Out of the Blue

Working with and understanding the impact of colour is an intrinsic part of the work of a designer. Wherever we are, we are surrounded by an abundance of colours. We can experience them emotionally; finding them visually pleasing or unnerving. Colour is a truly personal choice and there  are always the one(s) we really like and the one(s) we cannot bear. When it comes to seeing or choosing a colour, be it in terms of interiors or fashion, we probably all have a different shade in mind. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to explore the main colours, focusing on theirs variations in tone, their names and their use in art and interiors.  I will start with the colour blue.

Although blue is described as a favorite colour by many people, a majority would consider blue to be a cold colour and therefore they tend to shy  away from it when it comes to using it in their home. Blue can indeed be icy, cool and can sometimes look pale or dull but, contrary to popular belief, it can also be warm, rich and sophisticated. Blue can create a sense of freshness, tranquility, reverie, or even of sadness. When it comes to paler or deeper shades. It can also bring out a feeling of happiness, freedom or sometimes power and can be totally uplifting.

I’ve tried to list  as many blues as possible and I have grouped them into three main categories from icy blues to moderate and deep blues.

ICY: Alice blue*, glacier blue, duck egg blue, powder blue, ice blue, silvery blue, aquamarine, baby blue, celeste blue, opal blue, light blue, antique blue, cornflower blue, sky blue, Russian blue,  lagoon blue, celadon blue

MODERATE: Cobalt blue, turquoise, delphinium blue, Wedgewood blue, Forget-me-not blue, electric blue, Airforce blue, cyan blue, Antwerp blue, royal blue, Dresden blue, Delf blue, denim blue, sapphire blue, cerulean blue, lapis lazuli

DEEP: Slate blue, Steel blue, Smoke Blue, Saxe blue, Medici blue, Persian blue, Prussian blue, navy blue, indigo blue, midnight blue

Some blues were hard to put into any of the categories I’ve listed above. These are:

Lavender blue, wisteria blue, teal blue, peacock blue, titmouse blue.

*Alice blue gets its name from Alice Roosevelt-Longworth (1884 – 1980) who inspired a fashion trend for women to wear this shade of blue.

Leave a comment


  1. Benoit

     /  February 8, 2012

    Bleu pastel de la ville rose
    Tu as fait sa renommée
    Lucie ta nièce s’expose
    Dans sa belle robe plissée

  2. Claire, I love the idea of exploring about color and its use! I really enjoy it!

  3. Carlos, more colours to follow! Are you on this side of the world? Hope to see you soon. Besos 🙂

  4. Mina

     /  February 9, 2012

    So many blues and so little time… Great blog Claire.
    Il gèle à Besançon, ne venez pas tout de suite -:)

    Take care
    bises à vous deux


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