Tuesday, March 5, 2024
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The colour that’s the is interior experts’ new must-have: It has conquered catwalks – here’s how to use it in your home

It’s official, say interiors experts – the reign of navy is over. But don’t feel blue – the new shade on the horizon is cobalt. Dubbed Galactic Blue by the trend forecasters at WGSN, this shade is set to be the go-to colour of 2024.

It showed up on the spring/summer 24 catwalks of Alexander McQueen, Richard Quinn and Cecilie Bahnsen, whose latest collections featured the saturated tone in everything from ruffle tops to boots.

Cobalt has since trickled down into interiors, with several new launches featuring the colour. Ikea has introduced the bright blue Platsa units (floor-to-ceiling open shelving), from £50, while at H&M, bedding, cushions and vases are all sporting cobalt tones (for both see page 51).

Reckon you’re not ready to say no to navy yet? These ideas may change your mind…

INJECT SURPRISE 

Here, in the revamped 1980s home of interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (2lgstudio.com), the desk area and doors are painted in Ultramarine Blue Marble matt emulsion (£31 for 1 litre, mylands.com) Here, in the revamped 1980s home of interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (2lgstudio.com), the desk area and doors are painted in Ultramarine Blue Marble matt emulsion (£31 for 1 litre, mylands.com)

Here, in the revamped 1980s home of interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (2lgstudio.com), the desk area and doors are painted in Ultramarine Blue Marble matt emulsion (£31 for 1 litre, mylands.com)

The beauty of cobalt is that it doesn’t need to be plastered across four walls to hit home. It can be just as striking on less obvious areas: ceilings, window frames, even behind doors, eliciting a ‘wow!’ the minute they’re opened.

Here, in the revamped 1980s home of interior designers Jordan Cluroe and Russell Whitehead (2lgstudio.com), the desk area and doors are painted in Ultramarine Blue Marble matt emulsion (£31 for 1 litre, mylands.com), creating an uplifting focal point in otherwise neutral surroundings. The rug is the Portal Inverse by 2LG x floorstory.co.uk.

Curiously, says Cluroe, ‘Cobalt blue is both energising and calming. We included it in our home studio to create a completely different feel from the rest of the room, which is neutral. And the punchy tone actually helps me concentrate.’

MAKE IT HOMELY  

Here, the timber kitchen cupboards by plum-living.com accent the vibrancy of the blue, achieving a calm balance. For similar dining tables, see oka.com Here, the timber kitchen cupboards by plum-living.com accent the vibrancy of the blue, achieving a calm balance. For similar dining tables, see oka.com

Here, the timber kitchen cupboards by plum-living.com accent the vibrancy of the blue, achieving a calm balance. For similar dining tables, see oka.com

Cobalt is hardly synonymous with cosy. The trick is to team it with natural, neutral materials such as wood, jute, linen and wicker for warmth. Here, the timber kitchen cupboards by plum-living.com accent the vibrancy of the blue, achieving a calm balance. For similar dining tables, see oka.com.

The cobalt contrast needn’t be with neutrals – if you love primary colours, stick to a formula of one warm colour (perhaps orange or red) and one cool (say, green or purple). It’s called simultaneous contrast: the highest contrasts available on the colour wheel that also complement each other.

ADD TILES FOR STYLE 

Try Fired Earth¿s Andalucia collection in blue and white (£91 per sq m, firedearth.com) for an aesthetic similar to the one pictured above Try Fired Earth¿s Andalucia collection in blue and white (£91 per sq m, firedearth.com) for an aesthetic similar to the one pictured above

Try Fired Earth’s Andalucia collection in blue and white (£91 per sq m, firedearth.com) for an aesthetic similar to the one pictured above

For some, bright blue is seen as a frivolous shade – but there are many ways to add an elegant, contemporary twist. Tiles, for instance: a cobalt splashback will add a bright touch to your kitchen or bathroom without overwhelming the space.

Nor do you have to go full-on to make an impact – consider the amplifying effect of white tiles banded with cobalt counterparts, interspersing glossy and matt varieties for a textured look. And have fun playing with grout – white contrasting with blue tiles, or vice versa, will make for an interesting design feature. Try Fired Earth’s Andalucia collection in blue and white (£91 per sq m, firedearth.com) for an aesthetic similar to the one pictured above.

For the finishing touches, pick metallic details such as mirrors, door handles, light switches and shower heads in bronze and brass. Instant luxury. See the offerings from dykeanddean.com.

FIX IT WITH FABRICS 

Pictured here is the Tencel organic cotton duvet cover (£99 for a double, undercoverliving.com) Pictured here is the Tencel organic cotton duvet cover (£99 for a double, undercoverliving.com)

Pictured here is the Tencel organic cotton duvet cover (£99 for a double, undercoverliving.com)

Bedding is one of the easiest, most affordable ways to experiment with a bold colour. Cobalt has a rich, cocooning quality that makes it ideal for bedrooms. Pair with plain throws and scatter cushions in neutral or alternate shades of blue for a layered effect. Pictured here is the Tencel organic cotton duvet cover (£99 for a double, undercoverliving.com).

The hue also lends itself perfectly to creating stand-out displays of ceramics and art. We love the new cobalt vases at conranshop.uk and the Indigo collection of artworks at desenio.com. Group by size and height on a shelf or mantelpiece. Or refresh tired ceramics using spray paint in a gloss or semi-gloss finish to avoid brushstrokes. Cobalt No 50 Perfect Matt Emulsion (£31 for 1 litre, designersguild.com) is a warm take on the tone.

DO THE MATHS 

Follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60 per cent neutral shade for the backdrop (ie, walls); 30 per cent for the accent colour (in this case cobalt) for furniture, curtains and/or lights, and ten per cent for another bold accent (red, orange) on vases, cushions and other accessories Follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60 per cent neutral shade for the backdrop (ie, walls); 30 per cent for the accent colour (in this case cobalt) for furniture, curtains and/or lights, and ten per cent for another bold accent (red, orange) on vases, cushions and other accessories

Follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60 per cent neutral shade for the backdrop (ie, walls); 30 per cent for the accent colour (in this case cobalt) for furniture, curtains and/or lights, and ten per cent for another bold accent (red, orange) on vases, cushions and other accessories

Follow the 60/30/10 rule: 60 per cent neutral shade for the backdrop (ie, walls); 30 per cent for the accent colour (in this case cobalt) for furniture, curtains and/or lights, and ten per cent for another bold accent (red, orange) on vases, cushions and other accessories. Just enough contrast to make a room interesting but also comfy and habitable.

OUR BEST BLUE BUYS 

Cushion cover, £37, hm.com Cushion cover, £37, hm.com

Cushion cover, £37, hm.com

Table lamp, £152, smallable.com Table lamp, £152, smallable.com

Table lamp, £152, smallable.com

Shelving (60cm x 40cm x 60cm), £50, ikea.com Shelving (60cm x 40cm x 60cm), £50, ikea.com

Shelving (60cm x 40cm x 60cm), £50, ikea.com

Coffee table, £150, habitat.co.uk, Coffee table, £150, habitat.co.uk,

Coffee table, £150, habitat.co.uk,

Vase, £10.50, dunelm.com Vase, £10.50, dunelm.com

Vase, £10.50, dunelm.com

Glass tumblers, £6 for four, ikea.com Glass tumblers, £6 for four, ikea.com

Glass tumblers, £6 for four, ikea.com

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