After some unnecessary internal debate, I committed to a new multi-color palette for the porch and trim. I dove in and began with its ceilings.
I love the color blue for porch ceilings and knew I would have one some day. I was also curious where the origin of the practice came from. My friend Richard from Savannah told me it originated with the Geechee people of the Carolina and Georgia Low Country, who painted the ceilings of their porches blue to keep “haints’, or spirits away, and the color was referred to as “haint blue”. We probably use a different tale up north, but that one seems as good as any. Most “haint blues” appear to lean towards light blue, agua, or blue-green tones, but I fell for a deeper blue. I started painting and was pleased with the results.
It was probably a little too deep to be a true haint blue, but then again, I don’t really have an issue if a haint gets in the house, preferring them to bats any day.
After the ceiling was completed I began with the inside of the porch. There I encountered my first challenge. The cream and gold played off the blue a little too brightly for my taste.It had a “jewel-boxy” feel, and aside from a fake sapphire and diamond ring/watch combo I picked up years ago at the now closed Liberace Museum, jewels will be the last thing you will find in my house. Perhaps introducing a darker color might help tone it down a bit. I also admired a method I had seen used on some other homes, where the underside of the cornice was painted a darker contrasting color from the bracketing below, adding contrast and making the brackets stand out. I began to search for a color, and narrowed it down to a choice between a brown and an olive. I decided to try both. After many of the houses I was looking at for reference where using four more or colors some more successfully than others but that is just one man’s opinion, and one cannot deny the effect is vibrant. Keeping the basic overall color scheme gold, while using the cream as the secondary color, I began playing with adding the touches of olive and brown sparingly on different trim elements.
The result was a more dynamic play of shape and texture, adding a lot more depth and interest. The porch, while still needing some touch ups here or there, is basically finished, and makes a much stronger statement from the road. My neighbors seem to concur, as more than a few have told me they have done “double-takes” while driving past my house. Some say it with an obvious tone of approval, while others are a little more hesitant and vague, leaving me to think they may not necessarily agree with my choice to add some “color” to the neighborhood. That is fine with me, for as to quote the lyrics from the theme song of one of my favorite sitcoms dealing with Multicolorism “ The world don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some”. Different Strokes, indeed.