Paint door red for a big welcome

Last week I was deep in the rainy day blahs but have enjoyed a few days of sunshine and have now started to contemplate painting my exterior doors.

The question is – what colour do I choose? I have always used a bright contrasting colour such as red or rust but I’m feeling the urge to use a deep charcoal on this house.

I did a little investigating on line to find out if different front door colours had different meanings and found most write-ups about the colour red.

There are many societal meanings behind painting the front door of your home red and it has moved my opinion to change from charcoal to the traditional red – red front doors mean welcome and my home has always been used to welcome friends, family and musicians from all areas. Welcome is the theme. I love to entertain and cook and have people into my home.

Early American traditionalists painted their front doors red to welcome travelers and strangers. Weary travelers came by horse and buggy and would recognize the homes with red front doors as a refuge and place to rest along their travels. The earliest bed and breakfasts if you will.

In Biblical times Hebrew slaves smeared the blood of a lamb on their front doors to protect their children from the Angel of Death. The belief was that the angel would pass by the doors covered with blood and spare the first born child from certain death. Catholic churches used to paint doors of churches red to represent the Blood of Christ. Passing through a red door in a church meant you were entering Holy ground.

Homeowners in Scotland used the symbol of the Red Door to celebrate paying off their mortgages. When a neighbor broke out the paintbrush and red hue everyone knew there was a reason to cheer, that neighbor was now debt free and probably buying the first round at the local pub.

When I was in Quebec City I was enthralled with how many homes, hotels, pubs and churches have red doors. Traveling through Old Quebec was a plethora of beautiful time worn doors and a good percentage of them were painted red. I’m sure the tradition of welcome is being used in Quebec through these beautiful doors. Most restaurants doors and window trim were painted bright red – they were easy to spot on the tight, winding streets.

I think a red door is a fantastic, eye catching welcome to your home. Remember red can consist of everything from Roasted Tomato (hints of orange and dark brown) to Merlot which is a red with purple and blue undertones. Make sure the tone of red you choose compliments your home’s exterior.

The neutral tone of our house will allow for me to choose any shade I want but I believe I will paint my front door the same fabulous shade as the music room which is painted in C2 “Orleans”. This is a juicy red which will shout ‘welcome’ to my friends and neighbors. Grab some paint, and light up your entry with a beautiful new colour!

Kim Lewis is an interior designer in Red Deer with Carpet Colour Centre. Feel free to contact her at 343-7711 ext 227, email her at or join her facebook group called “Ask a Designer”

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