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THE BEDROOM IN MY PROSPECT HEIGHTS PIED-A-TERRE is finally coming together. Last week I committed myself to a 1960s platform credenza, above, for storing my family’s photo archive, a more attractive repository than the half-dozen plastic bins in which our photos and personal memorabilia had been sitting (see below – yikes).

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After much shopping around, I bought the credenza at Re-Pop near the Brooklyn Navy Yard. My penultimate stop was Baxter & Liebchen in DUMBO, a warehouse specializing in designer-name Scandinavian modern, mostly teak. Gorgeous stuff, but I didn’t want to spend four figures. So I ended up back at Re-Pop, where I chose a 78″ long piece by the American furniture company Kroehler, with a geometric raised pattern on the front, paying just under $500. It was delivered last Friday (in a snowstorm, naturally).

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But then came the placement question. My bedroom — the back room of the garden floor of a brownstone — is huge, about 300 square feet, but oddly shaped, with several nooks and niches. I had originally intended the credenza to go in the niche next to the closet, where it would fit snugly. But the queen size bed had been tucked in there, above, and in order to put the [extremely heavy] credenza in that  niche, where I knew it would look good, I would have to move the bed to the only possible other wall, since the others are either not long enough or have doors on them (one to the living room, one to the garden).

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In the meantime, I had the movers put the credenza temporarily along that other wall, above, where it looked lost in space.

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The main problem — and I’m not kidding about this — is that there’s a massive ceiling beam running across the room — a wide, heavy I-beam, above — that would bisect the bed, lengthwise, along that only possible other wall. Ceiling beams above the bed, according to my internet research, are nothing less than a feng shui nightmare. “Beams carry a tremendous load,” says one much-reproduced tract, “and this pressure is focused into the beams generating chi which continues downwards, placing direct pressure on you while you sleep.” This can be debilitating and cause physical problems, says Denise Lynn in Sacred Space: Clearing and Enhancing the Energy of Your Home, one of the feng shui reference books I plucked off my shelf. Terrifying, isn’t it?

What to do, what to do? Fortunately, there are some recommended ‘cures’:

  • paint the beams (the beam is already painted, whew)
  • drape fabric over the beams (I’m not going for a harem look, really)
  • hang bamboo flutes 2-3 inches below the beam at a 45-degree angle,with the mouthpiece downwards, to “soften the load”
I went on to read more feng shui advice for the bedroom:
  • place your bed in “the king’s position”where you can see the doorway (I can see one of the two)
  • don’t place your headboard on the same wall as the incoming door to your bedroom (same wall, different plane, because the wall jogs – don’t know if that’s a mitigating factor)
  • make sure when you lay in bed that you can see the incoming flow of energy when someone enters your bedroom (no one is entering my bedroom unless I know about it) — otherwise, you will miss new opportunities in your career or that great partner that you wanted to meet, because you don’t “see” the energy at night coming to you (guess I’ll have to take my chances) and you won’t be in control of your life (who is?)
  • if you can’t change your bed to another wall, place a small mirror opposite the door so that when you open your eyes you can see the doorway in the mirror (that I can and will do, pronto)

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A Brooklyn brownstone doesn’t lend itself naturally to feng shui principles, I’ve decided. Yesterday I took it upon myself, with the help of plastic coasters as sliders, a couple of bathmats, and sheer determination, to move the credenza into the desired niche, and the bed to the wall under the ceiling beam, above, where I slept very well last night, thank you.

Still, anyone know where I can get some bamboo flutes?