by Marilyn Trainor Storey – The MS Design Maven
(Clarksdale, Mississippi) ANNOUNCING THE FIRST ARTICLE IN A SERIES
MY DELTA: Art in the City Apartment, Happy Birthday Delta Bohemian Guest House!
It is no secret, I spend a lot of time in Clarksdale, in the Mississippi Delta, my birthplace and home of The Blues. I first blogged about Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 2011 after I went up for a visit with my former Delta Academy classmate Madge Marley Howell of the Delta Bohemian.
Well, one thing led to another between my bird of a feather Madge and me, and we have worked on several exciting joint projects since then, with plans for lots more! We want to really make a difference in bringing the shine back to Clarksdale, once known as the “Golden Buckle”of the “Cotton Belt”
Last week while I was up again for the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival, Madge and I decided to launch another one of those joint projects, as well as celebrate the first anniversary of another. I am so excited to announce that I will be a permanent columnist on the “Delta Bohemian” with a column called “My Delta”, with a link to my design blog “MS Design Maven”, and Madge will be doing guest posts on my blog from time to time. If you haven’t had a chance to read my blog, I hope you will. Many of my posts start with a growing up Delta memory that has triggered a design idea.
I am kicking off my column on the “Delta Bohemian” with a series called “My Delta: Art in the City Apartment”, with my first post celebrating the first birthday of the apartment turned Delta Bohemian Guest House, which opened during last year’s Sunflower Festival.
Madge and her husband Billy Howell, whom you all know and love, decided last year in May to convert their early 20th century cook’s house, which was an apartment for years, into a short-term rental property just two blocks from downtown Clarksdale. They were calling it the Delta Bohemian Guest House, and I was thrilled to be asked to design the project. In just eight weeks, we totally renovated the charming little circa 1920 house, bringing it back to life, with a fun, colorful, authentic, kind of quirky, and very Delta Bohemian style.
As I often do, I started work on the project by selecting a color palette that I felt was in keeping with the style and feel we wanted to convey. The colors were actually inspired by several abstract agrarian paintings which I had had for years and had been saving for the perfect project. This was finally the one. At the time, I had no idea that Madge had chosen new colors for her Delta Bohemian logo.
When I arrived in Clarksdale with my Benjamin Moore colors all picked out for Madge to look at, unbelievably they matched her new logo almost exactly. The palette represented colors that remind me of my beloved Delta:
Greens, “Chartreuse and Grassy Fields”for the crops growing in the fields
Gold, “Semolina” for the ripened grains and the omnipresent golden sun glow
Denimy Blue Gray, “Steep Cliff Gray”, for the river waters and The Blues
Red, “Rosy Apple”, for the color of the old farm buildings I grew up with and the many deep red sunsets which we were told as children meant good growing, fair weather ahead,
“Red sky at night, Farmer’s delight.”
We knew we were on the right color path! We were, as Madge and I love to say, “Rolling!”