A Sky Blue Ceiling

I am in the process of trying to find a color for a new, screened porch ceiling. I am thinking of blue. I saw a picture of your loggia in an issue of Cottage Living and thought it was beautiful! Would you tell me why porch ceilings are painted blue?

I just love answering questions about color! The color of my loggia ceiling is a nice pale blue with a green tint, like the color of a robin’s egg. And there are a few reasons why I selected this color that go beyond my love of blue.

Although the loggia was a new addition to my early 20th century Colonial Revival house, I wanted it to blend in with the original architecture. So I looked toward the trends of the time. Many historic homes would have porch ceilings that were painted blue, and the same reasons for selecting this color in 1904 still apply today.

Cool colors tend to recede, making a space appear larger. By painting the ceiling pale blue the distance from floor to ceiling seems greater. The same theory can be applied in the garden. Lavender, blue, and magenta are good color choices for creating the illusion of space.

The pale blue also reflects light, which brightens the covered breezeway. For deep front porches this reflective quality has the added benefit of bringing more light into interior rooms through the windows that open to the porch. Again, this same principle can be carried out into the garden. Pale flowers and foliage will reflect available light in shady areas, making the space seem more luminous.

A final reason for painting a porch ceiling blue is to deter nesting insects such as wasps. Now, I’m not sure that this works for everyone, but there aren’t‚¬ any wasp nests on my loggia or front porch.