Ample reasons for having the blues Design: A color associated with seaside homes can work well in summer cottages far from the ocean's edge.

September 08, 1996|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

We're about to redecorate our summer cottage, which is located near the shore of a large lake. Blue would be our first choice as the color for the walls, but isn't it more suitable for an oceanside home than for a rustic hideaway?

I guess we've all been saturated with themed interiors to the point where a blue-sand-and-green color scheme automatically signifies an oceanfront home. Tropical plants, seashells, louvered shutters and bamboo are other standard elements in this packaged design.

But there's no good reason why blue should have this association exclusively. In fact, it's used in many different kinds of settings and as part of a wide range of warm and rich styles.

Blue also has lots of variations. Deep and strong shades of blue, for example, are often seen in the country interiors of northern France and in Italian mountainside villas near Lake Como. A similar kind of blue may likewise be found in some Mediterranean homes, such as those in the grottoes of Capri.

You should also keep in mind that one color alone cannot define a room's overall look. It's the combination of colors and patterns that give a room personality, regardless of where it's located.

Let's consider the cheerful corner shown in the photo. This design is certainly expressive of summertime, but not in any particular geographic locale. I'd describe the look as relaxed, unpretentious and charmingly inviting. The daybed and pillows are covered in a small-scale, traditional pattern that's coordinated with the bold border just above the chair rail.

Both patterns feature a rich shade of blue that I call "red blue," as opposed to the more common greenish blues. The fabrics and wall coverings seen here are all from Motif Designs of New York. Take notice, please, of the different scales and colors used on the wall above and below the chair-rail border. A blue-and-white mini-stripe has been applied on the upper surface, while a wider stripe of white and beige can be glimpsed on the the wall below the white-painted wooden molding.

Other delicate touches include the woven, lacelike half-curtain on a rod across the middle of the small window. It provides privacy and a bit of softness even as it allows sunlight to stream into the room. White woodwork and a white candlestick lamp add some summer freshness to the scrubbed pine dresser and the pine flooring. To round out this attractive color scheme, white lacquer paint has been applied to the wooden frame of the sleigh bed.

I hope this model provides you with some inspiration as well as reassurance. To me, the combination of scrubbed pine and a blue-and-white color scheme is like a good set of pearls -- it can go anywhere.

Pub Date: 9/08/96

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