The Red Door

"Everything utilitarian needs a little red edge."
Reno Dakota
House of Light: Chevy Chase, Maryland Home inspired by Hugh Newell Jacobsen modern exterior
At the top of my to-do list is the design of our front door. I'm thinking red. Since I've been drawn to the color red, I decided to do some research. Not surprisingly, red front doors have a lot of symbolism and meaning behind them. According to Wikipedia, here's what a red front door represents:

  • In Feng Shui, a red door symbolizes the mouth of the home. By painting our door red (or any bright color that stands out) chi (positive energy) is drawn to the house. It is the entry point in which abundance and opportunities find us.
  • The Chinese consider red to be the lucky or sacred colour. Many doors are painted with a fresh coat of red just before Chinese New Year to invite good luck and happiness.
  • In Ireland, a red door is supposed to ward off ghosts and evil spirits.
  • In Catholicism, a red door represents that the blood of Christ has been smeared on it and that the area beyond the door is holy and sacred.
  • Also, according to the Old Testament, the Jewish slaves in Egypt smeared their doors with lambs blood as a sign that the required sacrifice had already been made, and those homes would be passed over by the Angel of Vengence.
  • Supposedly red doors were used as part of the Underground Railroad, and homes with red doors were "safe houses".
  • Albert Einstein painted his door red because he couldn't recognize his house without it.
  • And for homeowners, a red door announces that the house is paid for, free and clear.
I think I like Albert Einstein's theory the best!  Here are some other fun red front doors:

    Outside Lighting traditional entry
    Old world front entry door.


    Main Level Before and After

    "If you don't like something change it; 
    if you can't change it, change the way you think about it."
    Mary Engelbreit

    I saw the vision for our home the first time I walked into it. While the layout of the home fit perfectly to our needs, there were many aesthetic and practical changes to be made. Before, low ceilings, narrow hallways, and closed off rooms made the home feel dark and small. I focused on raising ceilings, enlarging rooms and making more practical use of each space. Large floor to ceiling windows were added to the dining/living areas and master bedroom to take advantage of the views.


    The House That Built Me

    "We shape our dwellings, and afterwards our dwellings shape us." 
    Winston Churchill


    Let There Be Light - Pretty Please?

    "What is a soul? It's like electricity -
    we don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light a room."
    Ray Charles  

    My electrician, Stu, has been working overtime installing the new electrical. He's been working so hard partly because the entire house had to be rewired, and partly because I keep changing my mind about where I want things. I am utterly surprised at how stressful the lighting decisions have been. This has been the hardest part of the renovation so far.

    Lighting is an art form unto itself. I've always kind of balked that there's even such a profession called Lighting Design. Really? How hard can it be to stick a light on the ceiling? A lot harder than I realized!

    Shout out to XL Electric - they're the best!
    New coffer ceiling in entry with ample recessed light.
    New electrical box - yay!

    Old electrical box - boo :(
    Stu, probably making changes for the umpteenth time in the basement family room.

    One of the many electrical to-do lists throughout the house.

    Here's what I've really been stressing over - light fixtures. There are so many fun things out there right now that I can't make up my mind. Here are some lights I like. Where they may or may not go is yet to be decided. Sorry Stu, we're not done yet.


    My Own Backyard

    "I believe in God, only I spell it Nature."
    Frank Lloyd Wright

    Look what I found today... I hiked down to the bottom of our property line! Much better than finding a bag of money behind one of the walls!


    Interior Barn Doors

    “A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.”

    While attending the Park City Luxury Home Tour this weekend, I noticed a lot of interior barn doors. I've had an obsession with barn doors for quite a while, so it was fun to see them in real life applications.

    There will be three sliding barn doors on the interior of our home. Two are in the study and one is in the master bedroom. I've made this decision based on two reasons. The first is practical. In both rooms, a regular swinging door would impede an adjacent door or walk way. The second reason is that they're just plain cool.


    Life As A House

    "I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself."
    Maya Angelou

    As I was sorting through boxes before we move, I found my favorite all time childhood book, The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. This is the story of a Little House built with much love, by a man for his family. He has a dream for the House, that she would never be sold as a mere possession, but would stand for generations to come.

    The Little House sees the bright lights of the city off in the distance and longs to know what life is like there. As the city expands, before long, roads, big homes, apartment buildings, and stores surround the Little House. Her family moves out and she finds herself alone in the middle of the city, where the artificial lights are so bright that the Little House can no longer see the sun or the moon. She often dreams of "the field of daisies and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight." Eventually, a woman recognizes her and whisks her back to where she belongs and restores the Little House into a home.

    How many of us have lives like the Little House? We grow up longing to know what life is like "out there" only to dream of coming home in the end. It's not ironic that this was my favorite book even though I was too young to understand the deeper meaning and bigger storyline. I grew up in a small town, always curious to see other places. I've lived in five states, a dozen towns or cities and have had more than twenty addresses (including five in Bountiful!).

    Like the Little House, Jeff and I have come full circle. Our purpose for this house is to build a home with love for our family, foster an appreciation for the simple things in life, and to create a happy ending to our story.


    Window to the World

    "Staring at the blank page before you
    Open up the dirty window
    Let the sun illuminate the words
    That you could not find
    Reaching for something in the distance
    So close you can almost taste it
    Release your innovation"
    Natasha Bedingfield

    This week I met with window contractors. Wow. Window options seem endless. And expensive. We are replacing all of the original 1962 single-pane windows, enlarging several and adding three sets of patio doors. The cost is approximately ten percent of our overall budget, but the payoff is that our heating/cooling costs will be reduced and there is an 80 percent return if we ever decide to sell the home.

    Here are some rooms that have inspired my ideal windows:

    On another note, I've decided at the last minute to stay behind while my family is off to Monroe Mountain for the Labor Day holiday. My plumber will be at the house today, and I get to do a walk through with him and pick out my fixtures. Here's what I will be missing out on:

    To cheer myself up, I'm going to treat myself by going here!