Blue Just Right

By Kate Riley February 11, 2014

Well it’s time I finished off the Color Series that I began last year spotlighting various hues and I thought I’d save the “best” for last :)  As you know I’m a passionate lover of all shades of blue, I find it hard to not use this color when planning a project or room design. 

Blue is universally pleasing and possesses calming properties. In paler hues blue is serene, in deeper tones, dramatic and powerful. The spotlight today is on some favorite blue spaces from light to dark. 

blue paint colors bhg

better homes & gardens


These bedrooms are tranquil when layered with pale blues. Touches of gold and modern furnishings keep the look luxurious and sophisticated. 

pale blue fabrics atlanta homes mag

light blue linens and curtains muse interiors

atlanta homes magazine / muse interiors


Pale blue paint or shades with a touch of gray add an airy aesthetic to a sitting room or bedroom and look lovely with white, wood tones, antiques, or any metallic sheen from silver leaf to brass. 

pale blue walls French settee

phoebe howard pale blue paint

light blue paint bhg

better homes & gardens / phoebe howard / better homes & gardens


Watery blue green tiles and striped roman shades lend a coastal feel to this white Cape Cod kitchen.

blue backsplash striped roman shades in kitchen

noelle interiors

Sheila Bridges held nothing back when she chose aqua blue cabinets (Benjamin Moore ‘Hemlock’) and metallic wallpaper for her kitchen, the result is both exotic and elegant.

blue kitchen house beautiful

house beautiful


Walls of glass or mosaic tile in bold shades of blue or turquoise are strikingly beautiful, especially when partnered with crisp white trim, ceilings, or floors and vanities or tubs in modern shapes.  

blue glass tile bhg

turquoise hexagon tile wall

better homes & gardens / casa decor


Green and blue sit next to each other on the color wheel and as a cool color combo they always work together. How perfect is this pairing in a boy’s room with blue bunk beds and a sailboat wallpaper? 

blue and green kids room katie ridder

katie ridder

The blue painted floors in this coastal inspired boy’s room make the bed feel if it is indeed floating on water. 

blue painted floors

architectural digest design files


How much classic style can you squeeze into one bathroom? Here’s the perfect example: beadboard wainscoting, check. Hexagon floor tile, check. White pedestal sink, check. Statement wallpaper, bring it!  This bathroom at House Beautiful is a similar example of the same timeless look. 

blue and white bathroom bhg

better homes & gardens


Sometimes just a touch of blue in the form of accessories or blue painted furniture is all the color a room needs. 

classic bedroom cobalt blue accents

painted blue chairs bhg

better homes & gardens x 2


Indoors or out, layers of blue textiles in exotic motifs add global flair, modern geometric motifs blended with solids, stripes, or more traditional patterns are elegant and inviting.

indigo bedding kerry cassill

pool terrace architectural digest

mixed blue textiles

kerry cassill / architectural digest / pinterest (source unknown)


In John Robshaw’s New York home, two shades of blue coat the walls and ceiling – how beautiful the collected treasures from around the world and wood tones look next to these moody blues. blue room john robshaw

elle decor


This exotic shower covered in Mexican tile featured in Architetural Digest is an example of how beautiful blue and white tile can be. 

blue tile shower architectural digest

architectural digest


Layered textiles in a monochromatic palette allow for mixing motifs in small and large repeats. Here are two favorite examples of living rooms combining a neutral sofa paired with patterned window panels and a variety of toss pillows in shades of blue.

blue in hamptons showhouse traditional home

traditional home

blue textiles jute interiors

jute interiors


These bedrooms showcase one very effective way to use a deep blue without it overwhelming a space, pair it with a white painted wall treatment like board and batten or tongue and groove below.

teal blue above wall wainscot country living


country living  / better homes & gardens


I get a little breathless just looking at this hallway by Lilly Bunn, it’s those glossy peacock blue walls in combination with the gold ceiling, Greek key inspired mirror, and the urchin light fixture. Dramatic and dreamy!

glossy peacock blue walls

lilly bunn interiors


Blue painted millwork, built ins, and walls blend seamlessly together in this sophisticated Manhattan study.

blue painted millwork and built ins

architectural digest


A quick but necessary shout out to blue velvet furniture, I must have a bold and beautiful sofa or chair like these someday!

blue velvet sofa

blue velvet wingback chair

house to home / hommemaker


Pottery Barn’s partnership with Sherwin Williams led to Naval blue as the backdrop to this well curated wall gallery, it’s navy blue perfection wouldn’t you agree?

naval blue walls pottery barn gallery

pottery barn


The built ins and crown molding in this home library are painted a bold Newbury Port blue by Benjamin Moore and the walls are covered in grasscloth wallpaper. The combination is both dramatic and inviting.?

blue painted built ins library cory conner

cory connor designs


This wraps up the Decorating with Color Series – read more of the features below!




