A deep blue sea

A recent trip to Paris reveals the color blue's worldwide allure. From fabrics and wallpapers to porcelain and crystal, shades of blue from navy to lagoon appeared at both Paris shows Maison & Objet and Paris Deco Off.

Lessons in Blue (clockwise from bottom left) Top design houses found new ways to use blue: Dedar’s Pavillon Moire fabric; Fornasetti II Acquario wallpaper for Cole & Son at Lee Jofa; Pierre Frey’s Shibao collection; Baccarat Midnight Elephant (limited edition of 35); Sieger by Fürstenberg china; and Jean Paul Gaultier for Lelièvre Envol pillow. photographs by stacey bewkes/quintessenceblog.com

In a sea of new introductions at the Paris shows in January, blue was definitely riding high. From fabrics and wallpapers to porcelain and crystal, blue appeared at both Maison & Objet and Paris Deco Off in a myriad of shades from navy to lagoon. As Pierre Frey reminded us in his presentation, these hues are the roots of many civilizations; from China to Scandinavia to India, you find these blues in almost every culture. In fact, Maison Frey devoted an entire new collection, Shibao, to indigo.   

Blues also worked in tandem with many of the other themes trending in design. The secret of successful interiors today is all in the mix, and blue is one of the most versatile colors in the wheel. From rich regal royals to casual coastal pastels, it is at home in any setting. A global exotic chic continues to appeal across the board, and many of the fabric collections included nods to Morocco, Indonesia and beyond, with bold prints and ikats in textured linens, elegant silks and embossed velvets. Dedar reworked the design of a Moorish gate into a modern graphic on its Pavillon Moire, and Jim Thompson continued to be inspired by the artistic traditions and cultural heritage of Southeast Asia with his new Himma Gardens collection, including an elegant updated silk ikat, Aura.

Just as was seen on the fashion runways last season, flora and fauna are making a comeback, referencing the past with a contemporary twist. Pretty is back and looks fresh in shades of blue, many executed with a witty and whimsical touch. Fornasetti’s new wallpaper collection for Cole & Son included the wonderful Acquario in aqua with a playful pattern of fish, and Jean Paul Gaultier presented a collection of decorative blue pillows including birds and fish with embroidered sequins and feathers. Marie Daâge’s charming Limoges collection brings birds and bees to the table in turquoise.

While classic blue and white is always right, the shade du jour also plays nicely with every color in the rainbow. So whether you’re thinking major update or minor accessory, there will be innumerable ways to include this trending shade in your home.