Colour Personality: Blue

Blue is the colour of calmness and serenity. The colour of the sky. It is the most popular colour in decor, whatever the trends. It used to be reserved for boys’ bedrooms and the occasional bathroom or kitchen. But, luckily, our client didn’t know any of that when, together, we chose blue for her sitting room. Blue is a colour she likes – which is absolutely the best reason for making a colour scheme choice.

She had an eye to the practicalities too. Her first instinct had been to paint the room white, to create a sense of space in her average sized (read small) London terrace. But a light colour actually has the opposite effect. Paint a room a dark colour, light it sensitively, and it will make a small space seem bigger.

White is strong and bold. It will highlight every defect in your paint and every uneven surface where a colour meets the white. It is also quite cold. Perfect for the sunny climates of Greece or the Algarve but here in the UK, it can feel stark if it isn’t combined with bright artwork or layers of soft textures and coloured fabric.

In this case, the client found that it didn’t quite work, as the room is used more in the evenings when the sun had gone. Painted white, it felt clinical. She wanted to create a cosier winter space that made the most of the fireplace.

We chose Stiffkey Blue from Farrow and Ball. It is a beautiful, inky blue that complements the rich brown, original tiling of the fireplace. It feels warm in the evenings and, taken across all the walls and woodwork, across the alcoves and down to the skirting boards, it creates a perfect seamless finish. Balanced by the the white floor, shutters and lampshade there is just enough light to keep it uplifting and atmospheric. Too much blue, without any light, can become depressing. This combination is absolutely lovely.

The final additions were a complementary green velvet sofa, luxurious touches of gold and brass, and a glass table and mirror to bounce the light. Heavenly.