Feng Shui Tips – The 10 Kitchen Commandments

One of the most important rooms in the home, from a Feng Shui perspective, is the kitchen. The kitchen is where food is prepared providing the occupants of the home with the essential nourishment they need to live a healthy and balanced life. In this article I cover some general tips, what I call my ten kitchen commandments, to ensure the energy in your kitchen flows in a harmonious and positive way.

Commandment 1

Your Kitchen should be filled with light

A light and airy kitchen fills the occupants of the home with joy, ensuring that the kitchen is a place in which people want to linger. The longer we spend in the kitchen the more likely we are to take care and attention over the meals that we prepare and cook. If your kitchen is in a small room or is narrow and dark you can easily lighten the space by adding lights, mirrors or by painting the walls or cupboards in a light colour. Excellent colours for the walls in a kitchen are white, cream or pale green, the white and cream will automatically lighten the space whilst green brings in the wood element, an important element that helps bring balance to the kitchen.

Commandment 2

Your Kitchen should not be an obstacle course

For energy to flow in harmony around your kitchen it should not encounter obstacles. The square design of kitchen furniture and appliances often make the kitchen a sharp room filled with angles that may not necessarily promote positive chi. We should therefore not create more problems by placing tables, island units and butchers blocks slap bang in the middle of the kitchen floor. If we do have items blocking the centre of the kitchen we may find that positive energy is blocked from flowing around the kitchen and we may find that we ourselves have difficulty in digesting our food.

Commandment 3

Your Kitchen should not be filled with poison arrows

In tandem with the point above, the nature of much kitchen furniture means that we may find one or two poison arrows in place in the kitchen. Poison arrows are angles that point outwards at 90 degrees and can cause the energy to be disruptive in the area in which it is pointing. The best cure for a poison arrow is to disguise or hide it. Plants, tubs filled with herbs or baskets filled with fruit and vegetables are all excellent ways in which a poison arrow can be disguised.

Commandment 4

Your Kitchen should not be seen from the front door

If your kitchen can be seen from the front door you are more likely to walk in to the kitchen when you enter your home and, if you are like me, head straight for the fridge. Ideally your kitchen should be well away from your front door. This however is easier said, or in this case written, than done. Assuming your kitchen can be seen from your front door and you do not want to completely remodel your home there is a very simple cure which is to keep the kitchen door shut. Proving my point that Feng Shui really doesn’t have to be complicated.

Commandment 5

Your Kitchen should be free of clutter

If truth be told, your whole house should be free of clutter. It is worth mentioning specifically with the kitchen in mind however as the kitchen, more than many other rooms, has a tendency to accumulate clutter. Many people make the mistake of thinking that clutter is rubbish, or stuff that you don’t need, but it isn’t. Clutter is anything that you don’t need right now. In the kitchen that includes weighing scales, the toaster, the empty fruit bowl, the pots draining by the sink and old bills and bank statements that haven’t been filed away. If you don’t need it right now then put it away until you do need it. Who wants to work in a kitchen where you are continually having to fight for workspace with an assortment of unused kitchen utensils?

Commandment 6

Your Kitchen should not create a surprise for the cook

Not even a pleasant one! When the cook is spending time preparing a meal they do not want to feel insecure, or not know what is going on behind their back. Ideally then when the cook is at the hob they should have an uninterrupted view of the door in to the kitchen. If the placement of your hob means that the cook has their back to the door you will need to place a mirror, or reflective screen on the wall at the back of the hob so that the cook can see behind them at all times when they are cooking.

Commandment 7

Your Kitchen should promote positive energy

A great way of balancing the energy and promoting positive chi is to add the wood element in to your kitchen. Adding wood creates a positive and harmonious link between the destructive elements of water and fire which are heavily represented in your kitchen. You can easily achieve this balance and harmony by such simple actions as adding wood units, painting your kitchen walls green, adding green crockery or introducing broad leaved plants in to the kitchen.

Commandment 8

Your Kitchen’s main purpose should be the preparing and cooking of food

In our modern day homes quite often rooms are used for a number of different purposes. In the UK and France it is very common for homes to have large kitchen cum dining areas. If this is the case in your home it is important that you create two very distinct areas. If you do not clearly define your kitchen space, which is after all one of the most important areas of your home, you are at risk of losing or diluting some of the benefits that this area brings. Meal preparation may end up being rushed or not taken care of, work surfaces may end up being used as storage areas and the cook’s attention may not be focused solely on cooking. A barrier with plants or a decorative screen can work well as a room divider, if this is not practical using two different but complimentary colour schemes in the two areas of the room can create the effect of two different areas.

