Last updated on November 30, 2021

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:

ancient chinese kitchen stove feng shui min - 6 Outdated Kitchen Feng Shui Rules You Should Stop Following
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.

kitchen island dining feng shui min - 6 Outdated Kitchen Feng Shui Rules You Should Stop Following
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 stove feng shui min - 6 Outdated Kitchen Feng Shui Rules You Should Stop Following
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.

main door n kitchen feng shui lead to kitchen door min - 6 Outdated Kitchen Feng Shui Rules You Should Stop Following
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.


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!

Leave a Reply

  1. Mike Herman

    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.

    1. Victor Cheung

      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. 🙂

  2. Mike Herman

    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.

    1. Victor Cheung

      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. 🙂

      1. Aisha

        Hi victor
        If the Refrigerator facing the kitchen door is it bad Feng Shui ?
        Thank you

        1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

          Hi Aisha,
          No, it is not.

  3. Sil

    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.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      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.

  4. James

    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.

  5. Elyne

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

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      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!

  6. Vivi

    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?

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      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.

  7. Lai Yin Lee

    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 ?

      1. Mars

        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.

        1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

          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.

  8. Lana

    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.


    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      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.

  9. Sheryll

    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!

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      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.

    2. elaine

      im worried about the position of the area of my house…specially my kitchen is under the staircase and..facing the bathroom or toilet and i can’t do anything about this…here the plan can you help me

  10. Lynn

    Hi Victor,

    We just move in a house and we realized that our master bed is over the stove. The master bed is up stair and the stove is down stair. Is this cause issue to health and marriage? We cannot move the bed because other place also have Feng Shui issue as well. Any cure for that?

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Lynn,
      This is usually not a problem because modern day design gives enough space between the stove and the ceiling. Plus, this concept could be outdated as well. I wouldn’t worry too much if I were you.

  11. Michelle Yap

    Hi, Victor,
    Thank you for the wonderful practical approach of modern feng shui.
    I had made renovation for my backyard with proper piling and rooftop, also the floor with mosaic tiles but in an open area without concrete wall.
    I am thinking to construct a concrete workbench with a sink and 2 gas stoves. On the same time, I am planning to install 2 sinks in the dry kitchen which will be used as a dining room, then I will have an electric stove which will be used at night for boiling water and serve as a backup stove.
    My question is whether my planning is appropriate in terms of bringing good feng shui or qi. My friend told me that 2 different stoves are not allowed in a house.
    Your advise will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Michelle,
      Your planning is fine. I don’t see why 2 different stoves is not allowed. Also, kitchen is just one of the many areas to be evaluated when determining whether you have good Feng Shui or not.

  12. Michele

    Hi Victor , thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. We have three gas hobs on a kitchen island and the ovens on the wall. In your other article, it is stated this is not good feng shui. We cannot change the hobs. Remedy suggestions are appreciated. Many thanks, Michele

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Michele,
      The reason why it’s not recommended is because it lacks support and harmful grease smoke can easily spread throughout the house. If you have a proper wall range hood for ventilation, you don’t need a cure.

  13. Ileana

    Hi Victor,
    it was so refreshing to find your modern way of seeing Feng Shui.
    I leave in an apartment and unfortunately the sizes are that generous. My sons bed is close to the door on one side and to the window on the other (situated on the left side of the bed the door and on the right the window ) and I have no space to put a divider between. Is this bad and what can I do about it. I have no other option for it.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Ileana,
      I can’t really tell without seeing this. Close to the door and window is not by default bad, though.

  14. wandy

    Hi Victor,
    Want to build my new house, the land facing NorthEast, my architect design me w/ storage room, kitchen and maid room at front area. would it good in Home Fengshui ? thanks .

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Wandy,
      I can’t tell just by your description. You’d also need to consider the Form of the land, not just the internal layout of the house. If you need assistance, you can get help from an expert here:

  15. Ronna

    Hi Victor,
    We are currently starting some home renovations. We are planning putting an island with the stove top on it and it is parallel to the sink. Is it ok to position that way? Do you have any recommendations? Thank you.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Ronna,
      Parallel with sink is fine – better to have some distance between the two.

  16. mel

    Hi Victor , the exit door is exactly beside d toilet like 1.8 meter from the left . is this a problem? please let us know before we continue the renovation. thank you.

  17. Michelle

    Hi, Victor,
    My wet kitchen’s stove is directly facing North (located in a small room at East North of the house) where the front door is facing South. My parents are saying the arrangement is bad feng shui.
    Kindly advise.
    Thank you.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Michelle,
      Yes, there is the saying that it is bad Feng Shui if the stove faces the opposite direction of the HOUSE (not the front door). I wouldn’t worry to much if I were you, because modern stoves are very different from ancient ones, as mentioned in this article.

