Sarah Van Arsdale - As we travel around the world in the new year, let's take a look at the color of the skies we fly to our destinations: sky blue. What makes this the perfect color for luxe home decorating?
Blue soothes, calms, and helps you focus: that's why so many airplane cabins are decorated in blue.
That's also the reason blue is often a favorite for decorating a bedroom. The feeling of slipping into the calming cool of a bedroom decorated in blue is sure to help even the most extreme insomniac. And this is just as true of sky blue as it is of a deeper blue you might associate with sleep, without making the room seem dark or gloomy.
But blue, especially when paired in stripes with white, can also bring a fresh, wide-awake feeling to a room. This bedroom is brightened up by the use of blue in the striped spread and matching pillow cases.
In the kitchen, sky blue and white brings a crisp, classic look that will enhance the mood of a country-style kitchen. The sky blue and white stripes are old-fashioned without looking out-dated, inviting guests to sit at the kitchen table and linger over a cup of fresh coffee.
Remember that blue will cast its glow onto whatever other colors are in the room. To achieve this kind of all-blue look, you want to decorate primarily with blue and white; if you have something bright yellow or green in there, it too will pick up the blue shading, perhaps not to the best overall effect.
Blue is also, of course, a classic color for the bath. Here we see it used to terrific effect, with blue-tiled walls, and with the blue broken up by mixing smaller blue tiles with small white tiles for the soaking tub and the edging.
To create the look of a spa in a home bath, try tiling floor-to-ceiling in tiny blue tiles, or in a mix of sky blue and white tiles. Warning: a full tile job will cost you in the price of the tile and in the labor to install it, so be sure to budget accordingly. If you can afford it, it will make you feel you're being pampered each time you step into the bathroom. If you can't afford floor-to-ceiling, try tiling half-way up the wall, and painting the wall either white or sky blue above the tile line.
You can use sky blue for an accent in a room of just about any style, from modern to Victorian. Here we see a wall painted sky blue, with ornate molding painted ivory, to give a feeling of luxurious days gone by. A pretty antique piece also in ivory completes the look, and even if you just have one wall where you can pull this off, you've just sent your décor value sky-high.
At the Sheffield School, we teach three guidelines in our popular interior design course. The third Sheffield Guideline, Harmony, asks us to think what else will work with the blue you choose for decorating a room. Use blue to add a bold swatch of eye-catching color to an otherwise pale room. Imagine royal blue cushions appearing dark and glamorous against the true blue stripes of chair upholstery, indulging your princess tendencies while letting any visitors to your home know that treating you like a blue-blood is really a smart thing to do!
This article has been reprinted with the permission of the Sheffield School, New York, NY. Sheffield began as an Interior Design school in 1985, and then expanded its course offerings to train people in other design-related fields, including Feng Shui, Wedding and Event Planning, and Jewelry Design. With thousands of active students and more than 50,000 graduates, Sheffield has trained more design professionals than any school in the world.