It’s all change in the colour department with traditional autumn hues jostled out of poll position by muted blues and flat greens this autumn/winter.
Even the more vibrant reds and greens of winter aren’t safe either from the fashion police as darker blues are set to provide an alternative look this season — even in Christmas decorating.
Blue has always had associations with coldness, and certainly some of the paler hues have something of a chill about them. Darker versions, however, create a warmer look, especially midnight blue which is darker than royal but stops short of being navy, offering a sophisticated tone without the seriousness and even dullness of navy with its uniform associations.
Midnight is the colour of night skies unsullied by the orange glow from city street lighting, peppered by stars that makes it a perfect companion to silver and its flatter relation, the in-vogue grey.
Together they provide one of the most popular looks of the year where grey furniture is paired with dark walls, but there are other options too for using midnight blue.
As a wall colour, this tone may be overwhelming unless you have a particularly big room with lots of natural light, but it’s a sophisticated finish for a single wall. Try an updated application by highlighting the chimney breast with colour and continuing the paint into the alcoves. It will create the optical illusion of flattening the chimney breast rather than making it protrude into the room, (which is the effect created by painting just the breast).
Think about revamping your fireplace with a lick of white paint – the actual fireplace. For an eye-catching finish, spread a line of white ceramic objects on the mantelpiece, including one item in the palest baby pink which balances everything out and makes the finish chic and modern.
If a sprig of foliage is added, it creates a visually satisfying vignette, softening straight lines and hard surfaces. Eucalyptus is perfect, having just the right subtle shade to work with blue, white and baby pink.
Texture and pattern are the essentials when it comes to softening the contrast between deep blue and gleaming white in other parts of the room. Tones of yellow and gold applied to rugs and cushions make for very successful companion colours. Try introducing them in patterns like stripes and geometrics — especially chevrons and ikats.
Colour folklore suggests the use of darker blues in rooms where you want to promote calm and tranquillity. The bedroom is the most obvious, but bathrooms are an option too.
Maybe the loo off the utility room, or the one tucked away under the stairs that has defeated any decorating ideas because of the tininess of the space. It could be a fun project with painted walls and ceiling in midnight blue speckled with a few daubs of silver – in an ornate mirror, perhaps.
Folklore also advises against blue of any hue or shade in kitchens and dining rooms as it’s believed to suppress the appetite. But for anyone who would only be too glad of something to suppress the appetite post-Christmas, maybe it could be the impetus to get that New Year decorating project underway.
* Next week we’re visiting the Christmas craft fairs.
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