Blog of the Week – A Red Door

August 11, 2016

A Red Door

Why a Red door? In this Modern chic, gray scale world of new construction, upscale granite and marbled soapstone that we live in… Why still a red door?

Though, to our subconscious style having society in most suburban as well as urban neighborhoods, a red door on a home is nothing more than a feature that adheres to a home’s “curb appeal”.  Digging a little deeper, you will find that red doors have historical and long standing cultural significance well beyond your color choice desires of the here and now.

Working our way back through history, across continents, cultures and beliefs, we find the strong routed significance that many of our modern day “styles” are derived from.

A simple genius

Of course we have come to recognize Albert Einstein to be one of the most brilliant minds to have lived in not only his own time, but of all times. Though he too had a simplistic side of weakness.  According to writings of his own hand and admission, Einstein proclaimed that he painted the front door to his home red because he could not remember which house was his without the said “red door”.


Safe travel & Refuge.

During the historic civil war, “safe homes” that were marked with a red door or red on part of their door were known to be part of the Underground Railroad system that notoriously moved the enslaved out of the conservative southern states up through the north to freedom. It is said that these “safe homes” painted their doors red to guide escaped slaves to places of refuge and safety.

A Welcome sign.

In early American tradition, a red door symbolized to tired horse and buggy travelers crossing the Midwest that a home was a safe place to rest and stay throughout their journey.

Mortgage Free.

As we know the most popular red door tradition to be the Scottish tradition of debt free. In the Scottish heritage this tradition holds that homeowners paint their front door red to signify that they had paid off their mortgage. A debt free life is something to be extremely proud of and to a proud Scottsman, this is the ultimate sign of arrival and success in their personal financial being.

Good Luck & Energy.

red2Chinese culture considers red to be a lucky color and therefore many Chinese paint a fresh coat of red on their front doors as part of their New Year celebration.

The principles of Feng Shui state that bold colors invite positive energy and that bold colors like red invite opportunities and abundance.


red3It is said that the earliest historical reference for the red door is known to be a door being covered in red is found in the Old Testament account of the Jewish Passover in Exodus 12.  Prior to Pharaoh commanding the Israelites to leave Egypt, it reads that God commanded the Israelites, while being held as slaves in Egypt, to cover their doors in the blood of a lamb.  This blood would act as symbol of their obedience to God so that when the angel of death would come through Egypt to kill every firstborn male as the last of the 10 plagues, the angel would pass over the homes of those that had blood on their doors and not kill the firstborn male.  This was a sign of God’s covenant with the Israelites.  Some churches still paint their doors red to symbolize Jesus’ shed blood and that the area beyond the doors is sacred and holy.  Other churches paint their doors red with the idea that protection from evil spirits is offered within the walls of the church.

So, weather simply falling in love with a home that just so happens to have a red door, choosing red in your design meeting while eagerly constructing your dream home or starter home, or subconsciously choosing this color out of ascetic desire and the appearance draw; now you may entertain an interesting coffee table discussion on the red door at your next dinner party. Or perhaps housewarming!

by, Sara Cummings-Bauknecht, Lic RE Salesperson