Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Normally, the interiors of Amish homes are painted in plain, muted colors. Examples: Eggshell white, light grey, pale blue, mint green.

 

They are decorated in equally plain and simple lines, colors and patterns. Every element is meant to uphold the Ordnung of that community. The written and unwritten rules, and beliefs, of the Amish faith.

 

One room may be the exception: the kitchen. There, you may find walls painted in cheerful, pastel yellow, green or blue. Even pastel violet or lilac.

 

Sarah Ann’s kitchen in Indiana is painted a pastel Baby Pink. So was the same kitchen, when it belonged to her mother, Anna. Before then, her mother. My grandmother’s second cousin.

 

The same soft pink covered the kitchen and pantry walls even before then. When the huge farm house belonged to her mother. My great-grandmother’s first cousin.

 

Four generations of pink on the walls of the same Amish family’s kitchen.

 

The kitchen in Sarah Ann’s winter home at Pinecraft, Florida, is painted the same pastel Baby Pink. The other rooms – living, dining, two bedrooms, bathroom, and enclosed sun porch – are painted a light, flat latex grey.

 

Over a cup of hot “sweet tea” (made by steeping dried peppermint leaves), and huge lemon cookies, she told me a “not-so-secret” truth.

 

“If I could get away with it, I’d have my little cottage’s every room and outside, too, painted in the same tender pink.” A playful grin sweeping across the woman’s peach-smooth, round face.

 

According to plan, 85-year-old Sarah Ann accepted the offer of a fresh coat of paint on the outside of her cottage. White exterior acrylic latex. On the frame and trim, also porch rails.

 

Still, inside that airy and “homey” place…

 

In every room, beyond the kitchen, one or more items picked up that same pastel Baby Pinks.

 

* Handwoven rag area rugs in pale lt. green, medium forest green, cream, light pink, blue-grey.

* Throw pillows and armrest covers in shades of green, edged in pink piping.

* Crocheted doilies and dresser scarves in white, edged in pink.

* Bathroom hand towels and “wash cloths” in pale pink.

* Bed pillowcases embroidered in dainty pink daisies, with light green stems and leaves.

* Traditional dark green window shades, with knitted pull chords in Baby Pink.

* Oilcloth tablecloth in pink and white checks, with bright yellow daisies.

 

True, times have changed for many Amish orders. Their Ordnung rules have bent a little in a few areas. 

 

Such flexibility encourages the rumschpringe* generation to choose baptism eventually, and to stay in the community. * (Also spelled rumshpringe, rumschpringa, or rumspringa, it refers to the “running-around period,” when a teen turns 16 to age 20 or 21).

 

The distant relative told me about one area. “They allow a little larger choice in plain colors in clothing.” Also in the homes, as I noticed in Pinecraft.

 

“There’s less grey in those dye vats,” Sarah Ann joked. “Yah! For certain sure.”

 

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What colorful clues live in the “modern-day” branches of your family tree?

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A big, big THANK YOU for visiting “Painting with Bob.”

 

Copyright 2015. Robert D. Hajtovik. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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