The thirtysomething hipster couple had been living at 1111 Wanda Avenue in Monterey, Calif., for only a few short months when things began to get strange. It was a cute three-bedroom, renovated Victorian bungalow with a tastefully landscaped front yard. In the back was a lap pool, a spacious deck, and a state-of-the-art barbecue. Some weeks after having moved in, Jack, who was a successful IT entrepreneur, suddenly had employees leaving the company for various legitimate reasons. Tina, a dancer, was bewildered when her ankles swelled from water retention, which she had never experienced before. Out of the blue, Jack began to crave frequent interludes of rabbit sex with his wife, unlike his usual slow romantic style of making love.

One Saturday while preparing to host a dinner party, Tina couldn’t get the kitchen faucet to turn off and water gushed for an hour before she could locate an emergency plumber. What broke the camel’s back regarding the couple’s stressful life was the roof leaking onto their king-size bed. Since moving into their bungalow, Tina and Jack felt constantly under siege as everything moved too quickly. Exhausted, they reached out for help.

Pulling up to the curb, I noted the unusual house number and had a hunch what the problem could be. Three vertical strokes | | | is the Chinese pictogram for “river.” By adding another stroke, in this case another 1 to 111, augmented the energy of the river transforming it into whitewater rapids. Over the course of time, this created pressure and instability for Tina and Jack. Additionally, the mud brown color of the front door was unhelpful in slowing down the energetic chaos.

The challenge was how to slow down the rapids and make it meander. The five elements that feng shui is based on are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water, and by adding supportive elements to this home, a balance between Yin and Yang could be regained. In my mind’s eye I kept seeing a beaver dam. Weird, but okay, I thought. I suggested putting a planter with bamboo directly under the 1111, which would symbolize the dam. I also wanted to camouflage the last “1” and asked Tina and Jack to paint over it with the same cream color of the house to create the pictogram of a river. Since water water nourishes wood, they painted the front door forest green to transform destruction into growth. The roofer fixed the leak and the kingsize mattress was replaced.

Tina’s ankles once again became slender and Jack returned to being a romantic.


• Find an address with even numbers: Smoother life.

• Paint front doors red, coral, green, and black: Attracts luck.

• Repair broken steps: Avoids accidents.

• Plant blooming plants by front door: New opportunities.

Do Not

• Seek homes with 1/2 numbers: Everything is half baked.

• Paint your front door brown: Muddiness and confusion.

• Plant cactus by the front door: Chases away new opportunities.

• Keep broken garden statues: Disappointment and poverty.

Stefania Masoni has been a feng-shui master for over 20 years with clients all over the world. Currently, she is a broker at Santa Fe Properties, through her knowledge of feng shui finds buyers great homes and assists sellers in preparing their properties for smooth closings. See or call 505-906-1600.


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