Blue Door Feng Shui

So I'm painting the house. I've been feeling quite down for some time, and decided to cheer myself up by painting my front door sky-blue. Did it help? I believe it did. I am much more cheerful now, and every time I come home I feel very happy on seeing my blue door. I love the way the seaside daisies pop up in front of it. 

Note: it may be circumstances other than the blue door that increased my well-being. But I am sure the blue door was a factor. 

I like playing about with the concepts of feng shui. Not the specific rules of Chinese feng shui, which after all, is not my culture, but the idea behind it, that our surroundings, and what we choose to put in our homes, has symbolic and practical significance, and therefore can influence our lives. I chose the happiest colour I can think of, sky-blue, and that link in my mind between happiness and bright blue conspires to lift my spirits whenever I see it. 

I like to have things at the front door that signify what I want to bring into the house. The blue door reminds me of happiness. The bells that hang next to it also bring me happiness, and the sound of the bells ringing at the front door and bringing visitors gives me much joy (more or less depending on how much of a hermit I am that day, and whether I am at a good bit in my book). Inside the door is the bench that Paul built for me, with seedlings and plants galore. For me, plants signify a lush abundance, vitality and more joy. And gratitude. How lucky am I to have plants that want to live in my house? Finding the exact spot where a plant wants to live is like winning the lottery. 

All of these plants love the sun of this little glasshouse front porch, and some need more water than others. The jade plants, for instance, want watering twice a week. I am attempting to grow ginger in here too. I planted it too late this year, not until January, midsummer, when I should have put it in in spring, but it is leafing up valiantly. It, too, seems to appreciate water twice a week. Almost all the plants in this space were grown from cuttings, or given to me by Red, who had to take most of the plants out of their room because the cat likes to chew on plants. Having such riches of plants in the front porch is a reminder that good things come as gifts, as cast-offs, as an abundant by-product of the earth we live on. Gratitude for life's abundance is a good way in which to enter a house, I think.

There are no lights in the front porch, and last week I put up some strings of fairy lights that Red didn't want anymore. They don't shed a lot of light, just twinkles in the darkness. I am sure that is symbolic but I am still working on what it might be symbolic of. Here is another fact about the front porch. I hardly ever sweep it. I sweep the kitchen (occasionally), then run out of enthusiasm. The front porch is very dirty and full of cobwebs, none of which really worries me at all. In traditional feng shui the front door is the entrance point for chi, or life force, hence it being important to keep the threshold clean and clear of clutter. My life force is no doubt grubby and festooned with cobwebs, although with added fairy lights and cheery plants. I am hoping to distract the chi with the sunny blue door so it doesn't notice all the dirt.

Tell me about your front door. Do you love it, or like me, have you thought about pepping it up? What qualities would you choose for your the entrance to your house? A traditional threshold symbol in many cultures is a protective sign or amulet, and another one is a symbol of abundance, such as the jade plant. Wind chimes are popular for catching and propelling chi through the house. I have a wind chime in my back porch. I'm not sure what it is doing for my chi, but when I hear its quietly chiming, as if it's talking to itself, it always lifts my mood. I love it especially because it is made of old forks. I bought it at a local market maybe twenty years ago and I love that it was handmade and upcycled.

Now, I know that what you all want is to hear how Paul is doing - and the answer is, he is very well. He has been working madly to get a project done, and is off in Victoria this very minute installing it. The really excellent news is that he has put all the weight back on that he lost after surgery and chemo, and looks very fit and well. Such a relief to everyone, especially me and his mother:)

