Friday, February 01, 2008

Kitchen Design & Feng Shui: Are you pumping up your wealth, or burning it up?


In Feng Shui, the kitchen represents nourishment and prosperity. How you design and decorate the kitchen can dramatically influence your health, and, surprisingly, your wealth.

The first thing to bear in mind when considering any Feng Shui advice is that ultimately, Feng Shui is a complex practice with several 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.

First things first....

The first thing to bear in mind when considering any Feng Shui advice is that ultimately, Feng Shui is a complex practice with several 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 and Form School, the two oldest forms of Feng Shui.

Kitchen Placement within the Home


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 centerline of house.

In any case, it's better if you don't see the kitchen immediately upon entering the house, as this can cause digestive, nutritional, and eating problems. Having the kitchen at the entry point can also mean that guests will come over and eat and then leave immediately, and 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.

Kitchen Layout


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 or a shiny sheet of decorative aluminum, over 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".

Kitchen Islands

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 prepare the meal.

A Stylish, Compact Kitchen Island


This island has all the necessities, yet it exudes sophistication with a soapstone top, and rich wood with Craftsman detailing. What a gorgeous solution to a Feng Shui problem! Instead of isolating the cook, families and guests often gather in the kitchen and participate in the meal preparation. Also, busy working couples use dinner preparation as an important time to unwind together.

The 5 Elements
and 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.

In summation

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 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.

1 comment:

Brandon said...

The images are amazing.I love the designs.It's beautiful.

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