Guest post by Earth Home Team Member, Eils Lotozo, at www.trulyhomeredesign.com.
In Feng Shui, one of the most important places in your home environment is the area around your front door. It’s the face you show to the world provides the first piece of information about you to visitors, and it’s what welcomes you home every day. (Or at least it should. In a later post, I’ll talk about why it’s not a great idea to enter your home regularly from the garage.)
So crucial is the front door in Feng Shui terms, it is often referred to as the Mouth of Chi. Chi is the Chinese term for life energy (also sometimes spelled Qi and ch’i) and it’s what you want flowing abundantly in your life. Just as our own mouths are the way we receive life-giving nourishment, the front door is the primary entry for energy into a home. If it’s blocked in some way, good things may be blocked from coming into your life.
So here are some things you need to know to make sure your front door is working energetically for you instead of against you.
Look with new eyes: The first thing you need to do is stand in the street or road in front of your home and spend a good long time just looking. Pretend you are a visitor. What do you see? Does the front of your home send a positive message—a message of welcome, prosperity, cheerfulness?
On the path: Is there a clear path or walkway from the street or road to your front door? If not, consider this: If people can’t get to your front door easily, then chi won’t be able to either.
-Many suburban homes feature walkways that lead to the front door from the driveway instead of the street, but this is not ideal in Feng Shui terms. A driveway is a secondary energy source and you may find that less of the things you want and deserve (income, friends, love) are flowing into your life than you would like.
-The very best paths are curved or undulating (think of the routes that streams or rivers take in nature). If yours is a straight shot to the front door, you can create the suggestion of undulation by spacing large flowerpots along the walk on either side.
-Also crucial: your path or walkway must be clean and in good repair. If heaved bricks or missing stepping stones are creating a tripping hazard, you may be tripped up in life as well.
Ship shape: Is the front of the house clean and in good repair? If you see things such as peeling paint, sagging rain gutters, cracked windows, a rickety bannister or stairs, focus on sprucing up and having things repaired as soon as possible.
Clean and clear: Are there items that look like clutter near your front door? In Feng Shui, clutter blocks chi and causes it to stagnate. If you’ve got old lawn furniture, empty flower pots, snow shovels (in June), broken bicycles, and boxes you’ve been meaning to move, clear all of it away from the door immediately. Also, rake out those old leaves that have been piled up since fall, and sweep the steps and landing clean.
Open it up: Is your front door clearly and easily visible from the street? If there are overgrown shrubs or trees blocking or obscuring the walkway, steps, or door, cut them back or cut them down.
What’s your number: Is your house number easy to see and attractive? If not, make it so. This is a cheap and easy fix, and so important.
-Some ideas: You can get a traditionally-styled oval address plaque starting at $22 bucks at Hayneedle. Or, for more modern tastes, get some classy numbers in a variety of styles and finishes starting at $21 each at Modern House Numbers.
The immediate vicinity: Think about ways to enhance and beautify the area around your front door.
-If you’ve got a porch or landing, never leave it bare. Make sure the space features some welcoming, attractively arranged furniture. If you’ve only got room for one chair, or a bench, make it something you really like.
-Attract more chi to your home by planting beautiful shrubs and/or flowers near your front door if you have the space. If pots and planters are what you’ve got to work with, that’s good too. Just keep everything well watered and in good condition. If a plant dies, remove it immediately and replace it with a healthy one.
-Other front door chi enhancers: pretty welcome mats, wind chimes (metal, with a tone that pleases you), bird baths, fountains, and statuary.
Light it up: The approach to your front door should be well lit, so that, even at night, people—and chi—can find their way safely and easily.
-If don’t already have one, install a light post near to where your walkway meets the street.
-Path lights are also a great idea, and these days there are lots of solar options (no electricity needed) that can make things more affordable.
-Make sure you have a working light above, or close to, your front door. And if the bulb burns out, replace it immediately.
Working it: Make sure your door is in excellent working order. You want it to latch smoothly and stay latched, and stay open when you open it.
-If your front door sticks in the frame, making it hard to open or close, or if it scrapes on the floor, you can end up stuck in areas of your life. Get it fixed.
-Oil squeaky hinges and tighten loose ones; repair any door hardware that isn’t working properly, and tighten wobbly doorknobs.
Door style and Feng Shui: Since your front door protects your home, the best type to have is a solid one. Many people like doors with glass panels because they let light into an entry, however according to Feng Shui, glass panels make a door more vulnerable to break-ins and thus energetically weaken the door.
-If you can’t afford to replace your front door with a solid one right now, the best Feng Shui “cure” is to cover the glass panel with a shade or curtain the same color as the door, making it appear solid from the outside.
Finally, boost your chi substantially by painting your front door a fabulous color.
-Bright red, the classic Feng Shui door color, is said to bring protection, luck and power. Green symbolizes health, money, and new life. Black, which symbolizes water and money, is another power color. However, the best rule I can offer is: Pick a color that makes you happy. It might be turquoise, lavender, or pumpkin; or maybe purple, saffron, or periwinkle. If it makes you feel good, then that color is working to bring more energy into your life