Reflecting on Feng Shui in the Kitchen

When a question or situation is presented to me from more than one source, I pay attention.  I figure it means there’s a personal message here indicating something I should address in my own life.  For some reason in the last couple of weeks, I’ve had students, clients, teleseminar participants, and casual conversations that have revolved around placing a mirror on the black-splash of the stove top.  Each incident was unrelated to one other, but for some reason they all came in one clump.

A driving principle behind a mirror on the back-splash is that ideally when the cook stands at the stove top they should be able to see the entry to the kitchen.  Otherwise, there’s a possibility the cook will be startled or surprised while stirring the pot.  With their back to the door, the cook could be taken off-guard.  When that happens, that moment of surprise or fright gets mixed into the food, which is then served to the family and eaten together.  Obviously, it doesn’t lend itself to a peaceful scenario around the dining room table where everyone is eating frightened food.

One way to avoid this is to install the stove top into an island in the middle of the kitchen.  This way the cook can be preparing food on the stove and can always keep their eye on who is walking in the door.  Most kitchens, however, are not set up with an island; some people don’t like this look and some kitchens don’t have enough room. 

Another option is to hang a mirror on the back-splash behind the stove.  This is identical to the rearview mirror experience while driving—-the cook would be able to see what’s going on behind them without having to turn around.  Even though the mirror may only be waist-level, any motion or activity would be noticeable which is enough to provide the cook a “heads up.”

I have this very set-up in my kitchen.  There was no room for an island when we remodeled a few years ago, so the stove went up against a wall.  When people walk in, the pattern of being caught unaware is obvious.  Rather than hang a small framed mirror on the back-splash, we decided to permanently mount one that was the full width of our stove and the full height of the exposed wall.  The mirror looks like it’s part of the stove.  Plus, it brings in a view of our garden which is great to see while cooking, and it reflects in some light to that part of the kitchen.  And, in some ways, it makes the kitchen feel bigger.

Contrary to what you might think, it’s very easy to keep clean.  I realized that all the recent questions I had been getting about the topic were prompting me to assess the clarity of my mirror. Although I clean it regularly, some time had passed since I had actually given it a thorough treatment.  Rest assured, it is now bright and sparkly, providing me a clear reflection before anything could take me by surprise.  Not bad for about 30 seconds of effort!