Is it blue or is it green? The defining factor of this enigmatic hue is that it sets one wondering. Blue that is nearly green, green that slips imperceptibly towards blue — aquamarine occupies that elusive ground where the two colours meet and merge. It occurs in nature in the glassy gems of the mineral world and in the countless blue-greens of the ocean, and it radiates the same peaceful qualities of a still sea.
Perhaps because of its cooling, calming effects, aquamarine is often found in tropical countries. Take inspiration from the vibrant tones of equatorial climates and set aquamarine against the clear, fruity hues of lime, mango, papaya and banana, and the strong flamboyant colours of local blooms like the pinks and purples of bougainvillea. Bright and lively, yet more subtle than basic primaries, these colours love to band together, offsetting each other. Use them in twos or threes, or even piled one on the other for a jolt of high-impact energy.
In contrast, white makes aquamarine sing out and the two colours in combination relay a delicious freshness. Try pairing them in large, modern spaces offset by plenty of natural wood to counteract an overly clinical effect. Used with cream, on the other hand, aquamarine is tinged with nostalgia, like a thirties tearoom. With black, it is sharp and dashing — a shiny fifties radio or the chromed fin of a car. With grape or taupe, it is cool and contemporary.
Of course, aquamarine also sits happily alongside the hues that occupy the entire arc of the blue-green spectrum. Use them together and enjoy the way the colours interact at the extremes. And play games with texture: this cool tone in soft, warm fabrics has an intriguing allure — like aquamarine velvet, what a contradiction in terms.
Try: Plascon Caribbean Current (G6-C1-1)
Read more about the colours featured so far in our 6-part series, ‘Breaking the colour code’ — it’s packed full of fab décor ideas: