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The Art of Intimate Dining

From The Washington Post, February 14, 2002
by Jura Koncius

If you're planning candlelight and chocolate torte for a Valentine's dinner at home, don't leave the feng shui to chance.

Carol Olmstead of Bethesda is a professional practitioner of the ancient Oriental philosophy of how environment affects energy. She has a few practical suggestions for creating a romantic dining ambiance. "When people feel good about their surroundings, they feel good about themselves and their relationships," says Olmstead.

The ideal table for two, she says, is square or round. But if the two of you will be dining at a rectangular table, set your places near each other at one end of the table and put flowers at the other end. Remove any extra chairs, she says, "otherwise it feels like you are at a party and some guests didn't show." Finally, seat your guest facing away from the kitchen, so the clutter and dirty dishes don't break the mood.Those ancients apparently thought of everything.

Olmstead puts out a newsletter, available through her Web site, which predicts that red will be an important color for the next few years because it can "ward off negative chi and boost your energy." More good reasons to wear red tonight.

Jura Koncius
© 2002 The Washington Post Company

© Copyright 2024, Carol Olmstead