Is your hotel room truly your home away from home? A few easy tips will lead to better sleep, a healing atmosphere and a position of power for a successful meeting.

EcoChi is a lifestyle shift that blends Classical Feng Shui, Green and Sustainable Living and Environmental Psychology to revolutionize how people feel in their spaces. Whether you are home, in your office or in any other indoor space, EcoChi attracts prosperity, harmony, health and happiness—while simultaneously propagating environmental integrity.

  1.  Choose your room with care.
  • Make sure your room has windows that open and air out the room before you go to bed.
  • Location, location, location…Choose a room that is away from vending machines, elevators, bars or restaurants, street noise and any electrical hubs such as air conditioning or heating systems.

   2.  Electromagnetic Fields can interrupt a good nights’ sleep and affect your health.

  • If you must keep your cell phone turned on overnight, keep it at least 5ft away from you. From that distance the Electromagnetic Fields are much less likely to disturb you.
  • Unplug all unnecessary electronics in the room including the alarm clock next to the bed before you go to sleep. This helps the planet by eliminating phantom energy loads and keeps you healthier by cutting down your exposure to unnecessary radio waves and EMFs. Bring a small battery alarm clock with you and call the front desk for a wake-up call instead.

   3.  Small touches from home bring a sense of calm after a long day of traveling.

  • A small travel photo frame with a picture of your love partner, friends or even your pet, will bring a smile to your face and an inner feeling of peace that is necessary for you to be at the top of your performance.  Place it where you can easily see it when you are dressing for your meeting.
  • A piece of clothing that you “love” should be a staple in your overnight bag.  It could be a beautiful scarf, tee shirt, or a zippered hooded sweatshirt from the Super Bowl 5 years ago! Where it while you hang in your room and then use it to cover the television before you go to sleep or the mirror if it is directly facing the bed. Seeing your reflection when you wake up from sleep can make you uneasy and jumpy. You need to be as calm as possible before a big meeting!
  • A small scented candle is a mood changer! Relax with your candle burning, a glass of wine or an herbal tea, and classical music (a great tool for your brain function) as you glance over your outline for your morning meeting.

   4.  If you have to work in your hotel room, power up!

  • Position your chair so that your back is up against the wall and you can see the door to your room.  This is called the “Black Turtle” position in Feng Shui. The wall symbolically supports you and your business.  Seeing the door keeps you in power.  The will be no unexpected surprises. You are in control.
  • If your hotel stay is more than an overnight, buy a small bamboo or jade plant and place it on your desk.  Bringing nature indoors makes us feel grounded. Plants naturally clean the air of toxins, absorbs electromagnetic fields and these particular plants are known to bring money and success.

     5.  Will they love you in the morning?

  • Get up early enough to take a short run, walk, practice yoga, Qi Gong or Tai Chi or a short trip to the gym. 20-30 minutes is enough to get your blood circulating without draining your chi energy.
  • Listen to your favorite music as you get dressed for the meeting.
  • Have breakfast. Stick to a meal that is easy to digest. If your body is working too hard you will not be clear headed for your meeting. Limit your caffeine intake to one or two cups maximum.
  • Choose a power position at the meeting whenever possible. “Black Turtle” (solid wall) behind you with an easy view of the door.

EcoChi for travel, leads to a good night’s sleep, a healing atmosphere in your room and puts you in the position of power at your meetings, increasing your odds for successful business.

Debra Duneier is President of Living Home by Debra, LLC, and is a LEED® GA, Certified Feng Shui Practitioner, Certified Eco-Designer and Real Estate Broker in New York. Her business serves business owners, corporations, hotels, spas, developers, architectural and design firms, real estate investors and individuals who live or work indoors.



It is a New Year!!  It is time to rewrite your life’s story with “Living Home Prosperity Tips”. Take the plunge into a healthier, happier and more prosperous future!

