Feng Shui Red Door

Feng Shui & Red Front Doors

The formal front door is the most important part of the exterior of your home. It’s the mouth of  chi energy—the place where energy enters your home. That’s the case whether or not you use that door frequently or not. While I don’t recommend painting over nice natural wood, if you’re bold enough to paint your front door red, you’re doing yourself a gigantic favor because that color will attract good energy into your home. If you can’t bring yourself to paint it brilliant red, use whatever shade of red appeals to you. An example of a deep rich red is “Fabulous Red” from Val spar—it’s verging on an oxblood red.

It can be difficult to get a saturated red color without visible brushstrokes. Using a brown primer will make it so that fewer red coats are needed.  Only the outside of the door should be red. White or a dark color (grey or black) is more appropriate for that area inside the home.

I sometimes like to browse the Houzz website for example photos. I found several red doors, some of which present some interesting situations. The photo below shows a front door behind a screened-in porch. Remember, it is the official front door that should be red. In this case, it’s even more important that the front door have that vivid red, since it is somewhat hidden by the screens. (I would note, though, that the house address number should NOT read downward; it brings energy down. I have extended information on this situation in Feng Shui for Hawaii.)

Here’s another Houzz photo find, to the right. I love the simple elegance of the door and the eye-catching red. This entry looks as if it’s a bit tucked away, so it’s important for it to attract the eye. The red flowers in the planter near the door are also a nice touch. That doorknob, though, I simply cannot endorse. It should be on the same side as the lock. A doorknob needs to scream LOGICAL. It’s the first thing that is touched when opening the door, and first things are most important.

The one drawback to having a red (on the outside) front door is that if the door is open a lot for air circulation, the red is in the wrong place in the bagua of the house. This situation happens a lot in Hawaii. An easy fix is to paint the solid parts of the screen door red, as this client of mine did. Notice that they have also added a jade plant (it symbolizes abundance, and has rounded leaves—good friendly greeting energy), and the shoes outside the door are neatly pointed in the same direction for less chaos

Feng Shui Red Door Significance

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 if the direction of health.

The Myth About Red Door Feng Shui

A few years ago I recall having an interesting conversation with a man who was genuinely interested in understanding what I do for a living. Those conversations, like many others that follow after that, tend to circle around my need to debunk many Western myths around Feng Shui.

One of the most common myths is related to what I call, “Red Door Feng Shui.”

It is true, the color red is considered auspicious in Chinese culture. (Think weddings and Chinese New Year celebrations). In Feng Shui, the color red is also associated with the Fire Element, which is attached to the emotions of joy and happiness.

While some Feng Shui consultants will vigorously advocate for a red door, this is an incorrect and very careless approach to addressing the Feng Shui of any home.

How so?

The thing is, whether or not your home needs a red door at the front of your house will depend on many things. For example, the Flying Star chart (or natal chart) of the home is an important consideration. Every house is unique.

Just think if you were going to see a medical doctor. You probably wouldn’t want the doctor to prescribe to you a universal medical plan. You would want the doctor to devise a plan that is specifically tailored to your needs and situation. Well, this is the same for Feng Shui. That’s why the Red Door Feng Shui theory is a total bust. You cannot promote a recommendation that all home should have a red door.

Flying Star Feng Shui is a dynamic system that is based on a formula determined by calculating the time factor and the direction of the property. It is a lot more systematic and methodical than just saying to someone, “You need a red door to have good Feng Shui.” Unfortunately, this is a very common Western approach.

Because the natal chart of a home is going to be slightly different than others (just like a person’s birth date), the red door is not always going to be beneficial or positive for every home. In other words, having a red door does not automatically mean you will have GOOD Feng Shui.

This kind of Feng Shui recommendation is not a universal cure or enhancement.

Remember, the backbone of Classical Feng Shui is based on the principles of the Five Elements and the concept of Qi. While aesthetics is an important consideration for most homeowners, Feng Shui professionals are more concerned with the abstract energies that influence your space and will recommend the best solution – elementally – that will support you and your home.

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