According to current surveys, the color blue consistently tops the charts as the world’s favorite color. When asked to describe how it makes them feel, people frequently say blue is “peaceful,” “calming,” and “relaxing.” There are several theories as to why the color blue influences us this way. No matter the science behind it, the positivity so often associated with blue makes it an ideal color choice for your home design and decorating. We partnered with the colorful team over at Radikal Neon to brainstorm ideas for adding blue to your home.
The psychological influence of colors is so strong that we often use colors to describe certain feelings and concepts. We have all heard phrases along the lines of “feeling blue,” “blue blood,” or “blue-chip stocks.” These expressions are linked to the emotive power or historical associations of the color blue – feelings of sadness, connections to royalty or wealth, or a sense of dependability and trustworthiness. That last one is why financial institutions often use blue in their logos and branding.
Some have theorized that the reason we feel so positive about the color blue is its connection with things that were harbingers of prosperity to our primitive ancestors – sources of water and resources like rivers and oceans, or clear blue skies. This leads to feelings of safety and security in spaces where blue dominates. Research indicates the sense of confidence and safety that blue gives us can even impact our creativity, increasing our productivity and our ability to think outside the box.
However, the various shades of blue can have different impacts based on our experiences and learned associations. Because of their connection with water, some shades of blue can also be considered “cold” or “sad” colors – like the melancholy we feel on a rainy day. Darker or deeper shades of blue can communicate strength, drama, or luxury (think “navy” or “royal” blue), whereas lighter variations can inspire purity and airiness. Overall, the most common emotions evoked by blue are calm, stable, and peaceful, making it the perfect color to add to your home.
The way you add blue to your home will depend on the goals you have for your spaces. What energy or feeling do you want your home to inspire? Consider using a variety of shades to suit each space, according to its function and the energy you want to radiate. For example, you might prefer a light, bright shade of blue in your kitchen to emulate cleanliness and boost productivity. Perhaps a deeper, moodier shade of blue in your bedroom for a stately, elegant feel.
You can also pair blues with other colors to combine their psychological benefits. For example, add bright blues and yellows for a cheery, contented space, or mix blues and greens for a grounded, earthy vibe. Once you have chosen your shades and color schemes, you can start incorporating blue into your home.
Paint is one of the simplest ways to infuse your home with more color. Start by picking a few sample colors and painting some swatches of each color beside each other on the wall. Take some time to compare the colors and view them in different lightings. Since the temperature and intensity of light can drastically alter the way a color looks, it’s wise to do this before you choose your final shade and invest in a larger quantity of paint.
Wallpaper is another versatile option for incorporating blue into your home, and is particularly useful to renters who cannot paint their walls. Peel-and-stick varieties of wallpaper allow you to easily change things up without making permanent alterations or leaving any damage. Wallpaper can also introduce fun combinations of colors and interesting patterns. Rather than stick to one solid color, experiment with the drama and texture that wallpaper offers – such as soft blue florals, striking geometric patterns, or velvet navy damask.
If you’re not ready to commit to large swaths of blue on your walls, adding it through your furnishings can be a great way to take advantage of its calming effects. Imagine sinking into a soft, slate blue sofa or reclining in a deep blue, velveteen sitting chair. Sounds relaxing, right? Since blue pairs easily with other colors in your home, it will blend seamlessly with the rest of your pieces – making your home perfectly coordinated and serene no matter your style.
Using area rugs, throw pillows and blankets, wall art, and other decor is a quick and easy way to add notes of blue to your home. Doing this helps to bring your design together and increase the overall impact of blue’s peaceful influence. One great way to implement this technique is to “shop” your own house, gathering blue items and placing them strategically throughout your house. Some ideas to try may be placing a stack of blue books on your coffee table, using blue dinner and glassware in your kitchen, or stacking your sofa with soft, blue pillows in a variety of textures and patterns.
For a truly unique spin on decorating with blue, experiment with colored lighting. Not long ago, color was not something we typically associated with our household lighting. Outside of variations influenced by the temperature and intensity of our lightbulbs, our eyes interpret most standard lamps and overhead lights as producing one color – white.
But with the increasing availability of LEDs, your lighting can be any color you want. If you’re looking to add blue lighting to your home, custom neon signs are the best option to give you that peaceful energy while highlighting your unique personality. Whether you have a favorite quote you want to light up over your workspace or you want to add cute neon blueberries to your kitchen, these lights are versatile and durable so you can light up any space you want.
“Different colors can have profound effects on the energy of your space and your overall mood, but simply adding your favorite colors to your space isn’t enough to make it your own. By adding a custom designed neon sign to your space, you can showcase your unique personality and make it truly feel like home.”
– Tom Numan, President at Radikal Neon
And by this we mean give your house a dose of the calm and peace you deserve to have when you’re within your own walls. Surrounding yourself with blue is one proven way to help you feel relaxed and at ease, which is something all of us could use more of in our stressful lives. Whether you paint your walls or hang a fun Radikal Neon sign, using this guide to add blue to your spaces will instantly make your home a better haven. With any luck, the next time you get a genuine case of the blues, it’ll be short-lived.