Feng Shui Kitchens: A Design Guide

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What Is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui translates from Chinese as “wind and water” and was developed in China over 3,000 years ago. Dealing with yin and yang, the balance of opposites, Feng Shui is based on the concept of Chi, or energy. By balancing the elements of a room, Chi is able to flow through without blockage, leading to wellbeing, health and prosperity. Feng Shui developed out of Taoist belief in the interconnection of all things, and the importance of maintaining balance in the environment.

You can apply Feng Shui principles to any building, including placement of rooms, colors, furniture and decorating themes. Whether you believe in the concept of Chi or not, Feng Shui incorporates many sound principles and ideas for creating a home that is welcoming, balanced and pleasant to live in.

By applying Feng Shui principles to your kitchen, considered the heart of the home, you can not only improve the look of your kitchen, you can potentially improve your fortune. Most likely, your kitchen is already built, with major appliances in place, limiting your ability to completely redesign your kitchen according to Feng Shui theory, but you can easily make small changes that will increase the flow of Chi through your kitchen.

Feng Shui Kitchen Colors

The kitchen is associated with the element of fire, and so is best decorated in the bright, fiery colors of red, yellow and orange. You don’t have to paint your kitchen walls bright red for the benefit, however, you can incorporate touches of these colors in your décor accents. White is also a suitable color for the kitchen, due to its symbolism of purity, cleanliness and new beginnings. (See How To Decorate Your Kitchen With Bold Colors).

If you are planning to paint your kitchen, go with white, soft yellow or a pale orange as your base. Keep the look fresh and clean with white trim, and then add the sparks of bright red, yellow and orange with:

  • Dishtowels
  • Drain rack
  • Plates
  • Canisters
  • Light fixtures
  • Teapot
feng shui kitchens ideal home garden feng shui kitchens ideal home garden

Feng Shui Kitchen Layout & Cooking on the Stove

The stove is the most important element in your kitchen, strongly associated with the fire element, and symbolizing wealth and health due to the preparation of food. In the typical American kitchen, the stove is up against a wall, forcing the cook to stand with her back to the rest of the home. Feng Shui practice strongly advises against this placement, recommending a kitchen island for the stove so the cook has a good view of the entire kitchen and beyond.

  • If your stove is against the wall, you can improve the flow of Chi by hanging a mirror over the stove or right next to it, allowing you to see what is behind you even while you cook.
  • Keep your stove in good working condition, and immaculately clean. Don’t stick with just one favored burner, rotating through all of them improves the flow of energy, and symbolizes abundance.

Keep Your Kitchen Clean and Clutter Free

Your kitchen should be as clean and clutter free as possible. Keep the stove and counters wiped down and free of any cooking grease, dust or residue. It’s important to avoid clutter in your kitchen, which could impede the flow of Chi.

  • Clean out your refrigerator, throwing away any food that is expired, stale or unlikely to be eaten.
  • If possible, keep trashcans hidden beneath the sink. Empty your trash and recycling containers daily.
  • Give away appliances that you don’t need or use. Broken appliances should be discarded.
  • Remove clutter from your countertops. Don’t let papers, work projects or kid’s crafts fill up your kitchen space.
  • Exposed knives are a negative element, and should be kept in a knife rack or in the silverware drawer.
  • Sweep your kitchen floor daily, and mop weekly to remove grease or spots.
  • Always fix any leaks, burned out light bulbs or other kitchen issues promptly. These symbolize a loss of wealth, so keep your kitchen in good order to attract abundance.

Living Things

Plants are a good way to improve negative layout or elements in your kitchen. Hanging or setting a plant near the entrance of your kitchen will help improve positive flow. If your stove and sink are right next to each other, which creates a conflict between a fire element and a water element, placing a plant between them will act as a barrier. (See The Best Easy To Grow Houseplants).

  • A bowl of fresh fruit or a vase of flowers is an excellent way to introduce the element of wood into your kitchen, bringing balance to the room. Throw them away when they start to fade, however.
  • “Lucky bamboo” and the popular, easy to grow jade plant are particularly good choices for your Feng Shui kitchen.

Feng Shui techniques can bring harmony and pleasing style to your home. Let your kitchen welcome abundance, health and good luck by making small changes to open up the flow of energy. The heart of your home should be a place of light, cleanliness and beauty, reflecting the health and wellbeing your kitchen produces for your family.

Last Updated: March 14, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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