Welcome back to our mini series about colour and how it affects our mood, life and business. Last time we talked about the colour green, and today we’ll be looking at blue.
BLUE IN LIFE
I must admit that blue is my second favourite colour after green, but according to numerous surveys exploring colour [i], blue tends to come out on top in pretty much all of them. No surprise there as I have never heard of anyone saying that they hate blue sky or blue sea. Generally speaking, blue is associated with serenity and reflection. It’s comforting and peaceful, and, similarly to green, can be found in nature, so it makes us feel secure and calm.
Some of the expressions people use when asked about blue:
“Blue is absolutely my favourite colour – it is calming yet uplifting – it’s beautiful in all shades from navy to indigo to baby blue. Blue is timeless – it always looks fresh. I’m a lover of the ocean and could gaze at the sky for hours which is probably why I love blue so much.” Elizabeth Hornby, Artist
“Imagine looking onto the surface of the deep blue sea… there is a calmness on the surface, yet you can feel the depth and energy of it. That is what a deep saturated blue evokes for me, and simply by pairing it with particular colours, I can tame the energy of it into tranquillity or ramp up its vibrancy.“ Meera Pendred, Interior Designer and Blogger
“Blue represents all the seasons, from a dark blue representing the deep midwinter, to a bright hue similar to the ones we dream about waiting for the summer to start.” Maria and Rebecca, Drawn Together Art Collective
BLUE IN INTERIORS
Blue is versatile, and just like the sky, can go from a pale, pastel blue to a dark and rich navy blue. Dark blue looks great when combined with another strong colour like red, orange or yellow. It’s elegant and calming at the same time. Blue might be perceived as cold, unemotional and unfriendly, so the right shade is key. And, as it’s associated with water and peace, blue is perfect for bathrooms, especially when you are going for a seaside look, combining it with white. This nautical palette is always fresh and appealing. Add a splash of yellow, and you put a smile on my face every time.
There are many shades of blue, but my old-time favourites are: Aquamarine, Midnight Blue and Turquoise. I immediately think of holidays by the seaside when I’m surrounded by these hues of blue. Blue is likely to calm your stressed mind and improve your working efficiency. Thus, it’s frequently used in working environment as it’s intellectually stimulating and aids concentration. Guess, how I’m painting my home office next.
BLUE IN YOUR WARDROBE
According to Carol Hanson, who is a stylist, everyone can wear blue; it’s just a case of finding the right shade and tone for one’s colour palette.
“Blue works very well for those who have blue eyes – the right shade can really make your eyes look so much brighter. A turquoise necklace with a strong blue top can look amazing. ” Carol Hanson, Stylist.
Navy blue is my black. One of the timeless colour combinations I always go back to is navy blue, red and white. Classic! Carol also recommends wearing monochromatic blue tones, which means wearing different shades of blue within one outfit, the stronger and brighter the better. Alternatively, combining blue with orange or yellow or a deep navy blue with a bright light green might be the winning colour cocktails. Try to use the colour wheel if you are struggling to combine different hues and would like to become a bit more adventures with your wardrobe.
BLUE IN BUSINESS
Colours do evoke certain emotions, and many brands are aware of this fact. Blue in branding is used to build trust. Think now of the brands you tend to trust, what colour is their brand? Many banks and airlines know this trick. To name a few: Barclays, Barclaycard, British Airways…This a long list of brands.
“Blue and gold are the main colours for my business. I believe dark blue is associated with expertise, depth and trust, and gold is great for adding a bit of glamour.” Meera Pendred, Interior Designer and Blogger.
Kate Watson-Smyth, in her new book Mad About the House. How to decorate your home with style, argues that blue has become the colour of communication, to be precise, the colour of social media giants such as Facebook and its Messenger app, Twitter and even Skype.
Overall, blue is likeable and trustworthy. So why not include it in your life? What’s your favourite colour?
Written by Monika Pick, cover image by Fold Inside.
Monika is co-founder of PickArtHome, an online independent art shop selling a selection of unique, high quality, contemporary photographs for those seeking an out of the ordinary twist to their wall décor. And she is also an interior and lifestyle blogger at SecretGardenHome. IG@secretgardenhome
Thank you to all contributors:
- Emma Gurner, Interior Designer for design studio Folds Inside: w: foldsinside.com IG@em.gurner
- Meera Pendred, Interior Designer and Blogger: w: firstsenseinteriors.co.uk IG@firstsenseinteriors
- Maria and Rebecca from Drawn Together Art Collective: w: drawntogetherartcollective.com IG: drawntogetherart
- Tina Bernstein, Founder of Mapology Guides, entrepreneur, designer and blogger: w: mapologyguides.com IG: mapologyguides
- Carol Hanson, Image Consultant: w: wantheroutfit.com IG: @wantheroutfit
- Elizabeth Hornby, Artist: w: neptunesoul.co.uk IG: @neptune_soul
- Stephanie Hoppen, Perfect Palettes. Inspiring Colour Choices for the Home Decorator, Jacqui Small, London, 2010.
- Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad About the House. How to decorate your home with style. Pavilion, London, 2018.
- Will Taylor, Bright Bazaar. Embracing Colour for Make-You-Smile-Style. Jacqui Small, London, 2014.
P.S. All featured brands are small independent British labels and designers
[i] Kate Watson-Smyth, Mad About the House. How to decorate your home with style. Pavilion, London, 2018, p. 38.