Stimulating blue is cool, spatial and invigorating. Blue is associated with peace, masculinity, intuition, cleanliness, trust, authority and intelligence. In some shades blue is balancing, calming and rejuvenating, a colour with that power to replace excitement with tranquillity – perfect to come home after a draining day at work.
Blue is the coldest colour in the landscape, and the one of distance. Blue absorbs light and will make a room appear considerably darker than it would if painted with a light-reflecting colour such as yellow. Walls painted blue appear to recede, so put blue to work when space is at a premium. The eye perceives blue as having a blurred edge, so it is useful for softening hard edges in a room.
Bright blue and white are a crisp combination because white sharpens up blue edges, while blue makes white look cleaner and brighter. Indoors, this combination needs a shot of balancing orange or golden yellow to warm it up. Blue is good to use outdoors, providing a resting place for the eyes in bright sunshine. The shade beneath blue parasols looks the coolest and most inviting of all.
Pure bright blue is a heavenly colour. It can freshen up a space, making it feel cool and airy. It is a meditative colour, good for focusing the mind on higher things. Pale blue is soft, relaxing and gentle. Ultramarine is the deep intense blue of the night sky. Its depth can be disturbing and needs to be balanced with a warm, positive colour such as gold, yellow or orange. Blue mixes well with other colours, and the resulting shade may be interesting or unusual but it will never be unpleasant.
The spatial qualities of blue are invaluable and the colour gives the perception of a lower temperature, which makes it very useful for an office where it helps concentration and stimulates ideas. A blue kitchen will feel more comfortable when the heat is on and a blue bathroom will provide more refreshment than relaxation.