  18. Lourdes Castro Rodrigues

    Hi Victor,
    I loved your posts. I am 77, Brazilian, live in Rio de Janeiro and I would like to start knowing more about Feng Shui . However, will try to read a lot instead of taking a course now. There are so many articles and sites to read that I don’t know how or where to start from. I would appreciate it your giving me some guidelines.
    Thank you very much
    Lourdes Castro Rodrigues

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Lourdes,
      For starters, I would ask you to learn about the different schools of Feng Shui and their approach. From there, you can decide what Feng Shui school you like and which makes more sense to you for you to dig deeper.

  19. Trang

    Hi Victor, thank you for the great article. Good to hear window behind stove is outdated. Question 1) Directly across the stove is the sink on an island bench. Question 2) The refrigerator is in the centre of the house. Will these be an issue, do I need to apply a cure?
    Question 3) in reference to your other informative 33 Kitchen Feng Shui article, the stove is placed between 345-15 degrees. Is there a cure I can apply?
    Thank you!

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Trang,
      1. Some say this is an issue, but I don’t think so because the rule is based on ancient settings. 2. Don’t see an issue here besides potential noise problems. 3. That is also an outdated kitchen feng shui rule. 🙂

      1. Iriah

        Hi Victor!

        Just wanna ask what will be the remedy if our kitchen is in the northwest part, under a beam, and shares a wall with the bathroom. I feel so frustrated since this is a new place we’re renting and we can’t move things that much.

        Thank you!

        1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

          Hi Iriah,
          You may not even need a remedy in the first place, depending on how things are set up, because proper measurements are needed. If it worries you, I suggest you seek professional help.

    2. Trang

      Thanks Victor! Great to hear, particularly on #3 stove in North position 345-15 won’t affect family member relationships and marital relationships. Would be interesting to understand how #3 is outdated? I enjoy your views on feng shui in modern times. Thanks!

    3. Trang

      Thanks Victor! ???? Great to hear, particularly on #3 stove in North position 345-15 won’t affect family member relationships and marital relationships. Would be interesting to understand how #3 is outdated? I enjoy your views on feng shui in modern times. Thanks!

  20. Edna

    Is it okay to put a dishwasher next to stove if you have 3 to 6 inches between them

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Edna,
      Yes, that is fine.

  21. Mercy Strubeck

    Hi Victor,
    Our house is facing west and sitting on east. The renovation of our house is in progress. We did an open floor plan. What remedy could I use in our open floor plan where the cook top is on kitchen island and not against a wall. The cook top is also across the sink. And as you look straight down the hallway is the hallway bathroom which is straight from the stove. The main layout of our house as you come in is to your right is the open kitchen floor plan with dining room with a sliding door.slightly to the left as you come in is the living room with a sliding door slightly off from the center. Master bedroom is in northwest and family room is southwest. Two bedrooms are on the north east. No children living with us since we are empty nester. Although, they occasionally visits us with grandchildren. I was born in 1958 and my husband in 1961. I do believe in feng shui.

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Mercy,
      I can’t help you much without doing a floor plan and a proper compass measurement. I highly suggest you find an expert to help. You can search for one here:

  22. Yong Sang

    Hi Victor! Very nice of you to share your knowledge with us! It is really enlightening.

    I have a question to seek your advise. My apartment is a split-level unit, meaning the dining hall and kitchen is higher than the living hall. The kitchen is however slightly lower than the dinning hall. I heard that it is bad feng shui for living hall to be lower than kitchen, is this true?

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Yong,
      Having the living hall lower than kitchen is not bad Feng Shui by default. Many other things have to be checked. If you’re worried, it’s better to get an expert to review the whole property.

  23. jessie

    hi, i want to ask in this article said that kitchen door directly facing the stove is not good. my stove location is directly to my bedroom door, but it is not possible to move the stove. how should i do? thankyou

    1. Victor Cheung Listing Owner

      Hi Jessie,
      Just remember to keep the kitchen door closed, especially when you’re cooking. This will mitigate its effects.

  24. Shirley

    Hi, I have my kitchen stove on a wall, and a kitchen island with a sink directly opposite / across from the stove. Is this a bad feng shui? I can put a mat between them to remedy this per your suggestion, but I’m curious why this is not considered in the list of outdated fengshui rules in this modern world.

    I’m an architect and usually design this way all the time, considering alignments and function of the space with the triangle rule (fridge, stove, sink) each at the vertex of the triangle.

    1. Free Lancer Admin

      Hi Shirley,
      Some people will tell you it’s bad Feng Shui because both the elements clash. In ancient times, there’s no water faucets like the ones we have now. I wouldn’t worry about this if I were you. 🙂