Designing Your Kitchen the Feng Shui Way
A kitchen can have all the latest bells and whistles but still feel not quite right. Experts suggest its energy, called chi, might be at fault.
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Deciding to tear down her old house and start fresh, Lanette Phillips-Hackwith of Pacific Palisades, Calif., sought Kartar's help before the design of her new house had even begun. Kartar determined the most propitious placement of rooms in the layout of the house, along with aiding in the selection of materials representing the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water within a home.
"Other rooms in a house start as empty spaces," Kartar says, "but the kitchen nowadays is actually a combination of elements. You've got fire from the stove, tile or granite counters, which is earth; water running through the sink; metal in the appliances — four of the five elements all going at once. And, in theory, they should all cancel each other out."
But, experts say, that's not what happens, because every kitchen has different specific requirements for a balanced feel. Janice Sugita, a Beverly Hills-based interior designer who has applied feng shui principles in her work for years, says designers need to determine those requirements, based on the kitchen's location and history, and "use more of the appropriate element to enhance the chi and make it favorable for the room."
Researching the particular histories of a home and its occupants are also seen as critical to the success of the feng shui approach.
"Feng shui takes into account the year the house was built, the current year and the direction the house faces, down to the degree of the compass," Janice says. "Every house has a blueprint of energy. The history of the owners of a house is important because it can be used to verify the accuracy of our reading of the home's energy."
Mix colors and furniture styles plus cabinet and countertop materials to make a kitchen makeover of any size unique and lively.
Designer Jill May explains how she designed a kitchen and living space with a gray color palette and feng shui design principles.