As the new year begins, bringing new colors into our homes can help refresh and recalibrate our spirits. This spring, blues may be just the tonic we need.
Many color marketing and manufacturing groups have named some version of blue among their 2013 colors of the year. AzkoNobel likes indigo; Pantone's top palette includes Monaco Blue, a mix of royal and navy; Color Marketing Group chose mid-range blues. That means that lots of home retailers will be singing the blues this spring, in a good way.
Blues range from energetic to restful. They can call to mind the graduated blues of the sky or those of the oceans, rivers and lagoons.
Blues play well with most colors, textures and room styles.
Rustic woven elements bring indigo home with a traditional, often global sensibility. Canadian designer Windsor Shaw pairs indigo silk drapes with a jute rug, for example. Sleek lacquerware and silver accessories take blue into smart city-modern territory.
Blue and white is a combination with lots of possibilities. Sara Peterson, HGTV Magazine's editor in chief, says, "We love soft blue-grays in master bedrooms, with white linens and dark wood furniture. Light blue is really pretty on painted kitchen cabinets with white countertops. In a kid's room, cobalt blue is fun when paired with painted white furniture and bursts of bright accent colors, like fuchsia or lime green."
RH Baby and Child has a reversible navy and natural braided wool rug, while Restoration Hardware offers Ben Soleimani's heathered navy pinstripe rug; both would be great bases for other navy touches in a room. (www.rhbabyandchild.com ; www.rh.com )
Crate & Barrel and CB2 have some peppy peacock-blue pieces in the spring collections. The latter's got the low-slung Avec sofa, skinny John floor lamp, and the Yolo flat-weave rug in a fresh, fun peacock and white circle print. (www.crateandbarrel.com )
At C&B there's the little Willa wooden chair in perky peacock, and the Kruger patio side table and stool come in a deep ultramarine called Harbor Blue. (www.cb2.com )
This spring, Target's Threshold collection features an array of landscape blues, focusing on one in particular.
"As we traveled through Europe and Asia on our trend trips, teal started to become more prominent," says Julie Guggemos, vice president of product development.
Target's spring collection includes an ikat print shower curtain, a floral door mat and a ceramic lamp in teal. ( www.target.com )
Indigo, an inky shade often found in dyed textiles, works with a variety of interior styles. It anchors neutrals less harshly than black, and it's a sophisticated counterpoint to bright colors or pastels.
Homegoods has well-priced, indigo printed upholstered chairs, fabric-covered storage boxes and ikat patterned towels. (www.homegoods.com )
Deep water or blueberries come to mind with Monaco Blue. It pops against many of the season's more playful shades, such as nectarine, pea green, violet, poppy red and lemony yellow.
Turquoise, which held sway over much of 2012's color story, stays strong into spring. The color's pretty, yet carries an edge. Modern décor looks great in turquoise: Ikea's Klippan sofa comes in a version that will have you thinking of the tropics. Go with that vibe by pairing it with textural white and cream accessories evoking sandy beaches, nubby shells and palm bark. (www.ikea.com )
Safavieh offers the Paris ceramic table lamp in a gentle light blue or the more emphatic navy. An upholstered ottoman in powder or ink would be a chic addition. (www.safaviehhome.com )
Photo: This undated publicity photo provided by HomeGoods shows towels in various shades of blue as a simple and inexpensive way to introduce blue into spring décor (www.homegoods.com). (AP Photo/HomeGoods)