Cordon bleu is synonymous with haute cuisine, but do you know much about its origins and what the term actually means? The translation from French is the blue ribbon. But what is the significance of a blue ribbon? And what does it have to do with kitchen design?
Cordon bleu – its origins
Back in the 16th century, King Henry III of France created the l’Ordre des Chevaliers du Saint Esprit (Order of the Knights of the Holy Spirit). Members were awarded with the Cross of the Holy Spirit, which hung from a blue ribbon known as Le Cordon Bleu. And so the blue ribbon came to represent a highly prestigious award. The connection with food came from the huge sumptuous feasts organised in honour of the new members.
Cordon bleu cookery
In 1895, journalist Marthe Distel launched a culinary magazine driven by her quest to train women in the culinary arts. The magazine was so popular that Marthe Distel then had the idea of offering cookery lessons to her readers. Her school in Paris taught the art of fine French cookery and quickly gained an exceptional reputation. Further schools blossomed in other countries.
Cordon bleu became a world-renowned hospitality education institution specialising in hospitality management, culinary arts and gastronomy, which still inspires budding chefs to this day.
Source: Classic Interiors
The famous American TV chef, Julia Child, attended classes at the Paris school in 1948. If you haven’t seen the film Julie and Julia, it is well worth the watch. The screenplay is based on two true stories and recounts Julia Child’s start in the cooking profession, which is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.
Blue paints a picture in the kitchen
Blue is an increasingly popular interiors colour and the Cordon bleu stamp couldn’t give this colour a more fitting place in the home than in the kitchen. For the record, Cordon bleu is actually a paint colour!
Source: Classic Interiors
Colour sets the mood and tone of any kitchen space and different shades of blue can be used brilliantly to embolden a particular style. Azure blue walls bring a touch of the Mediterranean, while turquoise and aqua are perfect for retro kitchen styles. For kitchen inspiration, check out Elle Décor’s gallery of 30 bold blue kitchens.
How far do you go with blue?
There are lots of ways you can inject colour into kitchen design, either through cabinetry, appliances, flooring, splash-backs, wall décor, art or accessories. Blue can be used as an accent colour or it can dominate. How far you go with blue comes down to personal taste.
Source: Elle Decor
Which shade of blue do you choose?
Choosing a shade of blue can feel overwhelming. There is so much choice, from soft baby blues, whites with a hint of blue to deep and mysteriously dark blue hues. The shade of blue you choose can really help to reflect the overall look you are trying to achieve.
Bright blues feel playful, while deep, dark navy blues lend sophistication. Coastal blues are perfect for any kitchen design with a nautical theme. Light blue checks work effortlessly in any country-style cooking or dining space.
Going deeper with blue
According to Feng Shui (the ancient art of balancing energy and human interaction in the home), the colour blue can be used in certain areas of the home to bring calm and peace.
Working with Feng Shui can be complicated. It requires knowledge about the universal energy principle, the principle of yin and yang and knowledge of the five Feng Shui Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water). Essentially, whether or not blue is a good colour for your kitchen will depend on the position of your kitchen within the house. For help choosing the best Feng Shui colours for your kitchen see here. And check out these tips on Feng Shui for beginners here.
Source: Elle Decor
Using blue to create contrast
Using contrasting colours is the latest kitchen design trend. Blue is a particular favourite when paired with cool and soft greys or crisp shades of white. For ideas, browse Farrow & Ball’s inspiration pages, where you’ll find well-picked colour combinations, such as stiffkey blue and ammonite (the perfect example of understated contrast).
Navy and deep, dark blues are a great alternative to black, and will add a touch of drama into your kitchen design. Navy cabinetry and marble countertops are a perfect pairing. We love these cool and stylish kitchen designs by Classic Interiors.
If you still have your heart set on sleek, white contemporary cabinetry, you can create contrast in other ways. Navy tiles or a navy acrylic splash-back make a standout statement against an otherwise all-white interior. Or for a nautical theme, a blue-painted wood floor sets the boating scene.
Another great way to add a pop of bold blue colour is by making the kitchen island the standout furniture. Farrow & Ball’s Hague Blue is the ultimate colour for any kitchen island if you want a smart and sophisticated look.
Hopefully your new kitchen will showcase Cordon blue and Cordon bleu!