  1.  Door knobs collect energy and this year, we want to start fresh! In a bowl, add 1 heaping tablespoon of sea salt to 4 cups of warm purified water. Take a cotton cloth and dampen with solution. Take a breath and with intension, wash the door knobs. The minerals from the sea, will cleanse and change the chi-energy. 
  2. The “Ming Tang” of your office or home is the entrance. As you step inside, you are transitioning from the outside world to the inside world. I suggest putting one of your favorite pieces of art in the Ming Tang.  A beautiful painting or sculpture is very welcoming and sets the tone to your space. Take 3 lucky Chinese coins and tape them to the back of the mat or rug at the entrance. Every time someone walks in, they symbolically bring money into your property and into your life!
  3.  Whether you work from home or go to a place of business, a wall behind your desk chair, called a “Black Turtle” is very supportive of your business life. In front of you is the “Red Bird’. Use this area for a beautiful photograph or painting. This represents your prosperous future. If there is room for a water feature, this is a perfect place for it. Water flowing upwards brings wealth. The sound should be gentle and soothing to you.
  4. Plants bring life force into our living and working environments. Not only do they bring beauty, but plants clean our air. They also absorb electromagnetic fields, which have a negative impact on our health. To enhance health, place a Peace Lily near your computer or other electronic equipment. The indoor plants that are wealth enhancers are Bamboo and Jade. Bring nature inside!
  5.  If you have a kitchen in your office, abundance is on its way! The kitchen is a portent for wealth. This comes from the belief that the better you eat the healthier you are. A healthier person is a more productive person and brings in better business. The refrigerator should be filled with healthy foods. A full refrigerator brings in health, abundance and happiness. The burners on your stove represent wealth. Keep them clean and alternate your use of the burners when you are cooking. Sometimes, I prescribe a mirror over the stove to double the burners. This doubles the prosperity!
  6.  Goldfish are pretty, relaxing to watch, and bring “life” energy into your environment. They are also magnets for wealth. What is the winning combination?  Fill your tank with 8 goldfish for luck and 1 black fish to keep away bad luck.

Written for the Women’s Leadership Exchange Newsletter:

Avatar was the star of this past holiday season and a wonderful “Ming Tang” or entrance, into a new decade.

Photograph by Debra

Peel away the layers of adventure, digital brilliance, and political messages and what do we find? At its core, it is what Feng Shui Practitioners call the San Cai: heaven, earth and humanity. In this trigram, “heaven” sits on top, humanity in the middle and “earth” on the bottom. Simply read, it shows how humanity is sandwiched in between “heaven” and “earth” and influenced by both.  “Heaven” represents all we cannot see; air, love, energy chi, and the cosmos. “Earth” represents the physical world: all we can see. The Navi in the movie, are in touch and connected with “heaven” or Mother Nature. They enjoy the beauty and respect the gifts of the natural world including the dangers and even death. The humans are in touch with and believe in “earth” which symbolizes only what they can see. Money is the goal of humanity and possessions are our addiction.

The movie also possesses both the Yin and Yang energies. The Yang is represented by strong warriors, the cacophony of war and destruction of the natural world. The Yin is represented by beauty, love, and the female’s intuitive response to “heaven” or the spiritual and energetic world.

Chellis Glendinning’s is quoted by Ralph Metzner in his essay, “The Psychopathology of the Human-Nature Relationship”; “the human relationship to the natural world was gradually changed from one of respect for and participation in its elliptical wholeness, to one of detachment, management, control, and finally domination.”

James Cameron may have opened the door to our unconscious just a crack, with Avatar. It is my hope that this decade will be the turning point for humanity. That we return to the seed within and embrace conscious living and the joy of both “heaven” and “earth” as a species.

Acoma Pueblo

Acoma Pueblo

In baseball when the man on first base runs toward second this is an attempt to steal the base. When the other team is unconcerned that the runner will advance to second base and does not try to get him out, this is called, “defensive indifference”.

