Posts Tagged ‘cottage industries’


Show & Tell & Haint Blue

April 6, 2010

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:

Our custom "Myrtles Pink" Parlor taken from the original Myrtles Plantation

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).

"Barry's Babylon" was initially created by designer/architect Barry Johnson

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):

"Cornflower Blue" certainly keeps the "haints" away in this room!

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?

"Cornflower Blue" is both invigorating and soothing.

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.


Happy Paint!

June 25, 2008

When I started this paint line seven years ago, it was the quintessential cottage industry.  My office was in my upstairs loft and I kept pitchers of paint in my laundry room where I poured all those little 2 oz. jars.  I personally painted all of the sample sets (of course, they were quite small back then) out on my deck.  I kept the gallons lined up on shelves in my hallway which was actually more like an altar, complete with church candles.  I would sit on a stool in front of them and visualize that everyone who came into contact with our paints became joyful and balanced.  

Well, today I still like to work out of my home, but the “official” office is at Shadetree, a wonderful space in the main cottage of Shadetree Inn, the bed & breakfast I helped create 15 years ago.  Now that our palette has grown to over 90 colors, and then there’s all the custom colors we have created, there are just way too many gallons and pitchers of paint to keep in my laundry room.  However, I still keep visualizing and praying that everyone who comes into contact with our paints is joyful and balanced and it is so wonderful to get feedback that it’s working!  Here’s a recent testimonial that’s certainly boosted interest.  As it turns out, unbenownst to me, one of our customers, Terry Sapienza, is on the Washington Post Home Staff.  Every week, they talk about various ways to improve your home.  Here’s a quote from her poston June 12th:

“Last year, I painted the inside of my linen closet with “Cameo” from Ellen Kennon paints. The brand is a “full-spectrum” paint, which is supposed to absorb light and change as the light changes in the room ( The colors are beautiful. It was a little pricey (I think a little over $60 a gallon – don’t tell my husband!), but I loved the color and it was such a small space we didn’t need much, so I splurged. And I’m so happy I did – I love it! It’s soft and light, a whisper of a pink that I feel happy about whenever I open the closet.”

(Of course, our paints are closer to $50 per gallon than $60)  We all know that certain colors promote cheerfulness:  Yellows & oranges to be specific.  But pink isn’t usually thought of as one of the cheerful colors.  It’s comforting and nurturing, and has recently been used in prisons to tamper aggression.  So, I’m thinking, surely my prayers are working! 

So next time you order paint, if you mention you want “Happy Paint”, we’ll give you $5 off per gallon.  I hope you are having a Happy Summer! 

P.S. have you seen our “Photo’s & Reviews” page lately?  We are constantly adding new photos as we get them–which I have to say is mostly from posts on the GardenWeb and HGTV website decorating & color forums. Thank you loyal paint customers who have become my friends!