A cold early-February rain blanketed New Canaan, Conn., bringing gloom and frizzy hair. A soft voice from the intercom said “Dah,” followed by a buzz prompting the enormous gates to groan open. The driveway wound up a hill to a sprawling palatial estate. As I climbed out of the car, a rivulet of rain ran down my neck, giving me premonitory goose bumps.

The living room was enormous, elegant, and cold, like a luxury hotel lobby. It was a fine example of Slavic peacock glamor, with lots of gold à la Ivana Trump. Ornate Louis XIV furniture prevailed and a display of folksy hand-painted black lacquer eggs gave the nouveau riche tell. Heavy red velvet drapes were partially drawn and the melancholy was as thick as the fabric.

Svetlana was an attractive sixty-something married to Vladimir, a tzar with two mistresses: an intimate-wear model and the Russian mob. “Vladimir no return to America!” Svetlana cried. “He like Valentina mohr!” In spite of her lavish lifestyle, the tzarina’s heart ached. I had a sudden flash of intuition: if the mafia boss discovered that his wife hired me to entice him home, he might gift me a pair of cement boots. My stomach churned imagining men in cheap suits with borscht encrusted in their mustaches paying me a late-night visit. But the poor babushka began to weep, so, setting my paranoia aside, I got to work.

The master bedroom included a sitting area, his and hers walk-in closets, and a ginormous bathroom tiled in blue-grey Carrara marble. A mink blanket covered the kingsize bed and facing it hung a large painting of a desolate, wintery Siberian woodscape. “Svetlana” I said, “too much mink and too much winter: your bedroom is for penguins. Let’s make it a warm, cozy love nest!”

I continued, “Replace the mink blanket with a magenta colored duvet to attract love. Switch the painting for a spring landscape, inspiring beauty and growth. Place Vladimir’s favorite robe on the armchair and a rose quartz heart on his night stand. Leave his reading lamp on during the day. The light will guide him back to you.”

Nodding in agreement, the tzarina whispered, “Dah.”

I crossed my fingers.

A week passed, then Svetlana called with unusual verve in her voice. Vladimir had confessed to his terrible mistake and begged her forgiveness. The mob boss had been dumped. Valentina became enamored with a certain Monsieur M., heir to chateaux and vineyards in Champagne. She had moved into his Parisian flat and he promised her summers in St.Tropez and winter frolic in Courchevel. Svetlana’s heart still fluttered for her tzar and she forgave him for his shenanigans. However, she realized the feng shui had transformed her, too — for once in her life, she felt empowered.

By Valentine’s Day, the tzar had returned to New Canaan and in celebration the tzarina popped a chilled bottle of Moët & Chandon Imperial Champagne. Revenge is a glass best served cold.

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, she finds buyers great homes and assists sellers in preparing their properties for smooth closings. See www.stefaniamasoni.com or call 505-906-1600.

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