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Welcome Mat: Local feng shui expert gives design tips for Year of the Rat

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
Think textile and tactile when it comes to making your home feng shui savvy for the Year of the Rat, says local expert Dennis Fairchild.

2020 is the Year of the Rat. What that means at home

The Chinese New Year was Jan. 25 and it's the Year of the Rat. For our homes, that has different implications, says local feng shui expert Dennis Fairchild. Fairchild -- who will speak Tuesday at a special Chinese New Year's Dinner at Three Cats Cafe in Clawson; tickets are $35 each -- says there are several ways to bring the Rat Year into our homes, which will in turn "invoke joy and luck." Here are Fairchild's tips.

  • Mix and match styles. Combine low-end pieces with more expensive ones, which attracts improved "vigor and opportunity."  Blend wool, leather, cotton, and varied style options
  • When decorating, think texture and tactile, such as handcrafted furniture and arts.
  • Go green, as in the color green. Shades of green — the color of nature and new beginnings— bring luck and assistance so try introducing through curtains, accents and accessories that feature green. White, light blues and gray bring happiness, as do metallic tones.
  • Focus on the kitchen. During the Rat Year, it's the No. 1 room to invest in. Keep it clutter-free and consider changing out hardware. Replace pewter and silver, but not shiny gold or bronze.
June & December in downtown Berkley will host a warehouse sale Feb. 21-22.

Berkley home decor shop hosts two-day warehouse sale

June & December in downtown Berkley is gearing up for its third annual warehouse sale on Feb. 21-22 where customers will find sample, prototypes, discontinued items or slightly damaged goods all at seriously discounted prices. "This year we spread it out over two days, adding Friday evening," said Katie Forte, who co-owns the shop with her husband. Customers will find flour sack napkins, paper goods and more, all marked 50% to 75% off. June & December is 2670 Coolidge Highway. The sale is from 5-7 p.m. Feb. 21 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 22. For more information, call  (248) 667-8941.

VMKT, now in its 8th year, will feature nearly three dozen artisans selling their goods for Valentine's Day.

Handcrafted goods, workshops at Sunday’s Valentine’s Market in Detroit

Looking for something one-of-a-kind for your one-of-a-kind Valentine? Check out the eighth annual VMKT (previously known as VLNTNSDYMRKT, or Valentine's Day Market) from 12-5 p.m. Sunday at the Majestic Theater, 4140 Woodward in Detroit. The show, organized by the same people who put on Handmade Detroit every year, will feature 35 indie artisans selling their wares, along with a range of Make-and-Take workshops. For the workshops, customers will get the chance to make Screen-Printed Valentines Art with Arsenal Handicraft; Pom Pom Garlands and Earrings with Annette of Yelp; Crochet with Chantial of Mitten Made; or Make Buttons with Amy of Foxy Hipster. The cost is $15 per person which includes all the make-stations; or $1 for those who just plan to shop. For information, go https://www.facebook.com/events/806726359799014/.

John Haling of John's Urban Timber offers primarily walnut, maple and honey locust slabs. He uses a kiln to dry out the slabs before they're used.

Whitmore Lake company is one of oldest locals firms offering live edge wood

Even as a child growing up in Dearborn decades ago, John Haling remembers seeing trees services throw the trees they'd cut down into a wood chipper and thinking to himself there had to be a better way. There is. Since 1998, Haling, the owner of John’s Urban Timber in Whitmore Lake, has been taking logs from people’s yards and milling them into live edge slabs. He sells the slabs to DIY-ers or makes some custom pieces himself such as counters. "We’re using a natural resource correctly," said Haling. Haling was in the process of creating cherry countertops for a customer who had a fire at home and only had a cherry tree left in his yard. Haling used to offer flooring but stopped because it was cost and labor intensive. Haling doesn’t cut down trees but instead processes logs. For information, go to https://www.johnsurbantimber.com or call (734) 741-9499.

Some of the latest kitchen designs will be on display at the Macomb Spring Home Show Feb. 15-16 in Warren.

Macomb Spring Home Show comes to Warren 

More than 150 exhibitors offering a variety of home products will converge Feb. 15-16 at the Macomb Sports & Expo Center in Warren for the ninth annual Macomb Spring Home Show. Attendees will find the latest kitchen and bath designs, room additions, roofing options, swimming pools, spas, landscaping and more. “This year’s show is our biggest one yet,” said show producer Mark Nicholson. Admission and parking are free. The show runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 15 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 16. Go to yourhomeshows.com.