The Idealist

Cultured Colour Scheme: Wedgwood Blue

Throughout the history of interior design certain colours have captured mainstream imaginations by evoking neo-classical glamour, luxury or the deceptive simplicity of true refinement. Such a colour is the pale grey blue named for Josiah Wedgwood whose Jasperware china was all the rage in the 1770s. Wedgwood blue is clear yet soft; cool yet also quite strongly feminine.

On walls it’s a brilliantly blank canvas that can support a range of secondary colours without being insipid. Josiah Wedgwood himself paired this blue most often with white in the form of relief decorations. There’s nothing more gently clean than Wedgwood blue with white or cream in painted stripes or blocks, or on wallpaper or textiles. But it also blends well with other blues – navy, China blue or the stronger blue of Delftware, or with pale greens and other pastels.

Furnishing the Bedroom

This soft blue is perfect for a child’s room, an elegant grownup bedroom or in a sophisticated kitchen/dining area. Here’s a bedroom scenario that has us gushing:

For a bedroom that is feminine without being girl-y, (perfect for a young teen or new adult, but really it could work for anyone) start with a really great statement bed. This upholstered linen number by Loaf suggests other era comfort and luxe.

And while the blue is not precisely Wedgwood, it is well within range. £1395 Dress it with blue and white striped sheets and a downy duvet. £32

Drop in a Chair

Add casual seating to the room (at a desk, or simply for throwing clothes onto) with this vintage style Mauricette chair. It’s Scandinavian pale wood vibe is also a great fit with Wedgwood blue. £83.99

Spread a Rug

Style the space with billowing white or cream draperies, rugs and cushions. Then add some deeper blue or pale green accessories as colourful accents. We especially love this ornate rug made by none other than Wedgwood, still on the cutting edge of design after more than three centuries. £850

Glamourise it with Art

For another type of homage to the Wedgwood aesthetic, check out this twisted limited edition giclée print by Magnus Gjoen; it’s called Pompei Grenade – Blue. £235

Shed Some Light

Finally, although they are anything but Georgian, these lighting treatments reference the relief decorations of Jasperware with their cut work shades.

This striking drum shade would work best over a desk or dressing table. This ambiant table lamp works best perched to cast reflections in dark corners away from the main action. And this laser cut Wedgwood blue linen and ash table lamp could work just about anywhere. All from John Lewis £45/40/45.

In addition to this sample approach to using what is a heavenly colour palette, there are any number of other ways to go with Wedgwood blue. It only looks delicate – this hue can stand up to just about any contemporary or traditional decor scheme with style. The historic colour devised by porcelain master Josiah Wedgwood all those years ago has come to not only suggest arts and crafts values, but all that is most elegant and refined about the Georgian era.

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All photos courtesy of respective brands.

  • Joan is an interior design project planner and freelance writer from Boston Massachusetts who lives with her husband and two bulldog terriers outside Wellfleet on Cape Cod.

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