Decorating waterfront homes with a nautical theme or incorporating nautical blues is a welcome Coastal living tradition that has been embraced by many lake homeowners in Southeastern Wisconsin. Blue and white is a timeless color combination, evoking the sea and a sky dotted with perfect clouds. It brings both comfort and a style that is cool, calm and collected. Coastal blues also help to infuse the look and feel of summer into the home year round, a particular bonus for Wisconsinites.

In its evocation of sky and sea, blue is considered to represent depth and stability. Among the qualities it symbolizes are trust, loyalty, confidence and intelligence. Additional qualities commonly assigned to blue, an obvious water reference, are associated with cleanliness and purity. Yet perhaps the most important quality of the color blue is its proven calming effect, and therefore considered extremely beneficial to both physical and mental health. It is said to bring down blood pressure and slow respiration and the heart rate.

Blue is known to have a calming effect when used as the main color in a room. The hues of the blues can change along with the complimentary colors incorporated into the decorating scheme, yet the real impact of blue’s beneficial effects will be more keenly felt if it is used in an active or neutral way (rather than passive). When wall color and hue for specific rooms, the general rule is light colors are expansive and airy, making rooms seem lighter and brighter, while dark colors are sophisticated and warm, lending a more intimate appearance.

Light and dark hues of blue have more specific associations, the darker hues representing power, knowledge and integrity, while the lighter and soft hues are associated with healing, understanding and tranquility. Lighter blue hues are popular in bedrooms, with sky blue considered the most calming shade, inspiring safety and serenity. Light blue is also linked to creativity. Warmer blue colors are encouraged for relaxation, particularly in social areas such as family and living rooms and large kitchens.

When incorporating blues into a custom lake home’s decorating scheme, many designers today warn about going “overboard” with nautical designs. Nautical themes are commonly used in lake and coastal homes, particularly when primarily used as weekend or vacation homes, executed in a variety of ways. However, overdone collections of shells or anchors (for example), or floor to ceiling blue and white stripes, can quickly overwhelm. The following rooms in local custom lake homes are perfect examples of tastefully incorporating coastal blues into various living spaces, creating the sought after calming effect.

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