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  • Kate

13 Feng Shui Design Ideas for Kitchens

No matter what design trends are popular, people always want to live in homes that bring them happiness, health, and comfort. An inefficient kitchen that is "on-trend" will not bring as much joy as a kitchen designed efficiently. A drawer that is hard to open, a complicated floorplan, and a confusing storage system all lead to frustration. Feng shui offers design principles for chi to flow freely to create an efficient kitchen that brings happiness. Below are 13 feng shui design ideas for kitchens!

Feng shui has developed over centuries into an intricate system. Design consultants familiar with magic numbers, Chinese astrology, and Taoist principles offer a personalized analysis. These feng shui designers take into account the residents' goals, birth order, cardinal directions, geolocation, and more. If you're interested in such a design consultation, Yelp, Etsy, and your local business directory all have consultants advertising their services. I have never hired such a service, but if I was designing a home from scratch, I would hire such a person as a second opinion in the same way you should always talk to more than one architect.

infographic of FENG SHUI tips for kitchen designs with two images of plants, picture of pendants, and picture of knife block

From my reading of feng shui reference books, these are the main principles when designing a kitchen:

  • (1) The cook at the stove must be facing the door or have a mirror where they can see the door.

- If not, add wind chimes or crystals to offset the bad chi.

  • (2) The kitchen must be well lit.

- Light is a very important part of feng shui. Often bad chi flow can be offset by good lighting.

  • (3) The kitchen must be well-ventilated.

- A lot of feng shui seems self-evident. Having a clean, de-cluttered, and organized home with good windows and venting is all part of modern day ideas of kitchen design. However, good venting was not always part of American kitchens. With COVID, it's even more important to remember that we should have good air purifiers.

- None of the books directly addressed hood ventilation systems, however, based on my reading, vented range hoods are the best. Ductless and downdraft contribute to bad chi.

  • (4) No beams.

- If there are beams, paint them white or ivory.

- Do not put sitting directly below the cross beam.

- While feng shui principles can work with any style. The books I reviewed included auspicious examples from styles ranging from American Colonial to modern day Hong-Kong condos. However, English Cottage style is the least likely to adapt to feng shui principles since those kitchens often are cluttered, low light, and include beams.

  • (5) The best color is white.

- Ivory and yellow are also good colors.

- Monochrome red or black kitchens must be avoided. Red and black should only be used as an accent color.

- Pink and purple are not as bad as a monochrome red kitchen, but still should not be used as the only or main color in a kitchen.

  • (6) Place a colorful vase or potted plants in a corner.

- The goal is for chi to move on from the corner instead of being trapped in darkness.

  • (7) If a window and door are directly across from each other, hang pendant lights.

- This is to slow down chi. Plants and chimes are other ways to slow down chi. Rainbow crystals or a vase of flowers in a window are a great way to break up the straight in-and-out.

  • (8) Consider a rounded island end if the island kitchen leads to a hallway.

- Curves are auspicious in feng shui and it improves flow and is inviting. Walking in from the hallway, the kitchen should be inviting and so a cart with plants or cookbooks or a curved island all have pretty, visual interest drawing the person in, while a plain rectangle island end acts as a wall.

  • (9) Above the range, have a hood or open shelves.

- Bulky cabinets can be oppressive.

  • (10) Don't put seating right against a door.

- If this must occur, add plants to break up the space

  • (11) Keep knives in a drawer instead of the countertop.

- There are lots of drawer inserts for knives nowadays. This did not use to be as common in American kitchens.

  • (12) Have rounded corners of countertops and end cabinets.

- Poison arrows, when corners point at someone or something, is a common negative in feng shui.

  • (13) Try to hide as many appliances and clutter as possible.

- Feng shui does not advocate for ultra-minimalism. Chimes, vases, plants, mirrors, sculptures, and other decorations are all part of feng shui. However, the principles do advocate against maximalism. Hiding microwaves is looked favorably on.

The feng shui books I read were written over 15 years ago. It's interesting to see a lot of the principles that are popular today. I think these trends are more than just popular for popularity's sake. These trends are popular because they promote harmony. Feng shui ideas that are currently popular include: hanging pendants, hiding microwaves, hiding knives, free flow dining, lots of plants, and lots of color.

At the same time, the English Cottage trend is very popular right now. Joanna Gaines has moved on from Industrial Farmhouse into incorporating English Cottage. HGTV has a limited series on a famous English kitchen company, Devol. Stoffer kitchen's English cottage cabinets are very popular on Instagram. This maximalist, beam filled, low-light kitchens are "on-trend" but aren't feng shui. While I think English cottage kitchens are cute in a Sir Julian Fellowes' melodrama, I think they will be a short lived trend here in America. We'll continue with open, light-filled kitchens that follow feng-shui principles as they bring more harmony into the heart of the house.

Examples of kitchens with good feng shui:

kitchen with white island with sink, gray backsplash, open concept to dining table with large sliding doors and windows letting in lots of light
Photo by Mark McCammon
kitchen with brown cabinets and a mirror backsplash behind the stove reflecting the light from the window at end of galley kitchen

Examples of kitchens with bad feng shui:

beige cabinets with small white stove and hood with brick wall where open shelving is on the right and cabinets are above a sink, with lots of clutter everywhere including a plant hanging near the gas stove, a small picture that is not centered, and jars close the edge of shelves
Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy
brown wood cabinets and grey countertops with beige stone backsplace in galley configuration with 2 doors at the end forming an L and closing of the kitchen
Photo by Curtis Adams




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