Having the blues isn't always a bad thing. Just look at these awesome interiors. From Picasso's Blue Period and Yves Klein's invention of International Klein Blue to the modern-day fascination with indigo-dyed shibori fabrics and a revived appreciation for Chinese ginger jars, blue has proven to be a classic color that will never go out of style. Here are 21 fresh ways to use varying shades of blue in your own home, whether you decide to use it in the furnishings, walls, fabrics or accessories. (Did I mention the floors? Really! Read on.)
Above: Interiors stylist and blogger Vicki Sleet counts color, print and pattern play as major inspirations for her home. And you can see that especially in her bedroom, from the peacock blue corduroy headboard and coordinating bedside tables that were repainted in a Caribbean Sea blue, to the navy Graham & Brown damask wallpaper and the chair that was recovered in a Suzani textile from Lula Fabrics.
This is a room I want to hang out in. It's the London apartment of interiors blogger Katy Orme, and it just looks so incredibly comfy, like I could plop down on either sofa and take a dream-filled nap. That's partly because the sofas look soft and plush and worn-in, but it's also because the palette itself is dreamy. Even though the velvet love seat grabs your attention with its pop of teal, the fact that it's a dusty velvet keeps it soft like the rest of the room. And the light blue chair and navy stripe are quiet complements.
This lake house by Emily Henderson has me singing the blues, mostly because I don't live here. Though there's blue everywhere you turn—in the cobalt velvet sofa, in the artwork, the rug, the throw pillows, even the basket by the fireplace—I don't feel overwhelmed by all the different shades of blue thanks to the white-washed brick wall and mix of rattan furnishings.
But then Emily Henderson won my heart by doing a 180 and designing this turquoise gem for fashion blogger/consultant Nicolette Mason. The icy hue of the chair fabric and palm frond wallcovering make the space feel really chic and fresh, but the light airiness of the room keeps it from going over-the-top glam.
Just in case you didn't think you were allowed to have a blue floor—and a blue sink and blue walls—here's proof that you can, and maybe even should, have them all. From Country Living, it's supposedly a country kitchen (you can tell because of the farmhouse sink), but you could have fooled me with such bold color choices. Though the robin's egg hue of the sink softens the room's loudness.
Here's another farmhouse-inspired space from Country Living that has been modernized by painting the wall paneling in Benjamin Moore's Natura in Fiji. It's an attractive contrast for the stark white tub and a nice nod to water since this is in fact a washroom.
You wanted blue, so we're giving you blue. This bedroom via House Beautiful shows us that we can have a monochromatic palette but still add depth and interest by using varying shades of one color and mixing in different textures and patterns. But tread lightly like this designer did; even though the motif in the Persian Pear wallpaper by Joanna Rock is on repeat, for instance, since it's such a light hue, it doesn't fight with the pattern riot going on in the rest of the room.
Okay, so we've determined I like layering and mixing patterns. But how could you disagree when you're talking about the home of John Knott, owner of the pattern-genius textile house Quadrille Fabrics, featured on House Beautiful? Looking at this 1970s ikat, the China Seas Aqua IV wallpaper and Quadrille's Tashkent draperies makes me blue with envy. Even the flowers in varying shades of blue only enhance the marine-inspired palette.
Erin Paige Pitts is a designer based in Gibson Island, Maryland, and Delray Beach, Florida, so it's only natural that her interiors often have a coastal influence. That can especially be seen here in the rope lanterns, ocean-inspired artwork, and even the blue coral accessory.
Alena Capra's use of blue in this case gave this coastal living room a modern lean. The striking royal blue velvet on the club chairs grab your attention, but they live in harmony with the lighter palette and other blue accents in the pillows and poufs. The navy-and-sky-blue rug anchors the space.
Blue doesn't always have to mean royal or navy, and Summer Thornton proves that theory with these gorgeous periwinkle draperies that almost feel like a lavender. They soften this Chicago dining room and update the vintage feel felt in the rug.
And taking another lighter take on the hue, Toby Fairley clad an entire kitchen in baby blue. From the painted cabinetry and integrated refrigerator to the subway tile backsplash, this kitchen feels like a breath of fresh air.
When Krista Watterworth designed this waterfront home, she eschewed the Old Florida look of salmon, mint green and shell motifs. Instead, she gave her clients a fresh, updated coastal vibe by layering graphic patterns in modern hits of blue and keeping it light, bright and airy with white and gray, as well.
Anthony Baratta uses blue often in his work—especially soft blues since they work well in various intensities of light. You can see that here in this bedroom from Redbook, where he enveloped the space in cyan—in the upholstery, the lamp shades, and the walls. Pops of cobalt and varying shades of blue even show up in the artwork, with additional colors to balance the monochromatic scheme.
Yes, the Prussian blue cabinetry commands your attention in this kitchen spotted on Lonny, but what I really love about the use of blue here is the varying shades that can be seen more subtly in the ceramics and glassware styled on the open shelving. This home unsurprisingly belongs to an artist and woodworker, Michele Michael and Patrick Moore.
And not to be left out, the dining room in Michele Michael and Patrick Moore's home, also from Lonny, uses the hue in a more saturated way. Rich jewel tones sing in the ceramics, the hand-dyed, homespun linen runner, and the painted table. Michele thinks food looks beautiful on blue, and I couldn't agree more.
The lead role in the bedroom of actress Carlson Young featured on MyDomaine is the light fixture, but the real drama is in the dark navy accent wall. It sets the tone for the rest of the room and makes the furnishings really pop. (And if you love the look of this bedroom, we recreated it with shopping picks over in this post).
Blue doesn't have to be saved only for furniture and walls—Michelle Adams styled her bookshelves, via One Kings Lane, with a variety of boxes, books and textiles in various shades of light and dark blues and made it a focal point for her home. I spy indigo fabrics and shibori patterns, and literally nothing makes me happier.
If ever you're stuck on what kind of art to hang in your home, always, always decide to frame a piece of fabric (or a wallpaper sample would work, too). Studio McGee blogged about this image as a spring-inspired vignette thanks to the bright blue mixed with wood tones. The artwork here is a framed textile from Loomology.
From Amber Interiors, here's a neutral room where blue textiles punch up a mostly white palette. The oak-y wood furnishings keep things from going too modern.
And last but not least, I couldn't write a piece about decorating with blue without including blue and white ginger jars and delftware. Obviously. Though these pieces might conjure a more traditional aesthetic because of their intricate detail and shapely appearance, the way that Mark D. Sikes used them here (via My Domaine) with painted lamps and against a gorgeous mural and more spare framed artwork modernizes and freshens their feel.