Are you guilty of “defensive indifference” when it comes to your home? Are you just letting it “slide” when it comes to your living and working environments? Take control and make the right moves so you and your family can live a healthier, happier, and more harmonious life. Simple Eco-Friendly Feng Shui techniques can make a world of difference.

Today’s Element…AIR

Start today and feel the immediate results:

  1. Clean your air vents and wash air conditioner filters monthly.
  2. Ventilate your space by creating an “Air Bath”. Open the windows and plug in a fan!
  3. Make your home/office a Tobacco Smoke Free property.
  4. Music changes the air vibration in our homes. Play your favorite tunes for energy renewal.
  5. If energy feels stagnant, hang a pleasant sounding wind chime by a door or window. It will keep the air moving and is relaxing to listen to.
  6. Aromatherapy changes the scent of the air and boasts the energy in a room. Incense, scented candles, and potpourri can be a wake-up call to our senses and improve our moods.
  7. Bring nature indoors. Plants purify the air by naturally removing toxins.
  8. Use “people-friendly” cleaning products. Your environment should be a safe place to breathe.

Our civilization has changed dramatically. Today our feet are on cement instead of earth. We unknowingly eat genetically engineered foods, instead of natural garden fresh foods. We breathe pollution instead of fresh air. “Defensive indifference” has a place in baseball, but has no place in our homes and work places.

Debra Duneier, President

Living Home by Debra, LLC

IMG_0957Everyone is going through changes! The Chinese calendar shows us that we are in the 6th year of an Age 8 period in time. (An Age lasts for 20 years in total) An Age 8 is the most auspicious and interesting time to be alive. The past year has been a cleansing for us economically and well as socially. We have begun to shed excess and now are entertaining the more serious questions. How do I want to spend the rest of my career-my life? If I have to cut back, I need to decide what is really important to me. As the dust clears, I hope that we find ourselves living our life’s purpose. Research shows that happiness and health are supported by our relationships and shared experiences. Hug your child, laugh with a friend, smile when you think of your gifts. We are on our way to better days! Debra Duneier, President of Living Home by Debra, LLC

IMG_1011The morning of my flight to New York from Tokyo my daughter, Danielle and I had a reservation to experience a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. Much to our surprise we found ourselves at the Kooman Cultural Center, for a private lesson on the traditions and expected behaviors for the formal tea ceremony. This ritual is a social event and a time to clear one’s mind of the outside world. The objective is to create a moment in time for peace, harmony and calm for the guests. It is a meditation of being and an appreciation of the tea, the host and the environment. This includes admiring the room, artwork, and tea cups. The powdered green tea is used for medicinal purposes as well as enjoyment.

As the honored guest, it was my privilege to open the sliding Shoji doors and be the first to place my naked feet upon the matted floor. Centered on the wall before me (which would be considered the “Red Bird” in Feng Shui) was a work of art. It was an elongated rectangle of fabric in the shape of a Chinese talisman. Painted on the fabric were beautiful Chinese characters.  Our cultural guide for that morning, explained its significance. The top figures represented the season. July is the rainy season in Japan. The characters represented thick clouds, grey skies and rain. The next set of characters represented the blue sky-the season to follow. An unexpected tear rolled down my cheek as I welled up with emotion. Our guide proceeded to explain, the current season has incredible beauty for although it is filled with cloudy and rainy days, it gives birth to the next season of blue skies. Each season depends on the one before it and creates the season to come. This is the core principal of the 5 Element Theory: Water to Wood, Wood to Fire, Fire to Earth, Earth to Metal, Metal to Water. In its simplicity, is a profound wisdom.

In the summer of 2009 many of us find ourselves in a season of thick heavy clouds in our business, financial and personal lives. It is difficult to see its beauty because as far as our eyes can see, there is an endless ceiling of grey hanging over us. The Yin and Yang energies are constantly in motion. Soon we will wake up to blue skies which will be the seeds for our next season. Enjoy the cycles of life as you would enjoy the Tea Ceremony, with peace, harmony and calm.

