One of the things that this new year seeks to achieve is a renewed perception of the colour blue. Enough of people associating blue with feelings of sadness or dejection. As per the Pantone Colour Institute, 'classic blue' (19-4052) is the colour of the year 2020 as the shade signifies a 'boundless blue evocative of the vast and infinite evening sky'. The colour choice this year is a stark contrast to Living Coral, which was the colour of the year in 2019.
The colour blue stands best for the sky and the sea, both of which have a calming effect on the mind. The colour emanates good vibes that soothe us mentally, contrary to the physical reaction we have to red. Strong blues stimulate clear thoughts and lighter, soft blues calm the mind and aid concentration. In fact, blue is an important element in the colour theory as it stands for coolness. In Panch-mahabhuta (the five elements of Mother Nature), water element is shown in blue colour in the geometrical form of a circle. In Vaishnava contemplation, it is depicted as Lord Vishnu and all his avatars. It is also depicted as Lord Shiva in Shaivism (Shiva contemplation). Lakhi Chand Jain, sacred art therapist at Thriive Art & Soul suggests that the tones and shades of blue help in many ways. "For people who need peace and calm, love to be with nature, preferably under the open sky and near water, the blueness of the elements leave a deep impact on the mind, thereby decreasing mental stress levels. The blue sky and water bestow relief to eyes and reduce the drowsy feeling. If you wish to keep yourself cool mentally and find true inner joy, you have to connect with blue for a moment through creative and spiritual activities. Various pigments related to the colour are used in many traditional sacred rituals. Due to the usefulness of this colour, people residing in villages use blue to paint mud walls in their earthen homes as well," says Jain.
The history of this shade goes back to the ancient Egyptians who created a permanent pigment used for decorative arts. Egyptian blue colour was created around 2,200 BC. Since then the ever-evolving hues and shades of the colour began to be used by the world's artists for over 6,000 years. Egyptian blue was made from ground limestone mixed with sand and azurite. Even in the 13th century, Persia was known to infuse blue colour in all their compositions. Ethnic wear designer Anjali Bhaskar of Samatvam, through her collection pays homage to Persian floral motifs in blue seen in various museums and architectural structures. "Blue is also the colour of royalty and commonly reflected in the fabric of kings and queens. It enhances and compliments the surroundings, ambience and even the person wearing it. The colour is known to have a calming effect on an individual, symbolising trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith and truth," says Bhaskar.
With its tranquilising effect, the pigment can be incorporated in interiors by way of design and architecture. Entrepreneur and luxury designer Seetu Kohli finds blue as the colour that maintains its energy in all forms and shades. "A quintessential blue moving into aqua and classic teal is expected to dominate the interiors in 2020. Italian furniture companies who have been romancing with indigo blue since the last couple of years will surely go all out to capture all variations of the classic blue this year in their collections," she says.
Sans Souci, a Czech designer and producer of tailor-made light fixtures has introduced the various shades of blue, diffused blue lights as the accent colour of the new year. "The elegant and calming colour is already a favourite in the West, and we will see some interesting spin on the various hues from the blue family in Indian décor as well," says Sandeep Kaushik, country head, India & Sri Lanka, Sans Souci.
Incorporating blue tonality into a living space through accessories, furniture and flooring can instantly brighten up the space. Disha Bhavsar, co-founder, Quirk Studio suggests to use warmer tones of the pigment like teal if not a darker tone. "Pair it up with vintage furniture to bring in a bit of old world charm. Include bright saturated shades of the hue such as the classic royal blue by way of accent walls, statement pieces, rugs and furniture and making sure they draw attention by keeping the surroundings muted. Dramatic blue walls with pop colour furniture against the same can create fun, quirky spaces.
Additionally, window trims, built-in panels and crown mouldings in shades of blue give the space a chic look and can spruce up an otherwise dull space. Owing to its intensity, it is important to make sure there is enough natural light when inculcating the colour otherwise the space can end up looking cold and gloomy. To tone down the effect, use the colour in conjunction with warm and earthy tones. The key is to not go overboard and let the colour blend in with its surroundings. The most lived-in area of a house- the living space, when adorned in this naturally
appeasing hue can help you beat your midday blues."