Feng Shui by Clear Englebert

Feng Shui in the Kitchen: Reducing Conflict

Feng Shui in the Kitchen: Reducing Conflict

This blog post addresses and expands on the information in my video series on feng shui for the kitchen. In the videos, I talk about reducing conflict and increasing harmony in the home, specifically referencing situations that come in up in kitchens.

In the first video, I talk about stoves placed opposite sinks. This is a common setup in kitchens, especially ones with a kitchen island that has a sink, like this photo below. A nice feature, but it presents a feng shui problem: fire (stove) opposite water (sink).

Photo: Rehkamp Larson Architects, Inc. via Houzz


There are several solutions that can be applied here. In the video, I suggest securing a piece of red ribbon or tape below the counter lip or under the rug between the sink and stove. You could also simply swap that blue-gray rug out for one with a significant amount of red in it. The red symbolizes a dividing line, a “karate chop” I like to call it, between the two elements.

None of the kitchens in these photos feature a refrigerator immediately next to the stove, but that’s the same elemental problem: fire next to water. Watch the video for the solution.

In the second video, I discuss stove placement. In feng shui, the stove is referred to as the most powerful object in the whole home. When standing at such a powerful object, it’s important not to have one’s back to the doorway. Obviously, most of us don’t have the luxury of dictating where the stove will be located when we move into a house, so there are some tricks to employ if your stove is in what’s called a “disempowered position.”

In this kitchen, there’s no doorway (another common floor plan in today’s homes). When the cook stands at the stove, his or her back is toward the openness of the room. That’s also considered a disempowered position. In the video, you can see how I employ a smooth, rounded metal water kettle on or near the stove to fix that. (Here’s an example of a kettle I like for this purpose.)

Also, the bare glass edge of the dining table in this kitchen should be covered with a tablecloth to avoid sending cutting energy into the room.

Photo: NVS Remodeling & Design via Houzz


A mirrored backsplash, like the one in this kitchen below, is a more designerly option, but it has to be done just right in order not to create even more feng shui problems.

Photo: Rachel Laxer Interiors, LTD via Houzz


Just as with any mirror in a home, a backsplash mirror must:

  • Show your entire head fully if any part of your body can been seen. The symbolism of a body without a head is never good feng shui. In this kitchen, the hood looks to be well above a person’s head, so it shouldn’t show a cut-off reflection.
  • Be kept clean.
  • Be clear and shiny. The mirror in the example above has a weathered finish; for that reason, it’s not a good choice. Smoked glass should also be avoided.
  • Not have any cracks or seams. The “subway tile” look is popular, but it breaks your image up, which is very bad feng shui.

The layout of this next kitchen poses no problems. There are no elements in conflict; the corners of the kitchen island are even nicely rounded. There is a less obvious problem, though. Can you spot it?

Photo: Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. via Houzz


If you watched the third video in my series, you might have spotted the wine bottles near the fridge. The bottle necks are pointing out like rifle barrels, directing harsh energy outward into the home. Wine bottles should be stored so that the bottoms face outward, presenting larger, friendlier surfaces that don’t stick out at you. Or, add some cabinet doors that will block the energy aimed outward.

If you haven’t watched my videos, here’s a play list that will cycle through all four. (The fourth video is non-kitchen related and covers stripes in rugs.)

Article Comments

  1. Mar

    April 24, 2016 2:55 am Reply

    how about a dishwasher next to an oven?
    The dishwasher warms the water when in use. Would this soften the conflict or is there still, the need for a cure?
    Many Thanks

    • clearenglebert

      May 2, 2016 5:48 pm Reply

      Technically a dishwasher belongs to the Water element and therefore should not be smack-dab next to the oven. If there is a wooden cabinet wall between the two appliances (and there usually is), then the situation is mitigated.

  2. thuy

    April 3, 2020 2:12 pm Reply

    Hi thank you for your helpful advice , can I use a green rug in between the stove and the sink instead of red.

    • clearenglebert

      April 3, 2020 5:43 pm Reply

      No. You’re using red to symbolize that something has changed, when actually nothing has changed—the stove & sink are still where they were. Red (in this usage) is symbolizing blood—new blood—fresh situation. Using red like this is to symbolize a change (or fix, when something is broken) when a real change (or fix) is not feasible. There are times when green can be used instead of red, but that’s when red is symbolizing the element Fire. In that case green would represent the element Wood, and Wood feeds Fire.

  3. Juvy R

    September 21, 2020 4:54 pm Reply

    My kitchen is in the NW sector of a condo. I’ve read it’s bad (Fire at Heaven’s Gate). It’s a condo so even if I had the money to relocate the kitchen, it’s just not possible. Most remedies I’ve read are adding more earth element to absorb fire element, and/or water in the NW sector of the kitchen to dampen fire. My sink is across the stove – does this symbolically subdue the fire element? Or do I still need to deal with the classing fire and water, and then the inauspicious location of my kitchen?

    What else can I do? 🙁

    • clearenglebert

      September 21, 2020 5:03 pm Reply

      There are two kinds of feng shui, one that uses compass directions (such as NW) and one that doesn’t use those directions. I practice the kind of feng shui that does not rely on compass directions, and frankly one of the reasons that I don’t use compass directions is that very often the solutions are totally impractical (as in your case). What I deal with are things that can be fixed with practical solutions (either real or symbolic solutions). The stove across from the sink needs to be fixed, because it symbolizes conflict. Could you hang a crystal between the stove & the sink? It would be (symbolically) dispersing the two conflicting energies before they clash. And you would need to say that out loud when you hang the crystal.

  4. JMShisler

    November 1, 2020 12:52 pm Reply

    What is your opinion if there is a prep sink across from the stove but the sink is not facing the stove. there would also be a cabinet between the side of the sink that faces the stove.

    • clearenglebert

      November 1, 2020 5:37 pm Reply

      If I understand the situation correctly, there is no conflict. Fire & Water are not facing, and there’s Wood in between. It seems okay to me.

  5. k

    July 20, 2021 9:56 am Reply

    Hi, I have a stove and sink facing directly. I have enough room in between for island, would that break the conflict?

    • clearenglebert

      July 20, 2021 1:19 pm Reply

      Yes, for the most part. But just to be thorough, place a crystal in the island (somewhere discreet) between the two appliances.

  6. julgib

    March 15, 2023 10:15 am Reply

    Hi, I have a kitchen in the center of my home. What remedies do you suggest?

    • clearenglebert

      March 16, 2023 12:04 pm Reply

      Hang a crystal over the sink & another crystal over the stove. Each time say out loud, “The purpose of this crystal is to disperse any problematic energy caused by the location of this appliance.”

  7. Geraldine

    July 28, 2023 12:02 am Reply

    Hi – my stove and sink face each other and the rug is grey. I cannot hang a crystal anywhere. The island contains the sink. How do I fix this? Any other solutions than a crystal

    • clearenglebert

      July 28, 2023 5:51 am Reply

      Put a strip of red tape under the bottom of the rug and say out loud that its purpose is to create a separation between the fire 7 the water,

  8. Ashley

    August 28, 2023 2:20 am Reply

    My stove is directly facing my fridge. How do i remedy that please?

    • clearenglebert

      August 28, 2023 6:12 am Reply

      The easiest thing is to hang a faceted crystal between the two objects and say out loud, “The purpose of the crystal is to disperse the hot & cold energies before they clash.”

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