If you know a little about Feng Shui, you’d know that it was developed thousands of years ago.
The core practice is still the same, but some of the popular rules no longer hold true.
That’s because our living standards have GREATLY improved over the last century. Our scientific knowledge has changed our lifestyle, especially in the way we cook at home and how we dispose waste from our restroom.
Given that, our modern-day kitchen is VASTLY different than those in ancient times. Because of that, some of the popular kitchen Feng Shui rules need to be updated. I have listed them here in this article.
First, let me compare and contrast a modern-day kitchen with an ancient one so you understand the historical context behind the kitchen Feng Shui rules.
When Feng Shui was developed, there were no gas stoves. It was invented in the 1820’s. Still, the gas stove was not widely adopted until the 20th century because not many homes had gas pipes leading to their home.
The electric stove was invented in 1892. Similar to its gas counterpart, not many people had electricity in their home at that time.
Without the gas and electric stoves, how did our ancestors cook?
Yes, you guessed it – fire produced from coal or wood.
Wood was more common among ordinary citizens in ancient China. Shown below is how a typical stove in ancient China looks like:
In the image above, heat goes in two directions – upwards (to cook) and sideways (to the direction where there’s an opening to feed wood to fire). The opening where wood is inserted is usually the “open mouth” direction of an ancient stove.
The heat from the stove’s side opening can go a long way, assuming it’s not sealed off. Imagine if that opening faces your bedroom in a close distance. Wouldn’t that make your bedroom so hot that it’s almost uninhabitable? For any of you who’s sat next to a campfire, you’d know the extent of the heat that it can bring.
Another thing to point out is that there were no proper drainage and refrigerator. Food was either kept in the kitchen or in the dining room, and waste water needed to be constantly disposed of.
I don’t think we need much explanation here. Today, we mostly use gas or electric stoves where heat is concentrated.
Also, we have refrigerators where food is kept. We have water faucets and drainage for waste water. We have proper ventilation to filter grease smoke when we cook.
From the comparisons above, can you see how different an ancient kitchen is compared to a modern one? Because of these improvements, I think the following kitchen Feng Shui rules should be updated and adjusted.
This is one of the more popular kitchen Feng Shui rules. The said effect is that it will cause sleep and temper problems.
If an ancient kitchen stove really faces the bedroom and is in close proximity, this rule won’t come as a surprise. People naturally don’t sleep well when it’s hot because the ideal sleeping temperature is 65 Fahrenheit (about 18.3 Celsius). When a person doesn’t sleep well, he or she has a higher chance to get more emotional, which can translate to worse temper.
In modern times, you wouldn’t have that problem because we have a different kind of stove. However, grease smoke can still enter your bedroom, which is not ideal for health reasons. Still, it’s not nearly as bad as compared to ancient times.
If you have a kitchen or kitchen stove facing your bedroom, simply close the bedroom door when you cook and you’ll be fine. Do not worry that this kind of setting brings bad Feng Shui.
This is actually more related to restroom Feng Shui than kitchen Feng Shui. I have a full explanation of why this rule is no longer valid in this article about outdated restroom Feng Shui rules.
In short, restrooms in ancient times is vastly different than those in modern times, just like the kitchen. Although it’s true that the flushing of toilet can potentially bring bacteria to your food while you’re cooking, this can be easily cured just by closing the restroom door when you’re cooking. It is not bad Feng Shui by default if you have this kind of setting at home.
The common perception for Feng Shui of window on top of stove is that it brings sickness. Here’s where I believe this rule came from.
In ancient times, there were no refrigerator. Food prepared for cooking (or cooked food) are placed on the stove counter. Depending on how food is stored, there’s a possibility that food can spoil because of temperature, sunlight, or insects coming from outside the window (majority of the population were peasants, and they did not have the means to install a screen, and glass was non-existent yet).
In modern times, food is kept in the refrigerator, and your food is unlikely to spoil from what’s mentioned above. Thus, even if you have a window on top of your stove, you shouldn’t worry about this bringing you bad Feng Shui.
The common perception is that this brings a clash between Water and Fire in the Five Elements, with Water being the refrigerator and Fire being the stove. The effect is that it’ll bring problems to the digestive system.
Yes, the stove has fire, but what about all the “Metal” that built the stove? Why are those not considered? Also, the refrigerator is an electronic appliance, which are commonly known to belong to the Fire element. Why isn’t that considered? This is why I wouldn’t worry about the clashing of the Five Elements in this scenario. Please don’t get too hung up on this.
As for a more scientific explanation, some say that the stove’s heat will affect the refrigerator and the food inside. Yes, the stove does bring heat. However, the level of heat that it brings is nowhere close to an ancient stove.
You can try this experiment yourself if you have your stove facing your refrigerator. Ignite your stove’s fire, leave it on for a while, and touch the door of your refrigerator to see if it’s getting hotter. Of course not! If you argue that it does, then you should feel unbearable heat when you’re cooking. But of course, that is not the case.
The Feng Shui effect of having water pipes under stove is said to bring problems with the digestive system. Again, this would make sense in ancient kitchens but not in modern ones.
In ancient times, there were no pipes. If there’s a drainage, it’s likely a small dug-up path on the ground that allows waste water to flow through.
If waste water flows through that water path, it’s likely a place where bacteria, mold, or even insects can grow. If you cook right on top of that, there’s a chance that your digestive system will be negatively impacted simply because of bad hygiene.
In modern times, however, our drainage flows through water pipes. Sometimes, those pipes are further divided by a concrete wall. In that case, the bad hygiene brought by waste water will have no chance to spoil your food.
It is said that you will have big expenses and wealth problems if your front door leads straight to the kitchen (and kitchen stove). An image below illustrates this concept.
In my previous article about kitchen Feng Shui tips, I tried rationalizing this concept. I explained that Qi entering from the front door will be demolished by the fire in the kitchen.
Here’s a more practical and scientific approach that takes historical context into consideration.
In ancient times, the majority of the population are peasants and farmers. They don’t have much cash, and their most valuable possessions are food, which are stored in the kitchen.
If the front door leads directly to the kitchen, there is a high chance that passerby’s will be able to see what food was stored there. This can invite burglary or deceit from those who want to take those food. This is the same effect if you placed all your cash that’s somewhere visible from the front door.
Today, we live in an age of prosperity. Food is kept in the refrigerator, and our wealth is stored in banks or in other forms of asset. This is why I think this Feng Shui concept is no longer valid in today’s world.
Kitchens today are VERY different than kitchens in the past. Our scientific knowledge has greatly improved our living standards. As such, Feng Shui concepts developed for ancient kitchens are no longer applicable to the ones we have today.
Can you think of other kitchen Feng Shui concepts that seem ridiculous or outdated? If so, comment below and share it with us!