Category: Feng Shui
The belief that feng shui universally prescribes red for a front door is a misconception, but in many cases, red is an auspicious -- and attractive -- choice. It's a vibrant color that attracts attention, and the attention can bring fame and prosperity. Not everyone is looking for these boons, however, and even those who are might not receive them if their red door faces the wrong direction or clashes with its surroundings.
The Color of Recognition
Red is the color of the south, and its element is fire. In the feng shui compass, every direction signifies certain aspects of life, and those associated with the south are fame and recognition. It's easy to appreciate how a red door came to be associated with these aspects because it's hard to overlook one. In ancient China and Japan, red was an auspicious color used for the entrances to shrines. Building codes in China stipulated that only high-ranking government officials could paint their doors red, which is one reason why red is associated with prosperity.
Western Ideas About Red Doors
Western culture has filtered feng shui ideas into a belief that red is a generally welcoming color on a front door. In the days of horse and buggy, a red door attracted travelers with a promise of hospitality and a good night's sleep. In the Catholic tradition, red is an auspicious color; as the color of the blood of Christ, a red door on the church signified sanctity. Scottish homeowners traditionally painted their doors red when they had finished paying off the mortgage.
Color and Direction
Red isn't always the best color for a front door. Determine a door's direction by standing inside looking out. Because it's the color of the south, it can be out of place if the front door faces in a different direction. Chinese homes that are built in accordance with feng shui principles often face south to welcome the strong yang energy represented by that direction. Your home may not face in that direction, though, and to invite the most auspicious energy, you should paint your door the color that is most appropriate for the direction it does face.
When to Choose Red
The feng shui compass recognizes eight directions, but south is the only one associated with fire. North is the color of water, and that direction attenuates the fiery nature of red; blue is a better color for north. On the other hand, an earth-tone red can be an appropriate on a door that faces northeast or southwest, because they are earth directions. Another way to approach door color is to harmonize it with the life aspect associated with the door direction. For example, painting an east-facing door red could be auspicious for a health professional; east is the direction of health.
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