The Best Blue Paint Colors For Porch Ceilings, According to Designers
Atmospheric sky-blues and blue-greens are classic choices for Southerners, particularly on the ceilings of porches and patios throughout the region. This family of breezy, beautiful blues feel at once nostalgic and quintessentially Southern. So how can you recreate this look for your own outdoor space this season? Designer Roger Higgins of Nashville-based R. Higgins Interiors recommends sticking to subtle shades and encourages homeowners to consider a home’s existing color palette and style prior to choosing a paint color.
“We love to use pale blues that have a grey or otherwise softened undertone because it highlights the millwork details and is still soft enough to go with most any other color palette,” he explains. “We recommend a pale blue that is subtle—never bold in coloration—so that it is noticeable, yet won’t distract from the architecture of the home or stand out too strongly from porch furnishings and fabrics.” Higgins’s recommended shade is Old Porter Paint’s Limpet Shell, which he says makes for a soothing and atmospheric entry.
Atlanta’s Lauren Lowe of Lauren Elaine Interiors shares an affinity for blue patio ceilings, as well. “Being a Southern girl, I love painting porch ceilings blue and carrying the color indoors into sunrooms,” she says. “That little peep of a happy, soft blue begs you to linger longer on those warm summer nights.”
If you’re looking for more designer-recommended shades for your porch ceiling, you’re in luck. We’ve asked a talented group of Southern designers (known for their love of pale blues) for their top picks. These shades will draw you outdoors all year long.
Benjamin Moore, Constellation, AF-540
Lowe uses shades of blue on patio ceilings and interior elements alike. “More subtle light blues, such as Benjamin Moore’s Constellation (pictured) and Farrow & Ball's Borrowed Light, add a sophisticated contrast against white paints,” she says. Lowe also loves blues with a hint of green such as Benjamin Moore’s Picture Perfect. “It makes the ceiling feel almost like it is shining ever so softly. It’s an easy detail that quickly adds charm to any porch!”
Benjamin Moore, Lookout Point, 1646
Designer Kara Miller, of Florida’s Kara Miller Interiors says Benjamin Moore’s Lookout Point and Whispering Spring are two of her go-to blues for interior and exterior ceilings. “They usually hit just the right notes for both,” she says. “One of my favorite tricks is to cut the strength by 50% to give you just the right amount of saturation.”
Benjamin Moore, Ewing Blue, CW-585
For those looking for a quintessential porch ceiling color, Benjamin Moore’s Ewing Blue is a sure bet. DC-based designer Anna Matthews chose this shade for the ceiling of her client’s living room which overlooks the Chesapeake Bay. “Ewing Blue worked beautifully to bring warmth into the space and play off of the blues in the water just yards away,” she said. “Painting your ceiling a soft blue will bring visual interest that you will enjoy for years to come! It’s a classic.”
Farrow & Ball, Light Blue, No. 22
Dallas designer Lisa Henderson of Lisa Henderson Interiors uses light blue paint colors in her projects often—whether they are custom mixed for a space (shown here) or from tried-and-true brands like Farrow and Ball. “They lift your spirits and ceilings,” she says. “One of my go-to paints is Farrow & Ball's Light Blue. Painting a porch ceiling adds a special touch. It’s makes the space look even larger and reflects the natural light.”
Benjamin Moore, Blue Lace, 1625
Christian Ladd of Christian Ladd Interiors opts to paint ceilings, or what she calls the fifth wall, to add height and dimension to a room. “The same can be said for porch ceilings,” she says. “There are numerous benefits of painting exterior ceilings blue, the obvious being the feeling of height and airiness it creates—but we also like to think the Southern tradition stating blue porch ceilings ward off spirits and even bugs and birds holds true.” Ladd prefers pale blues for exterior ceilings such as Benjamin Moore’s Blue Haze or Blue Lace.
Sherwin Williams, Sea Salt, SW 6204
“Light blue is timeless,” says Mary Clair Cumbaa of Cumbaa Design Company in Greenville, Mississippi. “Living in the South, we love color and especially all shades of blue. It’s important to extend your color palette beyond your walls and to outdoor living design as well.” Cumbaa uses Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams to create the perfect soothing atmosphere, with just a hint of green.
Benjamin Moore’s, Woodlawn Blue, HC-147
Nashville’s Tori Alexander of Alexander Interiors recommends Benjamin Moore’s historic shade Woodlawn Blue for a reliably attractive result. “We find clients are always happy with it in their outdoor spaces,” she says. “This color creates ambience without being too strong. There is enough warmth behind the color so that it reads sophisticated.”