My husband caught me in the act last night. I had thought he was safely tucked up in bed when suddenly he thundered downstairs in search of midnight snacks. There I was in the kitchen, dripping in turquoise paint. “No More Blue!” He barked, “I’m putting my foot down!” Ah, bless him, as if.
I’ve painted at least one wall turquoise in every single room of our house. I feel like I’m diving into a swimming pool each time I walk into a room. It’s so fresh and uplifting I can’t get enough of it. He, on the other hand, cares not for colour. He could happily live in a black hole. It gets on his nerves the way people say, “Oh, I feel like I’m on holiday” when they step foot in our house. I love it, of course, because that was the very idea.
An Obsession with Blue
My blue obsession started during the lockdown in London when our only social life was standing at the front door of our Victorian terrace talking to the neighbours. The crusty old rust-coloured paint really got me down. One morning I woke up to find someone in our street had had the audacity to paint their house turquoise. It was the most exciting thing that had happened all week. Where did they think they lived, eh, Notting Hill? I was in awe. It was painful to find out the colour was ‘Dix Blue’ from Farrow & Ball. You know that paint brand that, for some reason, costs more than three times any other paint you’ve ever picked up? Yes, that’s the one. But I had to have it.
If you’re thinking of going turquoise, be careful when choosing paint, so many claiming to be ‘aqua’ look like sludge when you get them on the wall. And never be tempted to paint at night. You always end up with patchy bits in the morning, even if you haven’t had a bottle of wine!
My favourite paint this season is ‘Azul Cristalino’ from the Spanish brand Bruguer. You can buy it at Leroy Merlin (online or in the Portimão, Albufeira or Loulé stores). Their Bienestar range is a washable emulsion that comes in 32 pure fresh colours and this is just one of their blues.
Sit in an ocean of blue
Ikea has a seating range in a beautiful pale turquoise: ‘Vimle’ is big and chunky and very comfortable. I couldn’t find it at the Ikea in Loulé, so I bought ours online. I stopped myself buying the blue because I was trying to think of other people in the family and their boring tastes. I went for a sofa bed and two armchairs in the dull beige. I can’t wait for someone to spill something oily on them so that I have an excuse to buy the loose covers in blue.
Accessorise in blue
This cotton and jute area rug from Maisons du Monde combines natural tones and pure fresh colour beautifully. They have a store at the enormous Mar Shopping Algarve Mall in Loulé, but like Ikea, the in-store range is more limited than their website.
I love watching paint dry, especially on fabric, so I often paint designs on plain white cushion covers. You do need to have a steady hand and patience, and I have neither, but these cushions are two of my successes.
The Algarve has quite a few good art and craft shops. Sitio Das Artes in Faro has 63 colours of fabric paint available to buy online.
This turquoise leather pouffe could go in any room of the house. I love its modern cube design and shipping is free to Portugal.
My new range of blue abstract art prints is a great way to bring a beach house vibe into living rooms and bedrooms. This one is ready-to-hang canvas, so it’s great for bathrooms too.
Make a splash in the kitchen
For a splash of colour in the kitchen, I love this turquoise glazed earthenware pitcher handmade in Portugal by Ethnic Zone Creations in Lisbon.
These blue and white Portuguese tiles from Isabel Amorim at Tile Passion Shop in Lisbon are gorgeous, each one hand-painted individually following age-old methods. They would be great for kitchen splashbacks. You could even make your own tiled coffee table by glueing them to a wooden tabletop.
An oasis of blue
For the garden, Casa Moro has this beautiful decorative fountain with a peacock motif and arabesques, and it’s got hidden wheels underneath so you can move anywhere you like!
In my garden, I got tired of the old grey concrete planter, so I gave my big Yucca a treat and painted the pot with acrylics – you can buy acrylic paint from any craft shop or even pound shop. It’s cheap, quick drying and water resistant.
I love these handmade octagonal Moroccan wooden tables with their hand-painted patterns from Casa Moro.
This set of three abstract prints is one of my best sellers, it’s really calming and always makes me think of the sea at Porto de Mós in the early mornings when the water can be still as glass.
I hope you’ve been inspired to bring a little swimming pool blue into your home and colour yourself happy…
(Next month, I’ll be looking at how to feel serene with greens …)