The term "feng shui" usually conjures up images of furniture arrangements, but you can apply these ancient Chinese spatial laws to other aspects of your home beyond optimizing room layouts. To learn more about how to bring the good vibes to your kitchen, we tapped certified feng shui expert, Laura Cerrano, for simple, actionable tips for making the most of an oft-used space that carries particular significance when it comes to feng shui. Read on for Cerrano's foolproof feng shui kitchen tips.
To bring the good vibes to your kitchen, particularly if it's a small one, "good lighting is vital," says Cerrano. "Avoid fluorescent light bulbs if you can, and experiment with different levels of lighting. Become present with this simple change, and sense the shift in energy each one of them brings."
Cerrano recommends having two to three layers of lighting (this can include natural lighting from windows) in your space to have a better quality of energy. "The use of a mirror in a small kitchen could offer the opportunity to expand the spatial perspective and bring in more light," she says.
Respect Your Stove
To determine whether or not you're giving this key kitchen appliance its due, Cerrano suggests keeping these key questions in mind:
1. Is it working properly?
2. Is it clean?
3. Do you use it to cook, or is it just sitting there?
4. If you do cook, how often do you alternate the burners you use?
If you answered no to the above, you may want to rethink how you treat your stove. "When you're not alternating the use of your stove's burners, it's said that you could be subconsciously choosing to not allow possible new opportunities into your life," Cerrano says. "By not keeping your stove clean, it's said you are not honoring wealth (however you wish to define wealth). And if you do not use the stove at all, it's said wealth is not being 'ignited' and promotes more stillness." Give your stove a good cleaning at least once a year and alternate the burners.
Keep Color in Mind
Beyond layout and appliance arrangement, color can have a significant impact on your kitchen's feng shui, according to Cerrano. To make the most of a smaller kitchen, "keep the wall and cabinet colors light," she says. "Lighter colors help expand small rooms."
If you're looking for impactful color suggestions, Cerrano has you covered. "To calm the overall atmosphere of a kitchen, whites, greens, yellows, sky blues, earthy colors, or even soft grays" are great choices, she suggests. Keep in mind, "you do not need to paint the entire kitchen all of these colors. You can choose just one color or a two-color combination. You could have an accent wall or colors could be within the countertop, cabinets, or the backsplash behind the stove."
Consider Other Cabinet Materials
Despite all the benefits of color, don't feel limited by painted cabinet options. There are feng shui benefits to other cabinetry materials as well. "Frosted or half glass kitchen cabinet doors can create 'breathable' focal points so everything is not completely solid and closed in," Cerrano says. "If you use glass cabinet doors, you need to really keep the inside of that space organized."
Add Some Fruit
Looking for another way to incorporate color into your kitchen? "Displaying a bowl of fruit is always a great go-to feng shui cure for the kitchen," Cerrano says. "Fruit signifies abundance for health and wealth, while also providing key nutrients for you to eat. If you can't always fill your bowl with fresh fruits, the next best option is to use artificial ones."
Art is another easy way to incorporate color into your space. "Be mindful of the type of artwork you choose to display within your kitchen," Cerrano says. "The subject matter could revolve around the imagery of food itself, an indoor or outdoor cafe-diner scenery, or any other type of imagery you wish to use within your kitchen," she says. "It could be realistically rendered, abstract, cartoony, or somewhere in between." Choose artwork that fits the personality of both you and your kitchen.
If you're familiar with the concept of feng shui, then you probably know an organized kitchen is a given. "Keep your kitchen countertops clear of clutter," Cerrano says. "Be sure your cabinets and drawers are dedicated to storing only what is really needed in the kitchen."
Go beyond clearing off your countertops and really evaluate the contents of your cabinets and drawers. "Be practical with this feng shui suggestion," Cerrano says. "Know how many people live in your apartment or home and that will indicate how many dishes, forks, and cups you really need."