Believe it or not, a red front door will match almost any home style and facade color. It’s up to your preferences to pick out the right shade of red among the thousands available. Consequently, you will send a message of love, safety, pride, positive energy, welcome, or sacrifice.
Although the red entrance is a highly desired option of cultural significance in many traditions, it is still not familiar to ordinary people. In fact, only about 1% of houses have a red door, which makes this choice unique and original. It is also full of symbolism, so you should know what does a red door means before making the final decision.
What Does a Red Door Mean?
Depending on different traditions, the front door painted in red will beautify your home and can have various meanings at the same time. For most people, this particular color is connected with deep emotions, including unconditional love, sacrifice, and pure anger.
It is interesting to notice that there is no clear origin for the red front door. Basically, its occurrence depends on the period in history when the house was built, the culture you live in, and local beliefs and traditions.
In most cases, the front door painted in red can symbolize:
- Positive energy
- Welcome for everyone, especially the travelers to rest overnight
- Love and warmth
- A protected and safe place for escaped slaves
- Good luck and prosperity
- A mortgage-free home
Throughout history, a red door determined an invitation. It shows everyone that the owner and his family are friendly to visitors and prepared to offer a warm meal and shelter from bad weather and other troubles.
On the other hand, many people enjoy red and paint their front door into this warm color because it is beautiful. Be sure that it will improve the overall appearance of your home.
Believe it or not, the red color has biblical roots. In ancient times, this was the right choice to protect the home against the Angel of Death. Israelites sacrificed a lamb for the first Passover to get protection from God.
Another explanation is that the red doors have a connection to the smears of the lambs’ blood. The Jews put the blood across their front doors to protect their household from the plague.
During the Middle Ages, people used to build cathedrals with the east, north, and south doors painted red to make the sign of the cross. Passing through this door represented entry into holy ground. Plus, old Christians believed that the red door could protect the occupants and palmers from evil.
Even today, red is a symbol of God’s protection, and you can see Churches with doors painted in this color to honor the first Passover. This act reminds us of the blood Jesus shed for the world and symbolizes a sanctuary and a safe place for everyone.
One more thing! You can notice that many protestant churches, especially Lutheran, have red doors. There is a belief that the reason is that Wittenburg Cathedral in Wittenburg, Germany, is painted in red. That is the church where Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses. So, these red doors are a symbol of Reformation.
The American tradition
In an old early American tradition, the front door painted in red meant welcome for tired travelers and those who needed accommodation and rest. They knew such a house is a safe place to get food and bed and shelter for horses.
Nowadays, that symbolism of welcome is not valid in all American homes. In most cases, people paint their front doors red to show that they were neighborly and want to become a part of the local community. However, it doesn’t mean you can stop by at any time and ask for the bed.
Another meaning of the red front door started in the time of the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Every red entrance was a symbol of safety for runaway African-American slaves and refugees who looked for a secure house.
These homeowners provided meals and beds to people seeking refuge in the free North American states and Canada. These northerners hid and protected them from the chase.
No one knows how many slaves escaped to freedom through the Underground Railroad, but rough estimates show that over 100,000 people passed that route by 1850.
The Irish tradition
If you have ever visited Ireland, you probably have noticed many brightly colored doors in their homes. The local joke explains that it is a quick way for the drunkards to recognize their houses.
However, the real reason is a bit different. The Irish painted the front doors red following their folklore. They believed that such a door would protect their homes and chase evil spirits and other ghosts away from their households.
Another reason is the act of rebellion. During the Victorian era, there was an order for Irish civilians to paint the entrance doors black. That way, they needed to honor Queen Victoria. Well-known as a stubborn nation, the Irish painted their doors in red or other bright colors.
The Scottish tradition
In this country, a red front door was a sign of pride since it signified a mortgage-free home. The reason they chose just the red color is practical. It was the most expensive color they could buy in those days. In other words, they could give money for the costly paint since they didn’t need to spend it on debt.
Even today, many homeowners in Scotland paint their entry doors in red to show that they entirely paid off the mortgage. Although there is no difference in color prices these days, it is still a traditional symbol of financial independence.
There was one more tradition in Scotland. To identify them as a part of the Reformation, most Lutheran and some Protestant churches painted the front church doors red.
The Chinese tradition
Red is one of the crucial colors in Chinese culture. They believe that it symbolizes luck, health, and wellbeing. Since the front door is considered the home’s mouth, painting it in red creates welcoming energy.
You can notice that most Chinese people paint or repaint the faded color of their doors in red to celebrate the Chinese New Year. That way, they protect their homes from bad luck and evil.
In some cases, a household only put Chun Lian, Chinese poetry printed on red paper, around the entry door.
One more thing! In most cultures from the Far East, red is an overall symbol of good luck and money. Therefore, brides from Pakistan, China, Vietnam, and India wear red wedding dresses. In combination with the red front door, it promises happiness for the young couple.
The Feng Shui tradition
According to Feng Shui, your red door sends a message of welcome. This ancient philosophy from China, which literally means wind-water, teaches us that specific arrangement of stuff, as well as their patterns and colors, can harmonize people with their surroundings.
So, the red front door will bring harmony to your home and everyone living there. It is a sign that your home is comfortable, happy, secure, and warm. Also, this color will attract passion, positive energy, attention, abundance, and prosperity.
However, you should also take care that your entrance faces the right direction. Red is the color of fire and symbolizes the south, which is connected with fame.
Therefore, only high-ranking government officials of ancient China had the right to paint their entry doors in red. On the other hand, Western culture held the idea of a general welcoming that belongs to everybody.
If you want to follow the rules of Feng Shui, you should place your front door faced to the south seen from the inside. That way, you will welcome the desired yang energy. If your door is facing the other side, you should choose to paint your door in a different, more adequate shade.
Keep in mind that you can also harmonize the red color of your door with your life aspects. For example, if you are a doctor and your entrance is east-facing, you can paint it red since this direction symbolizes health.
Always avoid choosing the red front door if it faces west or north-west that determines metal.
The Red Door as a Reminder
One of the most famous anecdotes from Albert Einstein’s life is connected with the door of his house. Some people claimed that he was absentminded, plus it seems that he had blind spots.
Anyway, he often couldn’t find his house, and his wife Mileva Marić Einstein painted their front door in red to help him find the way home.
It is fantastic to see different meanings for the red front door in various cultures. Even though they are not the same, it is fascinating that it always represents something friendly, positive, and desirable. If you choose to paint your entrance this way, you will show that your family is prepared to welcome travelers and people in trouble. Plus, you will make a change to your home and create it unique and cheerful with a little effort. Well done!