Blue is the most popular color in the world! A recent survey found that 71% of people call blue their favorite. Why might that be? Psychologists say it’s because pretty much everything we associate with the color blue is positive. Skies are blue, water is blue–it’s hard to think of anything negative that’s blue. Psychologist Karen Schloss says, “Clear sky and clean water especially are things that we all experience universally. No matter where you are in the world, if it’s a clear, sunny day when it’s nice to be outside, the sky is blue. And water that’s clear is going to be bluish. That’s not to say that there aren’t cultural differences, because there are, but this prevalence of positive blue things seems to be somewhat consistent.”
Why not decorate with blue?
Blue is an almost universally appreciated color, but surprisingly, it’s not as common in home decor as you’d expect. This is a shame, because It’s incredibly versatile, with colors across the spectrum–from baby blue to indigo to cobalt blue–working in a wide array of contexts. This is particularly true because it goes perfectly with almost any other color. If you’re interested in taking advantage of the benefits of this hue, read on.
Blue’s psychological (and even physical!) effects
Blue symbolizes calmness and trust, as well as creativity and productivity. It reduces anxiety, and is believed to slow respiration and heart rate. It’s even said to lower blood pressure!
Fascinatingly, the color blue also suppresses appetite. There’s actually an evolutionary reason for this: the color blue rarely occurs in nature, especially in anything edible. Even blueberries and blue potatoes (which are pretty cool) are really more of a purple shade than a true blue. (Can you think of any blue foods that aren’t created with food dye?) Since blue suppresses appetite, you could actually try using blue in your dining room or guest bedroom in case you’re worried that visitors might empty out your whole fridge and leave you running to the grocery store!
Traditionally, blue is associated with masculinity. (This wasn’t always the case–blue used to be a “girl’s color” and pink a “boy’s color,” and this only shifted in the mid-20th century.) There’s no need to limit yourself based on this association! Restricting your use of color based on gender seems pretty silly in this day and age. Besides, blue is completely versatile, and can be just as feminine as it is masculine.
4 places to use blue
Incorporate blue into your wall decor anywhere you want to generate calm, focus, and peace. Here are some of the best spots for blue in a living space:
1) For productivity: your home office
Because blue symbolizes and cultivates calmness as well as creativity and productivity, it’s a perfect choice for a workspace like a home office. In this kind of environment, you need to find a balance between energy, focus, and calm. Blue will allow you to experience productivity without veering off into feelings of stress and anxiety that can often accompany hard work, employment pressure, and deadlines. In this way, blue might even improve your income while increasing your well-being.
2) To bring the spa to you: your bathroom
Blue bathrooms are one the most popular uses of blue in the home. This makes complete sense, since it’s associated with water and with cleanliness, both of which are integrally tied to the bathroom. Its relaxing effects are especially beneficial in a bathroom, where you’ll want to experience extreme relaxation. Choose blue to make your bathroom your home oasis. Put on a face mask, turn on some soothing music, and run a bubble bath or throw in a bath bomb–your bathroom’s soothing blue color scheme will have you feeling like you’re at the spa without even leaving your home.
3) For restful sleep and relaxation: your bedroom
Blue in a bedroom is another ideal choice. As you now know, it reduces anxiety, and it’s believed to reduce heart rate, lower blood pressure, and slow respiration. All of these effects lend themselves perfectly to a restful night’s sleep. Considering these facts, it’s unsurprising that a poll by Travelodge shows that those who got the best sleep slept in a blue bedroom. In this poll, 58% of those who slept in a blue bedroom said they woke up feeling happy.
4) To make one wall stand out: an accent wall
Since blue is the color of the far-off sky, it tends to make walls look further away, which can make rooms look bigger. A blue accent wall will help draw the eye to one area of the room while also having the effect of visually expanding that area. If you have reservations about painting an entire room blue, an accent wall is a great way to “dip your toe in,” so to speak, and adds contemporary cool and intentionality to boot.
4 colors that go best with blue
Blue is effectively a neutral color, so there aren’t any colors in particular that don’t go with it! Combining blue with other cool tones tends to give a sense of calm, while incorporating contrasting, warm accent colors like yellow and orange is more bold and exciting. Here are some colors that work especially well with blue:
1) White + blue = timeless beachiness
White and blue is an utterly classic and timeless combination with strong nautical associations. This makes it ideal for a beach house, or anywhere you want to bring a beachy feel to you (even if you’re in the middle of a city). It has the graphic feel of a black-and-white palette without being quite as dramatic, so it works well in a more casual context, and makes it easier to incorporate other colors as well.
2) Silver + blue = futuristic calm
Silver and blue is an absolutely stunning combination. It lends modern, even futuristic vibes to any space without being garish or overwhelming. It’s also incredibly calming–the relaxing effects of blue complement the similar benefits of grey, with the metallic sheen silver is known for. This sheen will reflect light and make any room more airy and bright. Plus, it’s just beautiful and completely visually appealing.
