The Myth of the Red Front Door

Do I need to paint my front door red in order to have good Feng Shui?

The answer to this question is No.

This is a myth that is actually based on a misunderstanding of a very practical and very ancient Feng Shui principle. While the myth itself has no bearing on Feng Shui either good or bad, its origins are rather interesting. 

Feng Shui was established in China approximately 5,000 years ago as a set of guidelines to help people live in harmony with the natural world.  Living in a time centuries before  the advent of lighting and heating, people had to depend upon the sun to bring warmth and light into their homes.

Early Feng Shui principles suggested that when possible, people should build their homes facing  south  in order to receive the maximum benefits of warmth and light from the sun. 

Homes with a southern exposure were considered more favorable and fortunate than homes that faced other directions.  Any direction  other than south was considered less favorable,  with north (where the cold bitter winds came from in winter) being the least desireable of all. 

Due to its association with the sun, the element associated with the south in Feng Shui is fire, and the color associated with fire is red.  In ancient China, when someone was unable to build their home facing south, they would paint their front door red to symbolically bring the “fortunate” aspects of the southern exposure to their home.  This is a practice that is carried out even today, though its original meaning has been lost and forgotten with the passage of time.  

So the next time you hear someone say that you need a red front door in order to have good Feng Shui, take a moment to enlighten them on the real meaning behind this old superstition.  Like any good myth, it is a tale worth telling.


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