Kitchen Feng Shui: 10 ways to use its principles in design
Contemplating kitchen Feng Shui ideas to ensure your cooking, entertaining and dining space is just right for you. Draw on its principles to design a kitchen that will improve your quality of life.
Here, we’ve put together the best kitchen ideas to allow you to use Feng Shui principles in your space, together with advice from designers who follow its philosophy in their projects.
Kitchen Feng Shui
Feng Shui is an ancient practice, but one that has become popular in western interior design over the past several decades, and something we should certainly take note of when choose deciding upon the best kitchen ideas for our home.
For kitchen Feng Shui, your chosen design is one of the most important areas of your property. It is the place you often spend the most time in, as well as socialize in, and should be chosen with just as much care and consideration as you would the rest of your home décor ideas.
1. Think about using a Feng Shui color palette
Finding the right kitchen color ideas have never been more so important, with the kitchen now a multi-purpose room designed as much for living as it is for cooking.
Since the kitchen is represented by the fire element, you’ll want to steer clear of using red and orange, as this will cause an energy imbalance in the room. But what color should you use in the kitchen?
While kitchens may be rife with color opportunities, according to the principles of Feng Shui, it is best to adopt a neutral stance. When it comes to neutral kitchen ideas, there is a whole range of neutral colors to choose from – from elegant, just-off-whites, such as ivory, chalk and alabaster, to gray-beiges, such as taupe and stone, and more earthy shades, like linen.
Neutral kitchens are also ripe for styling. First think about which Feng Shui kitchen colors go best with neutrals. Unsurprisingly, natural, earthy colors go best with most neutral kitchens.
There’s no greater example of how Feng Shui kitchen principles and interior design have become intertwined than with metal backsplash ideas. According to the philosophy of Feng Shui, the metal element is said to promote calmness, clear-thinking and enhanced productivity.
A staple of the chef’s kitchen, a stainless-steel backsplash can withstand anything the busiest kitchen can throw at it. ‘Naturally, these surfaces have antimicrobial properties, which make them a good option for a gourmet kitchen,’ says interior designer Alison Henry (opens in new tab) about her Officine Gullo (opens in new tab) kitchen.
‘A backsplash is an integral part of any Feng Shui kitchen layout project,’ explains Alex Beaugeard, design director at McCarron & Co (opens in new tab). ‘As vertical surfaces, they carry significant design weight and there is a real appetite to experiment with metal when designing a kitchen.
3. Find a place for everything
Efficient kitchen storage should be a priority when it comes to planning and organizing a kitchen – no one wants a hectic space after all.
With the kitchen coming under increasing pressure to perform a variety of crucial roles, such as family dining, relaxing, working and entertaining, a good Feng Shui kitchen layout and adequate storage are more important than ever.
According to the principles of Feng Shui, everything should have a place of its own –no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. What’s more, kitchen cabinets should be fitted all the way up to the ceiling to discourage bad chi was becoming trapped between the negative space.
‘While drawers make great use of space below hip level, you may also want to make the most of the ceiling height of your kitchen with a section of tall cabinets to house an integrated fridge, freezer and eye-level oven and coffee machine, as well as dry food larder storage,’ says Alex Orosia, Marketing Manager, Porcelanosa (opens in new tab).
4. Choose glass-fronted cabinet doors
Finding the right kitchen cabinet is pivotal to creating a kitchen that you will love for years to come. Adding glazed doors to kitchen cabinets is a kitchen Feng Shui idea that will not only encourage you to keep your kitchen organized, but will also serve to enhance the positive chi in your home.
If you think this will infringe on your modern kitchen plans, think again! Glass-fronted kitchen cabinet doors need not be boring. Instead, invest in a decorative fluted design that will standout.
‘Fluted glass is extremely popular at the moment, and for good reason,’ enthuses Paul Welburn, senior design consultant, Roundhouse (opens in new tab). ‘Not only does it look more interesting than regular glass, fluted glass also offers a degree of concealment. You don’t have to be quite so careful about keeping cupboard contents tidy.’ Use it to make wall cabinets feel less dominating, or to screen off a walk-in pantry. Lit from within, fluted glass reflects and refracts, adding extra sparkle and atmosphere by night.
5. Ensure you have adequate lighting
Avoid bad chi from entering your home by ensuring that your kitchen lighting ideas are efficient. Apart from its key function, lighting can have a transformative effect on your Feng Shui kitchen ideas, from making the space look bigger to highlighting key pieces and creating a specific ambience.