3) Gold + blue = regal with warmth
Gold and blue is another fantastic blend. It’s almost like the two were made for each other. Especially using jewel-toned blues like sapphire or peacock blue, this combination gives a regal feel to your living space. The gold counterbalances the coolness of blue to add a greater sense of warmth to the space. Including gilded accents such as golden fixtures in a space with plenty of blue, especially deeper shades of blue, will look incredible.
4) Orange + blue = that perfect pop of color
Orange and blue are complementary colors, meaning they’re opposites on the color wheel. Orange is exciting and dramatic, and is linked to abundance (having associations with the fall and harvest). It tends to promote friendliness, so mixed with blue it’s the perfect choice for a living room, dining room or anywhere you host guests: the blue will promote relaxation in visitors, while the orange will encourage them to open up and converse. Brighter shades of these colors are perfect for kids’ spaces as well, encouraging a balance between energy, happiness and calm.
Ready to turn your walls blue?
You may have decided you’re eager to transform at least one room of your home into a beautiful blue oasis. Like many others, the problem you might be facing is that painting isn’t an option for you. Maybe it’s too expensive, and you don’t have the cash to spare. Maybe you’re busy and constantly on the go, and it takes too much time. Or maybe you rent your home, and your lease prohibits you from painting your walls.
There’s still an option for you: Walls Need Love’s self-adhesive and removable wallpaper. It’s super quick, reusable, repositionable, unique, health-conscious, and affordable. You don’t have to use any special glues or removers to install this type of wallpaper. It can be used to incorporate blue into stairs, cabinets, backsplashes, and more. And it comes in a bunch of beautiful blue shades, so whatever you’re looking for, there’s almost certainly an option for you. Here are seven of our favorite blue designs:
Remember how we said white and blue lends a nautical feel? “Waves of Chic” is a perfect example of that. The combination of calm pale blue and off-white and animated waves that almost look like they’re in motion strikes a perfect balance between relaxation and energy. This would be a great choice for a bathroom: as you’re floating in the tub or even just taking a shower, you’ll feel transported to the ocean! But really, this simple and timeless yet modern design would work just about anywhere.
This design in varying shades of grey-blue is almost like a modern take on polka dots, but way cooler with its watercolor effect. “Outside the Lines” will make your walls look like they’ve been hand-painted, without the effort. The resemblance to polka dots is cheery, while the modern feel and somewhat muted shade keep it contemporary and cool.
“Swimmers” also incorporates water as its main focus, but this time with an added, human element! This is a whimsical choice for those who prefer a bit more quirk and fun in their living space. Plus, the upward direction of the swimmers gives a subtle hint of airiness with its anti-gravity effect, and draws the eye up to make your ceilings look higher.
As we mentioned before, the combination of blue and gold gives a gorgeous, regal feel to your walls, and this wallpaper is a perfect example of that. It’s vibrant without being too intense. The deeper shade of blue is a trendy choice–dark shades in decor are very in right now. At the same time, though, this is a timeless option that would still look great 20 years from now. The design of “Elizabeth” has a Victorian feel but is updated without the slightest hint of stuffiness by the dynamic effect of the flowers, which are positioned as though they’re in mid-motion.
Another floral choice, “Marie” adds a fun and whimsical feel with its inclusion of bumblebees, ladybugs and butterflies. It incorporates a few shades of blue–cornflower butterflies and flowers on a pale blue background. It’s perfect for kids, perhaps in a child’s bedroom or playroom. But it’s not innately childish, so it’s also a great option for adults, especially those who love nature. This would be the ideal bedroom pattern for a gardener, an entomologist, or really anyone who really appreciates the work of beneficial pollinators like bees and butterflies, and pest-eating bugs like ladybugs.
For those who love to ponder the mysteries of space while reading a book on the couch, “Cosmic Watercolor” would be a great choice for the living room. Galaxy prints have been ultra-popular lately, and this design by Julia Blnk makes it even more accessible for home decor by rendering the universe in watercolor. Meanwhile, the geometric constellation pattern adds to the modern vibe of this wallpaper. The combo of purples, blues and starry pinpoints will have you feeling inspired and reminded on a daily basis of the vast universe we live in.
What does this retro pattern bring to mind? Wearing a 1950s swimsuit while sitting by the pool and sipping an umbrella drink, in the shade of your own umbrella! The classic flamingo of yard ornament fame has been updated and brought to your walls in the form of this slightly kitschy and incredibly fun wallpaper. The flamingos almost appear to be floating in a perfectly blue pool themselves! It’d be a perfect choice for a vintage-style kitchen outfitted with retro, pastel-colored appliances. And it would look equally at home in an otherwise modern room, perhaps as a refreshing accent wall in a bathroom or a dining room. This unique choice will help your home express your equally unique personality.
June 8, 2018