Design Notes Archive

Spring’s Blue Period

Spring’s Blue Period

154 shades of blue, from chalky tweeds to midnight sequins, dominated Chanel’s spring haute couture show. With artists like Pablo Picasso and Yves Klein going through blue periods it should comes as no surprise that a creative force like Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s designer and arbiter of cool, would go through one too. Blue, it seems, is the new black. Drop by any newsstand and you’ll spot the colour swathed across magazine covers. Elle Decoration even goes so far as to decree it THE colour of 2012 in the March issue. Perhaps it’s winter’s grey skies giving way to crisp, clear, spring afternoons but blue is feeling ever less moody and a lot more vibrant these days.

Take Brian Atwood’s Milan abode - the accessories designer and Bally creative director paved the walls and floor with slate tile then painted and accessorised in a complementing shade with help from American decorator Nate Berkus (his boyfriend to boot). Further afield, film director Francis Ford Coppola was so inspired by designer Jacques Grange’s treatment of Yves St. Laurent’s Moroccan retreat that he tapped the legendary tastemaker to restore his family’s southern Italian palazzo. Grange channeled the Moroccan motif with an encaustic tile border and commissioned painter Roberto Bellantuono to cast an atmospheric glaze across the room. In stark contrast, the indigo walls and petrified wood stools spotted on Atelier Abigail Ahern’s blog, feels a bit like showering outside at twilight. What could be more invigorating than that?

Not ready for a dramatic overhaul? Try painting a single wall in one of Farrow & Ball’s aquatic shades or keep it simple with a vase of spring blooms. Anemones, tulips and delphiniums blossom in natural shades of blue while roses and calla lilies can be purchased in the dyed variety.

Photographs © Simon Upton, Tim Beddow, unknown