Decorating with Blues
Blues with some green in them (aqua and turquoise tones) generally impart the calm feeling of the sea. In this pretty room, a turquoise hue (Benjamin Moore #757 California Breeze) paired with white trim and accessories gives a light and airy freshness.
A deep blue (Benjamin Moore #AF-520 Schooner) offers an earthy, serene background in this living room. Deep brown accents, simple off-white furniture and nature-theme accessories enhance the atmosphere.
Blue walls (Benjamin Moore 1676 Northern Air) set the tone for a relaxing guest room and pick up one of the hues in the floral and gingham bedding.
A too-blue room can feel cold and sterile, so balance muted cool blues with a touch of warmth. In this Minnesota home, warm woods, bamboo and leather add life to a soothing but passive blue (Behr #760F-4P Downpour) to create a relaxing gathering space.
The owners of this Iowa kitchen were challenged by the orange-tone cherrywood cabinetry and woodwork. They decided to enhance the existing colors by painting the walls a bright royal blue (Benjamin Moore #AF-525 Fiji). Orange is across the color wheel from blue; it's a perfect complement-and shows how choosing the right color can make all the difference in a room.
The contrast of this deep azure wall (Sherwin Williams #SW6803 Danube) with white furnishings gives the feeling of being in tropical climates. Monochromatic (one color plus white) rooms are particularly dramatic. Here, dark shiny woods, oversize art and interesting shapes stand out against a beautifully saturated blue background.
A large vintage American flag, pillows with star motifs and navy walls (Glidden #1526 Federal Blue) play up the patriotic theme in this Indiana room. The deep-blue walls make the large room seem more intimate, as darker colors tend to do. Rather than using a bright white, all accents coordinate with the tea-stained white of the flag, which keeps contrast low and the color scheme muted.
This Indiana lake home bunk room uses a water-inspired blue (a custom shade produced by Sherwin-Williams) as the perfect hue to complement the colors in patriotic and sailing accents. It evokes the expansive feel of sky and sea, and combined with the energy of the quilt patterns, puts guests in the mood for play.
Sky blue gives a sense of peace and tranquility, so it is perfect for bedrooms. The pretty stylized flower wallpaper (Paper Roses in White/Sky from Lee Jofa) and white matelasse bed linens make this Wisconsin bedroom cheerful, relaxing and welcoming.
More about decorating with colors
See a color you like? Most home improvement stores are happy to mix colors if you show them a picture or a fabric sample you're trying to match. They're also usually able to match discontinued colors. Remember that colors can look different depending on factors such as light and the size of your room-plus colors can look different on a computer screen or a printed sample. Always buy a small container first and try the shade out before painting the entire room. Get more color inspiration by browsing any of our slideshows below.