Feng Shui kitchens usually need to include task, mood and feature lighting. Task lighting is the most practical and covers hardworking areas like the prep space, cooking area and the sink; mood lighting creates different atmospheres and feature lighting is eye-catching and can simply introduce a bit of character.
It is also worth thinking about how much natural light your kitchen is receiving. A layered approach to lighting will not just set the mood to your kitchen but bring interest and reduce stress, according to the principles of Feng Shui.
6. Keep you kitchen clean – and free from clutter
Whether you thrive on doing it right or will do anything to get out of it, cleaning is an unavoidable part of everyday life. Cleanliness is a transformative tool to enhance the positive chi in you home, and something widely taught within Feng Shui principles.
It’s also important to keep the stove spotless. In Feng Shui practice the stove represents your career and wealth. Taking the time to clean your stove burners each day will prevent negative, pessimistic and defeatist energy from collecting within your home.
‘It is impossible to enjoy cooking in a dirty kitchen,’ organizing expert and author Marie Kondo (opens in new tab). ‘When planning kitchen storage, aim for ease of cleaning. Keep work surfaces clear and try to store all ingredients and utensils in cupboards or on shelves. Wipe down all surfaces every time you cook to remove traces of oil and water.’
7. Place the stove in a commanding position
In Feng Shui, the stove represents your career and wealth, so placement is of upmost importance. One of the most important things to consider when it comes to your stove is the position. According to kitchen Feng Shui philosophy, you should be able to see the door while you’re cooking at your stove, without being in line with the door. This allows you to be in control of your own career path, and to see any opportunities, people and energies that may be coming your way.
If it is not possible to change the position of your stove, then you can add a mirror in a location that allows you to see the door behind you while you’re cooking. Alternatively, a mirrored backsplash will also work.
8. Attract prosperity with wood
The wonders of wood are said to not only attract prosperity, but in Feng Shui wood is known to strengthen family bonds and keep yourself and the people who reside in your home grounded.
Within interior design, wood kitchen cabinet ideas are nothing new – they have been a popular choice for years because of their timeless appeal, not to mention the fact wood is a durable material that gets better with age.
Oak kitchen cabinets are enduringly stylish, and designs using sustainably produced or reclaimed woods are more popular than ever. What has changed is the design of the traditional wood kitchen: fluting, unusual, textured finishes and inlay are at the forefront of kitchen trends right now.
9. Grow your own herb garden
Growing herbs indoors is a tried-and-tested way instil a positive chi that will keep your kitchen healthy, vibrant and a joy to spend time in.
Herbs have the power to transform your meals: turning the humble salad into an Italian delight, breathing new life into curries and fish dishes as well as providing many essential components for numerous cocktails.
Growing and using herbs for their therapeutic properties is also becoming more popular. ‘You can grow plants for herbal infusions easily, such as using the leaves of mint for easing upset stomachs, stimulating digestion and easing bloating,’ says Jekka McVicar of Jekka’s (opens in new tab) herb farm.
Nothing beats the satisfaction of eating homegrown food and it tastes so much better too. Growing your own is good for you as it brings a sense of calm from planting and nurturing your herbs, plus of course there’s the satisfaction of picking your own fresh produce. It’s the healthier option too, as you can grow things organically.
10. Keep the sink and stove apart
While it might seem practical, positioning the kitchen sink (water element) and stove (fire element) facing one another is said to cause conflict in personal relationships.
Prevent any negative energy from forming by placing an island between your sink and stove. If you’re in a small kitchen or galley kitchen, you can also put an earth element between the water and fire elements to ease the conflict between water and fire. A green or brown kitchen rug will work wonders in this instance.
What color is best for kitchen Feng Shui?
At the lighter, bolder end of the spectrum, yellow is the kitchen Feng Shui color of optimism. ‘Yellow can create a mellow and uplifting interior all at the same time. It transports us back to long lazy sun-drenched days in the Mediterranean and it can brighten us up on gloomy days. It works brilliantly with white kitchen ideas for real crisp freshness,’ says Martin Waller of global design brand Andrew Martin (opens in new tab).
However, as discussed earlier, cream kitchen ideas are the optimum choice when it comes to Feng Shui kitchen color schemes.
Henriette Von Stockhausen of VSP Interiors (opens in new tab) agrees: ‘For me, neutrals such as taupe and beige are grounding colors for walls and cabinets. It’s important to remember that sometimes a classic interior is just the ticket: calm colors, gentle schemes, traditional furniture and antiques – no pattern clashes, no huge color pops, just comfort and a quiet space to relax in.’