Haint Blue

Photo Credits :
1. happy via / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
2. lakelou / Foter / CC BY
3. lakelou / Foter / CC BY

A Southern tradition that just feels good. Mary Lavoire, owner of the Villa at Kirkside in St. Augustine, introduced me to Haint Blue. A thoughtful decorator, she wanted to pay homage to the Southern tradition and used it in the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom, a perfect foil for the slate, silvery green on the walls. She tied it together with a print of Monet’s Water Lilies. Front porches are a part of the culture in the South, and the tradition of painting the ceilings blue can be traced back to the Gullahs, descendants of slaves in the Low Country of South Carolina and Georgia. Generations ago, people believed that spirits of the departed, or Haints, were trapped in a no-man’s land of the physical world and after life.

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It was believed that Haints couldn’t cross water, so many people painted their porch ceilings blue, the color of water, to keep their home Haint free. Any blue would do. As they used milk paint, which was mixed with lye, it also became a natural insect repellent. Today, some people who have blue ceilings have found similar outcome wasps that used to nest in the corner of a white ceiling won’t do so in a blue ceiling, perhaps because it’s the color of the sky. Whatever the reason, blue porch ceilings just feel good- extending the feeling of summer. For a gallon of paint and an afternoon, you, too, can transform your front porch, and enjoy the outside of your home as much as the inside.

As seen in the photos above, Haint blue ceilings are included in many Southern porches traditionally to keep homes Haint free.
Photo credits and our thanks to: 1. happy via / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND 2. lakelou / Foter / CC BY 3. lakelou / Foter / CC BY


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