Blue, in all its hues, conveys a sense of serenity and calm, according to color psychologists. Typically associated with men and masculinity, a light blue touch can appeal to women, and mixing and matching texture, shades and clever lighting can help you create a living room that is peaceful in mood but striking in appearance.
Light blue, of which there is a dizzying array on sample swatches, is a great colour for living room walls. Neutral enough to go with most other colours, there are certain shades, such as cornflower, that are both calming and energizing, as well as being classically pretty. It’s about as cheerful a blue as you can get, and allows you to be playful with the colours of your soft furnishings.
The sofa and chairs
If you’re going to spend money on one large item of furniture, make it your sofa. We tend to think the bigger the better when sofa shopping, but you must think of the size of your room. If you have lots of space to play with, go for a big, dark blue velveteen four-seater — you want something for people to sink into without it losing its shape, and life is too short to endlessly plump up cushions. Hard foam with removable, washable covers is a good bet. Enhance the cozy factor with an antique patchwork quilt draped over the side.
With chairs, a brilliant and boldly patterned yellow armchair goes naturally with blue, and if you’re feeling particularly daring, opt for orange.
These days you have a wide array of floorboard paints, and a light blue — somewhat faded and distressed looking — makes every day feel like summer. You can do it yourself but it’s a big, time-consuming job to get right, so if you can, hire a professional. Neutral, hard-wearing wall-to-wall carpeting can work well too, but don’t go overboard on the blue. Very dark blues in particular show up every white bit of fluff. Stick to soft neutrals and you can create a feeling of space.
As blue is rather conservative, you can afford to have a bit of fun with your tables and shelves. While you don’t want to blast the room with colour, do indulge your inner funkiness with say, a kitsch, ’60s-style coffee table, possibly black glass with an oriental motif. Lamps and lighting fixtures should be steel and glass — modern, edgy and lots of it. The darker the general blue motif, the stronger the lights you will need.
Curtains and blinds
Do both. Light-blue venetian blinds throw a beautiful pattern of stripes across the room when they’re half shut and the sun is rising or falling — it’s a spectacular effect. White or off-white see-through gauze will help you see out without others peering in. Curtains should have a long drape, preferably hanging to the floor.
How to paint furniture
Handpainted furniture can add personality and style to any room in your home. Whether you want to buy painted furniture or learn how to paint furniture, these tips will help.