Design Lesson

Design lesson: Blue mood

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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Blue mood

A truly adaptable colour, blue has a wide range of personalities. It's the colour of infinity: endless oceans and limitless skies. It can be grand and regal or cool and quiet; it can rejuvenate or invigorate. With such a variety of depth and intensity, there's a shade of blue to suit nearly any mood. Here's how to harness its power when decorating various rooms in your home.

Designers sing the blues
1
Interior designer Carol McFarlane of Design Inc. describes pale blue as soft and romantic. She often uses it on ceilings, but it also looks great as a wash on floorboards. Carol recommends displaying decorative antique china plates in classic blue and white. With this combo being so prevalent, it's easy to collect pretty dishes for a striking statement.

2 Interior designer Timothy Mather of TM Design agrees that pale blue works well on ceilings, with walls and tiles in shades of taupe or beige. He uses light blue in kitchens and bathrooms to evoke tranquility.

3 According to designer Stephen Fermoyle, blue and white remain favourite accent colours because they're clean and crisp. To create a kitchen with punch, he suggests painting walls a deep sea blue in an eggshell finish. Since kitchen cupboards take up so much wall space, such a vivid wall colour isn't likely to overwhelm the room. Then choose white cabinetry, chrome hardware and a stunning chandelier. Fashion a backsplash with coordinating brick-pattern glass-block tiles.


Image courtesy of Pottery Barn.

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.

 

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Design Lesson

Design lesson: Blue mood