A Brief History of (January) Blues

As much as we love to have reached the end of January and its blues, our negative attitude towards the colour blue is somewhat unjustified. It seems that the sombre connotations of sadness and melancholy become embedded in the very pigments of the multitude of its shades this time of year.  Having said that, many an artist saw the colour blue in a completely different light. To them, its enigmatic celestial pull represented the link between the earthly and the divine.  Joan Miro created a series of paintings that were fundamentally different form all his other work.  One of his ‘peinture-poésie’ large canvases is almost completely blank for the exception of a blot of light blue paint with a neatly written phrase underneath: this is the colour of my dreams. 

Joan Miro, The Colour of My Dreams, 1925

As precious as one’s dreams and almost as unique, the raw ingredient of ultramarine, lapis lazuli, commanded exorbitant prices due to its provenance during Renaissance. First carried along the Silk Road from the mountains of Afghanistan, then loaded onto ships to reach the shores of Europe, it was praised for its extraordinary longevity.  Cennino Cennini, the Italian painter famed for his extensive use of ultramarine viewed it as ‘illustrious, beautiful and most perfect, beyond all other colours; one could not say anything about it, or do anything about it, that its quality would not surpass.’

The notions of chastity, purity and innocence were also brought to life through the use of ultramarine.  The Virgin Mary’s cloak was increasingly depicted in deep blue tones by Italian painters whereas Johannes Vermeer chose it for the turban in the Girl with a Pearl Earring painting.

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, 1665

Interestingly, the colour blue lends itself to be rendered both vibrant and dramatic when matched with other colours.  This is the case in the renowned Blue Room bar at the Berkley hotel designed by the late David Collins.  The interior is imbued with understated dynamism punctuated with the dominant addition of red wall lights.  Albeit its restricted colour palette, the Blue Room delivers an iconic and memorable environment eschewing melancholy tones attributed to blue colour schemes.

David Collins Studio, The Blue Bar at the Berkley, 2001

After all, our January despondency so prevalent at this time of year could be felt even in the most considered surroundings.  The colour blue with its serene tonal wealth does, perhaps, fall victim to our projected ennui, dejection and trepidation. If anything, we should embrace the colour’s calming properties and ethereal magic to navigate the mysteries of the year lying ahead.

References: 

Cennini, Craftsman’s Handbook, p.38
The Secret Lives of Colour, Kassia St Clair
Wikipedia

Mirage Collection

This collection evokes a mysterious illusion of a desert mirage. Intriguing, yet illusive impressions of lush greenery, exotic fruits and burning sun are inspired by intrepid travellers’ encounters with fantastical surroundings and parched landscapes. Experience the thrill of a distant voyage with the Mirage collection of organic cotton and silk luxury throw and bolster cushions.

Midtown Collection

The Midtown collection is imbued with New York City’s 1970s flamboyance of striking colours and loud statements evoking energy and panache of the city that never sleeps. Taking inspiration from an iconic Midtown club, Studio 54, each design features dynamic colour combination arranged in a grid-like pattern reminiscent of Manhattan’s orderly streets. Add a hip and vibrant Midtown vibe to your home with this spiffy silk and velvet collection of luxury throw and bolster cushions.

Montezuma Collection

Designs of this collection are suggestive of a wondrous journey across arid Arizona landscapes surrounded by mythology of the Amerindian tribes.  Referencing heroic tribal gods, vertiginous Grand Canyon gorges and breath-taking sunsets, the Montezuma collection will add mystical vibrancy to your home. Striking, yet luxurious, each piece will take you on a far-flung voyage across the Four Corners accompanied by fabled beings and majestic beasts. 

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Belgravia

A full cosmetic refurbishment was undertaken in a 70 sqm (755 sq ft) pied-à-terre located in a well-appointed apartment block. Classic design pieces paired with a meticulously put together palette of finishes and fittings created a comfortable and contemporary home away from home.

De Beauvoir Town

A full redesign of a 150 sqm (1600 sq ft) family home situated in a conservation area. Services included space planning, furniture selection, be joinery and interior styling. Property’s period features were sympathetically complemented with contemporary design pieces to create a chic and refined family home.

About Us

FifteenFifteen offers a professional, reliable interior design service with a personal touch. Natalia Petrov, a one-woman team behind FifteenFifteen, brings interpretation of clients’ vision and her expertise to create individually tailored environments that translate into highly practical living spaces.

Founded in 2015, FifteenFifteen provides interior design services with a strong emphasis on originality, craftsmanship and practicality.

FifteenFifteen’s designs do not have a particular ‘look’ or adhere to a certain interior style. Instead, ideas are transformed into personalised homes reflecting clients’ interests, lifestyle, period and style of the property as well as its location. Individuality is at the core of the FifteenFifteen’s design ethos.

From an initial consultation to the final snagging visit, every stage of the project is overseen and attended to with utmost care and attention reflecting the commitment to meet clients’ expectations on time, budget and aesthetic.

Recent commissions include an apartment in Chelsea, a Regent’s Canal waterfront pied-à-terre and family homes in North London. Through meticulous planning, sourcing and collaboration with clients and counterparts, FifteenFifteen applies its philosophy of crafted individuality to deliver detail driven and value enhanced homes whilst individually crafting clients’ experiences within them.

 

 

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