Friday, August 5, 2011

Shut The Front Door!

In popular parlance these days, the expression "Shut up!" has come to signify disbelief, awe, wonder, and other such amazements, replacing the more familiar exclamations, "Oh my god" "Holy cow!" "No way!" when confronted with someone who has just uttered an unbelievably bad, good, lucky, or inane statement or, similarly, performed some impressive or dubious feat.

For the more verbally exuberant, though perhaps vocabulary-challenged, a certain eff-word, combined with "the," is often inserted between "shut" and "up" thus lending even more emphasis.  However, for more polite exclaimers, or those who don't wish to be "bleeped" while expressing themselves on television, "Shut the eff-word up!" has transmogrified into "Shut the front door!" 

As I recently experienced considerable awe and wonder when confronted by numerous firmly closed, brilliantly hued front doors in Halifax, I could think of no more fitting hymn of praise to them than

Take a tour with me and you'll see what I mean.

It is, apparently, very good feng shui to have a red front door.
Lots of juicy yang engergy, especially useful if you live near a hospital.

The main doors should look strong, be large--though in suitable proportion to the house size,
and make a bold statement. 
Although the example above is making a distinct statement,
it is still rather plain-spoken

whereas this entrance compensates for its modest door expression
with an impressively colourful foreign accent.

Colour schemes for the entrances are often contrasts of hot with cool in unusual combinations. 

Some decorators choose to temper the contrast with a neutral hue between the hot and cool colours.
This is a very grand entrance with its wide double doors, intricate Celtic-themed details, stairs leading up to it,
windows to let the light in, a hand railing (though a second one would be better), and a visually interesting, as well as structurally strong, combination of brick and wood. 

What other entrances lack in size,
they make up for with charm.

This door seems rather overpowered by the big house looming over it, but it's doing its best to be strong with its bright colour.  Personally, I think a lime green or unexpected lilac might make more of a statement.

We'll finish up our tour of doors with this heritage house entryway, just waiting to get its colour groove on!

What colour would you paint it?
Really???  Shut the front door!!!


  1. Those folks way up north have sort of a Mexican aesthetic--love it! They're all nice, but my favorite are the pumpkin double doors with the sea-blue house. I wonder what that little "interdit" sign on the door says.

  2. jann,
    I'm not sure if it's Mexican or Newfie! The houses in St.John's Newfoundland are painted bright colours like these. I believe it originally started with leftover paint from the fishermen's boats. However, it's now become decorator chic. The "interdit" sign says "Junk Mail Free Zone: No unsolicited mail or drop-offs, please." You know it's Canadian because of the "please."

  3. Awesome !

    Please have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Robert,
    Really??? Awesome??? Shut the front door!
    Happy weekend to you, too. I'll be spending some of it reading "Firmin" (in French). Thanks for the recommendation.

  5. I really like that charming yellow door with orange trim -- not prim and proper like the rest --more homey and inviting.

    Not that it matters, I was just wondering why Jim Morrison called his group
    The Doors.

  6. Shirl,
    It is inviting, isn't it. I think a fortune teller of some sort should live there.
    As for the Doors' name (fancy you thinking of them!) Wikipedia informs us that:

    "The band took their name from a line in William Blake's poem The Marriage of Heaven and Hell; "If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite".

    Morrisson fancied himself more of a tormented poet than anything else, at least according to one documentary I recently saw about him.

  7. You've done it again, Lynne! Presented a plethora of delectable tidbits to ponder and chew on. How fun to dive into this one! Well, the front door is the entrance to the home, opening to invite the outside world in, especially energy = chi. Thus a paradox to be firmly stating, "Shut the front door!" ? Another oxymoron is door No. 7, ostensibly inviting one in but with a big X and assorted little x's saying, "Not!"
    I was so intrigued I looked up the feng shui entranceway door colors (Chinese Whispers by Rosalyn Dexter): the red door is beckoning creative/supportive chi, and the orange door represents the natural chi cycle. Lime green is the color of "growth, hope, and regeneration" (Decorating with Color). Turquoise or teal is a healing color, used in hospitals, too.
    You were sure right to cite the Celtic details: those vivid front door splashes are everywhere in Ireland. And your doors are Gaelic-gorgeous.
    Beveled glass doors are trendng here: inviting in the element air along with chi and demonstrating transparency?
    My husband says "Shut the front door!" a lot during the summer months so no one will let any air conditoning escape or hot air enter. Or is it suppressed hostility?!;)
    And incidentally the purple family--which you were drawn to as a contrast color for one of these entrances-- stands for creativity and spirituality. Fits you, Lynne.
    "Shut the front door, but open the back one wide!"

  8. Margaret,
    What a treasure trove of information and delight you've supplied here! I wasn't familiar with the feng shui meanings of the different colours (being too lazy to go through my various books in any depth while preparing this post) so I'm very happy that you did it for me, and for all who might stumble across the front door to this posting. How sweet of you to say that the purple family of colours, with its emphasis on creativity and spirituality, fits me. I must admit that the front door on our house remains the same boring whitish tone as when we bought it. It is, also, never used, as the custom here is to enter by the back door, so your admonition to "shut the front door but open the back one wide" is very fitting!
    Very funny about your husband's suppressed hostility!
    Stay cool, Margaret.

    Lynne xoxo

  9. I love taking photos of front doors and looking at them too - these are gorgeous in their range of hues...Greetings from London..

  10. Those Haligonians sure do know how to make their front doors welcoming. I quite like that turquoise one at the end. I remember hitchhiking all around the Maritimes when I was young (don't tell my kids) and noting how the Acadin areas were prone to painting their homes lime green.. and sometimes purple.We figured there was a great paint sale on those colours.

