and see attitude, and his wits are as formidable as his strength of will. The water dragon lives by the “do unto others” philosophy.

Since 2012 is the year of the Water Dragon, the liquid element is predicted to calm the dragon's usually tempestuous nature,

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