Feng Shui Turtle

Feng Shui Turtle

Have you noticed that everyone looks exhausted? So many dreams have been shattered this year.

Many have spent a lifetime building financial security and looking toward retirement –a well deserved time of comfort and peace of mind. This has disappeared like a shooting star. Reach up to touch it and it is gone forever. We question ourselves and our lives. The worry tape plays in our minds over and over. How can I create more income? Can I cut corners and survive?  Should I start a new business? Will I find a job? Am I be able to pay my bills? Repeat, repeat, repeat… No one can sleep when they are in “fight or flight” mode!

The symptoms of sleep deprivation are easily recognizable. You may be irritable, finding it hard to focus, feeling pessimistic, forgetting names, gaining a few pounds, finding it hard to get up in the morning and so low on energy, that it is difficult to get through your day. Dark rings, puffy around the eyes and lack- luster skin and hair can be attributed to sleeplessness. Sleep fuels your mind and body, so you can look and feel healthy and optimistic.

You may find yourself counting sheep, but one looks like your ex-boss, your stockbroker or your landlord. If just the thought of getting into your bed gives you anxiety, follow my tips for a better night’s sleep.

 1. Put limits on your electronic life. No more work, computer, Blackberry or telephone calls after a certain time. STICK TO IT! I shut down at 9:00 P.M. The world can wait until the morning. My T.V. is off at 10:00. That’s what DVR’s are for!

2. Set up a bedtime routine:

Try a warm scented bath by candlelight and beautiful relaxing music.

3. Your bed should be up against a wall which is called a “Black Turtle” in Feng Shui. A window behind your bed can disrupt your sleep because energy (Chi) around windows, moves very quickly and can be the cause of restless sleep.

4. Check that the door to the bedroom is easily seen from your bed, so nightmares do not sneak up on you.

5. A solid wood headboard is very supportive and a better choice than a metal headboard that conducts electricity and electro-magnetic fields. Both electricity and electro-magnetic fields are detrimental to your health and a good night’s sleep.

6. Mirrors bounce energy (Chi) around the room which is very unsettling. Try to keep only one mirror in your bedroom and do not place it opposite your bed. Use that area (The Red Bird) for a beautiful photograph or painting. Choose carefully because the Red Bird represents your future.

7. Shut off your BlackBerryand your cell. If you must leave them on, put them in another room because they produce electro-magnetic fields that are off the charts!!

8. Remove all family photographs from this room. Your bedroom is a private sanctuary for you or for you and your partner ONLY. Children, parents, friends and loved ones who have passed on, do not belong in this room.

9. No work papers or computers should be in your bedroom. If you must have your work in this room (studio apartment) it should be in a cabinet that can close at night. If this is not possible, find a beautiful throw or fabric and cover your work area at night.

10. Disconnect anything electric in your bedroom before you go to bed. Pull plugs out of the wall! Switch your alarm clock to a battery operated one. Why? Electricity interferes with your sleep. As soon as I disconnected, I started to sleep like a puppy.

 Allow your bedroom to support your blissful night’s sleep. Have a cup of Chamomile or Peppermint tea. Listen to a guided meditation CD. Read something LIGHT or do an EASY word puzzle, until your eyelids get heavy. Shut your light and cuddle up in all natural fiber night clothes and bed linens. Sleep baby sleep…

DS113007-DN-2823.JPGTips for Prosperity

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese energy practice, over 6000 years old, based on the knowledge that there is both good energy (Sheng Qi) and negative energy (Sha Qi). As a Feng Shui practitioner, I balance energy in living and working environments. My objective is to enhance and increase Sheng Qi and eliminate or minimize the Sha Qi.

