The stories doors could tell

2014-09-16 08.28.13Every door has a story to tell. Sometimes we know the story, or a little of it.

This door, for example, hidden away behind the leaves, was once my front door.

You can’t see it in the photo, but the door still has the stained glass artwork — a storm-swept tree — that was made and installed by my boyfriend at the time.

Still there, more than 30 years later!

Just like the bamboo that crowds the front yard.

But just around the corner, the old corner store has closed. The owner died, I was told by a man who paused to watch me take a photo, but he kept it open until the end.

2014-09-16 08.31.33

Some doors are whimsical. They provoke a smile, speaking of magic, of fairyland.


Opening this door is a sign of courage, of taking charge of your life, of being prepared to find out what your future holds. This is the door to an HIV testing clinic.



Some doors make promises. Believe, and you will find your way, they say.


Some doors make a bold statement. I wonder if the owners of this door realised that red doors have been used to signal sex work, as I learned at a recent exhibition?

2014-12-19 09.01.08And some doors are just for fun.


Check out many more doors here.


9 thoughts on “The stories doors could tell

  1. Love the photos, Maamej, especially the purple fairyland one. Very cool, very creative. It looks like it’s missing a handle…maybe only fairies can open it from the inside 😉 I had no idea red doors symbolised sex work – perhaps that’s so in certain countries. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen that colour on doors around in Melbourne. Most doors I’ve come across are usually a neutral shade…which is the natural shade of most houses built these days.

    • Thanks Mabel, I think that’s my favourite as well. It’s not far from where I work and gives me pleasure each time I walk past. There is a tiny handle – more a suggestion of one than anything, but I like your idea that it can only be opened by fairies.

      I didn’t know about the red doors either; I thought it was just red lights. At the exhibition a woman did a whole artwork about it.

      • Looking at the purple door again more closely, I think I just make out a sliver of a handle to the left 😀 Maybe it’s not meant to be opened…did you try opening it?

        Come to think of it, there’s a brothel not far from the city here that has red doors, and a red roof and red walls on the exterior. Very apt.

      • I think it’s not meant to be opened by human hands. I walked past again this morning, There’s a bent nail door knocker and a handle painted onto a whorl in the wood – nothing to grab onto really 🙂

        The brothel sounds like it would be hard to miss.

      • Bent nail – that sounds dangerous and I wouldn’t touch it for fear of tetanus. Seems as if it’s a door that’s meant to be untouchable by us people 😉

        That red brothel near the city here is certainly hard to miss. From the outside, it looks a bit like a house, or some might say a non-profit office building.

  2. These are wonderful Maamej – i LOVE that you went back to your old home and the door is still there. They’re all terrific and tell their stories perfectly. Nicely done.

    • Thanks Tina 🙂 They all happen to be within a short walk of where I work, too – all local doors.

      I was bowled over too, i was sure the place would have been renovated to the hilt by now, but I guess it means there are still some cheap student households in the area. I used to pay $15 for my share of the rent!

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