We’re Looking at Luopans Today

We’re looking at whaaat? People who are into feng shui might know what they are. The rest of us, we might learn something new, and really cool.

I’m always looking for round objects for display, because so many things in our homes have straight lines: tables, many sofas and chairs, shelves, walls, picture frames, windows, doors. Round things help soften that up. Plus I’m always looking for things from different cultures.

Luopans are round and they represent Chinese culture’s belief in feng shui. Here is a luopan via Pagoda Red, a store specializing in Chinese antiques in Chicago:

Feng Shui Luopan via Pagoda Red

Luopans are like compasses for feng shui practitioners. Similar to vastu shastra of India, Chinese feng shui practitioners use the north-south-east-west directions to guide their decisions for how to direct energy in ways that will positively benefit us.

Luopans were developed about 2,000 years ago and they hold a lot of complex data to help with calculations. Feng shui practitioners may also combine luopan data with a homeowner’s birth chart to figure out how to improve energy in the home. Pagoda Red has a great explanation that gives a lot more detail about luopans — it’s a fascinating read. Good antique luopans of high quality are quite rare.

This is a new luopan for sale on eBay, showing you a close-up of all the data:

Feng Shui Luopan via fengshuisale on ebay

It’s a good size for display in a home – about 2′ diameter.

This is a new feng shui compass that looks antique and comes in a beautiful case, for sale on eBay:

Feng Shui Compass Available on eBay

Feng Shui Compass Case

Here’s a close-up of a feng shui compass at 1st dibs:

Feng Shui Compass at 1st dibs

Feng Shui Compass at 1st dibs 2

It’s 14 1/2″ diameter and from the 19th century.

It might take some persistence to find real vintage and antique feng shui luopans, but a series of these on a wall would make a visually stunning collection.

And beyond just displaying them, why not hire a feng shui expert to use a compass to assess your home’s energy flow, and see what they say?

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Southwest Adobe + Asian Style

We stopped in a store in Santa Fe called Asian Adobe. It looked so much like our house! Chinese cabinets with leather sofas, Ming altar tables with non-Asian art hanging above, Japanese obi textiles piled on a shelf, Chinese chairs against brick wall.

Here’s a few images from their web site that show the style:


It’s a combination of comfortable stuffed leather furniture in natural colors, mixed with the streamlined shapes of the Asian pieces. The carvings in the Chinese tables and screens also show up well without too much visual competition.



You can even decorate Chinese furniture for the holidays. The red cabinets are perfect for this:


Asian Adobe is located near the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum at 310 Johnson St. in Santa Fe.

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Craigslist When You’re Traveling

Have you ever looked up Craigslist items for sale at a destination you’re going to? Just by happenstance the other day, I found this photo shared here last August in a post about bathroom pedestal sinks:


It was on Craigslist Santa Fe about a year ago. Hmmm. Maybe there’s pretty good stuff on Santa Fe Craigslist, and we’ll be in Santa Fe soon. So I decided to take a look.

If I were to visit some items while in Santa Fe, here’s what I’d check out …

I’ve been planning to get a red Chinese cabinet like this for a corner of our kitchen, whenever we remove a built-in oak desk and overhead cabinets in that spot. This cabinet is only $500 and if it’s antique that’s a fantastic buy. From the photo, it appears to be a rich blue-red, not an orangey-red. Perfect! For that price, it’s worth shipping to Chicago.


This bench may not look like much, but I like its character. I don’t have any use for it and nowhere to put it, but … I like its character.


Really? You can get things like this through Craigslist? I had no idea. This person says he was stationed in Panama in the 60s and has documentation.


A shabby painted headboard that was made from twin headboards. Looking for a new home.


Very cool folk art puppet. It’s almost 2 feet tall and its arms move.


So there are really cool things available any time you check Craigslist. I get overwhelmed by all the Chicago area listings, but Santa Fe was a good size to “eyeball” listings. So what about it, be adventurous and check out Craigslist the next time you’re planning to visit a new city. You never know what you might find.

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Good Finds at Good Earth in Chennai, India

I need to get my mind out of the gutter that is our Chicago basement lately, and find a happier place, like the original purpose of this blog:  decorating the India apartment!

We visited Good Earth while in Chennai last year. Good Earth had the merchandise mix we love:  comfy upholstered furniture, old Chinese cabinets and tables, plus a dash of India. This is pretty much the style in our Chicago home.

Things we saw at Good Earth …

I like this interpretation of columns, fashioned of wood and painted silver:

Continue reading “Good Finds at Good Earth in Chennai, India”

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