Bring on the Blues

Even if blue skies can’t be guaranteed outside, you can make sure the forecast’s always good indoors with the year’s coolest shades. Blues are punching above their weight and dominating in homeware, undoubtedly helped by the seal of approval from royal bride Kate Middleton, who wore the colour for her engagement announcement and the day after her wedding.

Even if blue skies can’t be guaranteed outside, you can make sure the forecast’s always good indoors with the year’s coolest shades. Blues are punching above their weight and dominating in homeware, undoubtedly helped by the seal of approval from royal bride Kate Middleton, who wore the colour for her engagement announcement and the day after her wedding.

“Fashion’s taken blues to heart and our summer wardrobes will be filled with clothes in all its dazzling shades. Home designers are mirroring that trend,” says Louise Smith, Dulux’s global colour designer.

“Blue is associated with the power to soothe and relax. It’s ideal for finally banishing the dull, sombre tones of winter and making rooms look fresh and invigorated.”

This colour palette’s an easy winner too, reminding us of cloudless skies and glittering seas and pools. Teamed with crisp white it can conjure a relaxed, informal beach house feel, or you can be more dramatic by using deep indigo tones.

“The main focus is bold, punchy and strong. Cobalt, royal blue, navy and azure rather than softer shades,” advises Marc Petring, head of marketing at furniture chain Dwell.

“It takes confidence, but you can dip your toe into blues by experimenting with one statement piece of furniture, a rug or blue accessories. Too much blue can be oppressive so be sure to mix it up with whites or greys.”

Rich, sultry, sophisticated inky blues through to pale pastels can all play a part in rooms. So don’t be cautious, dive right in!

Living the blues

The sky’s the limit when it comes to choosing a decorating shade in paint, and Dulux’s impressive selection includes the lyrically named Blue Reflection, Lost Lake and Indigo Infusion.

“When applied to large areas, deep blue is sometimes perceived as cold and distant, especially in hallways and corridors,” says Louise Smith. “So it makes sense to restrict the size of the deep blue surface to a single wall, curtains or a rug, if you’re dealing with a small space or one lacking good natural light.

“Lighter blues can be a safer option, especially as a background colour, as they appear to recede, making a room seem larger and raising a low ceiling.”

Recipe for blue

Blue’s an ideal colour for kitchens and you could pick up on the trend with tiles, such as Fired Earth’s stunning hand-decorated Andalucia range featuring a variety of designs.

“Blue’s a great colour for both novices and adventurous homeowners alike,” says Clare Price, founder of The Contemporary Home. “Everyone’s got their own favourite shade and my favourites are an almost white powdery blue and by contrast the deep, purple-laden indigo.

“I’d advise pastel shades for large walls and vivid brights for specific, key items such as lights, kitchen gadgets and maybe a bright wall canvas. For a clean, fresh finish, be inspired by classic blue and white china and mix accents of cobalt blue with bright white.”

Blue notes

Have fun with blue by adding quirky accessories or finishing details such as lampshades, or even door handles. “Blues have always been a popular colour for interiors and until recently the trend was for pale hues with a lean towards eau de nil,” says Victoria Wright, style advisor at HomeSense, which features a constantly changing range of reduced designer homeware.

“This summer will see a stronger, more playful blue emerge as the fashionable choice - it’s somewhere between duck egg and navy. It is brighter and more lively but, equally, slightly more difficult to blend with other colours.”

Blues can enliven a pale grey or cream-themed room, she says, or can also look striking against darker, more arresting colour schemes such as fuchsia pink, black, and even silver metallic.