After briefly introducing feng shui and chi, Stasney jumps right into ten important kitchen rules --- five dos and five don'ts. Don't store knives right next to the stove (compound danger.) Do keep some food on display. She's not talkin' soup cans and cereal boxes, folks. One quick look at the photos and you'll have lots of creative inspiration for fruit and vegetable displays, large and small.
Stasney's bagua is based on the entrance, but she does want you to know what element you are. And here's the surprise --- she doesn't care when you were born. You heard me right! You just answer some personality questions and viola, you know your element. I know of no other book using such a method. It comes off as a very innovative East/West blend. I did not however get matched up to my astrological element. Once you know your element, she comments on how that element interacts with other elements (i.e. other people), and what design elements will support you in the kitchen depending on the kitchen's location in the home.
Although the color photographs are stunning and well illustrate her words, there are major feng shui flaws which are un-remarked on --- such as overhead beams and bare glass edge tabletops. Page 111 has an excellent picture of the correct kind of reflective metal kettle for a stove which is against a wall. Her advice on page 121 to de-emphasize ceiling beams is superb. In fact much of the advice is applicable to any room.
One of the virtues of any Sharon Stasney book is fabulous photographs of inspired interiors. This one is no exception. The homes are blessedly ordinary and really show how even average can becoming enchanting.
Sterling Publishing Company, (800) 805-5489, New York, 2002, 1-8069-7383-8, 160 pages (all in color), color photographs and drawings, paperback, $19.95