Front door feng shui

The reason feng shui experts pay so much attention to the front entrance of a home is because it’s not just the main entry for people, but also for energies.

Front door

A solid door is best

If you read up on this you’ll find there’s a whole list of feng shui do’s and don’ts about front doors that vary from one feng shui school to another. However, something they all seem to agree on is that a solid door is better than a glass one. The reason is that people feel more secure knowing there is a solid partition instead of just a piece of glass between them and the outside world. And of all the solid materials that can be used to make front doors, wood has been the outstanding favourite for century after century.

Space clearing goes one level deeper in the understanding of why front doors are so important and why wood is the material of choice. A home’s front door holds such a wealth of energies that each circuit of the space clearing ceremony begins and ends there. Some of the space clearers Richard and I have trained have developed their skills to such an advanced level that just by hand sensing the front door they can discern the principal energies in a place and how they are affecting the occupants.

However, this level of perception is only possible if the front door is made of wood. Doors made of metal, glass or some kind of synthetic material such as UPVC or fibreglass do not provide the same kind of substratum for anchoring energies. The house or apartment will tend to feel considerably less homely (or homey, if you’re American) as a result, and if space clearing is done, the effects tend not to last as long as in a home with a solid wooden front door.

So what can you do if your front door is not made of wood?

In the case of a glass front door, some feng shui consultants advise hanging a curtain inside the front door to cover it, and this does makes a home feel a bit less exposed and, in cold climates, usually a bit less drafty. However, it doesn’t address the much deeper issue of not being able to truly land your energy in the space.

If you really need to have some glass in your front door because the entrance area would be too dark otherwise, my best advice is to have a wooden frame with glass in just the top half of the door and to have several small window panes rather than a single large one. That way you will get some light and have as much wood as possible too. When doing space clearing, instead of beginning each circuit by engaging the energy at the centre of the door as you normally would, start at the door frame instead.

If your front door is made of metal, plastic, fibreglass or some other material, that’s more problematic. The best I can suggest is to place a fairly large permanent wooden something close to the door, such as a wood carving, ornament or piece of wooden furniture that can act as a gathering point for energies. When conducting a space clearing ceremony, start and end each circuit at the wooden whatever-it-is instead of at the front door. It’s not ideal, but will certainly help.

And in case you’re wondering, non-wooden doors in other locations of the home (back doors, side doors, patio doors and so on) are usually fine. It’s just that for the main energy portal of your home – the front door – there never has been, and probably never will be, anything better than wood.

Copyright © Karen Kingston 2008, updated 2021


Related article
5 feng shui tips for the doors in your home

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About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fourth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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20 Responses to Front door feng shui

  1. This explains a lot about our lives since moving to this house: we can stand at our half-glass front door and see directly, in precisely a straight line that splits the house in half, through the living room passage to the full-glass back door that opens onto a shallow terrace before dropping off into the valley. Clutter, not surprisingly I now realize, migrates relentlessly to the back door as some sort of dam to the flow. The views and light from these doors are valuable given the rest of the layout, but we need a better way to slow the flow. Adding a decorative back fence this past summer helped somewhat, and the right plants might give it more weight, but for now I am considering some sort of beaded or knotted curtain at the passage so there can be the suggestion of a barrier while still allowing air, light, and heat from the centrally located masonry stove to disperse.

  2. I moved to a old house. The front door is a double glass door opening out. There is nothing I can do to change. Renting. How do I protect my good energy.

  3. Karen, What material should the front gate be made of – sturdy metal or wood? Could any pattern be acceptable (vertical planks with gaps inbetween each, or criss-cross ect?) And what colours could be auspicious (tanned dark brown, black?) I note you say having a front gate directly ahead of the front door is inadvisable but, for those individuals (such as us) who cannot re-position, would placing a small ornament or statue, or plant just outside the front door alleviate the problem? Our main door is sturdy wood. But we are being attacked (harrassed) by neighbours on both sides. So we want to shore up our protection and our existing wooden gate does look chipped away and weak.

    1. Hi Rick – My blog is about front doors. Front gates is a very different topic, and I never give the type of detailed advice you are asking for from a distance. There are too many factors that need to be taken into account that cannot be assessed without a personal visit. You will need to seek the services of reputable local feng shui consultant to come to your home and advise you about solutions for your particular circumstances.

