The RED DOOR Phenomenon
If you drive around St. Helena you will discover a plethora of red front doors. The red door tradition has many connotations and claims to invention. For example, the Catholic Church has a tradition of painting church doors red, representative of the blood of Christ. According to the Old Testament Jewish Slaves in Egypt were instructed by God to paint the blood of a sheep on their doorway for protection from the Angel of Vengeance, commonly known as Passover. Red doors are more commonly associated with Feng Shui, which claims a home’s entrance is the “mouth of Chi”, where all good energy enters a space. Good fortune and welcome are the Feng Shui terms popularly linked with red front doors. During slavery red doors were used by the Underground Railroad to symbolize that a particular home was a safe haven, and in early America when people travelled long distances by horse and buggy, private homes with red doors alerted weary travelers that a meal and a bed were available for a small fee. One of the oddest red door rumors stems from the Fuller Brush salesmen days. It was believed that if you painted your door red travelling salesmen would read it as a sign that “no sale” was possible and would pass you by. Then there’s the claim that Albert Einstein started the trend in the U.S. because he couldn’t find his house without it. In Scotland homeowners paint their front door red when they pay off their mortgage! In Ireland doors are painted red to ward off ghosts and evil spirits. Chinese paint a fresh coat of bright red on their front doors annually before the New Year to attract good luck and fortune. According to reddoorhome.com, red doors offer maximum impact where no other red appears on a home’s exterior. I wonder what the impact would be if every Napa Valley homeowner whose livelihood depends on the wine business painted their front door red…I’m just saying.