Tuesday, 13 May 2014

New season's colour is a bolt from the blue

Originally published in Retford Times - 1st May 2014

Homes & Lifestyle

The big colour story this season is Blue!  Interior Designer Jamie Hempsall explores the resurgence of a firm favourite.

This season we are seeing taupe being cast to the sidelines both in design schemes and on the High Street.  Without a doubt the hot colour for Spring Summer 2014 is that old cool customer – blue.

Designers have been looking for a new background colour to join the ranks of the neutrals and blue is coming out a clear winner. Forget the paler shades of blue we have previously encountered, the story for 2014 is the richer pigmented shades now available.  The absolute joy of blue is that despite being a bold, primary colour in its own right, it has an amazing capacity which allows it to blend into the background where it impressively accentuates key tones.

Surveys frequently conclude that blue is most people’s favourite colour, especially the male part of the population, so it is a wonder that it does not constantly dominate the interiors world. 

Importantly, it is seen as an emotionally powerful colour, which registers very clearly with its observers.   Pablo Picasso’s “Blue Period” paintings are perfect examples of this: he used only blue and green tones to enhance the feeling of melancholy within his work.  Picasso recognised the power of the hue when eliminating other colours around it and is reported as having turned to this palate as his mood darkened following the death of his friend, Carlos Casagemas.

Blue also enhances feelings of calm and tranquillity, which makes it perfect as the colour of choice for bathrooms and bedrooms where an element of escape from the everyday world is often essential.

New Carlucci Fraction fabrics from JAB Anstoetz

There is an element of decadence to the use of a confident blue.   This is hardly surprising given that many rich shades of blue were first created using incredibly expensive precious minerals.   For instance, during the Renaissance period ground lapis lazuli was used to create ultramarine, whilst cobalt has been used to colour glass since 2000BC.

It is also interesting to note that, these strong associations and emotions have led to the colour being associated with divinity, particularly in the Renaissance period.

The shades we are encountering now are definitely major statements.   These richer tones have to be chosen carefully, but the overall effects can be breath taking:  ultimately, it is a question of having confidence and sticking with it. 

If you are looking to embrace the new blue, then rich paint shades such as Little Greene’s Deep Space Blue 207 or Sanderson’s Indigo Blue will create the perfect intimate environment in which to relax.  At the same time, they are both wonderful at creating the background for impressive entertaining spaces such as formal dining rooms. 

Despite the intensity of these colours you will need to pay careful attention when painting to attain a perfect finish as every defect is likely to be shown.  We always recommend using three coats of dark paint shades to ensure a more consistent end result.

A selection of the terrific blues from Designers Guild

This season, opulent blue is very accessible in most collections.  One company who you can be sure has the perfect range of blues is Designers Guild – a brand that truly embraces bold colour.  Their Surabaya Wallcoverings and Savio Weaves boast a mass of beautiful blues in confident finishes.  In addition, their Savine Range features a striking indigo carpet, which works perfectly with their cobalt wallpaper.

If you consider a full room scheme might be a little overpowering, then use key accent pieces (such as a chair or even just a few tea light holders) to ensure your home feels relaxing, reassuring and above all “of the moment”.

Set of Four Blue Tealight holders from www.annabeljames.co.uk £14.95

Jamie Hempsall is a multi-award winning interior designer.  For more inspiration, visit him at www.jamiehempsall.com.