The History & Significance of a Red Door

Here’s a pop quiz. What is the color of your front door? If you’re like me, you don’t even know. (Give me a break, I just moved into a new apartment.) In the past, my front doors have been pretty neutral colors such as white and dark brown. Boring. Have you ever thought about painting your door an eye-catching cherry red? You wouldn’t be the first! Here is what a red door means in different cultures.

1.) Feng shui. “Feng shui” literally means “wind water” in Mandarin Chinese. You’re probably most familiar with feng shui as the philosophy of moving around your furniture. However feng shui is all about the flow of energy, and the front door is key to that flow. Red, traditionally a lucky color in Chinese culture, would invite a welcoming energy when painted on the front door.

2.) In Scotland, homeowners paint their doors red to show that they have paid off their mortgage.

3.) Painting your door red was also an old American symbol of welcome. A red door meant that you were open to taking in visitors for the night. Tired travelers on horse and buggy would know that they had found a refuge on their journey.

4.) A red door has meaning throughout several religions. In Biblical times, Hebrew slaves smeared lamb’s blood over their doors as protection. In old Catholicism, red represented the blood of Christ, and passing through a red door meant that you were on holy ground and away from evil. For Lutherans, a red door was a sign of welcome.

Red doors go way back in time, and can signify a wide range of meanings, from keeping away to evil to showing everyone that you are debt free to regulating energy flow. Whether or not any of these reasons concern you, you can always paint your front door red as a nice accent of color, and as a general sign of welcome.

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