Interiors trends: A bolt from the blue
Posted 22 September 2015 by Keith Osborne
Blue is fabulous, that’s a fact. It has been proven as one of the world’s favourite colour for centuries, appreciated for its qualities such as calmness, stability, authority, wisdom and loyalty.
The healing restorative attributes of blue are well known – Lapis Lazuli stones were highly prized by the Egyptians, who believed they denoted royalty and spirituality, as well as bringing feelings of peace and harmony.
Some cultures believed that blue had protective properties, hence doors, fences and exteriors were painted this hue as protection against evil.
On the spectrum, blue is a cool colour and therefore one that calms the emotions, allowing us to concentrate better and work well, making it perfect for offices. As a restful shade, blue is ideal for bedrooms, while its natural association with water makes it a good choice for bathrooms. You will certainly find you sleep better in a blue bedroom than in a room painted in strong, warm tones such as yellow or red.
Because it is a colour of the mind, blue is also known for suppressing the appetite, so avoid using it in the kitchen or dining room - unless you are permanently on a diet!
Despite being a cool hue, blue has the potential to be extremely uplifting and can offer much inspiration in nature – think blue skies studded with clouds, the intense blue of a bluebell wood, the crystal clear azure blue of the Mediterranean Sea...
So don’t avoid blue because of its cool properties, instead use its strengths to create beautiful rooms:
- Bring warmth and elegance to a room with dark blue shades, such as navy.
- Pale blue shades such as powder blue can create a soft and harmonious look. This is especially effective in coastal/beach schemes, which have casual, windswept, sun-bleached qualities.
- Blues that have red added to them will obviously be warmer than those containing yellow.
- Use blue in rooms in south-facing rooms as it will diffuse the glare.
Try teaming blue with other colours and prepare to be amazed:
- Feature - create a blue splashback in an all-white kitchen or bathroom, it will become an eye-catching feature.
- Refreshing - shimmery blue/aqua mosaic tiles in a white bathroom, will add to the room’s invigorating appeal.
- Country - team cornflower blue with sunny yellow for a pretty farmhouse feel.
- Striking - use dark blue with gold highlights for a sophisticated look.
- Coastal - navy blue and white stripes is a crisp and nautical combination.
- Highlight - switch the accent around - white walls with pictures framed in navy, or furniture such as a dining table/chairs or a bookcase painted blue.
- Pattern - white and blue/blue and white printed wallpaper will add personality, particularly if used on a feature wall. Add yellow accessories for extra impact.
Blues to inspire
Dusty aqua - brilliant azure - cobalt blue - denim blue - navy blue - powder blue - sky blue.
1 Dusk blue is one of Pantone’s 2015 colour tones. It’s a nostalgic hue whose inspiration comes from the sky and is ideal for a stairway in a busy household, Cordwell 5 wool flatweave runner, £79.96, www.urbaneliving.co.uk
2 This contemporary hallway has been painted a vivid shade of strong blue, which makes a striking entrance statement, Marine matt emulsion from B&Q, currently £5 per 1 litre tin, www.diy.com
3 Elegant and serious, navy blue is highly versatile and can be teamed successfully with any shade. It works brilliantly with pink, which provides a soft - but not harsh - contrast, Blue Print No 5 and Osterley No 25 matt emulsion, £38 per 2.5 litres, www.mylands.co.uk
4 Vibrant aquamarine glass tiles with a translucent quality provide a shot of vibrancy in this chic modern kitchen, large format tiles in Colarado, www.originalstyle.com
5 Use daffodil yellow cushions on a smoky blue sofa to evoke a sophisticated coastal look, www.tom-tailor.com