Getting your kitchen’s feng shui correct will invite good health and prosperity says Jane Purr. Nadia Raafat compiles the top 12 feng shui tips for revitalising your kitchenKitchens and food preparation areas in feng shui terms are second only in importance to the entrance and perhaps the bedroom in any home. It is here that you will find the prosperity of the inhabitants most clearly influenced and most accurately reflected.
Many guidelines apply to the kitchen and much emphasis is placed on its shape and proportion and position within the home. It is often the room most likely to sway a house sale and the place where the family tend to congregate.
We recognise intrinsically its significance to us and place great importance on how it looks and the way it is used. Many professions involved in the building and design of properties are beginning to recognise a serious interest in feng shui amongst their clients, and are taking steps to familiarise themselves with the principles of feng shui. The Kitchen Specialist’s Association UK has been one of the first professional organisations to take a lead in this respect.
Faced with the prospect of clients who know exactly what they want with regard to feng shui, the KSA has taken the innovative step of creating a feng shui awareness-raising programme for their own members.
The response within the KSA has been overwhelming. Recently a group of kitchen designers and retailers gathered from across the nation. Far from wanting to simply keep up with the customer, they took the view that feng shui was an opportunity to extend their own professional development. Such enthusiasm is gratifying. This is not simply paying lip service to a passing trend. It implies a genuine intent to integrate feng shui into the principles of kitchen design, a move that can only be good for everybody, not least the consumer.
The basics of good feng shui in kitchen design are available to us all. Based, in the first instance, on the Form School of feng shui, they guide us, as a starting point, towards using the East of the house as the stove or cooking location. This rationale is based on the principle of aligning room usage with Nature; in feng shui, the East is represented by the green dragon, symbolic of the yang energy of health and wealth (prosperity), which of course is what the kitchen is all about.
Traditionally, in most cultures, the quantity and quality of food prepared in this area is indicative of the standard of living in the household as a whole. Positioning the kitchen to the East therefore enhances the prospects of the home as well as ensuring that users benefit from the sensory ‘lift’ of the early morning sun.
It is also recommended that the mouth (or door) of the oven does not open towards the main entrance location. Any foul energy areas should be sited as far away as possible from the kitchen proper. Toilets and utilities should be properly separated from the cooking process or, at least, feed waste directly out of the kitchen as opposed to piping it beneath the floor.
Adopting these precautions ensures the risk of food contamination via used air and ‘brown’ water is substantially lessened. The shape of the kitchen should be, as far as possible, symmetrical…balanced, in fact. Balance is fundamental to feng shui in every respect. Imbalance leads to conflict and subsequently to misfortune and ill health. Ensuring a balance of yin and yang in any environment prevents this situation from occurring, but is particularly vital in a room that has such an influence on the prosperity of the household.
Creating and maintaining a flow of energy around the kitchen is imperative. As a rule of thumb, if people are blocked from entering a room, then ch’i will also be blocked or even absent. Remove any obstacles that prevent traffic flow around the kitchen. Likewise if certain parts of the room remain neglected and lie dormant, ch’i will become stagnant. The area will in fact become dead space.
Alcoves and some corners tend to fall into this category and you will need to circulate ch’i through them if they are not to stagnate. The strategic use of lights and plants helps to alleviate this situation.
Conversely an unbroken straight run of ch’i is also to be avoided.
Clear walkways with undulating boundaries are what you should be aiming for. Energy should neither rush nor stagnate but ebb and flow.
Consider support for the kitchen user. Are they expected to prepare and cook with their back to the door or anyone entering the kitchen? Insecurity and jitteriness will be the result if this is the case. Their back should always be protected whatever the task in hand.
Various corrections can mitigate this situation but the ideal solution is to create a workspace that enables a good view to the fore and cover to the rear. The ensuing sense of control in the kitchen user encourages relaxation at a subconscious level, and relaxation is a state to be aimed for in what can become a very frenetic room once cooking begins.
We respond to Nature on a gut level; even symbols of the natural state can produce a positive reaction in us. Use this knowledge to further enhance the kitchen by ensuring the amenities are to a high standard. Think about an integral water filtration system, use halogen or daylight bulbs, extract your dirty cooking air out of the kitchen and consider using an ioniser, rainbow crystal or salt lamp to create a better atmosphere. Integrate colour schemes and building materials that could be considered ‘natural’ in their hue and texture.
