If you are designing a kitchen, have you considered an Eastern approach? Asian design principals have gained popularity in the West, and many people are applying them to their homes. Even kitchen designers can use these methods to create free-flowing and functional kitchen spaces. These ideas are usually based on the ancient art of Feng Shui.
Feng Shui is an age-old Chinese practice of creating harmonious surroundings, by balancing Ying (‘female’, passive energy) and Yang (‘male’, active energy). In the East, many buildings are constructed according to these principals. In Hong Kong, for example, some banks have an empty space in front of the main entrance – as this is believed to promote financial success. Believe it or not, kitchen designers can utilize these same ideas to create a phenomenal kitchen. The kitchen is often the most important room in your house, as it is the meeting place of various vital energies. It is usually the centre of family life. In Chinese philosophy, it symbolizes nourishment and prosperity.
So how do you harmonize your kitchen, using these Eastern ideas? Feng Shui is quite a complex ‘science’, so if you want to do it properly, you’ll need to consult a Feng Shui expert. After some careful planning and the basic principles clear in your mind, you’ll be ready to talk to kitchen designers.
It’s best to select a designer who allows for customization. With Feng Shui, kitchen designers need to be aware of various issues – like giving the cook a ‘commanding’ position. This can be achieved through the use of a central cooking ‘island’. The kitchen has lots of ‘Yang’ energy, so there will also need to be easy access to other rooms, which will enable a free-flowing space. The kitchen needs to be de-cluttered, which can be achieved through the customization of cabinetry. Good lighting is important too, and white should be a dominant, Yang color. Incorporation of all the Five Elements is also central: Earth (granite countertops), Fire (the stove/oven), Wood (cabinetry or flooring), Metal (stainless steel appliances) and Water (fixtures and plumbing).
The most important point is to plan what you really need, and then discard the excess. Various kitchen designers can help you to create the perfect culinary space – by keeping things minimal, functional, and of course, aesthetically pleasing. It’ll add immense value to your house – and it’ll be good for your Chi, too!
Ang Lloyd writes on behalf of Home To Life, a design directory for lighting suppliers in South Africa.