The color blue is calming, light tints will open up a room and dark shades will ground a room. Read on for even more benefits of blue.
I’ve been tracking color trends for over 20 years. I have found several ways to get the job done, but the one I love the most is available to everyone. It’s a matter of simply purchasing a variety of current magazines, high fashion and high style for homes and looking only at the color that is shown on the pages.
Advertisements are some of the best places to track where color is going. In an ad, the choice of color used doesn’t cost any more for a bright red than it does for a sunshine yellow, but advertisers want to be at the forefront, and I can find all sorts of color direction in what they’ve designed.
High end fashion magazines are the next source and often the best directions again come from the advertisements. It may be for cologne, purses, even jewelry. Sometimes it is just the background color used for the ads, or I’ll notice that many companies are adding a tiny touch of orange or yellow with the more current range of colors indicating that something new is on the horizon.
Well, since many of you aren’t planning on doing your own color trend tracking, I’ll move onto what is currently happening with the blue family.
As you may remember, we were in a “green” era for quite some time, and blue has finally taken hold. What I am finding interesting is that there are several shades out there. There is everything from rich dutch tile blue as in the Macy’s comforter to a soft, light robin’s egg blue as in this Talbot’s coat. Perhaps we are just so happy to be surrounded by blue tones that we are willing to keep them all!
Of course, there is more to talk about with blue than just the fact that it is a current trend. Let’s talk a minute about its psychological effects and any social connotations it might have.
I’ve always found it interesting that “blue skies” make you think everything is going to be OK, and in fact can cure, “the blues”! My feeling is that generally, blue has more positive associations than negative. It is cool, soothing and orderly. Blue and white rooms have a regal, neat and crisp quality to them that speaks of discipline and beauty.
Although it can have a regal quality to it, as in “blue bloods”, “blue chip” stocks and blue ribbons, blue is also the color of everyman or the “blue collar” working class. Blue looks great on just about everyone and we certainly can’t discount the incredible popularity of “blue” jeans.
Blue’s calming effects make them perfect for rooms in the home where relaxation is important. Therefore, meant for bedrooms, perhaps living rooms even studies; blue creates the perfect mood or ambiance. However, blue in the kitchen may not be the best choice since blue is associated with food in a cheap sense when we talk about the “blue plate special”! In many cases, food isn’t supposed to look as appetizing on blue plates.
Although from personal experience, Matt had a set of blue plates and I thought barbeque chicken, potato salad and corn on the cob looked superb on his blue plates. Now it might have something to do with not cooking it myself but I’d rather think it was the beautiful blue background!
For those of you contemplating updating your home with cool new blues, here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Light tints of blue will open up a room just like the huge expanse of the sky.
Dark shades of blue like cobalt and royal blue anchor a room and add drama.
Different blues mix well together. Here the deep navy walls are a dramatic background to the mid range blue sofa and light blue checked draperies.
Warm up a too cool blue room with yellow daffodils, a touch of red or a warm green.
An overly bright and sunny room can be cooled down with a blue palette. Conversely, a north facing room with little sunlight might be too cool for comfort!
Blue has some natural mates in the very popular blue and white color scheme and blue and yellow as you see above.
Trickier blue color schemes to pull off include red, yellow and blue and an interesting blue and orange combination.
If blues do hold some interest for you, now is the time to make the switch. They are abundant in home furnishings and will be for the next couple years. It’s hard to believe we’re actually, “thrilled to have the blues”!
P.S. – Photos of blue were taken from “Waverly: At Home with Color” and “Pottery Barn”, “William Sonoma Home”, “Macy’s” and “Talbots” catalogs.