Commandment 9

Your Kitchen should ideally have the oven, fridge and sink at the three auspicious points

If you think of the points of a triangle, the oven, as the focal point of the kitchen should be at the top with the fridge and the sink at the other two points. This helps to create a harmonious flow of energy around your kitchen and ensures that natural barriers are in place between the fire and main water elements.

Commandment 10

Your Kitchen should always be kept clean and fresh

For positive energy to thrive it is important that your home is kept clean, fresh, well maintained and in good decorative order. In the kitchen this means that the floors, worktops and appliances should be kept free of crumbs and stains, the hob and appliances should be kept in good working order with any broken items quickly replaced, and old cooking smells should be got rid of as soon as possible. A good and completely natural way of getting rid of smells is to keep herbs and spices around the kitchen as they give out wonderful fresh kitcheny smells.

I hope that this article has given you a useful insight in to how you can ensure your kitchen promotes positive energy. If you would like more information on Feng Shui please check out my weekly blog which is published every Friday and is full of free Feng Shui tips

Kitchen Cabinets – Planning a Makeover?

Considering remodeling your kitchen cabinets or layout in the near future? Depending on what’s needed and what you decide to do, re-designing your kitchen can be one of the biggest home improvement projects most owner-occupiers will do. I’m not just referring to kitchen DIY, where you might make a few additions or replacements to personalize the design with a few decorative kitchen tiles, or add convenience items such as a kitchen towel dispenser or kitchen cabinet organizers. (Although it’s amazing how easy it can be to give your kitchen cabinets and doors a new look with new pulls and knobs!).

Let’s consider what you should include in your kitchen plans…

To make it easier to remember, I’ll group topics under 3 main headings – facilities, space, and design. We’ll wrap up with a few comments about the practicalities of “making it happen”. Thinking through each of these will help make sure you develop a complete specification, and therefore a comprehensive remodel kitchen cost. Here we go…

Facilities

What do you need to include within the kitchen? That’ll depend on what you want from your kitchen.

For example, is you kitchen to be used only for food preparation and serving?
Then the minimum for most family kitchens would be:

  • cooker
  • hob
  • sink
  • refrigerator
  • table or countertops
  • storage for food and cooking ingredients
  • storage for cooking utensils such as pots, pans, casseroles, etc
  • storage for kitchen cutlery
  • garbage container(s)

Other common items to remember:

  • dishwasher
  • freezer
  • microwave oven
  • kettle
  • tea or coffee maker
  • drinks dispenser
  • toaster

What about family dining? Will that usually take place in the kitchen?

  • dining table and chairs
  • storage for dining crockery & cutlery

Does your home have a separate laundry or utility room? If not, you’ll need to plan space for items such as

  • washing machine
  • tumble dryer, or other means of clothes drying

Space

Once you’ve listed all the essential appliances and convenience items you want to have in your kitchen, the next step is to check that there is enough floor space available for them all. Remember too – unless you are planning to do major re-building work, you’ll need to accept a few “givens”, such as:

  • sink position is limited by location of water supply and drains plumbing, and probably windows
  • same with dishwasher or clothes washing machine
  • cooker & hob positions are limited by gas and/or electricity supply connections and controls

You’ll see a repeated theme in the list above – “storage” – for all sorts of items from food to cleaning materials. That’s why kitchen storage cabinets play such a large part in the space allocation and costs. In fact, the largest component of cost in most kitchen re-design projects is the cost of kitchen cabinets and countertops, especially if you’ve chosen granite countertops.

Without already having good experience in kitchen cabinet design, you’d be well advised to select a local kitchen contractor, or at least visit a reputable kitchen showroom to get ideas on how best to use the available space, and develop practical ideas for possible kitchen floor plans.

Design

Along with developing potential floor plans, now is the time to bring the overall design of your kitchen together. What styles do you prefer – that would complement your home? Something contemporary – crisp, clean lines, bright and airy, maybe lots of shiny metal? Or would a warmer, natural or stained wood grain suit better – for example an elegant French kitchen, or perhaps a simpler, country style kitchen?

At this stage you should consider all aspects of your kitchen – materials, colors, texture and styles to make sure you have a coherent look:

  • appliances – “white goods”, or built-in
  • cabinets
  • countertops
  • floor covering
  • walls
  • lighting
  • ventilation
  • work flow

Making it Happen

The first question to ask (unless money is no object) is how much of your existing kitchen – appliances and cabinets – could be re-used, and still let you create your dream kitchen?

For example, if your cabinet frames are basically sound, and the existing floor layout is good for you, then you could avoid spending far more than necessary by simply refinishing kitchen cabinets, floors, walls, replacing aging appliances, and fitting contemporary kitchen light fixtures.

At the other end of the cost (and disruption) scale, you could have an expert cabinet maker building kitchen cabinets, fully customized to your design and style preferences, with brand new integrated appliances throughout, decorative kitchen tiles for the floor, and personalized picture kitchen backsplash designs on the walls. There would also be a modern kitchen island design featured in the center, and an elegant family dining space of course.

