Interior design tips to decorate your home with blue

Interior design tips to decorate your home with blue

One of the most timeless colors is blue. Blue is a primary hue between green and violet in the visible spectrum, is based in nature and has a natural calming affect.

Blue is considered a cool color and can become quite cold if used improperly in interior settings. Here are a few of the physical and psychological characteristics of the wildly popular blue.

Positive and negative responses to blue

Positive blues remind us of the sky, water, eyes and blue ribbons. We have many descriptive “happy” blues, like a pale blue-speckled robin egg, fuzzy baby-boy blue pajamas or our favorite pair of faded worn blue jeans.

Negative blues suggest a blue mood, depression, frost and ice or turning blue with illness. Perhaps, you can recall some childhood prank, which may have made your parents literally blue in the face. Maybe your spouse, friend, or great Aunt can really talk up a blue streak. 

Successful uses of blue

Some of the most beautiful things in decorating come in blue. Like Spode's Blue Colonial fine bone china or Wedgewood ceramic ware. Wedgewood ceramics are typically blue-gray with raised white decoration and were originally created and produced by English potter Josiah Wedgewood from 1730-95.

One of my favorite wall coverings is the classic blue and white combination in the pattern “Bunny Business” by Brunschwig & Fils. Additionally, who could resist the luxurious, sensuous, deep mid-night blue velvets and velours reappearing in the textile marketplace?

How light interacts with blue

There are several things to consider before applying blue to the interior environment. The quality of light and room orientation to the sun is important. Natural light from the north has an inherently bluish, cool cast.

If your rooms are mainly positioned northward, a scheme built solely upon this cool hue can make the space feel very uncomfortable, especially in northern climates. In warmer climates year around, you might welcome an interior drenched with cool and comfortable blues.

A room with a west or southwest orientation receiving strong afternoon sun is a space well suited for blue walls, ceilings or flooring to alleviate the feeling of too much heat physically or psychologically.

A medium to deeply colored blue room, when executed tastefully, is rich, dramatic and cozy. If poorly done, it can become dark cold, and gloomy.

Which spaces to turn blue

Kitchens, bedrooms, bathrooms and the home office are all good spaces for the application of blue. A cobalt blue is an excellent anchor or backdrop, especially effective in the resurgence of the mid-century or transitional interior. 

Lighter hues of blue such as pale, powder, Williamsburg or slate can become tedious and should be applied with care. These are excellent accent colors, especially in combination with whites or pale yellows. They quickly become muddy and are very limiting when used as a predominant color scheme like wall-to-wall carpeting throughout the interior.

About this Angie’s List Expert: Adelene Keeler Smith is an interior designer and decorator in West Palm Beach, Fla. Since 1990, Smith has specialized in pre-construction planning, space planning, lighting specifications, furniture floor plans, custom millwork and other interior design services.

As of December 17, 2013, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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How to decorate a welcoming guest room


The guest room can be found in all shapes and sizes and should include a sense of privacy, comfort and the promise of pleasure, says Smith. (Photo courtesy of Addie Keeler Smith)
The guest room can be found in all shapes and sizes and should include a sense of privacy, comfort and the promise of pleasure, says Smith. (Photo courtesy of Addie Keeler Smith)

If you enjoy the role as host or hostess in your home, the guest room should be designed to bring instant pleasure and comfort to your guests and family.

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