  11. Catherine,
    Perhaps they reminded you, as jann suggested above, of colours seen in Mexico?

  12. Hilary,
    What we did in the folly of youth!
    Hitchhiking was risky back then, but I think it would be almost suicidal now. Or is that just ages speaking, I wonder.
    I'm pretty sure the Acadians were using leftover paint from the colours they painted the trim on their boats. Someone in Caraquet told me that once. Of course, they could have been pulling my Anglo leg.

  13. What fabulous doors. I love it when people make bits of art out of their homes.

  14. Love these lovely colorful doors.... It is clear that we do share a love of doors! Thanks for following along, I wish i had more time on the Internet to check out other blogs & make comments, but for now I am sans wifi.

  15. Jenny,
    As do I! I was quite beside myself in this area of Halifax in particular, but the trend of bright colours seems to be spreading throughout the city there. You'll see what I mean in a future post.

  16. Sally,
    Thanks for taking the time to knock on my doors!

  17. Driftwood,
    Thank you for your bilingual comment!

  18. All the doors were locked and I couldn't get in, so I had to climb up a rose trellis and drop down the chimney, but finally, here I am at last, after having had ample time to admire that myriad menagerie of colorful portals into alternate universes, the doors of perception, as they were... At least you won't have to have the chimney swept this year, I just taken care of that for you, even if getting a bit sooted up in the process... gosh, all that coal dust in the throat could make a person mighty thirsty... but I've found just the place to take care of that sort of issue, so grab the Saj and whoever else might want to tag along, and come on over, I've just found the perfect place for us all to sit down and have a cool drink, though, on second thought, sister Saj may be wanting something hot... she's probably exclaiming right now, "Shut the effing front door already !" So jump in the nearest sailboat on the coast there and sail on over here... okey dokey ? And don't think twice, it's alright...

  19. Love these photos, I have a 'thing' for letter day when I have a house again I will do some serious posting about that! Now then, just off to BrOwen's for that drink...

  20. I am crazy for doors and these beauties from an artist's palette are stunning! How to pick a favorite? It would probably be the orange door with the celtic features, primarily for the architecture.

    The unpainted exterior, frame and door? gray, bright pink, yellow; or seafoam, turquoise, orange... the possibilities are endless! What fun!


  21. Owen,
    I hardly recognized you in blackface! Can you do a version of "Swannee" à la Al Jolsen while you're all sooted up like that?

    Getting out my trusty bicycle and heading your way now. I'll just follow the sooty footsteps shall I? Never mind hands across the water, it's footsteps and tire tracks across the bounty or bust!

  22. Saj,
    Cool that you popped in like a letter in a mailbox, along with our BrOwen. Here, we pick up our mail at the post office, from a box in a wall of locked-door boxes. Not quite the same thing, but fun, nevertheless, and a good reason to get out for a walk most days. I think I'll have a hot drink with you over at that bar Owen's on about as the weather around here this summer has been shite.

  23. Genie,
    You truly have an artists sense of colour! I love those possible combos you came up with for the last door. I'd be tempted to go with the seafoam, turquoise and orange...hmmm... although maybe we could mix and match the two suggestions and go with seafoam, bright pink, and yellow...As you say, endless possibilities! Together, let us banish beige!

  24. love this fun post of passageways - i've always been really really taken with front doors - which, like the eyes, to me, are great indicators of "the soul"/"what's inside" in the literal and figurative sense - i've followed the tenets of feng shui for some time - and keep several books out for quick reference - great post, lady - and thanks so much for dropping by my place!

  25. Gypsywoman,
    Always a treat to find you on my doorstep! Now here you are, reference books in hand, analysing what lies beyond the front doors. Not only the doors themselves hint at the characters that dwell within, but I believe the reactions of those viewing the doors--which colours they respond to most strongly--reveal much about their own characters. Would you believe,some people actually find these lusciously painted doors distateful! Ah well, makes for variety in the world, and calm beige places where the rest of us can rest our eyes awhile, rather like cleansing one's palate with a sorbet.

  26. hmm so difficult to answer here - am i boringly predictable to say that i am clued to that red door? :-) though i wouldn't choose that colour for mine, i painted mine in dark blue (when i was younger and lived in a small appartment i decorated in the colours of the sea :-)

    and how much you made me laugh!!! "the more verbally exuberant, though perhaps vocabulary-challenged" - wonderful way to start one's day :-)

  27. Roxana,
    I think there is nothing predictable or boring about you!

  28. 1. I am guessing that the silence of over a week here means that you are out at this very moment re-painting your front door ? So what color did you choose finally ??? Purple ? Deep purple ? Chartreuse ? Something more psychedelic ?

    2. I thought the Doors name was also related to Aldous Huxley's use of the term "the doors of perception" in one of his discussions about LSD ? No doubt which he borrowed from Blake... (the phrase, of course, not the acid)

    3. I was wondering why I woke up with tire tracks down my backside... now I know... :-) (Better tire tracks than needle tracks... it is supposed that Morrison did himself in with a heroin overdose... though it is also supposed by some that his coffin may be empty in Pere Lachaise...)

    4. Hoping all is well in your corner of the far north... and the drinks are on me at La Selle...

  29. Owen,
    1) Silence is golden, as is (perhaps) the fresh coat of paint of my front door.

    2) You are correct in associating the Doors with the Huxley appropriation of the Blake quote but I chose not to go into the drug-related details concerning doors of perception with my mother (Shirl).

    3) Tire tracks, smoke stacks, needle marks in haystacks, empty box in Pere Lachaise--who sez? No skin off my nez.

    4) Drinks on you? You wear them well. Perhaps that's what the bar towels are for. Drink up now, it's getting on time to close.

  30. With these ideas you've shared, I'll definitely shut my front door for good! I will be painting our front door with two colors from now on. Hmm, maybe dark purple and glossy red would do.