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Also visit this Color Inspiration gallery on Pinterest for more examples of perfectly executed color on doors, furniture, and around the home, enjoy!



  1. Lots of good inspiration rooms! I like blue as well and tend to lean towards using the navy blues and blue/grey tones. Love that dining room with the pops of blue chairs!

  2. What a beautiful showcase of pictures! Blue is my favorite color too. I have some of it in different shades in every room of my house. I tried really hard to not use it in my living room just so I would have one room without it but to no avail. I just can’t help myself!:-). Funny you should mention wanting to own a bold blue velvet chair someday. I will be spotlighting one on Thursday on a post about nice looking chairs for $250 and under. Come check it out then at http://www.providenthome

  3. The Pottery Barn image was my inspiration for my reading/dining room. Of course, when I got a sample pot of the color, it looked much more country blue. I ended up (after over a dozen samples) with Valspar’s Cobalt Cannon, and I LOVE it.

  4. wonderful inspiration rooms! I never realized how much I loved shades of blues (&greys) until reading your blog! Now almost every room in my home is a shade of blue!!

  5. Love these images! Blue is also my favorite color, for decorating and everything else! I especially love the study with the blue built-ins and the pops of orange. I’ve seen rooms with these colors before and they inspired the color palette for my upcoming wedding!

  6. Stunning choices! Thank you for pulling this whole series together and especially for the blue compilation. I really appreciate that you didn’t use only upscale rooms, but included a wide variety of styles and budgets. Although it is tough to pick just one image, I think my favorite is the dining room with the blue Windsor chairs. Thanks again.

  7. You saved the best until last. There’s not a shade of blue I don’t like. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  8. I love blue…always have. I cannot believe its not the color of the year….it is EVERYWHERE! Great post Kate!

  9. You did a great job through the whole series, Kate. Well done. Though, I love green more I’m falling for blues too. Loved the blue and pink cushions in the living room and those Turkish plates on the wall are stunning. Thanks for sharing.

  10. LOVE this! I tend more towards the blue green shades, but all the blues you’ve depicted are really great. I am planning to repaint my bedroom to match some new bedding which is gray and silver with touches of a teal type of shade. That hemlock color might work for my walls. I will look into it. Thanks!!

  11. Didn’t you do pink as part of this series too? It wasn’t listed but I thought you had?
    Love the color series!

  12. Although I went through a long phase of Southwestern aqua and coraI years ago, I’ve found my true self with greens, particularly yellowy greens. However, an antique blue secretary which wasn’t going to be “greened” by me (ha ha) found itself embraced when I came upon an inspiration pic (in fact the second pic with pup on bed in your post on quilts from a few days ago). My other color is more of an orangey red rather than the lighter color in the inspiration pic which might actually be a camel/tan, but no matter – I love the room I’ve put together so much that I’m seriously thinking of painting the very white walls a pale aqua blue similar to that in the inspiration pic. I do, however, enjoy the serenity of the pale blue rooms and the sophistication of some of the dark blue/navy rooms and I enjoyed this post.

  13. Oh, I love me some peacock blue! And that hallway from Lily Bunn Interiors is beautiful! Oh my goodness!

  14. You made my pulse quicken with this beautifully curated display of blue! I love that blue can be so calming in one shade or so dynamic in another! I have a blue dining room, master bedroom, child’s room, laundry room, garage nook, and there isn’t a day I don’t love it. :) Thank you for taking the time to put the Color Series together. I’ve really enjoyed it!

  15. Blue is so beautiful and versatile and as you show, can be used in ANY room or design scheme. Blue and white is certainly a classic that will never go out of style. Gorgeous!! ;-)

  16. What beautiful examples you have shown us. I love blue – especially the grey blue that seems to be so popular now. My bedroom is in shades of blue/grey and linen and my bathroom is Smoky Green from Benjamin Moore which looks like blue on the wall. Shades of blue are so peaceful and calm. I am using them throughout my very neutral house.

  17. Well I am embarrassed to admit I am normally not a lover of blues….however the first 3 pictures on this post have me swooning….Thank you for these examples because I’ve learned you can still have beauty without clobbering the space with a color.

  18. Do you know where I can find the rug under the Farmhouse table (better homes and garden)?

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