The kitchen is central to a successful life. How a kitchen is designed specifically, how a stove is placed within the kitchen will produce dramatic influences on individuals and families entering and feeding in it. A kitchen with a good feng shui will bring good fortune and good health for the whole family. Where you place your kitchen furnishings determines how well or how poorly the life-energy, ch'i, can be channeled in and through your kitchen and into the rest of your home. Believers in feng shui feel that how you decorate and design your kitchen can influence the prosperity and health of all living in that home.
In your feng shui kitchen, the greatest emphasis is on placement of the stove. Designing a kitchen stove placement with feng shui principles in mind requires the designer to understand that food is wealth and thus feeds the prosperity cycle. The word food (ts'ai) in Chinese sounds identical to the Chinese word for wealth, and not by coincidence.
Good, nutritional food yields good health and good humor. A well-fed, well-nourished person is more effective in his career, his relationships, his interactions with the environment. And the cycle doesn't end there. A more effective person is more likely to be prosperous. That financial success, in turn, allows the person with the balanced feng shui kitchen to buy more and better food.
Conversely, poor food produced in a kitchen with an unlucky design destines the eater to disappointment and failure. Poor food yields poor performance and poor health, which lead to a depressed ability to earn a high income. So a poorly designed kitchen continues the cycle of impoverishment and, by extension, continued poor food. Here are a few tips to bring positive ch'i, happiness, prosperity and luck to your home and family through a feng shui kitchen.
1. Make sure your stove placement allows the cook or chef to have full view of the entire room.
The cook needs to be fully aware of anyone entering the kitchen, to avoid being surprised. A surprised cook is an unhappy, unlucky cook, and that situation has negative repercussions to those who encounter her. She could become upset or distracted, and subsequently, spill something, make a cooking error, leave the stove unattended, catch something on fire, drop or break something, and so on down the list of potential tragedies. Each mishap has its own complete set of cyclic bad luck, so simply be sure the cook commands a full view of a feng shui kitchen, and can see all who enter without having to take her eyes off the stove.
If your stove is facing a wall, denying the cook a view of the kitchen, don't feel alone. That's the typical design in many of today's homes. But feng shui has a cure for that unlucky placement: hang a mirror over the stove to lift the cook's blindness. The bigger the mirror, the better, as in feng shui, the larger the cure, the greater the benefits!
2. Get your stove out of the corner.
A stove jammed against the wall is bad, and one in the corner is equally troublesome, as it restrains the cook's movements, blocks his view of the doorway and restricts the free flow of positive ch'i, a restriction that bodes ill for the food and future prosperity of the family. Good feng shui kitchen furniture placement in feng shui demands that the ch'i be permitted to flow freely through the area without being trapped in a corner, so pull that stove out and let the ch'i flow, while allowing a more spacious area for the cook's movements.
A cooking island is a good cure for a hopelessly trapped stove. Or try placing a wall mirror panels next to, above and in front of the stove. The mirrors present the appearance of more space, and also symbolically increase the aspect of the number of burners -- and the quantities of food, which symbolize wealth! -- on the cooktop. You might also hang a wind chime or bell near the doorway or above the cook's area. In feng shui, the wind chime and bell summon positive ch'i. They also act as alarm bells alerting the cook to someone entering his domain!
3. Fire and water don't mix.
Feng shui principles require that stoves and sinks and refrigerators should be at diagonals from each other, forming a triangle with the corners at least six to eight feet apart, to prevent conflict between the elements of fire and water. Such conflicts are quick to inhabit the home, spreading discord among family members. To cure an unlucky placement of fire-producing and water-producing appliances in your feng shui kitchen, try placing a green rug or a green plant between the offending appliances to form a conflict barrier.
4. Keep the stove away from the window.
In most feng shui kitchen designs, the windowed outlook is positive for ch'i and conducive to happiness, especially if the window overlooks water! But while a stove facing a kitchen window may provide a pleasant scene for the cook, such an arrangement also allows the ch'i to escape and fly out the window, taking with it the family's prospects for wealth and happiness. A cure for this placement would be a reflective strip or mirror panel around the window to create a doorway reflection. This is a perfect place, too, for a wind chime!
5. No microwaves above the stove.
Modern homes were frequently designed for "space efficiency," and that included building in a microwave oven above the stove. That's a feng shui bad omen, as it oppresses the movement of ch'i flowing around and through the all-important stove. Better to move your microwave to a countertop away from the stove to avoid problems, if you must have a microwave at all. Some feng shui experts shun microwaves as conductors of radiation and unnatural electro-magentism and would prefer they not be included in a feng shui kitchen design.
6. Widen up that narrow space.
Narrow kitchens frequently found in apartments are completely built-in with no opportunity for the tenant to move appliances to improve ch'i through feng shui. If that's your situation, simply add mirrors above and around the stove to expand the appearance of the area. Hang a plant or a wind chime in the doorways, and place mirrors at opposite ends of the kitchen walk-through, to enable ch'i to flow unhampered through the narrow kitchen and into the apartment.
Finally, remember that every unlucky design or placement has a feng shui cure. Mirrors, wind chimes, small crystal balls and plants can do wonders for an ill-advised stove placement, or appliances whose elements are at war with each other. Choose the right colour for your feng shui kitchen - green is an excellent colour for a kitchen as green represents wood which supports fire whilst taking it’s own energy from water. In the end, the time and attention you lavish on your home, creating a harmonious, balanced environment, will serve to create more positive ch'i and energy - and that's what feng shui is all about.