Paradoxes of blue

Paradoxes of blue


  • Pale blue and white

  • Vintage stripes

  • Drama

  • Purity

  • Nobility

  • Contrasts

Blue is paradoxical. On the one hand, it is known that if you eat from a blue plate or in a dining room decorated in blue, then your appetite decreases. This is due to the fact that usually spoiled, moldy food turns blue (remember blue cheese). Therefore, people instinctively avoid this shade.

On the other hand, polls show that blue is our favorite:

The survey was conducted by sociologist Philip Cohen (University of Maryland), and the study involved thousands of people – so the data is quite reliable. More than every fourth woman and almost every second man consider blue as their favorite.

Strange, isn’t it? The favorite turned out to be what we avoid.

But the oddities don’t end there. For example, the color blue increases efficiency, so offices are often painted in its shades. On the other hand, it is the color of sadness, depression, loneliness. Here is a painting from Picasso’s blue period:

Or Edvard Munch:

The magic forest in fairy tales often has a blue tint, and in blue tones it is usually used as a metaphor for mystical experiences.
In general, blue can be calm and intense, inspiring and depressing, sad and joyful, sublime and down-to-earth – a complex color. Let’s see how it can work in the interior.

Pale blue and white

The French call it “the color of the faded horizon” – this is the same shade in which the hazy border between the sea and the sky is painted. Combining it with white, you can create an interior in the spirit of marine romanticism.
Attach the pale blue curtain as high as possible to the ceiling, and you have something like a long exposure of a waterfall. Light, calmness, silence.

Vintage stripes

Blue striped pillows evoke a vaguely nostalgic feeling. Maybe this is hello from the striped mattresses on which we slept as children? ..
Take a look at the photo: the pillows have made the design a holistic one. They rhyme with arecca leaves (through stripes) and with a textile pattern in the spirit of Gzhel (through color).
In such a room one would like to relax after a trip around the world – and so that somewhere behind the wall a gramophone would play quietly.


White and blue, accentuated by dark outlines, can look dramatic and sharp.
Colleen Ellard, an expert in the psychology of interior perception, notes that the aesthetics of space is largely determined by the balance between smooth and clear boundaries (“spatial spectrum”).
In this interior, the balance is shifted far towards thin contrasting lines – but the blue color allows you to soften the effect, make it acceptable.
In cooking, by the way, there is a similar principle, when two extremes with different modality compensate each other: excess fat content can be subjectively neutralized by acidity, and acidity, in turn, is softened by fat.


Blue creates a sense of cleanliness, which is why we intuitively choose it for our baths. But this effect can be used in other spaces as well: for example, in changing rooms, closets with cleaning equipment and in rooms reserved for laundry.
By the way, once it was the other way around. Michel Pasturo in the book Blue. The history of color ‚ÄĚsays that in ancient Rome, for example, this color was not liked: it was considered barbaric, dirty, and the Huns smeared their faces with it in order to scare away enemies.
He began to associate with purity in the Renaissance, when he became a symbol of the Virgin Mary (her main title, as you probably remember, is “pure”). In the paintings, her omophorion (cape) was depicted in Prussian blue.


Dark blue upholstered furniture will make your interior noble. The iridescence of the blue velvet surface conveys calm confidence and aristocracy.

If you immerse the entire interior in dark blue tones and add neoclassical motives, you can create a space imbued with the spirit of academism:


Blue is a cool color and therefore goes well with yellow or orange. Look at any Hollywood poster: they probably use this pair.
Of course, this contrast also looks good in the interior.

Blue can be as simple as cornflower and as luxurious as sapphire. Indigo, cobalt, marengo, cyan, violet and electric – this color has many faces, and how it will be perceived in the interior depends only on you.

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About Leona Smith 115 Articles
Hello! My name is Silke and this is my travel blog. I want to show you fascinating places off the beaten track, give you a gentle introduction to history and culture, and help you get around Berlin. After 13 years in Sydney and Andalusia, I now live in Berlin, Germany. I am a travel writer, translator and book author. Read more about me here.

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