Using blue in your home

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Colour plays a huge role in our lives and of course, in our homes. Without knowing, your colour choice gives people an insight into your life, as it is a measure of personality, taste and style. It seems to be a common conception that the colour blue is associated with calm, relaxation and serenity. Therefore, it is most commonly placed in bedrooms and bathrooms. Supposedly, in the intricate chemical makeup of our bodies, blue decreases our heart rate and lowers our blood pressure. Of course, that sounds great in theory, but here, the shade of blue and the extent to which it is used are very important factors to consider. Using too much dark blue can feel oppressive, whereas on the opposing scale, a shade of blue that is too light can look cold and stark.

Before you decide on using blue, you should consider the following factors:

1. In what room will the colour be placed?

2. Is the main source of light for the room natural or artificial?

3. What is the overall ambience you wish to achieve in the space (relaxing, active, exciting etc.)

4. Who will occupy the space?

5. Are there any external factors eg. adjoining rooms, partitions or landscaping that will effect the colour scheme of the room?

Once you have assessed the above points, you can decide whether or not blue is the right colour for you. In this article today, we will look at a range of blue tones, highlights and accents, which have been used in various rooms of the home. We will also discuss how much (or how little) should be used, and where it should be placed. According to the laws of colour psychology, some rooms are better suited to some colours over others. From these photos, you will be able to see how choosing the colour blue effects the overall appearance of a space and whether or not these rooms have a look and feel that you may or may not want to consider. 

Live it up

After a tiring day at work, the only place you want to be is nestled between the cushions of your lounge or living room sofa. Since blue facilitates relaxation, tones of dark and pale blue used together, as pictured, are a great backdrop to beginning your downtime. Blue is also an excellent colour for a modern home. Used in conjunction with stark white and bold surfaces, blue helps to make the area more inviting, and adds a necessary element of warmth to a space that can be quite stark and bare. On the colour wheel, there aren't many colours that you can use repeatedly in a room in different shades. But, with blue, you have the freedom to match as few, or as many as you like. 

Cosy nights

Blue has always been considered a regal colour. Worn by the aristocracy and by religious icons, blue is synonymous with purity and royalty. Since the bedroom is your private oasis of calm and serenity, the idea is to make your sacred space as cosy and inviting as possible. All white bedrooms, even though they are all the rage, lack personality, and are definitely not the favourite choice of many. Blue, contrary to popular belief, is a gender neutral colour and can be used in the bedrooms of both little boys and girls. In this scenario, white walls and a beautiful slatted timber ceiling have been highlighted by this velvet navy bedspread. Given that this is the only blue element in the room, the designers have opted to keep the entire colour palette fairly muted, creating a slice of peace and calm within your own four walls. For bedrooms, you can use any shade of blue you like, and as much of it as you desire. Alongside the bathroom, this is one of the rooms where blue can well and truly rule the roost! 

Pure serenity

minimalistic Bathroom by moovdesign
moovdesign

lavabo e doccia

moovdesign

On top of the living room and bedroom, the bathroom is another space where we go to recover after a long day. Given the colour of water is blue, it really is only fitting that we would want to choose a blue bathroom over any other colour. Since the bathroom is always the space that lacks the most natural light or access to windows (in the cases of some apartments, the bathroom has no window at all!), you want to keep the surfaces and colour palette as cool as possible. In this case, this small, but compact bathroom looks refreshing and neat. It is inviting for both you and potential guests to come in and wash away all your worries and troubles. For bathrooms, we recommend sticking to pale tones of blue. While dark blues look sultry, it is only advisable to use if the space is large and has access to natural or sufficient artificial lighting. Otherwise, keep it simple. As mentioned earlier, you can always add those darker tones in highlights to complement a light blue colour scheme.  

Kitchen capers

Popular belief as of late is that blue is an appetite suppressant. Therefore, it shouldn't be used in large amounts in kitchens or in eating spaces. This is, of course, not a governing rule, but it is a general piece of advice that columns, magazines and interior designers often suggest to readers. Do not let this deter you, especially if you have your heart set on a blue themed kitchen. However, we do recommend that you be a little wary. Instead of adding a bold feature wall of blue, perhaps keep the larger elements muted, and add the blue elsewhere, like in accessories, highlights or details. The designer of the space above, has added a large element of charcoal blue to the kitchen island. This is extremely clever because it is only visible from certain angles, and not a prevailing element. A kitchen set up in white and blue is reminiscent of the ones we see on beach holidays, or the skyline of islands like Santorini. With its distinct maritime appeal, you can add a little release to your everyday life by employing a blue and white colour palette.  

The great outdoors

Blue is definitely not limited to interiors. Your outdoor spaces can benefit from a blue colour scheme too. Green and blue are complementary colours, so it seems only natural that you would mix the two together. You can very easily add flowers to a vase, holiday trinkets, or even tiles to your outdoor area to incorporate a little more colour. A patio or covered veranda is essentially another space in your home, so, given you want to relax indoors, you can bring the same feeling outdoors too! If you are more of a green thumb, and value greenery over decorations, there are many beautiful plants which yield blue flowers. Hydrangeas (pictured), Delphiniums and Morning Glory are some of the bluest blooms available for domestic gardening. By following simple tips like this, you are bound to have the most soothing garden on the block! 

Deep in thought

Realistically, a work space shouldn't be relaxing, therefore, it isn't advisable to use calming tones to a room where hard work is going to be undertaken. For learning environments, it is suggested to stay away from blue, and opt instead for colours such as orange and yellow, which promote creativity and brain stimulation. But as the old saying goes, everything is fine in moderation. So, if blue is your favourite colour, or, if you have a piece of ergonomic furniture that is just calling to be placed in your home office, don't stray away from blue. Keep it at a minimum, only in accents and highlights like pictured. As you can see here, the blue acts as a pop of colour to a room which may have been stark and lacklustre without it. 

Endless shores

If you have access to a stunning piece of art like this, it is only fitting that you would want to show it off in a place both you and your guests can ogle at on a daily basis. If you have children, this image in particular would simply drive their imaginations wild—they can sit for hours picturing the boats coming in and out of the harbour, as well as the flicker of the beacon in the background. As mentioned earlier when we discussed blue in kitchens, designers and psychologists have suggested that blue should be avoided in areas that eating or creativity takes place. For those who live in areas where the sun rarely shines, it is nice to be able to imagine, if even for a few seconds, that what you see in this painting is really what you will see when you gaze out the window. Some people spend their childhood and youth living in harbour towns or coastal cities, so, when you are feeling a little homesick and lonely, you can replicate the idea shown in this dining room, and bring your memories of the waves crashing against the shore into your life once again. This scene is again a testament to how versatile and easy it is to mix and match different shades, textures and patterns of blue.

Blue moon

For true lovers of blue, why not go all out and paint the facade of your house a stunning shade of teal? Just like the candy-coloured apartments in Polish and Italian cities, you can recreate your own piece of history just as easily (and subject to local council approval!). Old exteriors need not blend into their surroundings, it is all the rage in decorating circles to bring a new lease on life to vintage or retro pieces, so, why not reflect this in architecture too? 

To see another home which highlights wonderfully with blue, click here.

What do you think of blue as a colour for your home? Let us know your experiences with this colour scheme below. 
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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