Feng Shui Your Kitchen
The kitchen has always been the center of the home – throughout the history and in every culture. The old saying ‘home is where the heart is’, as the kitchen was the main source of fire for warmth and cooking, and indeed this was the heart of the home. Fireplaces in other rooms were a luxury, but in the kitchen, where family life, socializing, cooking and eating merged into one, they were a necessity.
In the Orient, the kitchen was always regarded as a sacred place, as it was the source of the family’s health, and the cook was always revered and respected. The families knew that for the cook to do a good job they needed their space, privacy and peace. That is why feng shui experts recommend that kitchens be sited at the back of the house, as far away as possible from the main entrance or any thoroughfare within the home. Even in Western tradition, it was not unusual for our mothers or grandmothers to declare the kitchen ‘off limits’ to everyone else while they prepared meals.
Contemporary kitchen design is usually geared towards one of these two room arrangements:
- The kitchen is hardly larger than a box room but often has to accommodate an oven and hob, microwave, fridge, dishwasher and sink, with perhaps a couple of stools and a breakfast bar. This style of kitchen suits those on the move but doesn’t really encourage the cook to make more traditional meals from fresh ingredients.
- The kitchen is a shape which integrates the kitchen and dining areas, bringing more hearth into the kitchen. While this layout can be potentially distracting to cook, it does bring the household members together, not just for meals but for communication in general.
From a feng shui point of view it is wise to subtly subdivide the space in order to create a different feeling in the busy sector (yang) of the kitchen and the more restful dining are (yin) of the space. Try incorporating different flooring material for the kitchen sector – wood, tiles or stone – and perhaps carpet or a different style of tile in the dining area. Use stronger lighting in the kitchen and food preparation areas, and dimmer, softer lighting in the dining area. And use different colors and textures in each area.
Planning Your Kitchen
- Ideally, locate the kitchen as far away as possible from the front door. Wherever it is, if the kitchen’s in the busy part of the house, keep its door shut.
- The ideal pa kua directions for a kitchen are either in the south or east of your home. The south ‘fire’ direction is most associated with the hearth of the home, while the wood of the east fuels it.
- If you see your kitchen when you enter your home, then you subconsciously think about food. If this is the case, it is not unusual for you to be either snacking, over eating or constantly hungry. Position artwork on the walls either side of its entrance to distract your attention away from the kitchen – but don’t use pictures of food!
- If a back door is opposite the entrance to the kitchen, then chi energy enters and leaves without circulating. This can cause lost opportunities, and waste or overspending on food. Either install a glass partition in the kitchen to soften the chi, or hang a wind chime with five hollow metal tubes in a direct line between the front and back doors.
Colors And Materials
- Ideally, all edges of units and worktops are rounded.
- The ideal color scheme for a kitchen includes green, orange, red or pink. These colors can be incorporated in the utensils, curtains, cupboards and wallpapers.
- Wood or laminate wood effect is beneficial as it fuels the fire of the kitchen’s cooking function. Polished or shiny surfaces are effective for stimulating the flow of chi, but this can be overdone – too much chi flow would result in the cook possibly forgetting vital ingredients, burning a dish by mistiming the cooking, or just creating a rather dull, hadhazard or bland meal.
Make the lighting in a kitchen area strong and use natural light as much as possible. Halogen lamps and spotlights effectively position the light to fall where it is needed. If your dining area is combined with the kitchen, then it makes sense to have different light sources, so you can dim the lighting for dining and keep it strong in the food preparation areas.
Many types of flooring are suitable for the kitchen area. Linoleum, cork or wood would be best in the north, east, southeast and south, and ceramic tiles or stone would be suitable in the south, southwest, center, northeast, west and northwest.
Dead Chi and Clutter
The kitchen needs to be a vibrant source of good health. Take a look around for any sources of dead chi or clutter that may be lurking in your kitchen. If you have lots of dry flowers or herbs hanging from the ceiling then reduce them to only one or two small bunches. Where do you keep your rubbish? Have a smooth edge bin with a lid, and frequently empty it into a larger bin outside the home.
Include as many pieces of curved furniture as you can to minimize cutting chi.
Keep the surfaces clean – stains, crumbs and stray utensils all represent stagnant chi.
Semi shiny surfaces, such as clean Formica, stimulate chi. Again, the reflective finish of chrome and some plastic accessories keeps chi flowing and is easily kept clean.
Hobs with open flame burners are better than electric stoves, as they increase the fire element more naturally. If the cook’s back is to the door, erect a mirror or a shiny, stainless steel surface so it reflect what’s behind them. This will reassure the cook that they won’t be surprised by people coming in. Cooking ranges that are on an ‘island’ or bar in the middle of the room provide the best position and outlook for the cook.
Matching sets of colored crockery and cutlery create a more harmonious effect. Choose sets with rounded edges, possibly some light green or red tones to boost health and energy. Drain or store plates on their sides, rather than flat, to keep them in contact with the room’s chi, and keep knife blades pointing down or out of sight.
Have a look through your fridge and cupboards. Get rid of any out of date foods or utensils that have no longer care about or use, to minimize clutter. Keeping the fridge well stocked is a sign of abundance, but try to keep it arranged neatly.
Curing Elemental Clashes
Water clashes with fire, and as these potent elements abound in the kitchen, try not to site them adjacent or opposite each other. The cooker and the broiler represent fire, while water is embodied by the fridge, sink, freezer and dishwasher. If these are too close, place something that represents wood in between them, such as plant, wooden utensils or a green accessory – an egg timer or kitchen scales for instance.