Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Singing the blues ...

I hadn't given much thought to blue room decor until recent years. But, when I decided to create a studio for my work, the first accessories I added where in the softest, most serene shades of French blue.

I wanted a space that was quiet and calm - with a hint of age and a unique story to tell.

My first purchase was the antique, glass-front corner cabinet trimmed in a dusty French blue (left).

The vintage, tufted chair was quite the ugly duckling when I found it tattered and torn in a consignment shop, but I reupholstered it in a Swiss-dotted, Spa blue fabric purchased from Calico Corners. Covering those buttons was a challenge, but worth the effort.

Then, I found a charming settee covered in oyster-colored silk damask on Ebay and added a decorative pillow from antique reproduction fabric in shades of spa blue, taupe and cream.

The antique French bench I bought from a dealer just needed some padding and a new seat cover, so I reupholstered it in the same fabric as the pillow. I love this piece with its years of knicks and dings!

Now that I have learned to appreciate the tranquility in blue's embrace, I keep spotting more and more room decor with cool blue hues. My favorite use of blue is in moderation as an accent.

I really like the Belgian blue table and complementary mantle mirror shown in this House Beautiful spread (above left). A Bergere chair in just about any color appeals to me, but this one (above right) in Spa blue commands every bit of my attention in this image via Decor Pad.

Ever notice how so many blues are named for places - French blue, Scandinavian blue, Venician blue, Agean blue, Egyptian blue ... well, you get the picture. In the photos above Provencal blue steals the show. The toile fabric settee featured in Home Decorating Ideas (left) and time worn doors from House Beautiful show how the French do blue perfectly.

When I think of sumptuous design schemes, the fabric always plays a major role. And, what is more luxurious than velvet - blue velvet in particular? Just take a look and tell me if you don't agree.

The settee (above left) in a Seafoam blue velvet has been in my photo library for so long, I have no idea where it came from, but it still sets my heart aflutter each time I see it.  Los Angeles-based designer Mary McDonald shares a picture (above right) of her bedroom dressed in a lavish Agean Sea blue velvet. Can we say lavish!

Blue is a tricky color with so many different shades, but this House Beautiful spread (above left) shows that even minimal accessorizing in the right blue can have a meaningful impact. I really like the soft shading (above right) in this transitional space of grayed-down blues. Image via The Inglenook Decor.

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