If colors could snag yearbook superlatives, blue would have a lock on “Best All Around.” Whether navy, cobalt, cerulean, or periwinkle, blue is plenty comfortable being just about everyone’s favorite—there’s even scientific proof that this is the world’s most popular color.
So it should come as no surprise that blue is a natural-born star in the home decor world as well. Shades of blue are appearing everywhere these days, from kitchen islands to guest baths to living room walls. In fact, the paint company Behr crowned “Blueprint”—a cool blend of blue, gray, and green—as its 2019 “color of the year,” while various shades of blue took up four of the 12 spots on Valspar’s list of trending colors.
“We’re drawn toward it as a hue for its serene and versatile nature,” says Lauren Visco, interior designer at DesignBridge in Chicago, who adds that warmer blues, in particular, are trending for fall and winter.
“When the crisp autumn air hits, it seems that a switch is flipped internally that signals it’s time to break out the dark nail polish, your favorite tea mug, and cozy sweater,” Visco says. “It’s also an opportune time to switch up the mood of your home decor.”
Indeed, calm, sophisticated, and soulful, blue can work a special kind of magic on your home; but choosing the right shade for the right space demands a little extra thought. We’ve asked the pros to share their top tips for weaving this color darling into any design scheme.
In the living room: Deep blues
Neutral no more! Sure, we’ve been told to paint our living spaces in inoffensive taupes and grays, and to save bold colors for less trafficked areas. But if you’re feeling adventurous, toss out that advice and slather your living room walls in a deep shade of blue. Paired with light-colored accents, artwork, and furniture, dark blue can make everything stand out handsomely.
“I’m seeing a lot of clients take a bold plunge into the deep indigo or black/blue range for living room accent walls,” Visco says. “One wall with a moody blue value on it sets an elegant backdrop for a piece of white matted artwork to pop against it.”
For the living room, Janet Lorusso, principal designer and owner of JRL Interiors in Boston, recommends Benjamin Moore Van Deusen Blue (HC-156).
“It’s a great dark blue, somewhere between navy and dusty blue, with a touch of gray and purple,” she says. “It’s perfect for living spaces with plenty of light, or small, dramatic spaces.”
In the bedroom: Soft or dusty blues
It probably comes as no surprise that your bedroom is the ideal place to incorporate some restful blues—they’ll make your chamber the ultimate sleep space. But while a deep blue can make you feel wrapped up in warm velvet, you may not want to go too dark here.
“The bedroom is a sanctuary, so I would stick to the softer and soothing blues,” Visco says.
She suggests Benjamin Moore Smoke (2122-40) which is a gray-blue hybrid. “It gives that extra personality your space craves, in a subtle way,” she says.
Lorusso recommends a subdued blue, like Benjamin Moore Palladian (HC-144).
“It’s a medium-toned robin egg blue, and it looks wonderful with whites, ivories, blacks, browns, and yellow-greens. I love it for bedrooms, because it changes throughout the day with the shifting light.”
In hallways, offices, dining, or multipurpose rooms: Grounded blues
“For your gathering and transition spaces, choose classic, grounded blue tones,” suggests Visco, who favors a balanced denim shade, such as Farrow & Ball De Nimes (No. 299). “The color won’t draw too much attention to itself.”
Just like in the bedroom, a darker blue won’t really work here, she cautions.“A moody, rich color will make people stop and acknowledge it, potentially disrupting the overall feel of a workspace or dining room,” she says. ”
In the powder room: Deep, rich blues
Darker blue shades are idea for hallway powder rooms, Lorusso says.
“In a bathroom, like a master bath or guest bath, I prefer lighter colors and ample lighting, for the practical necessity of seeing clearly and accurately in those spaces,” she says. But in a powder room, “dark blues can be very dramatic.”
She veers toward Benjamin Moore Hale Navy (HC-154) here. “It’s a very deep navy blue that is almost charcoal,” she says. “White or light-colored bath fixtures or furniture look almost sculptural against this dark background.”