Feng Shui Decorating
ENERGY FLOW |
FENG SHUI KITCHEN |
Feng Shui is often described as half
science and half art. Many rules and principles of this ancient
decorating philosophy have been proven true by modern science. For
example, modern psychological studies have shown that warm colors and
natural lighting, two key components of a Feng Shui home, really help raise
people's spirits. Feng Shui has been used in the Far East for many
centuries, but it has only become popular in America during the past five
years. Many people actually hire Feng Shui experts to help arrange and
decorate their homes.
This isn't really necessary, as Feng
Shui isn't as complicated as some people make it out to be. By
understanding some of its main points, you can design your kitchen and the
rest of your home to capture positive energy, promote emotional balance, and
encourage interplay in the living areas. Many Feng Shui principles are
common sense. For example, according to Feng Shui philosophy, people
should decorate entrances with things they consider beautiful. The
thinking behind this is that people should enter their homes feeling happy
to be there. This makes sense, right? If your experience at home is to be a positive one, you should start off on the right foot
by seeing something pleasant and uplifting before you enter.
Feng Shui and Energy Flow
Feng Shui is based on the belief that people and objects emit palpable
energy. Some give off negative energy, which, of course, should be
avoided, while other people and things have positive energy. Flowing,
clean water is an example of something that has positive energy. Dirty
water, on the other hand, releases negative energy. If your kitchen
window overlooks a pool of dirty water, for example, place a vibrant plant
on the windowsill. The plant will prevent the negative energy from
entering your home, and it will also give off its own positive energy.
If you can grasp this concept of energy flow, then you're on your way to
designing a Feng Shui home.
It's fairly simple to decipher which
objects have positive and negative energy. Living things are the
greatest source of positive energy. If you love animals, then nothing
can bring greater positive energy than a pet. If you haven't the time
or patience to care for a dog or cat, consider fish. At the very
least, decorate your kitchen and other rooms with plants. Colorful
flowers add life to any room.
For peace and serenity, bring the
natural world into your home. The best way to bring the beauty of the
outdoors into your kitchen is through windows. Actual trees, grass,
and blue sky make people feel at ease. However, if your kitchen faces
a brick wall, or if some sharp object points directly at the window, the
outdoors will be a negative source of energy. Consider sharp objects,
like the corners of rectangles, to be knives. A corner exudes
pressure, like a knife being held at someone's throat. If your windows
do not reveal grass, trees, or clean water, then cover the window and make
sure to hang artwork of natural scenery on your walls. A painting or
photograph of the ocean or forestry will bring
positive energy to your kitchen.
One of the more questionable
principles behind Feng Shui is the compass. Supposedly, various
sections of a house have different types of energy. One section is of
the home is best for work and
wealth accumulation, while another is best utilized for socializing.
Whether or not geographical location really makes one area of the home
better for different tasks, it is wise to designate various sections of the
home to the following areas: Wealth, fame, personal
relationships, family, children and creativity, knowledge, career or life
path, and travel. BACK TO TOP
Feng Shui and Spirituality
Because Feng Shui originated in the Far East many centuries ago,
Oriental religion greatly influences some traditional Feng Shui decorations
and artwork. For example, statuettes of Foo Dogs, representing loyalty
and strength, are said to protect homes from evil. Money Frogs are
said to bring good fortune and wealth. A figurine of Kuan Yin, the
Goddess of Compassion, inspires lovingness and empathy. Buddhas,
Dragon Turtles, and many other Eastern idols are all commonplace in Feng
These symbolic figures are not
acknowledged by all religions. However, just because a couple is
Christian, for example, does not mean they must violate their own religion
in order to apply Feng Shui decorating principles in their home. As
mentioned earlier, many ideas behind Feng Shui are factual. Artwork
can lift your spirits. A view of nature can set the mind at ease.
These are things that all homes and kitchens should have.
However, the Feng Shui concepts that
involve personal taste and mysticism are entirely negotiable. Having a
Dragon Turtle in your home is not necessarily a must. However, what
that Dragon Turtle stands for success, good luck, and fortune,
should be represented. People can use artwork from their own religions that symbolize these
things, or they can use completely nonreligious
images if they so choose. By selecting something that suits your
personal tastes, values, and beliefs, you can successfully fuse two cultures
into a happy home without compromising who you are.
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The Feng Shui Kitchen
Many Feng Shui consultants emphasize the importance of the five senses
when decorating. Everyone knows that the way a kitchen looks is a
major component of successful interior design. Attractive cabinetry,
appealing color coordination, and lighting all play a major role in how much
you will enjoy spending time in the kitchen. As mentioned earlier,
kitchens, as with all rooms, should possess beauty. However, the other four senses, sound, taste, feel, and
smell, also greatly influence the kitchen experience.
Music, for example, appeals to your sense of sound and significantly
alters the mood of a kitchen. Classical or yoga music produces a
soothing, relaxing sound. When entertaining guests for a party, you
can select music of really any genre. By setting up speakers in the
kitchen, preferably in the four corners to create a surround effect, you
make music part of the surroundings. The speakers can be attached to a
CD player, radio, or computer. Conceal the wiring as much as possible.
In general, wires are unattractive, and beauty is a focal point of Feng
Of course, taste plays a key role in the kitchen. Different
flavors lend themselves to various moods, and according to Feng Shui
principles, various tastes improve your abilities in different areas.
Dishes in accordance with Feng Shui exemplify the balance of Yin and Yang.
Chinese restaurants already utilize this philosophy. Strong, flavorful
foods represent the Yang, and blandness is a Yin characteristic. For
this reason, most Chinese restaurants serve the most flavorful foods with
white rice, which has very little flavor. Consider sweet and sour
chicken or shrimp. The sweetness and sourness balance one another.
Having one without the other throws a meal off balance, which is poor Feng
Shui. Combine soft and crisp foods, or even hot and cold. The
relationship between Feng Shui and food is more complicated than this, as
entire books have been written on the subject, but the idea of balance is
probably the most important -- and tangible -- concept to remember.
Taste and smell often go hand in hand. The foods that taste good
usually emit pleasant aromas. Sautéing garlic, ginger, and/or szechuan
peppercorn can fill a kitchen with delightful smells. Italian foods
also smell delicious. When you're not cooking, it's a good idea to
have scented candles or other welcoming aromas in the air. Homes
should have distinct smells to them, ones that people recognize and enjoy
once they step inside. The smell of a kitchen should remind people of
cleanliness and freshness. Lemon works exceptionally well for this.
Decorating doesn't have much to do with sense of touch. However,
it's really up to you whether or not you want to enjoy the feel of your
kitchen. Take the time to enjoy the way a warm coffee mug feels on
your hands. Warmth is relaxing, so maybe you want to turn the heat up
a few notches after work. BACK TO TOP
Feng Shui Colors for the Kitchen
The kitchen is often said to be the heart of the modern household.
This is where guests converge for conversation and the place most families eat
together, so it's really the center of all social functions. To
promote energetic behavior, use lively colors such as yellow, orange, and yellow-orange. You
can choose one dominant color and use the others for highlights and accents.
BACK TO TOP
The overall goal of Feng Shui is to
make your home pleasant and productive. Keep in mind that the best
choice is always whatever makes you and your family happy. In striving
for the ideal decorating scheme, you can follow Feng Shui by the book or
simply use it as a guide. You can also ignore it altogether, but there
is little doubt that there is plenty of wisdom in this ancient craft.