Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese art of arranging space in order to achieve balance and harmony, can be applied to any room. The term feng shui itself literally means “wind water,” and originates from Taoism. The main principle of the practice is that when spaces are properly arranged according to the rules of feng shui energy, or “chi”, will flow, bringing good luck, success, and prosperity. Using feng shui to decorate a new baby’s room would be a thoughtful, symbolic gesture. It is not expensive to apply feng shui to a nursery, and only a few elements need to be considered: the location of the room, arrangement of the furniture, color, and décor.

According to the rules of feng shui, a baby’s room should not be near excessive noise or above an empty space, such as over a garage or unoccupied room. Boys should ideally be located in a room in the east or north parts of the home, and girls should be placed in the south, southeast, or west.

When arranging furniture, do not place the baby’s crib along any wall shared with a bathroom; doing so is believed to affect the newborn’s health. It is also important not to place the crib too close to, or in line with, any doors and to be sure that the space underneath the crib is free for chi to flow through- do not store items underneath the crib. Position the crib so that the baby will be able to see their parents when they enter the room, as this is believed to make children feel protected. Also, limit the number of electrical appliances near the crib, and keep them at least three feet away from the baby’s head.

As far as which colors to use, parents can either use traditional colors such as blue for boys and pink for girls, or decorate according to the feng shui bagua. The bagua is a chart that assigns colors to certain aspects of life: red for fame and reputation; pink for relationships, love and marriage; white for creativity; silver or gray for travel and helpfulness; black for career and life paths; blue for wisdom and knowledge; green for family and a strong foundation; purple for prosperity and abundance. White is the color most recommended when using feng shui for a baby’s room. No matter which colors you choose, pick muted or soft shades; the rules of feng shui suggest that bright colors are too stimulating for babies. For example, you can use lavender instead of purple, pale instead of bright green, and salmon instead of red. Avoid using a black and white color scheme, because the contrast between these colors is too great.

While choosing décor for a nursery, lighting should be considered. Light needs to be balanced- not too bright or too dark- so using blinds is a good idea. You should avoid decorations with animal motifs, as well as decorations with a sea theme- it is believed that these items may cause or worsen respiratory, lung, and kidney problems. If you really want to use a water theme, you should take care to balance it out and use the imagery lightly. The best designs are those that reflect nature and plants, since this will make the baby feel healthy and safe. Using natural materials such as wood, bamboo, and organic cottons will go along with the nature theme, and work better in feng shui than plastics.

Lastly, to help the flow of chi, open the windows of the nursery daily to allow in fresh air and ventilate the room. Always keep clutter out of the baby’s room and ensure everything is well organized- this is essential to feng shui, but will also make life with a new baby easier.