Blue porch ceil­ings now head­ing north

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - STYLE - JURA KONCIUS

In the South, peo­ple de­bate their fa­vorite sky blue paint color for porch ceil­ings as they do their fa­vorite bis­cuit recipe.

“It’s all about bring­ing the out­side in,” said Rich­mond, Va., de­signer Suellen Gre­gory, who has seen blue ceil­ings on front and back porches, screened-in porches, log­gias and gar­den rooms. “My clients do ask for it. It puts an in­ter­est­ing spin on what would be just a plain white ceiling.”

Across the South, the tra­di­tion of paint­ing ceil­ings blue is passed down from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. There are many sto­ries and leg­ends as to why, and it’s not just about keep­ing bugs at bay. In the Deep South, some be­lieve a darker blue, some­times called “haint blue,” keeps away evil spir­its.

“I was al­ways told that the color of our porches was ‘dirt dauber blue’ and that they kept wasps from build­ing nests in there,” said Jonathan Sav­age, an in­te­rior de­signer in Nashville, Tenn. “Then some peo­ple say if you are on a porch with a blue ceiling, it seems to keep the day­light around a bit longer.”

Gre­gory said blue ceil­ings are such a tra­di­tion in the South that they evoke a feel­ing of the past and make peo­ple feel com­fort­able and cozy. “I like them be­cause they add soft­ness and in­ter­est,” she said.

Han­nah Yeo, Ben­jamin Moore’s color and de­sign spe­cial­ist, said that although “blue porch ceil­ings have been a long-stand­ing tra­di­tion in many parts of the South­ern states for cen­turies, the tra­di­tion has made its way be­yond the South, in­flu­enc­ing de­sign across the coun­try.”

To get the pale color you want, you might need to di­lute the in­ten­sity of the blue a bit. “Al­ways test and never be afraid to cut the color in half with white. The paint store will do that for you,” Gre­gory said.

In the 2017 Kips Bay Dec­o­ra­tor Show House in New York, Sav­age used Far­row & Ball’s Bor­rowed Light for the ceiling in his dramatic stair hall in the grand 1905 town­house. “I wanted to in­cor­po­rate dif­fer­ent el­e­ments of the South in my space,” Sav­age said. “A pow­der blue ceiling, although nor­mally found out of doors, felt South­ern and so­phis­ti­cated here.”

Gre­gory said an­other ceiling paint tip she has of­ten used came from a savvy Parisian host­ess. Paint ceil­ings pale pink so your skin glows by can­dle­light. Gre­gory likes to paint a din­ing room ceiling with the faintest tint of pink.

TNS/Ben­jamin Moore

De­signer Suellen Gre­gory chose a pale blue ceiling for a client’s porch in Vir­ginia Beach, Va. The color is Icy Moon Drops by Ben­jamin Moore.

Ben­jamin Moore’s Ar­tic Blue

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.