Create the perfect qi
With Chinese New Year just behind us, you may want to start the year right by creating perfect ‘qi’ (energy flow) in your kitchen, says feng shui master Paul Ng.
“Feng shui is a way to optimize the energy around us,” Ng says in a telephone interview from Richmond Hill, Ont.
The kitchen is one of the three most important energy sources in your home, he says. The others are the entrance and the master bedroom.
In feng shui, the kitchen is considered the heart of the home, symbolizing nourishment and wealth. The placement of the kitchen and its contents can influence a family’s prosperity and health, Ng says.
Here’s how the cycle works: Good, nutritious food yields good health. And a wellnourished person is more effective in his or her career and relationships. In turn, a more effective person is more likely to be prosperous.
“Time and time again, I’ve seen kitchens in the wrong spot - especially the stove in the wrong orientation. That can cause a lot of money-losing,” Ng said.
The best location for a kitchen is in the “health centre of the house,” the “activity centre of the house,” or in the “long-life centre of the house,” Ng says.
These centres are based on the “life cycle” of the house, which shifts every 20 years. This is something that a feng shui master, like Ng, can calculate.
“It’s all mathematical. People have thought it’s psychological; it’s got some kind of voodoo or something. It’s nothing like that,” he stresses. “The proper way to do feng shui is 100 percent scientific.”
If you don’t know the life cycle of your home, ideally, the kitchen should be on the east or south side of the house, he says.
And you shouldn’t see your kitchen when entering your home.
Because the kitchen represents prosperity, you want privacy, because you don’t want to show people where you have money, he says.
If the kitchen is in the wrong place, the owners can never save money, Ng warns. So relocating the kitchen is advised.
If relocating the kitchen isn’t an option, as long as the stove and/or sink aren’t visible when entering the house, the situation isn’t as bad, he says.
Ng suggests setting up a French door with glazed glass - to let light through, but to block the view to the kitchen. The layout of the kitchen is crucial. The stove - by far the most important part of the kitchen - represents the wealth generator, Ng says. The burners on the stovetop should be used equally, because this represents obtaining money from multiple sources, he explains.
The only locations that should be considered for the stove are the east, south, or south-east walls, Ng says. The east represents wood, and the south represents fire; so these locations are considered a good source of energy, because they symbolically represent the ease of starting a fire for cooking. The worst places for the stove are the northwest, the north and the west walls, Ng says. When you’re cooking, you should be facing either east or south.
Ideally, the stove (fire) and sink (water) should be at a right angle. They should never be adjacent, Ng says, because the proximity of fire and water can lead to conflict.
“In the case of a married couple, usually the husband and wife end up fighting to the point of divorcing,” Ng claims.
The stove and sink should only be side by side if they are one to 1.5 metres (three to four feet) apart. You don’t want them too close together, because the water will extinguish the fire, Ng explains.
If the stove and sink are side by side, it’s recommended that a green plant be placed between the two. Jade and rubber plants are best for holding good energy, Ng said.
“It’s very important to add good energy to the kitchen,” he stressed.
Good energies come from the proper food and flowers.
A basket filled with fruit in sight is a symbol of health and abundance. But make sure it’s fresh, because rotting fruit represents the opposite type of energy.
Flowers in the kitchen are good - but not too many, he cautions. Too many will cause congestion, which prevents the positive energy from flowing.
The size of the kitchen should be based on the size of the house, Ng says, adding that the optimal size of a kitchen is about onequarter to one-fifth the size of the house.
If the kitchen is too big, it will affect the energy balance of the home. The solution: Create a breakfast room or install an island, he suggests.
If a kitchen is too small in relation to the rest of the house, you can’t generate the necessary energy for wealth or health. The ideal solution is to tear down a wall to create an open concept, he says.
A less expensive solution is to hang a mirror in the kitchen to magnify the room.
The worst layout for a kitchen is angular, Ng says, because too many angles prevent energy from flowing smoothly.
Rectangular kitchens aren’t ideal, either, he says, because the energy isn’t balanced.
The best kitchen is the square kitchen, Ng insists.
In feng shui, the stove (fire) and sink (water) should ideally be at a right angle as pictured above. The stove --by far the most important part of the kitchen --represents the wealth generator.