Feng Shui for the Spice of Life – Kitchens and Dining Areas
by Nancy C. Canestaro, D.Arch.
So, you’re eating healthier foods. That’s great. But, how about how and where you are eating? Do you have a tendency to eat or perch and run? Do you have a dedicated place to enjoy meals? If not, consider rethinking this and add a new dining experience to your daily routine.
Let’s consider feng shui principles for three important areas in a home…the entrance, kitchen, and where you dine.
Reflect on your early memories of home… greeting guests or relatives, sitting around the kitchen or dining room table sharing stories, or preparing a special holiday meal together. Are fancy finishes and expensive appliances a part of that memory, or was it interactions with loved ones in a nurturing space?
Just because a kitchen is decked out with expensive features, doesn’t mean it’s going to become the heart of your home, a magnet for good times. Here’s where feng shui can help.
According to feng shui principles, there are two or three different areas of energy in a home that feel good, energize you. There are also areas that can slow you down, make you feel cranky or sick.
You may not inherently have good energy at your entrance or in your kitchen. What do you do then? Below are a few feng shui tips to consider.
Where you enter your home…
1. Does anything block your view of the street from the door? (This may not allow good energy to come inside your home.)
2. Is there a curving pathway from the street to the main entry? (This allows you to slow down and better enjoy being home.)
3. Do you enter through the front door? (This is the portal for life-affirming energy and opportunities. Use it as much as you can.)
4. Do you enter by the back door, garage, kitchen, or mud room? (This may not be the best energy to bring into the house.)
5. What is the first thing you see? (This experience should be pleasant, not a reminder of things you have to do or put away.)
6. Can you see all the way through the house and beyond to the outside? (This channels a blast of energy straight through the house.)
Where you prepare meals…
7. Does the space feel active (yang)? Are you happy preparing food there? (This is like adding an extra ingredient, love, to a meal.)
8. Does food prep happen in unintended places? (Why is this happening? Is it because the location has good vibes?)
9. Do people congregate in unexpected places in the kitchen? (Go with the flow here. Accommodate for spontaneous events.)
10. Do arguments erupt in areas designated for congregating or meal prep? (Locate group seating where peaceful discussions take place.)
11. Is the stove clean and in good repair? (The stove represents abundance. Keep it up-to-date with all burners in operation.)
12. Are the stove and sink separated by at least two feet? (A stove represents Fire; a sink, Water. Water puts out fire. Distance helps.)
13. Is the cook’s back to the door into the room? (Place a mirror in front of the cook for a clear view of what’s happening behind.)
14. Is the kitchen clutter-free, with each pot, pan, and utensil in its proper place? (Clutter attracts negative energy.)
15. Are sharp knives stored out of sight, not in view? (Knives are symbolically threatening. Keep what’s in view peaceful.)
16. Are the colors in the kitchen representative of food? (This is the most appetizing color scheme. Avoid busy patterns on the walls.)
17. Is artwork in the kitchen an inspiration to the cook? (This subliminally empowers the cook as the meal is being prepared.)
Where you dine…
18. Is the dining table the focal point, rather than kitchen work areas? (This puts the focus on what is important…the dining experience.)
19. Does the dining area feel intimate and reserved only for meals? (This preserves a dedicated time and place to nourish the body.)
20. Frank Lloyd Wright surrounded dining tables in his homes with high back chairs that created the feeling of a room within a room.
21. Is it peaceful or joyful where you dine, not bold, too much contrast, or scary? (Digestion is easier if you’re calm and happy.)
22. Is the area around where you eat clutter free, especially the table. If not, take fifteen minutes a day to put things away.
23. Is the dining area furnished and decorated minimally to allow the focus to be on the food? (This aids digestion and camaraderie.)
24. Is the dining area open to a door to the outside or a major living area in the house? (If so, shelter it visually with screens or furniture.)
25. Are there treatments on the windows to soften the void of night? (Uncovered windows leave the feeling that someone is watching.)
26. Television generates negative energy on several different levels. (Turn it off for meal prep and dining.)
My favorite dining experience was with one of my clients. We were sitting in the kitchen while her husband was cooking chili. I was getting hungrier by the minute from the wonderful smells coming off that pot of chili. Finally, he stood over the pot and chanted, “Skyline Chili, Skyline Chili” over and over as he moved his hands from twelve inches above the pot, down over the chili. I asked him what he was doing. He said that the restaurant, Skyline Chili, in Cincinnati served his most favorite chili, so he added his memory of that chili into each batch right before serving it. That was the best chili I have ever eaten. Try it.
The world outside our homes may be frenetic, even scary. We should be able to come home and metaphorically wrap ourselves up in a nurturing space to recharge for the next day. This is what feng shui can do for us. It presents options for how we can spend time in good energy and live to our highest potential.
If you want to transform your home and you believe there are forces in your environment that can be channeled to bring greater health, harmony, and prosperity into your life, then Feng Shui is for you.
This presentation was first presented to the Tennessee Chapter, NKBA at Dixie Kitchen Distributors, Inc. Knoxville, Tennessee , March 26, 2015.
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