January Doors: Reflect and Renew


The month of January is named for the Roman deity Janus—the god of gates and doors, beginnings and endings. Janus was traditionally depicted as facing forwards and backwards at the same time. This symbolism captivates me; I love the thought of January as the doorway to the new year, as a time for reflection on the old year past and for anticipation of the new year to come.


In ancient Roman homes the two-faced bust of Janus hung over the entryway as a reminder to pause and honor times of transition and change. And though we don’t hang the bust of Janus in our homes today, we can still be mindful of the poetry and symbolism of January. We can pass through every door with a calm and quiet focus.


We can cultivate a serene and welcoming space full of light, love and peace.


We can greet the visitors in our lives with a smile and an offer of hospitality—whether their sojurn be short or long, whether they bring us good news or bad.


We can peer around every corner and marvel at the mysteries just beyond our view.


We can commit to a moment of study and meditation before jumping headlong into the fray.


And we can stand strong in the face of the unknown, first acknowledging our fears and then moving forward with courage and determination.


Of course, our doors and passages are full of excitement and adventure too—so stay tuned for January Doors: Volume Two later today!

Image Credits: 1. James Merrell 2. Marie Claire Maison 3. Twig Hutchinson 4. Paul Massey 5. Paul Massey 6. Gentl and Hyers 7. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home 8. House Beautiful via Harmony and Home

22 Responses to “January Doors: Reflect and Renew”

  1. cupcakes and cashmere Says:

    this is such a beautiful post both literally and figuratively.

  2. joannagoddard Says:

    oooh so calm and lovely. i like all the naturally muted colors.

  3. milly {elephants & redwoods} Says:

    Thanks for the birthday wishes!! I love those light fixtures in that hallway. C’est Magnifique! HAHA – Just practicing my awful French.

  4. Luphia Says:

    this is such a beautiful post, vol II on the way too, you’re really spoiling us anne πŸ˜‰ i LOVE the 2nd & 3rd doors, so light and refreshing!

  5. vicki archer Says:

    Beautiful post and beautiful images, xv.

  6. Abbey Goes Design Scouting Says:

    I love this post! Beautiful sentiments and I esp. like the bit about courage and determination!

  7. Jenny Says:

    Wonderful πŸ™‚ and great images!

  8. Paloma of La Dolce Vita Says:

    This is such a lovely post.

  9. josephine Says:

    what a lovely post to start the year with! your words will definitely be staying with me as i walk through various doorways throughout the day and probably throughout the year.

  10. Michelle @ My Wedding Report Says:

    I never knew that. I love the last picture. It is like the door is opening to an unknown future. How were your holidays?

  11. Miss Aimee Says:

    I need some calm in my house. Loving the photos!

  12. Leigh Pennebaker Says:

    Thank you so much for this gorgeous post. As always, your pairings of words/thoughts/reflections with beautiful images is inspiring!

  13. blair Says:

    You are an absolute marvelous writer– beautifully written and the pictures are all just perfect. Such a nice thought to keep in mind this month-thank you!

  14. Grace@PoeticHome Says:

    What a splendid collection of doors, and such fitting verse! This was the perfect post to open the doors of 2009 Anne!

  15. dolce chic Says:

    Such gorgeous calming spaces! Love them all.

  16. Laura Says:

    Wonderful, was dreading taking down the decorations today but this has inspired me to freshen up the house and move into 2009!

  17. Georgia Says:

    Hi, sweet Anne.
    I went home sick today, and I did not get to spend my usual blogging time, but I wanted to make sure I stopped by to see what was new at City Sage.
    Also, to let you know I appreciated your long thoughtful comment and thoughts about reading in the new year on my post! You are a doll to take such time to write so much. And I thoroughly enjoyed what you came to say!
    Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in the swing of things and not nauseas anymore. If I am, keep your fingers crossed that it is morning sickness!!! πŸ™‚
    (p.s.β€”amazing spaces here! especially the bedroom and hallway!)

  18. callie grayson Says:

    beautiful images and an inspiring post!

  19. LaMimi Says:

    Wow! What a lovely post. I always take some time in january to think of what I had accomplished in the previous year and what I want to achieve in the new one! I actually make a list of goals and the best part is that when I look at it at the end of the year, most of the goals are reached. It’s a great way to motivate yourself.

  20. Sarah's Fab Day Says:

    I really like the last photo. I’m dying to see what else is in that home.

  21. jora Says:

    I love this post (like the rest of your readers apparently!) — I never knew about Janus….I will see this month just a tad differently now. πŸ™‚ Beautiful photos, per usual.

  22. Trina Says:

    Lovely lovely post!!! Happy New Year!
    xx trina

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