During this financial crisis I have been called upon by both individuals and businesses to balance the energy in living and working environments and to increase the flow of wealth. Although on site this is a complex procedure performed with analysis of Ming Gua calculations, Form School, Lo Pan Compass readings, Flying Star and Four Pillars, I have created a list of simple tips to increase energy support for your prosperity,

1. The kitchen is a portent for wealth. This comes from the belief that the better you eat the healthier you are. A healthier person is a more productive person and brings in better business. The burners on your stove represent wealth. Keep them clean and alternate your use of the burners when you are cooking. Sometimes I prescribe a mirror over the stove to double the burners. The refrigerator should be filled with healthy food. A full refrigerator brings in abundance.

2. Plants bring life force into our environments into our living and working environments. Not only do they bring beauty, but plants clean our air and can absorb electromagnetic fields which have a negative impact on our health. The indoor plants that are wealth enhancers are Bamboo and Jade plants.

3. The Ming Tang of your office or home is the entrance. As you step inside you are transitioning from the outside world to the inside world. Very often in the Ming Tang area I use  a rug or mat near the front door. Take 3 lucky Chinese coins and tape them to the back of the rug. Every time someone walks in they symbolically are bringing money into your property and into your life.

4. Keep your toilet seats down when not in use. Keep them up and money will disappear.

5. Whether you work from home or go to a place of business, a wall behind your chair, called a “Black Turtle” is very supportive of you in your work. Be sure you can see the door, which protects you and your deals. In front of you is the “Red Bird’. Use this area for a beautiful piece of art which represents your prosperous future. If there is room for a water feature, this is a perfect place for it. Water flowing upwards brings wealth. The sound should be gentle and soothing to you.

6. Goldfish are pretty, relaxing to watch, and bring “life” energy into your environment. They are also magnets for wealth. What is the winning combination?  Fill your tank with 8 goldfish for luck and 1 black fish to keep away bad luck.


Debra Duneier


Living Home by Debra, LLC

The Stable House
The Stable House

I believe in the law of attraction when it comes to real estate. Like a magnet, unique Manhattan properties that are rich with history, find me. I have always found beauty in diversity and a desire to wander off the beaten path. Mother of two brilliant artists, I know beauty when I see it. My son is a gifted writer and director, my daughter a talented jewelry designer.  I am thankful every day that I am lucky enough to work in the world’s capital, New York. Even in this challenging market, I am grateful to be able to show properties that I love. These properties have a life of their own:

3 Great Jones Horse Stable-Noho

Built in 1844 this 2000 Sq Ft Loft is magical. Walk through the private gated alley and toward the original 14ft barn doors which still serves as the entrance to the Stable House. Since the 1950’s tenants have included Charles Mingus-jazz musician, Mark Rothko-painter, and the puppet maker Kermit Love who was contracted to create the puppets of Sesame Street. Kermit the Frog was born here.  Old New York tales of Shinbone Alley are shared in many city narratives. This was the site if one of America’s first comic strips, Archie and Mehetibal. Written by Don Marquis, this was a story of a cockroach and a cat that lived in Shinbone Alley. The alley was also a location for many movies including two Spike Lee movies and the First Wives Club. With the wood burning fireplace, it has the feeling of a private home and has the added plus of being a Live/Work property.

291 Seventh Avenue Penthouse Apartment-Chelsea

Across the street from the Fashion Institute of Technology is a discrete entrance to 291. A keyed elevator brings you up to the 4900 SQ Ft duplex loft that feels like a grand townhouse in the sky. The high ceilings and skylights create an airy, light space that takes your breath away. Wow, is the best description of this property as you walk across the glass floor of the second level that captures every ray of light and leads to the private rooftop terrace. Available outdoor space is over 2000 Sq Ft with open city views. The home of the first woman President of Ralph Lauren,  and her husband who is an accomplished artist, this property shows their flair for good living. In a city where apartments are often talked about as boxes, this space is extraordinary. I live my passion and my passion brought me here…The Penthouse.


 The East Room

Former President Harry Truman tickles the ivories for President and Mrs. Kennedy in the East Room November 1, 1961.

