In any room, fluorescent lights do not promote good health; they are constantly flickering, affecting the eyes and nervous system, and can cause hypertension, eyestrain and headaches. However, they do serve a purpose, as they provide bright light at low cost. If you decide that you do need fluorescent lights in your kitchen, use full-spectrum bulbs.
According to Sheffield Feng Shui Course instructor Marelan Toole, good kitchen design is based on a traditional triangle model, with the sink, refrigerator and range making up each point of the triangle. There should be a 6-8 foot distance between each appliance; this allows for maximum convenience and a minimum of repeated moves.
Because youll have that space between each of the major appliances, it should be easy to adhere to the Feng Shui principle of having fire elementssuch as the stove and microwaveseparated from water elementssuch as the refrigerator, dishwasher, and sink. They can be separated by something made of wood, or by something representative of wood, such as a plant or a painting of a plant.
The Kitchen StoveBecause the stove represents health and wealth, you want to use the burners on the stove top equally, rotating their use rather than habitually using a particular burner; this represents getting money from multiple sources. The old-fashioned stove, as opposed to a microwave, is often preferred because it is more in keeping with the Feng Shui belief that we should slow down, become more conscious of each activity, and do activities with intention. Heating a quick meal in the microwave is certainly convenient, but doing this may not lead to the most serene state of mind. Many Feng Shui practitioners are concerned with excess radiation and electromagnetic fields and would therefore prefer to avoid the microwave altogether. Obviously, each home and family will have to find their own balance between modern conveniences and optimal Feng Shui practice.
As with all rooms in the house, the kitchen should be kept neat and uncluttered, and any broken appliances should be tossed outeven if it means living without a toaster at all for a while, its better to have no toaster than one that doesnt work very well.
In some cases, building code regulations actually reflect good Feng Shui principles. In New York, its illegal to place a window over the stove. Feng Shui believes that windows should not be placed over stoves because heat represents prosperity, and you dont want your prosperity flooding out the window.
Luckily, Feng Shui isnt only about having a room with good chi, or energy; its also simply a practical guide for design. For this reason, Feng Shui can be used with any style of room. The most popular current trends, according to Behbin, are:
- a very contemporary look, with solid colors and wood grains
- a very opulent look, with carvings, corbels, and cabinets on legs
- a simple Shaker style
Content adapted from an article by Nurit Schwarzbaum and Sarah Van Arsdale, courtesy of Sheffield School of Interior Design