January has a reputation for being a miserable month. The Christmas tree has been put away, decorations taken down and the New Year festivities and resolutions long since forgotten and abandoned.
But although this month heralds in a new year and the promise of new possibilities, opportunities and a fresh start, many people still feel a sense of the blues – perhaps due to the cold and wet weather, or perhaps as a result of a lack of funds now those Christmas credit card statements are starting to land on the mat or in the inbox.
To make matters worse and cement this idea, Monday January 17 has been labelled Blue Monday – the day in the year that has been designated as the most miserable of the lot.
But before you dive back under the duvet and resolve to hibernate until the clocks go forward, perhaps we should think again.
Maybe we are looking at this all wrong and instead of it reflecting the nation’s perceived mood, perhaps we should instead be thinking along more positive lines.
Blue doesn’t have to have negative connotations. Far from it. In fact, it can be a very positive colour, with an ability to calm us when we feel stressed or anxious, or to cool us when we overheat.
Alternatively, it can be both regal – think royal blue or deep sumptuous dark navy to evoke a sense of luxury – and exotic, think peacocks and aqua marines.
It is quite simply an under-rated colour but one that can be incorporated positively into any aspect of our lives – including our homes.
And it has been endorsed by one of the leading paint brands, Dulux, which has named Bright Skies as its Colour of the Year 2022. It is an uplifting shade of light blue which is soothing and gentle in its effect, both of which are beneficial to our mood.
The most obvious place to introduce blue in the home is the bathroom or cloakroom. Not in terms of a suite necessarily – unless you are brave or really want to go all out retro – but perhaps in the blinds, a block or patterned feature wall or even tiles. The hue you go for can evoke the seaside, cool climes or a relaxing vibe.
The kitchen is another obvious room that can accommodate the blues. Indeed, there has been a growing trend over the last couple of years towards blue units when combined with wooden or granite work tops and this shows no sign of abating.
Another possibility is in the sitting room, whilst you may not want a wall in a dark tone, a sofa in a rich navy velvet can really make a statement and can complement a patterned wallpaper or curtains.
Don’t forget the bedroom as it too can withstand a splash of blue. If the room is large and bright, perhaps consider a feature wall in a strong dark shade, or if that’s too much, or the room smaller, choose a lighter, warmer shade with hints of mauve.
Even if you don’t want to make a grand statement, blue can be incorporated by way of accents and accessories such as crockery, glassware or soft furnishings such as rugs, throws, cushions or curtains, which together or individually can have a positive effect on the room.
So, this Blue Monday why not think about all the wonderful shades of blue we can add to our homes so that if we are stuck indoors due to Covid, the weather or just because we want to hunker down, life won’t feel so bad.