Love to you all on this sunny Monday afternoon in Tasmania xx


Anonymous said…
What a delight to see your post, and get an update! I hope your spirits continue to improve. The blue door makes me smile!
My front door is burgundy wood with large etched glass on half of it (not great for hurricane season), I also have a bell on one side to announce visitors which I love as it is made from a repurposed scuba diving oxygen tank, and which my late husband gave me. That are is planted with different cacti, and bromeliads. At one point a had a small ceramic sign : be the change you want to see in the world by Gandhi which came crashing down during a storm. I tried not to take it as an omen...Perhaps my favorite part is that when you open the front door you get a view of the lush back yard. And that always makes me smile.
I'm thrilled Paul is doing so well. I hope you get to do some of the camping you had planned pre-diagnosis. And that you are uplifted daily.
Much love,
simplelife said…
How lovely to see you back here and hear of Paul's good health.
But I'm not happy to hear that you have been feeling a little glum, could it be all the emotions of the past 12 months catching up with you, now that the crisis is over?
I love your blue door and can see how cheering it would be to see it as you return home. Our front doors, yes we have 2 are both glass sliders, which I don't love. I can't do anything at all to change their look, brick veneer home with nothing to paint. They are brown aluminium with those stupid strips that make them look like many small pains, and small pains they are to clean. I have lots of spiders webs and spiders all along the veranda and sweep them down periodically when I'm really bored. The Duke Willy bird does regularly feast on the insects caught in the webs and the spiders themselves, this alone is enough for me to justify their space. I'd love to have a colourful and welcoming entrance. I do have some pots with plants and bulbs out there, I also have some chooks who think sitting outside the door is the best place on the whole 5 acres to hang out. Sigh the struggle is real
cheers Kate
Jo said…
Patricia, what a treat to see a beautiful garden when you open the front door. No wonder that makes you smile. Your scuba tank bell is brilliant. I can imagine what a deep and satisfying clang that must make when rung. And what a treat to be able to grow bromeliads outside. I have one inside which i have treasured for years. Every few years it throws out the most extraordinary and beautiful pink flower. I am getting good vibes from your front door already.

Kate, the good thing about sliding glass doors is the light and warmth they bring into the house. Paul has a sliding glass door on his shed and the local birds love to dance up and down in front of it whilst admiring themselves in the glass. Perhaps that is what your chickens are doing? We once had a duck that thought he was a human and who sat on the verandah in front of the door waiting for the door to be left open so he could sneak inside. The copious poop on the verandah was a trial..
The pots outside the door sounds lovely. I would love to do that but there is simply zero room for anything outside at ground level. But I just this minute had the bright idea of potting up some bulbs and adding them to the collection of plants inside the porch. Thank you!
You know what I love to do inside my sunny windows? I love to hang strings of glass beads with glass pendulums and crystals at the bottom to catch the light and make rainbows. I'll put up a photo in the next post. That would be a fun way to jazz up the glass doors. I hear you about the spiders' webs. I have them everywhere - see the panes on the windows in the top photo. I occasionally clean them off but mostly just leave them. The spiders catch so many flies and bugs and I like that they make my house look more witchy. I love being the crone in the old house with cobwebs and potentially poisonous herbs drying all over the house... (insert sound of cackling).
Jo said…
btw, I know exactly what has caused my glumness, it's a long-standing medical issue which has caused much pain to someone I love dearly, but not my story. Things are resolving slowly, but unlike Paul, who doesn't mind what I discuss about him on here, not everyone I know and love wants their issues discussed by moi online. Can't imagine why..
Anonymous said…
Jo: I have cobwebs in the entrance and around the house. I call them "halloween decor," regardless of the time of the year. :)
Last summer I had an iguana that kept peeking inside the house through the back glass door. She provided endless entertainment.
Sending you love.
Jo said…
Patricia, I never get tired of hearing about the antics of your iguanas! I know they are exotic pests which wreck your garden, but the exotic pests which wreck my garden are blackbirds, and it doesn't seem quite as exciting as hordes of iguanas. I have to know though, how do you know that your iguana is a 'she'?
Deborah said…
So lovely to hear from you. Paul's good health must be a constant relief for you both. Now you can make plans. Poor health takes an enormous toll on your own well being.Chocolate helps....temporarily! Then it can add to the worries.

I have a fountain attached to the portico wall at the front door but it is still empty since I removed all the Christmas baubles in January. Then last weekend friends were coming for afternoon tea and I put a big pot of spearmint lavender in it. As they rubbed against it walking passed they smelt the lovely scent. Everyone commented on it so I might actually plant it permanently in the fountain. There's no water in there now, anyway.
Hanging from the ceiling in the portico is a very old light fitting which came from the farm which had been in my family forever. Due to a fan light above the front door I can see it from inside and it's very welcoming after late night dog walks outside!

