Life elementsThe philosophies and practices have been around for thousands of years, and today it is used not only by the Chinese, but all over the world in decisions regarding placement of buildings, doors, appliances, colors or even flowers.  Many designers have also adopted the principles, perhaps agreeing with Winston Churchill’s statement, “We shape our dwelling and afterwards our dwellings shape us.” It’s Feng Shui – the art and practice that governs spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (chi).

Since the kitchen is our favorite topic of discussion, I thought I’d share some basic Feng Shui principles that I’ve found regarding the heart of the home – feel free to add more in the comments section.  Whether you choose to exercise Feng Shui philosophies in your everyday life or not is your decision, but we can’t help but notice they’ve got some undeniably great kitchen design tips.

Feng Shui in Your Kitchen Remodel

Feng Shui principles say that your kitchen is connected to the state of your health, family harmony and flow of abundance in your life.  It nourishes and sustains life – pretty straightforward.  Although it goes way more in depth than we’ll go today, here are some basic principles I found interesting:

It’s about balance – The kitchen is home to many elements of nature: fire(stove), water(sink/dishwasher), earth (granite, stone), metal, and wood.  While everyone’s circumstances are unique, it is important to keep everything balanced.  You don’t want to place two opposing elements (such as fire and water) directly next to each other, as they will clash and throw off the chi, inviting negative energy.  If it is unavoidable, find a way to balance the two by incorporating another element.

Basic Layout – For an optimal flow of energy, it is advised that the kitchen not be too close to the front or back door, so as to avoid the escape of energy.  A balanced kitchen should also be square or rectangular, avoiding an overall triangular shape, but the working triangle is a good way to balance your appliances within.  Typically, it is not advised to have a kitchen in the center of your home.

Stove Location – When deciding where to place the stove (which represents health and wealth), Feng Shui principals say that the cook should be able to see all entrances and most of the room while standing at the stove.  If your stove location demands you have your back to the room, place a mirror above the stove to give visibility. The stove should not be directly above a window as it provides heat (prosperity), and you don’t want your prosperity flowing out the window.

Manage your space – If you have a small or narrow kitchen, widen or enlarge it by adding mirrors.  Also, make sure you have a place for everything, and everything in its place.  You want to be sure to avoid clutter in all areas of the kitchen, but feel free to display cooking utensils and cookbooks, as they represent nourishment and a welcoming feeling.

Proper lighting – Make sure you have good quality natural and artificial lighting.  If you currently have fluorescent lights in your kitchen, you may want to rethink them in your upcoming kitchen remodel.  There is a wide belief that they do not promote good health as they can cause eyestrain, headaches and hypertension.  It is also recommended that you have multiple layers of lighting (perhaps under-cabinet and track lighting?) rather than one overhead light.

There is clearly a lot to be learned in the way of Feng Shui – we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  The most important aspect in a Feng Shui remodel, and with any kitchen remodel, is that your room flows, has good balance and is a happy, inviting place.  As you should always try to keep your own heart healthy, you should also try to keep a healthy “heart of the home.”