6 Outdated Kitchen Feng Shui Rules You Should Stop Following

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.

Kitchen in Ancient Times

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:

This is how a stove looks in ancient China.

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.

Kitchen in Modern Times

I don’t think we need much explanation here. Today, we mostly use gas or electric stoves where heat is concentrated.

A modern day kitchen is vastly different than its ancient counterpart.

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.

Kitchen Feng Shui Rules and Concepts that Should be Updated or Adjusted

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.

Kitchen Facing Bedroom

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.

Kitchen Facing Restroom

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.

Window on Top of Stove

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).

Window on top of a stove is not bad Feng Shui by default.

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.

Stove Facing Refrigerator

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.

Having Water Pipes Under Stove

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.

Front Door Leads Directly to Kitchen

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 this floor plan, the front door directly faces the kitchen and is not a good Feng Shui setup. Image credit: Feng Shui Master Pte Ltd

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.

Conclusion

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!

Author, blogger, and digital marketer at Feng Shui Nexus. During the day, I do marketing in the tech industry. At night, I explore all sorts of knowledge, including feng shui, ancient wisdom, big data, analytics, and science. Click here to read more about me or say hi to me on Facebook or Twitter!

Comments (21)

Hi Victor, thank your for a great article. I do have questions. Does number of kitchen sinks and size have any effect on Feng Shui at home? I heard that if your kitchen sink is big or you have many sinks, such as kitchen, bar, hand wash, etc, than its like throwing money down the drain. Thank you for your thought.

Hi Mike,
Aside from affecting the looks and convenience of your home, the number of kitchen sinks and its size has no effect on Feng Shui. If you use all those sinks frequently, there is a chance that your kitchen will be more humid. But again, you won’t be throwing money down the drain. 🙂
-Victor

Hi Victor, thank your for a great article. I do have questions. Does number of kitchen sinks and size have any effect on Feng Shui at home? I heard that if your kitchen sink is big or you have many sinks, such as kitchen, bar, hand wash, etc, than its like throwing money down the drain. Thank you for your thought.

Hi Mike,
Aside from affecting the looks and convenience of your home, the number of kitchen sinks and its size has no effect on Feng Shui. If you use all those sinks frequently, there is a chance that your kitchen will be more humid. But again, you won’t be throwing money down the drain. 🙂
-Victor

What about the rule of not placing family pictures on a shared kitchen wall? Open concepts have this alot. Kitchen on one end of the wall and living room on the other end.

Hi Sil,
I’ve never heard of that rule. Pictures have minimal effect on Feng Shui but more psychological. So yes, it’ll be fine.
-Victor

So , it is okay to have stove in between 165 – 195 degree south of the front door?
Note: My kitchen is far back the house.

My 6 year old grand is very timid, what must I do to help him

Hi Elyne,
I would try words of encouragement and praise him whenever he does something good. Please do not expect immediate results. He’s still young so give him time!
-Victor

Hi, what about bathroom (with bathtub, sink and toilet) that is located above the kitchen? Is this a bad thing?
Is there something that can be done, when it is not possible to change the position of any of them?

Hi Vivi,
Some practitioners say that if there’s a safe distance, then things should be fine. If I were you, I wouldn’t worry too much about this.
-Victor

Hi Victor, i have a small size house and my kitchen was small but i renovated into dry & wet kitchen.
Wanna ask:
1) Could we have 2 stoves which fitted at 2 difference location – 1 at dry kitchen and another 1 at wet kitchen ?
2) My dry kitchen stoves was direct faced washroom door & wet kitchen stoves opposite washing machine. As recommended to put door curtain for my dry kitchen, mean should i use a same concept for washing machine also ?

Hi Lai Yin,
1) Without further context, this is fine. Review: https://fengshuinexus.com/feng-shui-rules/kitchen-feng-shui-rules-tips-location-stove-basics/
2) Yes, great idea!
-Victor

Hi Victor
Is there any cure for the kitchen situated in the centre of the house? When the front door is open you can see part of the stove on the right side of the kitchen. Thanks very much.
Mars

Hi Mars,
The most you can do is have proper ventilation for the grease smoke and keeping it clean if you’re not planning on relocating it. Keep in mind that the kitchen today is very different than the ones in ancient times, so the effect isn’t as bad as compared to before.
-Victor

Hi Victor! Thanks for the great articles about modern feng shui. I’m a Realfor and work with so many clients with many feng shui beliefs that forever change my views on homes.

I am looking to buy a town home for myself. When you walk in the front door, the kitchen is located to the left and the stove is visible. I had a client tell me this was very bad – what do you think? It’s a lovely town home, and I am thinking of purchasing but cannot get these feng shui beliefs out of my head.

Thanks!

Hi Lana,
As this post suggest, that concept is an outdated one. For some modern practitioners, you’re ok as long as the kitchen stove and front door doesn’t form a straight line. Meaning, if you’re standing outside the front door, it’s best that you don’t see the stove when you have your front door open.
-Victor

Hi Victor,
Lovely post on the outdated kitchen fengshui! I just moved into a new rented small apartment and the refrigerator is just next to the stove but there’s a thin ceramic partition in between the stove and the refrigerator. Do you think it’s ok? The refrigerator is also facing the kitchen door directly.
Secondly, I have two bedroom doors built on the same single wall, with the two rooms sharing a long balcony. I read that it’s a 哭字门 (the doors look like two crying tears) and that the shared long balcony creates a 迴风煞, so the energy can enter a room, go through the balcony and out from the other room. Is there a more practical way to resolve this issue as I can’t tear down the landlord’s door.
Looking forward to your reply!
Sheryll

Hi Sheryll,
The fridge next to the stove is fine, as long as there’s some space in between. As for your second concern, do not worry about the “crying tears”. As for the 迴风煞, this depends on whether there’s a window at both ends of the balcony. If so, just close one of the windows and you’ll be fine.
-Victor

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