Courtesy John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library

Feng Shui Reccomendations for the White House in  2009

We have entered into a season in our history of much needed change. The year 2009 may be the time to consider changes that are obvious to us and those that are esoteric.

In the Western world our way of life is based on accumulating and qualifying data and then analyzing this information to find trends, norms and averages. These are generally studied as a series of unconnected phenomena. Feng Shui and energy practices, have been main stream in Eastern cultures for thousands of years. The Eastern philosophy is based on the perception that nature is an unending  and a continuous stream of movements that are connected to one another.

My goals as a Feng Shui Practitioner is to bring a balance of energy in working and living environments so that the Qi(energy) in the body can flow freely to connect with the Qi of the environment and bring wholeness.  San Qi which is the energy of Heaven, Earth and Humanity must be balanced to create harmony in your life, good health, happiness and prosperity.

President elect Barak Obama will be moving into the White House this month.  The first cornerstone was laid for the White House in 1792. The first President to live there was John Adams in the year 1800, although it was not completed until 1809. So much history is in the White House and energy from all of those years both good and bad, inhabit this space.  Most will agree that our new President carries a huge responsibility to change things at home as well as abroad and move us into a better place in history. Why not start at home by balancing the energy in the White House to enhance and support our new President?

Born on August 4, 1961 in Honolulu at 7:24PM, Barak Obama was born in the Wood Element.  His Four Pillars Chart shows characteristics that will seem quite obvious to us now that we have had some time to get to know him: self-made man, powerful politician, and the strong Metal in his chart is the element of expression, public speaking and inspiration. Born in a 1961, a year ending in 1,  President elect Barak Obama is an East Life person. As an East Life person the directions that would be most harmonious and supporting for him are the south, southeast, east and north. The more we face the directions that align with our own personal energy vibrations the the more smoothly life will flow involving our health, career, personal relationships, finances and the ability to make sound decisions.  Entertaining in the East Room is the most supporting for an East Life person.  The most challenging of guests should be easily entertained by our next President in this room. The Red Room for smaller gatherings will give President Obama the Fire he needs to be on top of his game when he needs it the most.

The following is my Feng Shui recommendations for the Obama Family:

·         Change the doorknobs on the doors in the rooms most frequented by the departing administration.  If the doorknobs cannot be changed wash them with warm water and sea salt solution. The minerals in the sea salt will cleanse the energy and make room for the new energy to flow.

·         Fresh paint and clearing out of all personal clutter left by the Bush Family.

·         Smudge the property before moving in. Smudge sticks were used by the American Indians to clear out evil spirits. It is a wonderful tool to clear out remaining energy to make room for the new. Light sage and lavender herbs and let the smoldering smoke travel in all corners of the room especially where energy enters the home by the doorways, windows, fireplaces and electrical outlets.

·         Play your favorite music as you move into your new home. The vibrations of this music will be uplifting and bring good energy into your new home.

·         Support for your Wood element can easily be enhanced with water. Fish tanks, photographs or artwork portraying water or fountains will be a great addition for you in the rooms facing Southwest, West, Northwest and Northeast. Or you can create harmony in these directions with plants, fresh flowers or the color red, peach or rose.

·         In any room that feels like the energy is stagnant or a room that makes you feel uneasy be sure to smudge, and change your seat so you are facing East, and have a wall behind your chair. This is called a Black Turtle and will give you the support and confidence you need when making important decisions. Your future and the future of this country and the world should be depicted in the artwork that you face. This is called the Red Bird and will bring you the future you desire.


The year 2009 will bring change for all of us. Explore the tools of Feng Shui  used for thousands of years, to create a more harmonious and happier life as we look optimistically into our future.


Debra Duneier, President

Living Home By Debra, LLC

Debra is also Senior Associate Real Estate Broker with Corcoran in Manhattan and is Secretary of the Corcoran Advisory Board


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