What is happening with your book!

Anonymous said…
Jo: Not sure why, I have given all the iguanas female names. The hummingbirds all have male names. Go figure!
Mary said…
I love your blue door and your little greenhouse porch! I am very much effected by color as well as by surroundings, as you seem to be. My partner is the opposite and it does cause a little friction. My front door is lovely with side lights (windows) and opens onto a front porch with a sky blue ceiling and a rather private front yard with huge magnolia trees. We have two back doors, which most everybody uses rather than the front, which open onto a large screened back porch that overlooks a large yard and woods. My dog has an outdoor bed there, and we have chairs as well as utilitarian stuff like a chest freezer and cabinets. We also have some Carolina Wrens that like to come in through the dog door and build their nest wherever they can find a good space. We are empty nesters right now as the first nestful of fledglings left just yesterday with a little help from us to get through the dog door without the dog catching them. Their parent was sitting a few feet away in the bushes calling to them the whole time. It was a joyous few minutes. I am growing ginger for the first time, too. Such good news about Paul.
Jo said…
Deborah, isn't it nice when you accidentally stumble upon exactly the right place to plant something? Your portico sounds lovely, and I'm imagining the light fitting from your family gives you such a sense of safety and warmth. What it is to be welcomed home with light and lavender:)
I am still sending my first book out to publishers and competitions with no luck so far. Writing the second one to take my mind off it:)

Patricia, I was wondering if there was some arcane way to tell which sex an iguana is, like a blue frill or something!
Jo said…
Mary, I love colour! Living in an all white house is nice and light, but I wanted something fun for the front door. I looked up a Carolina wren - what a little sweetie. Your porch clearly has a very safe and welcoming vibe to attract them in. Nevermind the people, you have a bird-attracting porch. What could be better? I really want to come and drink tea on your front verandah under the sky blue ceiling and admire your magnolias. I am doing this in spirit:)
As for Paul's health - well, as of yesterday he has covid:( but his health has otherwise been so good we are thinking (hoping) he'll be fine..
Mary said…
Sorry to hear Paul's caught covid. Sincere wishes for a quick recovery.
I'd love to have tea with you on my front porch, even just in spirit. May is a good month for it - that's when the magnolia blossoms are blooming, and the seasons are moving from spring into summer.
Treaders said…
First that's wonderful news about Paul. He (and you) have been so strong and I'm delighted for you both! I also love your front door as I love bright colours (and windchimes). My door is nowhere near as fancy but at least I had the foresight to have a wooden one put in with a glass insert in it (with bars across) that I can have wide open (with the door being locked) to keep all that fresh air circulating (and I also don't worry about my door being open if I am in my back garden). Someone not to far from here painted their whole house blue and I really think it doesn't work because basically this is a cold region and we need warm colours to "liven things up a bit". Still, if he's happy with it, who am I to complain!
Jo said…
Mary, right, tea in spirit in May it is:) Looking forward to it!

Anna, it's amazing how colours change the feel of a place, isn't it? I am not a fan of those cool greys that are popular wall colours right now. They might be fine in warm areas, but for the six months of cold and wet we get here in Tasmania a warm colour really does seem to make the room warmer!
sustainablemum said…
Lovely to see a post from you, with an update of where you are at. I am glad to hear that you and Paul are doing well.

My front door is grey metal to match our grey metal windows. It is very damp here so we went for metal rather than wooden windows and doors on the outside, the insides are wood. We too have a bell like yours, ours is an old ship bell that we bought on eBay. Our front door is in a wooden porch which is less likely to rot because of the way it is structured to allow the rain to bead off rather than pool as it would do on windows and doors. I think that this the reason, I don't profess to understand these things completely. I love our porch, my husband built it with a friend, I have no idea how we coped without it is such a useful space for so many things including all our coats, shoes, hats, shopping bags, cold veg storage in winter, empty jam jars and many other things.

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