Updated: Apr 26
“Diana do think we can build a screen blocking the kitchen? I don’t want to see the kitchen when we come into our house.” Patrick was giving instruction to his interior designer Diana.
As this is a one-bed room condominium unit with an open kitchen, space is a luxury; putting up a screen would divide the space and make the unit feel even smaller and cramped.
Diana began to protest, and Patrick saw her point but was still uncomfortable about the kitchen visible from the front door.
Diana got a little impatience and asked: “why do you want to have a screen?”
Patrick starts to explain that when he was visiting the showroom with his parents three years ago, his mother has given him a strict instruction that he must build a screen to block the view of the kitchen from the main door. And she did mention something about it is bad Feng Shui for the kitchen to be seen the moment you walked into the house.
Patrick and Diana turned towards me and asked for my opinion. “This is a myth that till today many people still follow, allow me to explain further,” I said.
In the olden days, we all live in a kampong and most families are not well to do. They do not wish to be seen by their neighbours or friends what they have in their kitchen and the kind of food they eat. If they cannot put meat or fish on the table, the neighbours are the last people we want them to know. All Chinese are afraid of ‘No Face’.
If we are the better off family, we also don’t want our neighbours to know what we have in the kitchen, or they may come and borrow. Hence many families designed their kampong house with the kitchen out of sight from the main door, deep into the house. Some even have their kitchen separated from the main house. Homes were built with wood and begin away from the main house is also for fire safety reason. Should the kitchen catches fires it will not cause severe damage to the main house
“Hence there is no need to put up a screen to block your kitchen as I Ching Feng Shui doesn't practice this, an open kitchen is fine," I said
The kitchen is a sacred space. Marc Forgione