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Renowned feng shui master Dato' Joey Yap offers some pointers on how to maximise the positive energy in the kitchen

What are the feng shui do's and don'ts when placing your kitchen appliances? Where should your stove be placed for better energy?  Joey Yap answers these questions and more so that you can maximise the positive energy in your kitchen.

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Tatler Malaysia: The kitchen is often called the heart of the home. Is this also accurate in terms of feng shui?

Joey Yap: The kitchen does play an important role in terms of the house’s feng shui but it’s not the most important place. As the utility of the kitchen is where food is prepared, it correlates to the overall health of the occupants. If you’re the type to regularly eat homemade meals, then the feng shui of the kitchen is vital for good health.

But if your food comes from elsewhere (take-outs, dining out) on a daily basis, then the kitchen’s feng shui can somewhat be ignored altogether. After all, the feng shui of any sector is only good if you are actively using them. Otherwise, it would function as any other space and can be considered neutral.

If you were building your home from scratch, what is the ideal placement for the kitchen location?

Generally speaking, the ideal placement would be in accordance with the individuals staying at the property. What’s good feng shui for me doesn’t necessarily translate to good feng shui for you. How this works is that although energy or Qi is freely available from the environment, you have to be at a certain frequency in order to tap into it.

In short, any placement is fine for the kitchen location. Ideally, you don’t want it to be in a place that contradicts the occupant’s animal sign. For example, if you’re born in the Year of the Rat, you wouldn’t want to have your kitchen in the South 2 (S2) direction. While there are exceptions to this rule, this is generally a simple guideline to go by.

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Kitchens are usually fixed in most homes but is there any way to improve their feng shui?

Feng shui is and has always been goal-based. Improvements or fixes are only called upon when there’s a real need for them. As mentioned earlier, the kitchen’s feng shui is related to the occupant’s health. If everyone is in good shape, there's nothing to be improved upon.

After all, before seeking a cure, you have to know if you need it in the first place. If there are no issues and no symptoms, then there is nothing to improve. Usually, most kitchens don’t really suffer from this type of issue. But in the unlikely event that your kitchen is in a so-called negative sector or direction, just prepare your food elsewhere. Utilise that space less.

 

What are things to think about when positioning your sink, stove and appliances?

Ideally, we would avoid positioning the kitchen stove directly opposite or next to a kitchen sink. In feng shui, this is known as a clash of fire and water. If this is the case, usually it would bring about health issues for the occupants. While some people find this type of placement to be convenient, it’s not really recommended from a feng shui perspective.

If your kitchen is fixed this way, one way to minimise this clash is by having a real plant in-between these spaces. This is because a plant is considered to be a wood element, and as water produces wood, wood produces fire in the five elements cycle, which can somewhat placate the negative effects. 

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Anything to think about regarding ventilation/ airflow/ lighting?

Nothing in particular. These things are largely modern concerns and are not related to classical feng shui. But it still goes without saying that good ventilation is a must-have in any kitchen. After all, one of the signs of bad Feng Shui is when there’s a foul odour in the place. 

 

Are there any do's and don'ts regarding small kitchens or eating in the kitchen?

Where and when possible, avoid positioning an island table that has sharp edges pointing towards directly the kitchen stove. Another good feng shui practice would be to avoid positioning the kitchen stove on the island table as there is no solid wall backing.

Are the pointers the same for dry kitchens and wet kitchens?

Yes, generally the pointers provided would apply equally to both the dry and wet kitchens. Additionally, for dry kitchen, try to make sure that the stove is not placed directly beneath a ceiling beam. Ceiling beams in general would be Sha Qi or negative energy pointing downwards. As the kitchen area is related to health, this might cause related issues to the occupants.

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