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Out of the blue; Blue needn't be cold and uninviting. It will never go out of fashion, says Gabrielle Fagan who has some tips for decorating with this classic hue.

Byline: Gabrielle Fagan

BLUE IS the most popular colour for decorating. No wonder - it reminds us of bright sunny skies, glittering seas, and turquoise pools. It's a natural choice for seaside themes, and the classic pairing of blue and white with touches of red will give a crisp nautical feel, or use pale blue with white washed wood for beach house chic.

Mixing blue with aqua, turquoise and splashes of silver conjures a sophisticated look, while slate blue teams well with vanilla, warm coffee shades or pale greens.

Blue naturally complements subtle orange shades so will enhance mid-toned woods. Or dive into blues by using patterned fabrics, blinds, or accessories like cushions or a throw against the background of a neutral scheme.

Do remember in north-facing rooms to choose shades that have a hint of yellow, such as lavender blues, which are warmer and will counteract a cold light.

Kitchen blues

Blue's an ideal colour for kitchens, and the cooler, paler shades work particularly well.

Paint walls in a blue shade and contrast with fashionably glossy white units, or really take the plunge with blue units. A Rialto kitchen in Sky Blue from Crown Imperial starts from pounds 5,000.

You could make a statement with an Alnogrand contemporary kitchen in High Gloss Blue. A 600mm base unit starts from pounds 985.19.

Or just jazz up a breakfast bar with a blue Pod Bar Stool from drinkstuff.com, pounds 39.99, and add an Accents Kettle and Toaster in Blissful Blue from Morphy Richards. Kettle pounds 39.99 and toaster, pounds 29.99.

Living blues

It's easy to splash the blues around with wallpaper by Julien Macdonald for Graham & Brown. He has Ornate in Blue or an exotic Teal, both from pounds 16.99 a roll.

Graham & Brown also has beach scene canvases to remind you of blue skies and seas. They start from pounds 19.99.

Lounge in style on a Moroccan blue Teatime Tallulah chaise in Moroccan Blue, pounds 988, and matching footstool, pounds 343, both from Sofa Workshop.

Cast a blue glow with John Lewis' Caroline Lamp. It's a futuristic, curvy turquoise blue glass table lamp which is touch-activated, and costs pounds 30.

Alternatively Philippe Starck's Miss Sissi cobalt table lamp is pounds 55 for Flos, and available from Geoffrey Drayton.

Accessorise with cushions from high street stores like Debenhams or indulge yourself with silk cushions from Feather & Black, pounds 18 each.

Dining blues

Dive in and paint walls a deep blue for a subterranean feel, or simply use blue dinnerware on a pure white tablecloth.

Conran's cobalt blue dining chairs would be irresistible if you've got the blues. The Ultrabellini Gloss chair is pounds 145.

Get a seashore feel with Alenska's white linen tablecloths, runners and napkins hand embroidered with blue starfish. Tablecloth pounds 78, napkin, pounds 11. Dress the table with Waterford's Clarendon cobalt blue martini or champagne glasses, pounds 95 for a pair, and brightest blue and white sailing boat design plates by Puiforcat at Harrods, which start from pounds 36.

Take tea using TG Green Cornishware in bold blue and white stripes or blue and white polka dot, from Chinasearch. Prices start from pounds 12. Or look to John Rocha's delicate blue Pomegranate china at Debenhams, which could hint at your passion for blue. Teacup pounds 6, saucer pounds 4.

Bedroom blues

Soft blues are the perfect soothing colour for a bedroom.

Wake up to turquoise skies no matter what the weather outside by dressing windows with The New England Shutter Company's turquoise suede shutters.

They start from pounds 298 per square metre.

Hang up an English Eccentrics Moroccan mirror in cobalt blue flock. It costs an eye-watering pounds 795, but is a statement piece.

Sit at your dressing table on a glittering sapphire blue Kartell stone stool by designer Marcel Wanders, pounds 117 from Design-Co nscious.

Invest in blue bedlinen from Jeff Banks' collection for Debenhams. The Kensington range includes a double quilt cover pounds 80, and a mohair throw pounds 60.

Curtains cost from pounds 95.

Alenska's ocean inspired blue and white bedlinen is hand embroidered with a design of waves. A bedding set including a double duvet, two pillowcases and a sheet costs pounds 323, or a double duvet cover on its own is pounds 187.

Add a throw in pale turquoise and brown, such as the Chatsworth rose bud throw at pounds 65 from Virgin Vie at Home.