Ultimately, such guidelines might be considered ‘common sense’. But exactly how did such sense become ‘common’ and how common is such sense anyway? Most feng shui practitioners will verify that finding a kitchen that embodies even the most fundamental rules of feng shui is quite rare. Whilst people might have a vague awareness of what they should be doing, it is quite unusual to find this understanding translated into actuality. The reasons for this are various, but what is clear is that once these common sense guidelines have been implemented, life begins to change. Generally it improves.
In feng shui, the kitchen directly relates to wealth and well-being. A nourishing, healthy diet prepared under the right circumstances produces a dynamic individual who in turn produces exceptional work which invites prosperity and so on in an ever-reinforcing positive sheng ch’i cycle.
Ideally the kitchen should be located on the edge of your home in the inner half of the property, that is, in the half furthermost from the main entrance. There is a very practical traditional explanation for this – a kitchen fire is more manageable at the edge of the home than it is in the centre. Try and situate your kitchen in one of your least favourable locations according to the kua formula. (To work out your kua number please turn to the section marked New Readers Begin Here.)
This paradox occurs because though kitchens in themselves do not create good luck, they are powerful antidotes to bad luck because of the strong energy of the Fire Element, represented by the presence of the powerful stove. By placing your kitchen in one of your least auspicious areas, its energy will press down on the sha ch’i thereby keeping it from bringing you any harm. The drainage in a kitchen has the same effect.
|The stove produces enormous amounts of power. Therefore it is essential that it is placed correctly. In traditional feng shui, the luck of the patriarch or breadwinner is directly related to the facing direction of the mouth of the stove. Ideally this should be your sheng ch’i direction under the kua formula. If you don’t want to follow the kua formula, a good general position is diagonal to the entrance door. Never ever place your cooker in the North-west corner of the kitchen. If it is there, please move it to a safer place. (See stove no-no’s panel.)|
|In an ideal layout, the cooker (Fire Element) should not be placed next to or opposite either the refrigerator or the sink (Water Element) since the two Elements are incompatible – Water puts out Fire. Separate them as much as you can, ideally by placing something from the Wood Element (a wooden table, a wicker basket, etc.) between them or, failing that, leave as large a gap as possible between the appliances.|
It is important that when you are working in the kitchen you are able to see everyone entering and leaving the room. This is to avoid subconscious insecurity gathering while you are preparing food.
If you must cook with your back to the centre, remedy the situation by hanging a mirror or polished steel utensil over the work surface so that the reflection gives you a perspective on both the room and the entrance. Do not hang a mirror over the stove as this would be inviting disaster by by doubling the effect of the Fire.
|Kitchens are usually full of secret poison arrows. To counter their effect, try and soften sharp edges. For instance, round tables are preferable to square tables for good health. Use curved low-level shelving units instead of tall square ones and place doors on the shelves to smother the arrows. Try and avoid overhanging racks especially when they are suspended over the preparation area. Most importantly, put away those sharp knives.|
|Space is imperative for creation and composure in the kitchen. However, kitchens are also notorious for being clutter magnets. An inspection of probably any kitchen would reveal a gaggle of disused items that are occupying precious space. Seek them out and then either store them properly away or if you have no use for that second toaster – give it away! By clearing kitchen clutter, you will energise the room and make plenty of space for preparing delicious and nutritious meals.|
|Ensure your kitchen is spacious, airy and well lit. Allow lots of fresh benevolent ch’i in through the windows to energise the room – far more pleasant than noisy, greasy extractor fans.|
|Suggested colours for kitchens include white, to temper the power of Fire, and green which helps to balance the Fire and Water elements with Wood.|
|Incorporate lots of natural yin materials like cotton, plants and basketware into the decoration to balance out the emphasis on heavy yang metallic objects.|
Don’t have broken or malfunctioning equipment surrounding you and certainly do not use it to cook with – either fix it or throw it out.
Always cover your waste bin with a lid and keep it out of sight.
Keep your cooker scrupulously clean and use all the burners regularly.
Try to ensure that drainage exits are not visible so ch’i energy is not drawn out of the kitchen.