What is the meaning of door colors?

Updated February 21, 2017

The artist Hans Hofmann once said, "The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of colour." As the eyes are the windows into the soul, so is the front door of our home the window into our life. As we pass through homes with brightly painted doors, the meaning often eludes us consciously. Subconsciously, however, the reactions we have to coloured doors often stay with us long after we leave.

Welcome in Prosperity

A red door has several meanings. In China a red door is the same as a welcome mat. It also symbolises luck, so to paint your door red in China would be to welcome people into your home and also encourage good luck to enter. In early colonial America, a red door was a symbol of a safe haven. Travellers often kept a look out for red doors on homes as signs of welcome and safety. In Catholicism, a red door symbolises the blood of Christ, which meant once you passed through the door, you were on holy ground. In Scotland, people paint their doors red to indicate they've paid off a mortgage. In essence, a red door symbolises divine protection, good luck and financial status.

Loyalty & Abundance

Chinese Feng Shui gives blue a watery designation: calm, soothing and prosperous. The Bible often depicts the colour blue as a heavenly colour, and whether the colour is a darker blue or a brighter blue doesn't matter. Blue also denotes loyalty, and so anyone who paints their front door blue indicates a sense of calm, loyalty and wealth upon entering the home.

Through an Enchanted Door

H.G. Wells wrote of a mystical green door in his short story, "The Door in the Wall." The door opens into a garden of wonder and mythical creatures, giving a young boy his first glimpse of happiness in life. The term, "beyond the green door," refers to an otherwise plain establishment where people are carefree and enjoy life. In China, a green door symbolises the life cycle and growth. It also has a calming effect, and colour therapists use green to help reduce stress, headaches and other minor medical issues. In the United States, the colour means safety and prosperity, and a zest for life. Green is also the international colour code for safety.

Not Just a Royal Color

Purple is not the most popular colour choice for doors, but it is a versatile one. In some cultures, a purple door signifies royalty and wealth, but not necessarily monetary wealth. Purple is also a spiritual colour, and in Feng Shui is connected with psychic activities such as meditation. In the Western societies, clairvoyants and religious clergy alike both use purple to show their connection to the spiritual side. Because it is an unusual colour for a front door, painting your front door purple can show the world that you are open-minded and willing to think outside the box. Purple is universally known as the most spiritual and versatile colour in the spectrum.

Intellectual Growth

Feng Shui recommends painting your door yellow if it faces northeast, northwest, or southwest in order to channel positive energy. The colour fosters mental sharpness, creates a sense of happiness and well-being. Therapists also use colour to help treat certain medical conditions such as jaundice, arthritis and depression. In Western cultures, yellow has contradicting meanings. On one hand, it denotes joy, happiness, imagination and hope. On the other hand, it symbolises cowardice, jealousy and dishonesty. Depending on where you live, use yellow as a door colour with caution.

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About the Author

Based in Dallas, Sophia Cross has been a writer for more than 16 years. She began her career with a local newspaper and has also worked as a realtor and social worker. Cross holds a Bachelor of Arts in history.