Beauty & Depth in Dark Window Sashes

The beauty is in the details, and that's especially true at Norris House.  We think the freshly painted black window sashes are spectacular:



Modern construction typically uses window sashes painted the same color as the window casing or trim.  Historically, things were handled differently.  Window sashes were typically painted in darker colors - usually dark green, dark red, dark brown or black.  The trim around the window was painted in a complimentary contrasting hue.  The contrasting colors added depth to the exterior, and made sure those windows visually pop.  We've seen some comparisons that dark paint on window sashes has a visual impact akin to eyeliner.  If you're interested in deploying this tactic at your house, there are some fairly particular instructions online about how to do it correctly from the folks at This Old House.

Suffice it to say, Norris House is now sporting her eyeliner!  The results are dramatic and most definitely attractive.

Haint Blue for Halloween!

Happy Friday friends!  It's sure to be a festive, spooky weekend with Halloween almost here, so we're getting into the spirit at Norris House.  Check out our newly painted "haint blue" porch ceilings!


Our haint blue ceilings are in place on the north porch and the front porch!

Our haint blue ceilings are in place on the north porch and the front porch!

For those new to the concept, haint blue porch ceilings are quintessentially Southern.  "Haint" is the Gullah pronunciation of "haunt", and refers to evil spirits.  Apparently originating to the early 1800s and particularly associated with Charleston and Savannah, haint blue ceilings were believed to keep evil spirits away from the inviting interior of your home.  It was widely accepted that evil spirits cannot cross water, and the calming blue hue's similarity to water effectively tricked the haints into believing they could not cross the front porch.  There's a lovely article with some details (and gorgeous pictures) available online in the Charleston Scout Guide.  Historic and brand new haint blue ceilings appear all over the South.

Unsettled spirits aside, some folks swear that haint blue is also an effective insect deterrent.  Traditionally, experts suspect this was a nice side effect of the fact that historic haint blue paint was made with lye, a known insect repellent.  Modern formulations no longer include lye, but people still report reduced instances of spiders, wasps and other creepy crawlers daring to touch their haint blue porch ceilings.  It would be perfectly fine with us if the insect kingdom agreed to remain in the yard!