DESIGN DICTIONARY: HAINT BLUE

The Pursuit of Style | Haint Blue | Capitol Hill

I’ll admit without shame to being a wannabe Southerner. Get me started on the topic of my favorite city, Charleston, and I’ll happily talk your ear off for an hour or two about my daydreams of moving to the Palmetto state and making my Southern Belle fantasies a reality.

When it comes to hospitality, design, and casual elegance, the South (at least my idealized view of it) gets a lot of things right. So, in the spirit of the summer in the South, let me introduce the next entry into the Design Dictionary: Haint Blue.

If you’ve ever noticed the charming painted blue ceiling of a porch, or sunroom, you’re already acquainted with Haint Blue. Introduced to the Lowcountry by the Gullah community who brought the practice with them from Africa, the blue paint is meant to be a bit of a ghost buster.

Ghosts or ‘haints’ were thought to be kept at bay, and misfortune kept from a household by painting porch ceilings, door, or window trim with the blue hue. There are mixed reports as to the significance of the color, some say the blue is meant to represent heaven (a place an evil haint would surely avoid), others that it’s meant to represent water which haints cannot cross.

In the lore of blue painted porches, there’s also a camp that believes blue paint is an insect repellent–the blue mimics sky and dissuades creepy crawlies from nesting. We may not be pulling a fast one on the bugs, but historically paints were milk based and mixed with lye, which is a known insect repellent. Rest assured, your Great Grandmother wasn’t pulling a fast one over on you when she told you to paint your porch ceiling blue to stay bug-free.

Whether you’re trying to keep away bugs or haints, a blue painted ceiling will always be beguiling!

P.S If you’re searching for the perfect paint color, Benjamin Moore’s Palladian Blue and Polar Sky are popular choices.

1/2/3/Lindsay Souza for The Pursuit of Style

ART LESSON: JENNIFER AMENT

Jennifer Ament

Jennifer Ament

Jennifer Ament

Large Seaweed 2Large Seaweed 3Large Seaweed 1

I was introduced to Jennifer Ament’s work a few years ago when I spotted a piece in a blogger’s home. Since then, I’ve been following her success and coveting a piece or two along the way.

Last night, I was browsing Serena & Lily’s art collection–which I happen to think is one of the most well curated on the web–and came across the series above. I’ll spare you the hyperbole, but love would not be an exaggeration to describe how I feel about them.

I found myself attempting to find a way to scrap our entire wedding registry and somehow explain that, yes, a toaster might be more practical, but I really can’t continue living without these pieces in our home. Sigh, the drama.

Aren’t they stunning?

BEFORE & AFTER: MING COCKTAIL TABLES

A few months ago I picked up a pair of Ming cocktail tables for a steal. Never mind that we had zero need (or space) for them, I wasn’t about to let those quadrangular legged beauties pass me by.

So, into the back of my SUV they went, and I’ve been driving around like a modern day pioneer on the Oregon trail (forge the river!) ever since.

The Pursuit of StyleBefore

Needless to say, when the opportunity to collaborate with Glidden® paint presented itself,  I had just the project in mind. Their simplified palette spared me hours of agonizing and I quickly picked up a quart of Glidden paint Peacock Blue in High Gloss finish. This iconic Miles Redd bedroom was my inspiration.

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Thankfully, I snapped a photo before I spilled it everywhere (oh, the perils of an early morning DIY!) but at least it was a beautiful mess.

The cocktail tables were great condition so this was as easy of a paint job as it gets. First, I wiped down the tables with a damp cloth to remove any residual dirt and grime. Next, I gave each a light sand with fine grit sandpaper to smooth away any imperfections and give the paint something to adhere to.

Another once over with a damp cloth and I was ready to paint! I used a cheapo bristle brush and was honestly shocked at how smooth the coverage was. After two coats, I let my foreman supervise the drying process while I spent a few hours by the pool.

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The tops were a little more scuffed than the base so I opted for three coats to really get that lacquered finish I was after and allowed for a full 24 hours of drying time.

A quick styling job and it was time for these leggy ladies to make their debut!

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After four years of living with a lucite coffee table, I’m loving the bold punch of color.

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Ta-dahhhh!

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In interior design, paint is as close to instant gratification as you can get and I’m so happy to finally have these cocktail tables somewhere that they’ll actually be used and appreciated. Thanks for making it happen Glidden paint!

Keeping it Real: This post was sponsored by Glidden paint through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Glidden paint, all opinions are my own.

BITS & PIECES

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Remember the bachelor pad project I mentioned awhile back? Well, it’s kicking into high gear. New hardwood floors are being installed, everything is being painted, built-ins constructed, lighting has been selected, and now we’re moving into the really fun stuff.

Here’s a peek at what I’ve been pulling together. It’s stayed pretty true to the original vision: smokey gray walls, glossy black accents, handsome materials with a mix of texture and geometric pattern. Yum.

Promise to keep you updated on this one!

AN AFFAIR WITH A HOUSE

Aerin Lauder Hamptons Home

Aerin Lauder Hamptons Home

Aerin Lauder Hamptons Home

Aerin Lauder East Hampton

I was hoping by this time this week I would have exciting news to share, but unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards this time. We found a house. My perfect house. It was built in the 1830s, a classic colonial in a cute little neighborhood that reminded me of New England. White clapboard, black shutters, tomato red front door–it even had peonies planted in the huge backyard!

We played real estate cat and mouse and were ecstatic when we finally met in the middle and went under contract. I had floor plans drawn, light fixtures selected, and convinced myself it was okay to buy a few rolls of discontinued wallpaper I found for a steal. Here’s the deal, that saying,: “don’t count your chickens before they hatch?” It might as well be: “don’t buy wallpaper before you own the walls.”

Last week we brought in an amazing inspector who specializes in historic homes and it wasn’t pretty. Although you’d never know it from outward appearance, the house had more issues than Lindsay Lohan, and at least with Lindsay it’s pretty transparent that she’s a hot mess! Needless to say, things fell apart almost as quickly as I’m told one of the support beams did.

Having my dreams of wallpaper and twin green velvet English roll arm sofas dashed left me pretty heartbroken; but thankfully I quickly realized how first world our problems were and ended the pity party of one. We’re taking a break from the house hunt until after the wedding, which has gotten my wheels spinning about maybe making some changes around our current apartment to get my fix….

Garrett’s out of town this weekend, and who knows, maybe by the time he gets back the walls will have been painted that shade of lavender I’ve been talking about.

P.S  Aerin Lauder’s East Hampton home would be my ultimate get out of jail free card if I were to have an affair with a house. Greek Revival perfection.