It’s a big deal down South, after all.
From the porches overlooking Magazine St. in New Orleans, Louisiana, to those along Monument Ave. in Richmond, Virginia, Southern porches tend to have one thing in common, and it’s not hanging baskets, rocking chairs, or very good dogs. It’s not over-the-top lush container gardens, or a wicker bar cart. It’s the eternally classic, perfectly cool, blue ceiling.
It’s both superstition and long-standing tradition, and more than anything, it’s pretty. It started with the Gullah Geechee communities of coastal South Carolina and Georgia, who used the color on windows, shutters, and porches to keep away “haints” or spirits. It’s also rumored to keep away pesky wasps and insects by tricking them into thinking it is the sky. Regardless of its ghost-busting and wasp swatting abilities, it’s a beloved tradition and one to keep in mind for the next porch update.
WATCH: These Are The Prettiest Shades of Haint Blue
You certainly don’t have to paint your ceiling blue, but it’s a way to participate in an age-old Southern tradition. That doesn’t make it any easier to choose though. Here are a few favorite blue hues:
FOR A BOLDER NOTE
Drizzle (SW 6479), sherwin-williams.com
“This lively but soothing shade in a satin finish sets up a home for an unexpectedly bright door, like a high-gloss chartreuse!” —SUSAN CURRIE, New Orleans; susancurriedesign.com
LIKE A SKYLIGHT
Palladian Blue (HC-144), benjaminmoore.com
"Today, a blue porch ceiling is a welcoming extension of blue skies. Emulate the most basic color of nature with this soft shade in a satin finish."
—PHOEBE HOWARD, Jacksonville, Florida; phoebehoward.net
NOT TOO BREEZY
Stardew (SW 9138), sherwin-williams.com
"This option is a bit grayer than most porch ceilings. Colors tend to appear lighter outdoors, so I like to go slightly darker."
—KEVIN WALSH, Little Rock; bearhillinteriors.com
Rainwashed (SW 6211), sherwin-williams.com
"This is the ideal mix of tones— with a dash of green and gray for subtlety."
—GWEN DRISCOLL, Memphis; driscolldesignanddecoration.com