Thinking about repainting a room in your house? Now is a good time to choose blue, the official color of 2013.
The Color Marketing Group predicts that blue will dominate the color movement for the next few years. Blue didn't get this first-place honor without the help of another hue, though. The trend toward blue is partially due to the growing popularity of the green movement, a trend to conserve natural resources and tread more lightly on the planet. "Global and environmental issues regarding water, clear skies, and even the political atmosphere are driving factors in the blue movement," explains color expert Kate Smith, president of Sensational Color. "Just as macaroni and cheese is considered a comfort food, we're finding that people gravitate to blue as a comfort color for their lives and homes."
Smith says this year the color that emerged as influential is "Re-Blued." The "RE" plays on several key lifestyle trends that start with the same two letters: Recycling, renew, remember, rewind, recalibrate, reward and is reliable. "Re-Blued works well with all colors of the trend palette, from warm and cool," says Smith. "As we move away from denim and indigo influences, this mid range blue takes over."
Different shades of blues are seen as clean and relaxing, and blue elicits feelings of trustworthiness and commitment, hence the saying "true blue."
Blue is a color that can be used to create many moods within a home. If you're planning on working this earth-friendly tone into your décor this year, use these tips from Smith:
• Light blue combined with other cool colors like green or lavender creates a tranquil room.
• A mid-tone blue paired with another classic color in the same value and a neutral like camel or cream gives the feeling of stability and security.
• A bright electric blue in high contrast to the other colors in a room creates energy and a sense of adventure.
• To keep blue from feeling cold put it together with the warm tones of wood or textured neutrals.
• Blue is always complemented by orange, coral or warm browns. These combinations never go out of style.
• Another classic combination that will stand up to the test of time is blue and white. Use just those two colors or add any accent color that tickles your fancy.
Cool facts about the color blue, courtesy of SensationalColor.com:
• Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue.
• Over the past decade, scientists have reported the successful use of blue light in the treatment of a wide variety of psychological problems, including addictions, eating disorders, impotence, and depression.
• People are often most productive in blue rooms.
• Mosquito's are attracted to the color blue twice as much as to any other color.
• Blue is the least common color in the foods we eat, although blueberries take the cake for most preferred blue food.
"Over the years we've seen the growth of green as it connects to the earth," says Smith. "There have been movements to 'Go Green' with recycling and renewal. Now blue is nudging green to the side a bit, with a freshness and message of connection to people—not just the planet itself."
Some people have even dedicated their lives to protecting one of the earth's most important blue resource—water. We asked Maya K. van Rossom, the Delaware Riverkeeper and someone who spends a lot of time protecting water, what blue means to her:
"There are few things I find as awe-inspiring and captivating as the brilliance of a large expanse of bright blue sky or blue green water," she says. "Gazing upon each one is an incredible reminder of how beautiful and fragile the earth is, that we have a small but important place in it, and that if we don't take personal responsibility to protect the blue of that sky or the health of those waters then they will be lost for all generations to come.
"So blue is a powerful color to me in that it helps to both ground me and inspire me at the same time," she adds.
Here's how you can protect your blue world in 2013:
Redecorate in a nontoxic way. If you decide to turn your walls blue, opt for less-harmful paints, like those from Yolo or Safecoat. To lessen your dependence on water and energy, opt for reclaimed art, furniture, and other decorations.
Protect your water. Buy organic foods to keep toxic chemicals out of the water, support clean energy, and lobby lawmakers to stop the expansion of oil, natural gas (including fracking), and coal exploration, and make a pledge to cut back on one-use plastic items. Another step you can take? Instead of using harmful laundry detergents and cleaners that pollute waterways, make your own homemade cleaners or purchase the best cleaners that are truly green.
Protect your air. Carpool and drive less often, perhaps asking to work from home several times per week. Urge your lawmakers to support clean energy like solar and wind instead of air-polluting fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. If you can't afford solar panels, try a solar hot water system to reduce emissions that would be created to heat your water. To protect your indoor air, use beeswax candles instead of scented ones and avoid air fresheners, gels, and plug-ins.