Many times it’s been said – the kitchen is the heart of the home.
For a lot, this is true. Designing this space as the focal point has always been a challenge for designers and architects. First, it has to be functional (of course) – you must design your kitchen to want to use it for purposes beyond its main ones.
Next, as the main ‘public’ space of a home, you’re going to want it to be gathering-friendly. For open-plan layouts and modern homes, this is usually an extended area enjoyed with family, especially if you have kids, or friends who come over.
Third, there are many important tiny details in the kitchen that make up its whole aesthetic. You’ve got the stove, lots of cabinets or open shelves, countertops, sink design, fridge, down to the minutest parts like handles, condiment placements, fruit bowls, crockeries on display, etc. And lastly, cohesiveness is still key to any design – it has to blend well with the connecting dining area and the theme of the house as a whole.
However, underneath all these, there is one aspect that many homeowners also consider – kitchen feng shui.
Photo source: Unsplash | Cat Han
But first, what is feng shui?
We’re pretty sure you already know what it is but here’s a simple, baseline understanding of feng shui’s principles. Originating from China, this ancient method is meant to promote happiness, abundance, luck and harmony. When keeping track of the ‘chi’ (or energy) of an area, you look at the yin and yang elements in it. Typically, yin refers to slow, cool energy that encourages rest and relaxation; while the yang is hot and dry promoting warmth and activity.
There are also five elements to take note of. Feng shui is governed by earth, wood, water, fire, and metal – each of which represents energy in a space and different objects can be categorized into it. The practice believes that mixing and balancing these five elements create harmony and enhances the flow of positive ‘chi’.
Wood means growth and creativity. Water equates to emotion and inspiration. Fire stands for leadership and courage. Earth represents vigor and balance. Metal symbolizes focus and structure.
And because the kitchen is central in a home, and technically, deals with the strong, burning element of ‘fire’, there are several points to look out for.
Here are some basic kitchen feng shui tips you can easily do.
1. Position your kitchen at the back of the house
As a focal point, a kitchen can promote domestic harmony and prosperity. If you’re building your home from scratch or making major renovations, best choose to place your kitchen at the back, towards the south or east areas of the home according to the bagua map. The south area is called ‘Li’, associated with fire and pertains to fame and reputation. Since the kitchen envelopes a lot of fire energy, the space can better activate that particular power of ‘chi’ when placed in this area.
East of the bagua refers to earth, or wood. Since the fire element supports the earth element, the kitchen can also be placed here. And between them, the southeastern part of the house represents wealth, prosperity and abundance – coinciding with the powerful fire energy that kitchens bring.
Consequently, a kitchen should never be placed in the center of the home. The center influences all other parts of the home – imparting energy throughout. And with its strong yang energy, the dynamic and volatile strength of fire needs to be kept at the back, deep and guarded where this wealth of ‘chi‘ will be protected.
Photo source: Unsplash | Anastasia Krachkovskaya
2. Thoughtfully and respectfully place your stove
Having your stove in a commanding position in your kitchen is good feng shui practice. A central piece – the kitchen stove represents prosperity, wealth and opportunities in kitchen feng shui.
Ideally, when you’re using your stove, you have a view of the kitchen door or entrance, but not directly in front of the doorway. This shows that you’re in control of life and the opportunities it brings. However, if the layout forces you to face the wall while cooking, you can incorporate a mirrored or reflective backsplash instead.
Next, because the stove is a fire element, similar to ovens and microwaves, these should not be placed directly opposite or adjacent to water elements like the sink or refrigerators. This is where the kitchen work triangle layout comes in – having the sink, stove, and refrigerator form a triangle not only promotes balance in their feng shui elements but also assists in functional movement between the kitchen’s most used appliances.
Photo source: Unsplash | Jason Briscoe
3. Stove burners also play a part in kitchen feng shui
Positioning your stove appropriately is step one. Step two is making sure your stove has more than one burner.
According to feng shui, the number of burners you have represents wealth – it is advisable to go for a three-burner stove if your space would allow it. But, if space is really limited, that mirrored or reflective backsplash in the previous point will do you some positive ‘chi‘ by helping double the burners you currently have; thereby, ‘doubling your wealth’ too.
Additionally, as a symbolism of wealth (however, you wish to define the term), make sure you’re using your stove. This ensures that wealth is constantly being promoted and is flowing in your life and home. Stillness of stoves in kitchens denotes that wealth is not being ‘ignited’, that you’re not embracing or making the most of opportunities you have in life.
Similarly, by choosing stovetops with more burners, feng shui encourages you to alternate the use of these burners so as to subconsciously allow more opportunities to come to your life.
Photo source: Unsplash | Dane Deaner
4. Kitchen feng shui promotes cleaning and organization
If you’ve been practicing feng shui in other parts of your home and life, then you’ll know that clutter is a definite no-no. In one of our previous articles, we talked about some organization tips for a beautiful home, those are applicable too in your kitchen.
Since this space relates to prosperity and abundance, you wouldn’t want any unnecessary objects blocking its flow. Therefore, decluttering and following-through with organizing will make for a vibrant kitchen with strong, resonant energy.
The easiest to deal with is the countertops because you see this first whenever you enter your kitchen. Keep them clear of clutter and arrange the things that are meant to be there, properly.
Next, move to your kitchen cabinets and ensure to dedicate those storage spaces only for things needed in your kitchen. The same goes for your pantry. Not only will designated spaces make it easier for you to look and store things; but it’ll also help you keep track of home kitchen-related inventory. Plus, doing so helps you follow one very practical feng shui suggestion – knowing how much of each item you and your family really needs. One bit that’s very useful for tiny home dwellers.
Photo source: Unsplash | Becca Tapert
5. Choose wood and earth elements
Fire energy supports the earth element. With naturally more fire, water and metal elements in kitchens, you balance the space by using designs focused on wood and earth energies. That’s where your selection of small decor comes in.
You can start by having earthy hues such as greens, beiges and some terracotta shades. Then complement it with ceramic cookware and bowls, earthenware plates and cups or clay pots. Many of these have been in existence for a long time and nowadays, designs are abundant; you can have your pick of style.
Another easy step is to have lush, indoor plants that promote wealth and your connection to nature. If you’re into some practice of sustainability, grow edible plants, have a mini herb corner or make space for microgreens and sprouts. These will definitely breathe more life into your kitchen space, literally and metaphorically.
If you’ve got more space, you can make a tiny library of cookbooks. Books give a great dose of the wood element while being aesthetically pleasing and functional.
Photo source: Unsplash | Toa Heftiba
6. A finishing touch: fruits and plants for color and life
Unique energy in each room helps identify its corresponding feng shui energy, and in turn, also dictate a color palette. When we add those contrasts and pops of color, feng shui experts have mentioned that you also need to make sure they are fitting for that space and area.
For example, add copper pots, have metallic handles on cabinet doors, or try some subtle gold on your light fixtures to add that vibrancy in your kitchen while being true to its energy. Try complementing those thriving plants with wooden plates and mixing bowls; and use raw wood for a portion of your countertop or to make a stand or bookends for your mini library of cookbooks. This way, your kitchen area will look cohesive and amazing, while still promoting the wealth energy of the space.
If you’re looking for another way to add that pop of color in your kitchen, then a fruit bowl is the easiest and great feng shui go-to decor on any countertop. It looks lively; and fruit signifies abundance in wealth and health – providing you with the nutrients you need. But remember – do not display fake fruits or dried flowers: these are dead ‘chi’.
Photo source: Unsplash | Jason Briscoe