Blue is one of the most popular colours in the Western world. The spectrum of this colour covers from blue-green bordering the green to blue-violet approaching violet. In the following colour schemes, there is no room for feeling blue! The blue is put to work with other colours to achieve balance and harmony.
Blue is the rainbow colour of communication, it encourages the peaceful and healthy communication with others, as it represents the 'throat' among the colours of Chakra. In colour psychology, it represents freshness and calmness as we identify it with the sky and water. It is also a colour of nobility in Western culture. However too much of blue can push a person towards melancholy or sadness. So a balance, as in everything, is needed.
There are many ways of creating a colour scheme, and often times, the paint colour is not the first to be chosen. If you have furniture and objects that you would like to keep in the room you are decorating, you would need to consider the tones, styles and periods of those objects first. Then consider any other object you would like to add, perhaps a rug or an art work. Finally, the paint colours can be chosen from a myriad of tints, tones and shades of a hue that will harmonise the objects and furniture. In this exercise we have no constraints, so we start with the paint colours.
My favourite blues have tones of grey in them, perhaps because we see so little of bright sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere, far from the Equator... When choosing paint colours, start with the largest surface - the walls. Remember to choose a tone that is not too tiring to the eye on a daily basis and which allows for accessories to be added or changed. For this exercise, I chose Farrow and Ball (F&B) Parma Gray No 27. It is a light blue with tones of grey that will play a beautiful background in bedrooms, living rooms, in city settings, country settings and even seaside settings.
If you are new to colours or prefer to stay on the softer tones, you could consider painting your wood trims in a gentle off-white such as Wimborne White No 239 from F&B. Apply them to the skirting boards, windows, doors and door architraves. The cornice and ceiling could be painted in a crispier white, a pure white from any reputable paint company. If you are feeling braver or love layering colours, try a darker tone to frame the walls, such as F&B Lulworth Blue No 89 or F&B Blue Ground No 210 on the wood work. Keep the ceiling and cornice white.
ARE YOU THINKING OF DECORATING YOUR BEDROOM?
When considering colour schemes for bedrooms, blues convey a sense of tranquility and relaxation. But, don't get carried away with too much blue as it can chase the romance away! By adding blue-greens to the scheme, we are adding a sense of recovery as greens are nurturing. To this combination, a touch of earthy colour will add warmth and ground the decor, this could be wooden furniture such as beautiful mahogany or walnut. If you want to tilt the balance from cool calm to more romance, try adding some dusty pink as accents.
ARE YOU THINKING OF DECORATING YOUR LIVING ROOM?
Living rooms or reception rooms cater for many people - adults, children and house guests. By nature, the whole spectrum of blue is cool so by adding contrasting colours to the scheme, we are effectively energising and 'warming' it up. For this exercise, I kept the same wall colours, F&B Parma Gray, and chose to use reds, oranges and yellows (in the form of brass metal) as accent colours to balance the coolness of the blue.
There are many aspects of design to take into account when choosing a colour scheme. Considerations such as the volume of the space, the natural light, the adjacent rooms, the purpose of the room, among others, must be thought through prior to embarking on a transformation. The above should provide you with an idea - an inspiration - on decorating with colours. A good rule of thumb to remember when starting is the colour ratio. Your walls make up between 50-60% of the room so they will be the dominant colour. The upholstery and rug will make up 30%, and the remaining 10-20% will be accent colours. The ratios will change as you feel more confident working with colours.
Too much of a good thing can be bad. Even if blue is your favourite colour, consider harmonising it with other colours, and avoid creating an all-blue room. Remember you are not decorating a hotel room where you may spend few nights a year. You are decorating your home, the space of daily interactions and nurturing. The colour you surround yourself with will have a psychological impact, whether consciously or sub-consciously. Make it a happy and harmonious one!