The Antebellum Era of American history lasted from 1800 to 1860. The term is generally used to describe the years previous to the Civil War during which southern plantation culture flourished. During this era, countless plantation homes were built and painted. Those living in the south in 2010 who are looking to add Antebellum flavor to a home or to paint an original plantation building can use historic paint colors to evoke the plantation era.
Paint producer Sherwin Williams maintains a list of exterior home paint colors that were historically used throughout different periods and geographic locales in the U.S. According to the list, Antebellum era southern plantation homes were often painted a uniform shade of white. To accent the white of the pillars, walls and porches, plantation owners used subtle, or cool, colors such as nonintrusive shades of green on awnings, shutters or roofs. Sherwin Williams asserts that this color scheme is still common throughout the American south in 2010.
According to online resource Home Decorating Made Easy, southern plantations owned by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson contained a panorama of colors. The interior walls of Washington’s Mount Vernon residence were bright green, crimson and a number of shades of blue, from blue-green robin’s egg to deep cobalt and Prussian blue. Thomas Jefferson used shades of yellow and green to paint the interior walls of the dome room and Monticello, his plantation home. Home Decorating Made Easy suggests visiting historical sites to collect ideas for southern painting colors.
Bell Grove Colors
Bell Grove is a southern plantation house built in 1797. The home is maintained by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Trust partnered with paint company Vaspar to create a line of colors true to the original paint used on the exterior and interior of the home. These paints are commercially available at Lowe's hardware stores. Colors include aloe green, brass, victory blue and light amber. Moss and spruce shades of green are modeled on naturally occurring plants in the area, and flame-stitch red is a deep wine color.
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