Bathroom blues

Blue is a top choice for bathrooms and devotees could go overboard for a Blue free standing bath, designed by Studio Levien, available from Ideal Standard. It costs pounds 2,047.

Fired Earth also has baths that can be customised in blue shades.

Garden

Next's folding Marbella Garden set in

Turquoise would brighten your patch no matter what the skies above. A table and two chairs cost pounds 80.

If you want to lounge in squashy comfort try Dunelm Mill's Mardi Gras Bean Chair, pounds 28.99, in aqua. It's a lightweight, portable seating option that can be used both inside and out, and there are matching aqua cushions, pounds 7.99 each. If you'd love a blue sea view, conjure one in an instant with a weather proof print on canvas.

Try Mykonos, which shows the Greek coastline, from Graham & Brown's new Garden Gallery of prints, which have stainless steel rings so they can be hung on walls or fences. They cost pounds 25 each.

Blue ideas

No need to worry about the weather outside if you add Window Film in royal blue, pounds 14 a roll, from Brume Basics.

Or add an irresistible blind featuring rows of birds set against a blue sky. The Birds on a Wire blind costs pounds 51.50 from Not on the High Street. It also has sky blue Rubber plant pots, and deep blue French Water Glasses.

Get the blues

Alno: 0870 0433 742/www.alno.co.uk

Alenska: 0870 027 7162/www.alenska.com

Brume Basics: 01364 73090/www.brumebasics.co.uk

Chinasearch: 01926 512402/www.chinasearch.co.uk

Conran: 020 7589 7401/www.conranshop.co.uk

Crown Imperial: 01227 742424/www.crown-imperial.co.uk

Debenhams: 08445 616 161/www.debenhams.com

Design-Conscious: 01200 427313/www.design-conscious.co.uk

Drinkstuff: 0870 428 0958/www.drinkstuff.com

Dunelm Mill: 08451 656565/www.dunelm-mill.com

English Eccentrics: 020 7284 2525/www.englisheccentrics.com

Feather & Black: 01243 380600/www.featherandblack.com

Geoffrey Drayton: 020 7387 5840/www.geoffrey-drayton.co.uk

Graham & Brown: 0800 3288 452/www.grahambrown.com

Ideal Standard: 0800 590311/www.ideal-standard.co.uk

John Lewis: 0845 6049 049/www.johnlewis.com

The New England Shutter Company: 020 8675 1099/www.tnesc.co.uk

Morphy Richards: 0870 060 2614/www.morphyrichards.com

Next: 0845 600 7000/www.next.co.uk

Not On The High Street: 0870 626 0931/www.notonthehighstreet .com

Sofa Workshop: 01798 345 345/www.sofaworkshop.com

Virgin Vie At Home: 0845 300 8022/www.virginvieathome.com

Waterford: 0800 039 0077/www.waterford.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

Statement: Left, Birds on a Wire Blind by Bodie and Fou at notonthehighstreet.com, priced at pounds 51.95. Above, Moroccan flocked mirror from English Eccentrics, pounds 795.; Sheer comfort: Blue Silk cushions, pounds 18 from Feather and Black.; Illuminating: Blue Caroline Lamp, pounds 30 from John Lewis.; Jazzy: Blue Gas Lift Pod Bar Stool from drinkstuff.com, price pounds 39.99.; Pure elegance: Jeff Banks Home - Kensington Range. Double quit cover pounds 80, pair of Oxford pillowcases pounds 24, pair of Housewife pillowcases pounds 22, Cushion pounds 25, Mohair throw pounds 60, Medium throw pounds 90, Curtains from pounds 95, Voile panel pair pounds 30. All From Debenhams.; Stylish: Julien Macdonald's Ornate wallpaper in blue, Graham & Brown from pounds 16.99 per roll.; Sheer luxury: Blue free standing bath, designed by Studio Levien, available from Ideal Standard, price pounds 2,047.; Stunning: Alnogrand contemporary kitchen in High Gloss Blue. A 600mm base unit starts from pounds 985.19. Right, blue shutters from The New England Shutter Company. Prices start from pounds 298 per square metre.; Extra touch: Chatsworth rose bud throw, pounds 65 from Virgin Vie at Home.; Comfort: Teatime Tallulah chaise in Treacle Moroccan Blue, pounds 988 from Sofa Workshop.; Blissful: Morphy Richards Accents Kettle and Toaster in Blissful Blue. The kettle retails for pounds 39.99 and toaster for pounds 29.99. "Blue Domino" crockery priced from around pounds 12 and goes up to around pounds 140,
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 16, 2007
Words:1409
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