While it’s well publicised that ‘green space’ – anything from vast forests to dinky courtyards decked with foliage – can help improve mental wellbeing by reducing stress, increasing happiness and boosting creativity amongst other things, the benefits of blue space aren’t to be overlooked either.
Typically, ‘blue space’ refers to the ocean, but some scientists claim that being near lakes, rivers and even water fountains can have a positive effect on the mind.
Speaking to the Guardian in 2019, Dr Mathew White, a senior lecturer at the University of Exeter and an environmental psychologist with BlueHealth, a programme researching the health and wellbeing benefits of blue space across 18 countries, said: “Many of the processes [that happen in the brain when surrounded by blue space] are exactly the same as with green space – with some added benefits.”
But for those of us who live miles from the sea (or any large body of water), we can still find some mental benefits by using the colour blue to decorate our homes, with a splash of navy paint or some well-chosen turquoise accessories helping to create a more calming environment.
In January 2021, B&Q revealed it saw an increase in sales of blue paint during the pandemic, with sales rising by 36% year-on-year. The DIY retailer also partnered with interior design psychology expert Niki Schafer to provide tips on how to rejuvenate the home with new colours. Schafer said: “Greens and blues are very calming colours as they literally soothe us and (very marginally) lower our blood pressure. These shades work really well in bedrooms or as an accessory colour in kitchens. Blue is also said to be productive and is a good addition to home offices and gyms.”
Dulux Colour of the Year 2022 is also a shade of blue named Bright Skies, which the paint brand hope will bring optimism, positivity and new life to the home.
Ready to add a burst of blue to your home? Here are six ways to do that, from smaller touches to bigger splashes…
Deck the walls
Whether you opt for a single statement wall or plan on doing the whole room in a hue of blue, there are so many shades to pick from. Salty, greyer shades of blue can evoke memories of being by on the coast and work well in rooms that get a good amount of light (otherwise they can appear gloomy). Deeper shades, like petrol or navy, surprisingly work well in darker rooms. They’re also great for adding a sense of glamour or formality to a room, such as the dining room, living room and study.
COAT in All Inclusive, from £1.50 Shop here
Blue as the base
Choosing a quality carpet in a timeless shade creates the perfect canvas for a room. With a brilliant blue as a base, you can continue to add colour on top, with bold furniture, fittings and accessories, or keep things neutral elsewhere and let the bright flooring really shine.
But where to start with a statement carpet? The Chartwell carpet (pictured below, £41.99 per m2) in Royal Ink, which is part of the Good Housekeeping flooring range at Carpetright, has a soft velvet appearance and can withstand serious levels of wear, making it perfect for high-traffic areas like your stairs or hallway. It’s made from 100% polypropylene, so is a popular choice for a family home, what with its resistance to stains and ability to maintain its brightness. All our carpets have been rigorously tested by the Good Housekeeping Institute and praised for their luxurious texture and gorgeous appearance.
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Bring in bright furniture
Adding pops of blue using pieces of choice furniture is great for those who prefer neutral walls and floors, or for those renting and aren’t able to paint or re-lay carpets. A navy sofa is a timeless classic (like the GH100 below, which is part of our DFS furniture collection), while bold armchairs, pouffes and ottomans are a brilliant way to add bursts of blue to corners of larger rooms. Nestle one in the quiet nook of a home office to create a relaxing reading spot, perhaps?
DFS GH100 in Navy, £2,699 Shop now
Blue tile thinking
Bored of plain white tiles? Going blue in the kitchen or bathroom is a no brainer. Darker shades not only look super-chic but make for the perfect kitchen splashback, as they mask stains in the short term but are incredibly easy to wipe clean as well. In the bathroom, conjure up memories of seaside trips with shades such as azure and sky, while greener colours like teal and turquoise can recreate the look of an alluring swimming pool from holidays gone by.
B&Q Vernisse Blue Gloss Ceramic Wall Tile, pack of 41 £23.92 Shop now
However big or small a room, prints and wall hangings are an easy way to add pops of colour. Vibrant abstract prints, with splatters of indigo and cyan, are great for a modern look, while scenes of the ocean will really help bring some traditional ‘blue space’ into a room. You could even frame pretty seaside postcards or old holiday photos – whatever bit of blue suits you best.
Anthropologie Dan Hobday St Ives Print, £78 Shop now
A blanket of blue, literally
A quick and easy way to add a burst of blue in bedrooms and living rooms is with soft accessories, such as blankets, throws and cushions in funky patterns, stripes (like the pretty John Lewis cushion we’ve picked out below) and block colour. If you’re adding numerous accessories to one room, don’t be afraid to mix up different shades and textures – the overall effect will look more thought out and curated. In the bathroom, swap out old towels and bath mats for fresh, blue ones. Colour towels can often look newer for longer compared to white towels too, especially if you’ve got kids. It’s a win-win.
John Lewis & Partners Ottoman Stripe Cushion in Blue, £35.00 Shop now
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