Feng shui teaches that specific groups of color reflect the five elements of the natural world: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Practitioners believe that each of these elements plays a significant role in achieving an emotional, physical and spiritual balance, even in your home. The kitchen is an erratic place that can cause stress and turbulence in life; therefore, the presence of yang -- positive chi -- is paramount to create a productive and relaxing space. In feng shui kitchens, the best choice of color corresponds to the location of your kitchen. While you don't have to strictly follow the rules, sticking to one concept will yield the best results.
The direction in which your home faces is the direction with the largest amount of yang energy. The sitting direction is where the largest amount of yin energy resides. Before you get out a compass to determine which direction your kitchen is facing, work out where the "front" and "back" of your home is in accordance to yin and yang.
North-facing kitchens -- north represents fame and reputation -- are the most versatile. Decorate with a water-inspired base using blues and white paint. Add blacks with cast-iron appliances, but keep the area happy and balanced with splashes of fiery yellows, reds and oranges. In feng shui, oranges symbolize good fortune and longevity and add more color to a north-facing kitchen. Northeast represents spiritual growth, and southwest means love and marriage. Both have the same earth and fire requirements as north-facing rooms, but with less of a water element.
East represents health and family, and southeast represents wealth and money. Kitchens facing either of these locations should be designed around the wood element. Use greens, browns and tans with subtle hints of light blue and white. Avoid composite materials and try adding wooden and bamboo utensils and accessories to display on the walls or countertops to add a more natural element. Colors based around the water element can also be complementary. Use bamboo bowls filled with fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs to create fresh accents that'll bring a little more life into the mix.
Avoid adding too many fire or metal element decor items to an east-facing kitchen as they can be damaging.
South represents fame and reputation. Kitchens facing the south reflect fire, so feel free to go a little wilder. Avoid blues and blacks, and make way for more intense colors, such as bright red and sun-kissed orange glossy wall tiles that'll brighten up the space. The wood element complements fire, so balance out the brightness with plant life and accessories made from natural materials. Southwest represents love and marriage and are more romantic, often incorporating pinks and rosy reds. Use flowers and vases to add splashes of color.
West represents children and creativity, so kitchens facing west should have the characteristics of metal, which can be attained using steel appliances. Focus on warm earth tones, pristine whites and lighter shades of grey with marble, granite or slate flooring. Fire can weaken metal, so avoid using reds, pinks and oranges. If you need to brighten up the space, use clear white, tan or beige tiles. The northwest represents people and blessings and requires the same treatments as the west.
Stay away from bolder greys, blacks, navy blue, greens and colors that are regularly associated with deep water, as they can promote a feeling of uneasiness. Stick to natural earth tones and brighter colors for the base, such as light yellow, gold or terra cotta, regardless of the location or representative emotion.