Last weekend I visited my colorful friend Hunt Slonem at one of his Louisiana plantations (Lakeside) where several rooms were recently painted in some of our most vibrant colors. The first time I visited Lakeside to help Hunt select paint colors, the old plaster walls had such a fabulous patina, I told him that numerous decorative painters have been trying to recreate this same effect and discouraged him from painting them. However, Hunt really loves color so we have been repainting those beautiful old walls room by room. One thing Hunt didn’t want to change was the original colors of all the ornate millwork in varying shades of pink so it wasn’t that easy finding colors to coordinate, but not to worry, we managed!
I couldn’t resist taking (& sharing) these photos taken with my handy iPhone:
Hunt’s good friend Arlin Deese (Hemingbough) was once owner of the Myrtles Plantation (also known as one of America’s most haunted houses) and had a sample of the old Devoe color that was originally used at the Myrtles. We recreated our full spectrum version and used it in the above parlor which is off of the Dining Room and yet another parlor (seen through the door beyond & below).
You may recall seeing “Barry’s Babylon” in two other settings in our Summer 2009 Living Well Newsletter. Here in the parlor that opens onto the “Coral” Dining Room, it looks totally different!
When we selected these new colors, Hunt’s healer who was visiting from New York was staying in a bedroom on the third floor that had not been painted. Based on her psychic-healing intuition, she chose “Cornflower Blue” for this room (below):
I couldn’t resist including yet another photo of this room as it’s hard to take a bad photo with such fabulous furnishings, eh?
In case you’re wondering, “haint” blue is the color brought to the United States with the slaves who believed that it had the ability to ward off evil spirits. In the South, a “Haint” is a spirit (a derivation of “haunt”) and the color supposedly keeps them away. This is why many houses in the South have blue porches or blue trim on the house. Often the slaves painted their quarters the magical color. Haint blue is not a specific shade, rather it encompasses a variety of shades. It has been said that the original painters used pigments from the indigo plant which was grown on many Southern plantations, Lakeside being no exception.