  4. Hello what if the front door is made up of two doors? Like a gated front door? The gate door is metal. The regular door is wood.

  5. I not sure if my front door is really the “main” door to my house (at least for the bagua diagram). We always drive into the garage and enter the house through the door entering the laundry room. My kids do the same. All of our shoes and school/work materials are kept in this large laundry room. The front door is more for “show” and is only used a couple times a month for a salesman or visitor.

  6. From the newsletter:

    The house or apartment tends to feel considerably less homely as a result. The British meaning of homely is similar to the American word homey. The american meaning of the word homely isn’t at all the same.

    homely |ˈhōmlē|
    adjective ( homelier , homeliest )
    1 (of a person) unattractive in appearance.
    2 Brit. (of a place or surroundings) simple but cozy and comfortable, as in one’s own home : a modern hotel with a homely atmosphere.
    • unsophisticated and unpretentious : homely pleasures.
    DERIVATIVES
    homeliness noun

    homey 1 |ˈhōmē| (also homy)
    adjective ( homier , homiest )
    (of a place or surroundings) pleasantly comfortable and cozy.
    • unsophisticated; unpretentious : an idealized vision of traditional peasant life as simple and homey.
    DERIVATIVES
    homeyness (also hominess) noun

  7. Hello, I have a covered patio in front of the front door which is enclosed and quite large with a fountain facing the front door. Should I consider the entrance to the patio as my front door? It’s not a physical door but a doorway into that patio where the front door is located. Thanks for your answer.

  8. I’m moving temporarily, for one year, to a place where the front door is at the bottom of a carpeted staircase. There is a closet at the top of it, and the rest of the apartment is on the left at the top of the stairs. How do I get the energy from my front door to come up the stairs and into my home? I’m really worried that this will be such a negative effect on our lives.

    1. Hi Jessica, I am always reluctant to give specific feng shui advice from a distance because there are many factors that need to be taken into account. For example, how steep are the stairs, how wide are they, what are the bannisters like, how well lit is the staircase, what colour is the carpet, what material is the carpet made of, what area of the bagua is the staircase in, and so on. I therefore recommend that you consult with a reputable and experienced feng shui expert in your part of the world who will be able to visit and make a full assessment in order to give you the advice you are asking for.

    1. I remember once when I was building my house in Bali. I gave my builders instructions to create an opening for a back gate in the wall around my house, and then left for the day. When I returned the next morning, they were all standing around rather nervously. Egged on by the others, the foreman stepped forward and confessed they hadn’t been able to do any work at all the previous day. They apologized profusely and explained that the back gate I’d asked them to create was directly in line with the front gate to the property, which as all Balinese builders know, is an invitation for disaster.

      Not knowing my Feng Shui background they didn’t quite know how to explain this to me, but of course I understood it straight away. There was so much building rubble and equipment in the front garden that I hadn’t realized what I’d asked them to do. Much to their relief and astonishment, I thanked them profusely for having done nothing, as it would have cost me a lot more time and money to repair the mistake when it later became apparent.

      Your question is about the positioning of the front gate in relation to the front door rather than the back gate, but exactly the same principles apply. According to the Balinese this is inadvisable because evil spirits move in straight lines. According to me, it’s because fast-moving currents of straight line chi are too disruptive. The solution, if you have this problem, is to move the main entrance to your property a little to one side, so that it is no longer directly in line with the front door. Or if there is quite a distance between the property entrance and the front door of your home, it may be possible to create some kind of garden feature between the two to mitigate the flow of energy.

      This is as much information as I can give without visiting the property because there are so many things to take into account when giving feng shui advice that you may not have mentioned in your question. Hope it’s helpful anyway.

  9. “Wood” this be the case even if the entire front room of the house is glass? “Woodn’t” it be odd to have a wood door in a row of floor-to-ceiling glass windows? What’s a person’s best route in this case?

    1. People who live in homes where entire walls are made of glass tend to have difficulty establishing boundaries and finding a clear direction in life. In some circumstances this can be beneficial – for example, when a period of letting go is required. But living like this for extended periods is problematic for most people unless they are content to just drift. Curtains (drapes) can help to define the space but are only a partial solution.

      If the home is a ground floor property then having the front wall made of glass rather than a more solid structure can also produce feelings of insecurity, and depending on how public the location is, feelings of being constantly judged by others.

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