So it turns out there’s quite a tradition of blue ceilings, especially on porches, and especially in the South. While I can’t claim that our living room or dining room falls into either of those categories, it did pique my curiosity. So I did a little digging.
The Victorian Influence
Apparently sky blue ceilings were popular with the Victorians, who felt that earth toned walls and blue porch ceilings were a great way to bring the colors of nature into their homes. The blue ceiling was a cheery reminder of better weather even when it was cold and gray out. With Seattle weather being what it is, I can see why this Victorian idea might be relevant today.
There’s also a popular theory that blue paint is a pretty reliable insect repellant. The theory goes that insects are fooled into thinking the ceiling is the sky, and therefore not a good place to nest. There isn’t much stock to this sadly, but it is a nice thought.
The majority of the blue ceilings I’ve seen have been on grand Southern porches. They’ve been popular there for centuries, and the tradition lives on. But there’s a name for that color blue, Haint Blue. A “Haint”, for those who don’t speak Southern, is a restless spirit. And the painting of ceilings, doors, shutters, or window frames Haint Blue is meant to protect the home and its inhabitants from evil spirits. Said to originally stem from the Gullah belief and common European superstition that angry spirits cannot cross water, the color is meant to confuse and trick bad luck from entering your home.
There are some really beautiful examples of historic buildings with Haint Blue porch ceilings, and as charming a tradition this was I didn’t think that was what was going on with my ceilings.
I’m pretty sure whoever did or had this done did it because they thought it would be beautiful, unique, and artistic. And it is. Someone spent hours painting those puffy clouds up there. It’s kind of cool. There’s a history to it. And like I’ve said before, it grows on you.
Ceiling murals are coming back in style. Their quirky and unique, without being disruptive to the overall style of a room.
Here are some more blue ceilings from around the web for a little inspiration.