For many of us however, there will be trade-offs we need to make to get as close as possible to our ideal kitchen, while keeping within the bounds of affordability.

If this is your case, you could consider several lower cost approaches to kitchen construction, and especially cabinet installation:

  • factory-built cabinets – can be installed by a kitchen fitter (not as highly skilled as a cabinet maker)
  • flat-pack, or ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets – can be DIY installed, or by a kitchen fitter
  • refacing your existing cabinet doors and drawers – specialist task, but probably less costly than rebuilding all your kitchen storage cabinets.

But what if you’ve completed your dream kitchen specification, developed a practical layout design, selected your style preference, and chosen the best value installation approach, and its still way over your budget?

Then you’ve probably only 3 options:

  • Phase it – split the project into a series of sub-projects, and complete each as they are affordable
  • Finance it – take a loan to finance the project
  • Forget it – for now at least… postpone your plans until you can afford it.

Peg Drawer Organizers, Tip Out Trays and More – 8 Must Haves for a Kitchen Remodel

If you’re planning a fine kitchen remodel, you’ve got plenty of decisions to make. This includes choosing your new kitchen cabinetry, flooring, lighting, countertops, hardware and appliances. Many design elements of a kitchen remodel are optional, and depend on your personal preferences, kitchen size and style, and budget. But there are some things that are “must haves” for any kitchen remodel.

Some of the most popular design elements help you truly enjoy spending time in your new kitchen, while staying organized and comfortable. Follow along for some timeless kitchen design choices that will upgrade any kitchen.

8 Must-Haves for Your Kitchen Remodel

  1. Peg Drawer Organization: This simple design choice helps add organization and visual appeal to your kitchen drawers. If you’re looking for more organization and space in your kitchen, put a Rev-A-Shelf peg drawer organizer on your wish list. You’ll love organizing, sorting, stacking and hiding your plates and cookware in your new kitchen cabinets. This is a simple decision to make in the name of convenience for your kitchen remodel.
  2. Tip-Out Trays: These handy trays located under your sinks go perfectly with your new kitchen cabinet design. Keep soap, sponges and other small cleaning supplies off your countertops to reduce clutter while allowing you to maximize your space.
  3. Island: Kitchen islands are available in so many custom sizes and designs that practically any kitchen remodel can include an island. Not only does this handy feature add dining, countertop and storage space to your kitchen, but it also offers the opportunity to introduce unique design features for extra flair and appeal. Kitchen islands house everyday appliances like your stove and dishwasher, or special extras like wine coolers, a sink or a second fridge.
  4. Flat Panel TV: Adding a flat panel TV to your kitchen design can upgrade the whole look and feel of your new space. Whether the TV is mounted on the wall or is resting on a shelf behind closed doors, this is a great way to update your kitchen design. How convenient would it be if you were cooking and following a recipe on TV or enjoying a nice cup of coffee with your favorite morning news?
  5. Custom Lighting: Beautiful cabinetry, countertops and flooring only look their best with the help of high quality custom lighting. Experienced kitchen designers will provide you with all the best options for kitchen lighting including cabinet lighting, LED recessed lighting, chandeliers and other options to add just the right amount of light to your remodeled kitchen.
  6. Stone Countertops: When it comes to kitchen countertops, natural stone is the gold standard. And granite and quartz countertops are available in many different colors and styles. Known for durability and beauty, natural stone adds timeless appeal to your fine kitchen remodel.
  7. Floor-to-Ceiling Cabinetry: It seems like almost every kitchen remodel includes a desire to add more cabinets and added space to the room. An easy way to increase your storage and create a unique design is to add floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. Even if you cannot reach the top cabinet space without a stepping stool or ladder, you’ll love stashing away seasonal cookware and other items in your ample cabinet space. Also, floor-to-ceiling cabinets are a great way to reduce the dust build up that typically happens on the exposed tops of kitchen cabinets while creating a more open, airy look to your kitchen by allowing the eye to travel all the way up to the ceiling.
  8. Built-in-Appliances: Lastly, don’t forget to design your kitchen based on your selected appliances. Use your cabinetry and appliances to create a cohesive design. You’ll want your appliances to blend in with your layout so that everything has just the right spot. With a custom kitchen remodel, there’s no need to have a large refrigerator stick out into your open kitchen floor plan. This is one of many easy design choices that should not be overlooked.

Though there are a lot of choices to make with any kitchen remodel, this process does not need to be overwhelming or frustrating. An experienced kitchen remodeling company can help you navigate the kitchen design process, guiding you towards the best products and solutions to help you create your dream kitchen.