Today I decided to give a bit of a lesson. I love colour, colour inspires me…I dream in vivid colour and I remember colour so clearly, that it is the way I associate with most of my memories. I cannot imagine my life without colour…since I was a child, colour was how I interracted with my world and my environment. I guess this is why I am a designer…I am cursed with the skill of seeing colour in my mind’s eye.
Successful design requires an awareness of how and why colours communicate meaning. The source of these meanings can be quite conspicuous, such as those found in nature — red is the colour of blazing fire and blood, blue the color of cooling waters and the sky. Other meanings may be more complex and not universal.
As a starting point, the communicative properties of a color can be defined by two categories: natural associations and psychological (or cultural) associations.
More people claim blue as their favorite color than any other color (over 50%). Blue cars have been among the top selling cars for decades. Blue denim is the most common clothing material in the western world. Men and boys in particular favor blue. The Tiffany blue box originated in 1850, when Tifany & Co. opened its first foreign branch in Paris, Designers selected this light turquoise-blue as the perfect colour to attract the ‘fashionistas’ of the day. This specific colour was the signature of the ‘it-girl’ of the day, Empress Eugenie , Napoleon III’s wife- and it was just a shade different than the colour of the woman she most admired, Marie Antoinette. The colour remained as the same for over 150 years.
So having metnioned all those statistical facts…I think we can agree that Blue is the colour which most people are comfortable with. Think about it… blue is associated with health, healing, tranquility, understanding, and softness. You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colours like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Blue is used to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products. It is a colour which is understood by most people equally. It has the similar connotations in most cultures. We all look up at the sky and most of us have seen the ocean, we are innately connected to Blue.
Bedrooms are the perfect space for the introduction of blue because light and soft blue can alleviate insomnia. Royal blue is appropriate for dining rooms and living rooms. Combinations of blue and yellow are often used in kitchens. Blue is also a natural choice for bathrooms due to the colour symbolism association with water , the bathroom below is a perfect tranquil example of this.
Dark Blue is a masculine colour; according to studies, it is highly accepted among males. Dark blue is associated with depth, expertise, and stability; it is a preferred colour for corporate America. It represents knowledge, power, integrity, and seriousness. It is royal and Formal. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven.
Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.
Blue and white has been around for Centuries. The Beautiful original Severes Porcelain, often imitated, but NEVER duplicated was founded in 1738 . French King Louis XV took over the entire operation himself around 1759, believing himself the best ambassador as well as being inspired by his rumoured relationship with Madame de Pompadour, to promote its wares to both a French and increasingly international clientele.
You could be inspired by the Porcelain above to create a gorgeous contemporary or traditional space with polished nickel or chrome, a navy velvet blue sofa, white leather chairs and soft photo grey walls. Can you see it? I can.
The turquoise room above is fun and whimsical. Turquoise is the symbol of youth, both the colour and the gemstone. This colour has a soothing affect. Turquoise is the colour of communication. It contains the growth quality of green with the blue quality of communication. Turquoise has long been used in amulets to provide protection, health, confidence and strength.
I hope you have been inspired by my lesson on Blue…it is a universal, classic colour which can be used in a modern and contemporary manner or in a very traditional application. Either way, it will be pleasing and comfortable for the majority of people who enter the space in which you use the colour Blue. Here are some of my favourite Blues from Benjamin Moore paints for you to take a look at and hopefully use somewhere in your home; HC 156, HC 159, 2135-60, 2123-40, 2051-60, 2062-70, HC 146, HC 144 ( LOVE this one for bathrooms) HC 142. Take that with you……