Kitchen Design & Feng Shui
Are you burning up your wealth?
Wood is the element of Wealth, and it belongs in the Southeast corner, according to ancient Feng Shui precepts.
So, if your stove is located in the Southeast, you are figuratively "burning up your wealth".
However, since food is equivalent with wealth in China, the number of burners on your stove also represents your wealth. So, if you put a mirrored backsplash behind your stove burners, you are symbolically "doubling your wealth". There are many complex factors to Feng Shui. We take all of these into account when doing a consultation.
When we analyze a person's home, the very first thing we do is take compass directions throughout the house and come up with a game plan for balancing out all the elements. Next, we analyze the Feng Shui Trigram (sign) of all of the people who live in the home, and make sure they are spending time in all their best areas, and avoiding their worst.
Types of Feng Shui
Feng Shui is a complex practice with many different schools, and the recommendations will vary from school to school and from one practitioner to another. So too, advice will differ depending upon the unique home - and the unique people living in it. Despite the fact that different schools may have diverse views on some topics, there are basic Feng Shui principles that apply to all kitchens.
At Feng Shui Style, we use the Compass School, Form School, and Eight Mansion Theory. For more information about these schools, go to:
Modern kitchen with pops of orange
Kitchen Placement within the Home
WHERE IS YOUR KITCHEN?
The first thing to consider when looking at the kitchen is its placement in terms of the whole house.
We can't always decide where each room in a house or apartment will be in relation to the others, but if you're working with new construction or doing extensive renovations, ideally the kitchen will be in the back of the house, at least behind the centerline of the house.
It's better if you don't see the kitchen immediately upon entering the house, since it tends to make your life "all about food", which can lead to digestive, nutritional, and eating problems.
Having the kitchen at the entry point also means that guests may come over to eat and then leave immediately. Such a placement can also encourage the inhabitants to be obsessed with cooking and eating (of course some people don't find this to be a problem).
If your kitchen is in the front of the house, don't panic; there are always remedies. Try to hide the kitchen from the entrance - or at least "screen" it. You could hang sheer or beaded curtains over the kitchen door, or install louvered doors. Another idea is to provide something delightfully eye-catching across a hall or in a vestibule near the kitchen. That way, attention is diverted from the kitchen upon entering.
It is very important for the cook to be in a "commanding position" while cooking at the stove. The cook should be able to clearly see the doorway without turning around. Renovating a kitchen so this is achieved can be particularly challenging. Many modern kitchens have the range facing the wall.
Many Feng Shui consultants recommend hanging something reflective, such as a mirror on the backsplash area of the stove. The reflective surface can be any size, but the bigger it is, the more powerful the correction will be.
In China, the number of burners on the stove represent the families' wealth. By adding a reflective item like a mirror behind the burners, you are effectively "doubling your wealth".
For a dramatic solution to the "back to the audience" dilemma, consider installing a cooking island. Placing the stove in a central island allows the cook to see the entire room, including the doorway.
Beyond the Feng Shui benefits, a cooking island is practical. The wider your view, the more you'll be able to comfortably talk with dinner guests or keep an eye on the kids as you cook.
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Feng Shui Master/Interior Designer. Renaissance Woman, Entrepreneur, Hugger of Animals, Buildings & Trees. Live in an 1895 Queen Anne Victorian. Anglophile.
Feng Shui Lighting
In any room, fluorescent lights do not promote good health; they are constantly flickering, affecting the eyes and nervous system, and can cause hypertension, eyestrain and headaches.
Shadows should not be cast while preparing and cooking food. Ensure that your kitchen is well lit with incandescent bulbs or halogen lights.
There are a plethora of design solutions for kitchen lighting. Check out the links below for some ideas.
Let there be light!
Mixing classic and contemporary keeps the space fresh
Hang artwork in your kitchen..to make you feel at homeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Feng Shui me!
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The Five Elements
There are 5 Elements to consider when trying to achieve good Feng Shui: Water, Earth, Wood, Fire, and Metal. Each major appliance and major piece of furniture in the kitchen is considered one of these elements.
The fridge and sink are both water elements. The cabinets are usually wood, as well as the table or chairs. The stove and oven are fire elements. If people have a tile or terra cotta floor, that would be earth, along with granite and marble countertops.
The idea is to achieve a balance between all the elements, and to make sure that non-compatible elements are placed away from each other. For this reason, you would never want your stove right next to your sink. Specifically, the best place for the sink would be North (for Career), East (for Family and Health) or SouthEast (for Wealth).
This is why getting a full-blown Feng Shui consultation by a professional is more than just a good idea. If your sink was in the wrong area, you could potentially bring down your reputation. If your stove was in the wrong area, you could be burning up your wealth - literally.
The Dragon = Fire!
The Kitchen Triangle
A good kitchen design is based on a traditional triangle model, with the sink, refrigerator and range making up each point of the triangle. There should be a 6-8 foot distance between each appliance; this allows for maximum convenience and a minimum of repeated moves.
Because you'll have that space between each of the major appliances, it should be easy to adhere to the Feng Shui principle of having fire elements separated from water elements.
A good way of separating fire and water is to add something made of wood in between, such as a plant or a painting of a plant.
The Kitchen Stove
The stove represents health and wealth, so you want to use the burners on the stove top equally, rotating their use rather than habitually using a particular one. This correlates with getting money from multiple sources.
A regular stove, as opposed to a microwave, is preferred because it is more in keeping with the Feng Shui belief that we should slow down, become more conscious of each activity, and do activities with intention.
Heating a quick meal in the microwave is certainly convenient, but doing this may not lead to the most serene state of mind.
Many Feng Shui consultants (including myself) are concerned with excess radiation and electromagnetic fields and advise against a microwave altogether. A steamer and a toaster oven can achieve everything that a microwave can, with better quality. Obviously, each home and family will have to find their own balance between modern conveniences and optimal Feng Shui practices.
The kitchen should be kept neat and uncluttered, and any broken appliances should be thrown out. It is better to have no toaster than one that doesn't work.
In Feng Shui, windows should not be placed over the stove because heat represents prosperity, and you don't want your prosperity flowing out the window.
Luckily, Feng Shui isn't only about having a room with good ch'i, or energy; it's also simply a practical guide for design. For this reason, Feng Shui can be used with any style of room. Some of the most popular trends include:
- a contemporary look, with solid colors, wood and granite, stone or marble
- a luxurious look, with carvings, corbels, and cabinets with legs
- a Craftsman or other simple style
Any of these styles can be successfully combined with the principles of Feng Shui to make for a kitchen that's functional, up-to-date, and easy on the eyes.