Dos & don'ts
DO choose water colours like ultramarine, aqua and turquoise to connect with blue's leisurely side. Evoking memories of summer days by the sea, this palette nurtures contemplation and restfulness.
DO select warm blues for living and family rooms. Periwinkle, sapphire and indigo get their warmth from the addition of red to their pigment. These energetic blues are playful and dynamic – ideal for high-traffic areas.
DO capture the colour of midnight and jazz with intense blues – think blackberry, navy and ink. Such passionate shades create drama and glamour, so they're well suited to dining rooms.
DO harness the peace and serenity of pale, cloudy blues. Some believe these lighter shades help relieve insomnia, lower blood pressure, and promote healing and clear thinking. Pale blues are ideally suited to bathrooms, bedrooms and children's rooms.
DON'T destroy the impact of deep blue walls by painting trim white. The high contrast is too distracting for average-size rooms. Instead, minimize contrast by choosing a deep neutral, say mink or bronze; at the same time, you'll visually enlarge the room.
DON'T skimp on white accents when it comes to pale blues. Crisp white sheets, stacks of thick white towels, and yards of white sheers on windows give light and life to the palest blues.
DON'T avoid the natural complement of orange when harmonizing a blue colour scheme. Sunrise orange brings energy to freshwater blue. And a small dose of shell pink can enliven pale blue.
Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.