Did you know that blue is named by most people as their favorite color? If you study color psychology, a topic I find fascinating, you will learn that being surrounded by blue actually has a calming effect on the body. It can reduce blood pressure and slow down your heartbeat. It must have something to do with the ocean and sky. I don’t know about you, but being by the ocean immediately calms me down.
The right shade of blue in the home can bring about a sense of peace and tranquility. That’s why it is a wonderful color for bedrooms. Choose muted, soft blues to create a relaxing feeling in your room. A hint of gray in the color will keep it looking sophisticated. Once I was called to help a client correct a color mistake. She had painted her bedroom blue, but she didn’t like it at all. When I got there, I could immediately see why. She had picked a pastel blue with a lot of yellow in it, which was making her master bedroom feel more like a baby’s room. I helped her pick a darker, more muted shade, with some gray in it, and showed her how it would blend better with her bedding and artwork.
Blues are lovely in children’s rooms. Please forgive me for being a little bit stereotypical here: paired with lavender, pink and yellow, periwinkle blue is delightful for a girl; paired with tan and red, sky blue is perfect for a boy. A friend of mine painted her sons’ room in beautiful dark, marine blue. With white wood blinds for contrast, and oak furniture for warmth, the room was both youthful and sophisticated, not to mention striking.
In my own home, it is evident that I am a “blue person:” I’ve got cobalt blue glass tile on my kitchen backsplash, my bedroom is painted a dark blue called “Wonderful World” with accents of brown and red, and my guest bath is blue and white with blue glass mosaic tiles in the shower. My daughter’s room is a very pale shade of blue, with a darker shade on the ceiling, with crisp white trim, oak floors, and green accents. I’ve deviated from blue in past decorating projects, but always seem to come back to it. It has been my favorite color as long as I can remember.
Darker blues evoke the qualities of leadership and authority. Navy or Cadet blue is a great color choice for offices, libraries, and dens. Paired with neutral-colored upholstery, and dark wood furniture, a dark blue office can send a message of productivity and efficiency. I will be using a deep blue called “Luxe” in the library of a client. That name doesn’t lie—Luxe will undoubtedly give that room an elegant, luxurious feel. Accent colors will be gold and burgundy. My own home office is painted in the pale blue of my logo. I accented it with touches of lime green and orange to give it an energetic, friendly feel. Combining blue with orange, the complement, or opposite, of blue on the color wheel, always creates a dynamic look.
For an easy, casual look, what could be better than blue jeans? For one client’s family room we combined a blue denim sofa with soft yellow walls, a red leather chair, and crisp white shutters. Patterned throw pillows and an area rug containing all of those colors tied everything together.
With gorgeous shades of blue appearing in nature—blue irises, forget-me-nots, lapis lazuli, aquamarine– it is no wonder that blue has withstood the test of time in decorating.