Blue is such a popular color that is used in many aspects of our lives from business, and fashion to home decor. And one of their most beautiful variations is cornflower. In this article, we’ll explore what cornflower color is, and how to use it in home decor and interior design.
What is Cornflower Color?
The color of cornflower is named after the plant of the same name, which produces bright blue flowers. Cornflower is also known as cornflower blue, and it is a medium shade that evokes a sense of tranquility and calm.
This is a color that was popularized by the Dutch painter from the Baroque period, Johannes Vermeer. Vermeer imported the precious stone lapis lazuli from Afghanistan at a great cost; from that, he used the pigment to mix his own shade of cornflower blue.
The artist’s most famous work, ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring,’ featured a subject wearing a cornflower blue headscarf, and he also used the color generously in his other works, which resulted in his family being left with extensive debts upon his death.
Cornflower blue is also the most valuable shade of sapphires, which have a medium violet-blue color.
What Does Cornflower Blue Mean?
Cornflower blue has a small component of green, but since it is predominantly blue, this color is evocative of the typical feelings associated with blue. Blue, in general, is reminiscent of the ocean and the sky, both of that are linked to a sense of calm and tranquility. As such, blue is able to convey a soothing and relaxing feel.
Cornflower blue is a medium bright shade of blue, so it offers a peaceful environment when used in home decor. It is popularly used in bathrooms and bedrooms where a sense of calm and relaxation is important. It is also widely thought of as a beachy or coastal color because of its link with seawater and clear skies.
Similar Colors to Cornflower
Cornflower blue and periwinkle blue are often compared with each other, as they are both medium shades of blue with bright hues. These shades of blue are both named after blue flowers, but the main difference between them is that cornflower blue is darker than periwinkle blue.
Periwinkle blue contains a higher proportion of white, which gives it a paler color. In home decor, periwinkle is often favored over cornflower blue because it offers a softer, more gentle appeal that blends in more easily with other shades. Cornflower blue is more pigmented and will make for a bolder statement than periwinkle in interior design.
Sky blue has a similar level of pigmentation to cornflower blue, which means that both are medium to light shades. However, sky blue contains a slightly higher proportion of green that alters the resulting hue. Sky blue is based on the color of the sky on a clear day, and it has a fresher look compared to cornflower blue, which is more relaxing.
Azure is a color that is exactly halfway between blue and cyan on the color wheel, which means it is predominantly blue with a small proportion of green. It is named after the precious stone lapis lazuli, which is the same stone used by Dutch painter Vermeer to create a cornflower blue pigment. However, azure, as we currently know, it is a darker color than cornflower blue.
You could create cornflower blue by mixing a small amount of white with azure.
How to Use Cornflower Blue in Home Decor
Cornflower blue is not a widely used color in interior design, but it can make a really nice addition to the home. The color is quite versatile, so if you are a fan of this shade, there are various ways that you can introduce it to your home decor.
Cornflower blue is an ideal color to use in a coastal-themed room if you want to achieve an airy, beachy look that feels bright yet soothing. In a living room, paint the walls in a cool and crisp shade of off-white, and paint the trim in cornflower blue.
Accessorize with cornflower blue cushions on a white sofa for a space that is laid back and coordinated. Accents of orange-red, such as a set of plant pots, create a bold accent to add personality to the space.
Spring florals theme
Cornflower blue has a vibrant appeal that can be put to good use in a spring-themed room. Choose a floral motif based on the cornflower plant. For example, with curtains in a cornflower print fabric, and choose a fresh shade of green for the walls.
Coordinate the blue floral print with other accents around the space, such as a cornflower blue rug. This look is great in any area of the home, but it is particularly refreshing and invigorating in kitchens, living rooms, and bedrooms.
If you want to create a space in your home where relaxing is a priority, then cornflower blue is a nice choice for the walls. Bathrooms are commonly chosen as a relaxing room in the home, where you can take long, indulgent soaks in the bathtub. Paint the walls in cornflower blue and opt for white subway tiles or gray marble tiles for a clean and modern look.
Bedrooms are also a good setting for a relaxation room, where cornflower blue can help to create a sense of calm that will soothe you to sleep. Paint the walls in dove gray and use cornflower blue soft furnishings such as curtains and bedsheets.
Cornflower blue can be quite bold when used as a color on the walls, so if you’re wanting to get a hit of cornflower blue in your space without making it the dominant color, then soft furnishings are a great way to go.
Soft furnishings such as cushions, curtains, rugs, and blankets can easily be added to a room, and since they can be moved around, you can experiment with them in different rooms in your home to see where they make the best impact.
Layer cornflower blue cushions amongst white cushions in a gray bedroom, or add a cornflower blue throw over a white sofa in the living room with dusky pink painted walls.
Colors that Go with Cornflower
Cornflower blue and mint green complement each other really nicely to create a sense of harmony. These are analogous colors that mean they feature close to each other on the color wheel.
Mint green is a refreshing and energizing color that brings out the crisp side of cornflower blue. This color pairing will work well in a kitchen for a space that feels clean and fresh. Paint the walls in white and opt for cornflower blue cabinet doors and a mint green tile backsplash.
Cornflower blue is a cool color, which can be contrasted with warm tones. Since blue is the opposite color to orange on the color wheel, and tan is an orange-based color, both cornflower blue and tan make for a beautiful contrast.
Bright orange alongside cornflower blue could look too intense and overwhelming; however, tan is a more neutral take on orange, so the resulting contrast is more muted and appealing in an interior space. In a room with cornflower blue walls, choose a tan-colored sofa and tan curtains.
The warmth of tan will help to balance out the cool tones in cornflower blue, resulting in a space that feels both modern and cozy.
Lavender is a medium to light shade of purple with blue undertones, so this is another color that works well as an analogous color scheme with cornflower blue. Add a further analogous color to the mix, such as a gray shade of green like sage, for a space that feels fresh.
A botanical theme is perfect for these colors, which is centered around floral prints or foliage prints. Paint the walls in sage green and add cornflower blue and lavender accessories. A feature wall using wallpaper with all three colors would be ideal to tie the color scheme together. Look for a pattern featuring cornflower blue and lavender flowers with sage green leaves.
Make cornflower blue stand out by setting it against a white background. Choose a pure white without any obvious undertones or a cool shade of off-white with blue or gray undertones to pair with cornflower blue.
Use white paint on dining room walls for a crisp look, and opt for upholstered dining chairs in cornflower blue to achieve a cool, minimalist style. You can also use white as your color for trim and accessories in a room with cornflower blue walls for a bolder look.
Blue and yellow are a sweet color combination that has long been used in traditional bathrooms and kitchens, but by selecting the right shades, you can use yellow with cornflower blue for a bright and uplifting modern take on this color scheme.
Pale lemon yellow features cheerful, warm tones that will contrast against the coolness of cornflower blue and make for a youthful, innocent style, whereas a muted shade of mustard yellow will offer a more subtle effect.