decor, inspiration

Dive into blue hues


This year, blue is big in the home, with Pantone naming Serenity Blue as one of its two colours for 2016, while here in South Africa, paint experts Plascon has named a deeper shade of blue Atlantic Blue as its colour of the year.

Whether you prefer a softer hue or a bold primary shade, blue is a good addition to the home for a calming effect.

Decorex offers up five ways you can include blue in your home:

1. Paint a feature wall

Paint is a quick and cost-effective way of introducing blue into your home and makes a standout statement without the need to hang elaborate pieces of wall art. The key to getting the look right is to think geometric – a square of brilliant cobalt here, a triangle of electric indigo there. Blanket a whole feature wall in a single blue hue or highlight an area such as the rectangle of a door, keeping the accompanying scheme neutral and unfussy so as not to overwhelm the eye.

2. Layer blue hues

Layered blocks of blue add dimensional interest to a space, especially when the chosen hues are kept to the same warm or cool spectrum of the palette. Warm blues, like indigo, denim or slate contain hints of red and, as such, they advance or come toward you, making a room feel cosier. On the other hand, cool blues, like cobalt, turquoise and ice blue, have yellow in them and tend to recede, which can help make a small space appear bigger.

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3. Splash out on furniture

Resplendent in a deep, rich sapphire or, alternately, in a soothing powder blue, a large-scale furnishing item, such as a sofa, becomes the automatic focal point when inserted into a monochromatic scheme or offset by a backdrop of warm, complementary wood. Add a thin line of defining black or a geometric swatch of inky charcoal to make the colour truly sing, but keep these to a minimum so as not to detract from the impact of your dazzling big-ticket item.

4. Stick to one shade

A single block of beautiful hue is the commitment-phobe’s answer to decorating with blue. Forgo having to splash out on the whole sofa and, instead, opt for an inexpensive piece of funky wall art or a blue-fronted sideboard that can be changed as inclination dictates. Against a neutral backdrop of bleached wood floors or expansive white walls, a solitary pop of shimmering blue is as much a scene-stealer as a whole scheme curated around the colour.

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5. Under the sea

Harness the electric energy of intense aquamarine, the colour of the water over the shelving sea floor, where blue meets green, by using it in blocks - big or small. Bold and compelling, yet restful at the same time, it is a hue that works well in generous swathes over walls and furnishings, with just a hint of balancing white as a counterfoil. Alternatively, insert into a monochromatic scheme small pops of neon-bright turquoise – think a pair of identical scatters – for a jolt of stimulating interest.

This sophisticated yet joyful look will play itself out in the new Build Bar at Decorex Cape Town, which takes place from 29 April to 2 May at the CTICC. A showcase of great ideas for teaming blocks of blue with natural wood for contrast and impact, the Build Bar will also star Plascon’s Colour of the Year for 2016 – beautiful, beguiling Atlantic Blue.

Get more information on Decorex and other events at HL's April 2016 events listings.