29 ways to decorate with blue

From pale shades to bold jewel tones, blue is one of the most versatile colors for any room

Show-stopping flooring

Thomas J. Story

Show-stopping flooring

The hexagonal tile makes this kitchen. Two shades of gray relate the tile to the room's charcoal wall color. The blues add shock value. Hexagon 8 tiles in Original Blue, from about $20/sq. ft.; kismettile.com

A family of colors

Thomas J. Story

A family of colors

Jewel tones look good as a group because they’re all bright colors with a small dose of ebony. They’re made for coordination. Choose one color—blue in this case—to feature more prominently, and do so with two shades, such as the sapphire curtains and turquoise sofa.

Streamlined palette

Thomas J. Story

Streamlined palette

The blue and white color scheme pulls this room together. Soothing blue furnishings and accents add just the right amount of color while also providing a tasteful mix of textures and shapes.

Center stage

David Fenton

Center stage

The first thing you see as you enter this chic bathroom, the blue Heath tiles ($77 per square foot; heathceramics.com) shimmer due to energy-efficient LED rope lights lining the ceiling.

Bold choice

Thomas J. Story

Bold choice

Turquoise might seem like an intimidating choice for a room's walls, but the cheerful hue plays well with other vibrant colors as well as gold accessories.

Suite look

Thomas J. Story

Suite look

Go for a coordinated color scheme in non-matching shades for a bedroom and ensuite bathroom. In this child's room, yellow art pieces pop against the robin’s-egg blue walls, while the cerulean and white mosaic tile adds depth to the bathroom.

Perfect pairing

Jeffery Cross

Perfect pairing

In this ingenious paint palette, rich peacock blue gets a hip midcentury look thanks to cool slate and pale gray.

Main: Blue Jewel 510B-6 (behr.com for stores)

Trim: Strictly Silver 140-2 (mythicpaint.com)

Accent: Orion Grey TH14 (ralphlaurenhome.com for stores)

Small-space style

Joe Schmelzer

Small-space style

Paying attention to every corner and narrow hallway makes a home feel lived in. Here, a periwinkle and white paint palette work together as an almost-neutral backdrop for a pottery collection and a cheeky cardboard deer mount.

Blue mood

Thomas J. Story

Blue mood

You'd think using the same color for bathroom tile and fixtures would make the room too matchy-matchy, but different shapes and patterns make it work.

New coat

Thomas J. Story

New coat

A fresh coat of paint instantly updates an antique hutch or built-in buffet, especially when done in a kicky aqua. We love Benjamin Moore’s Tropicana Cabana (2048-50).

Seaside flair

Richard Leo Johnson

Seaside flair

Washing up on shores all along the West Coast, surf-tumbled shards of glass have long provided found treasure for beachcombers―a rare example of nature turning trash into something beautiful. Although it’s becoming more common to leave sea glass on the beach for all to enjoy, you can still use its vibrant hues to map out an entire room’s decor, from tile to paint.

Artful dining

E. Spencer Toy

Artful dining

A wall painted with a deep blue anchors this dining area. Chrome and leather Brno chairs―modern classics from Room & Board―contrast with the simple, deeply grained wood table and bench by Mebel Furniture. To add further impact, group small art pieces in a single row, such as the six square works here, which echo the horizontal niches built into the corners of the room.

Reflections in blue

Thomas J. Story

Reflections in blue

Reflecting the soft periwinkle shade of the walls, the mirror headboard adds a dazzling touch to this bedroom.

 

Touches of nature

Thomas J. Story

Touches of nature

Blue walls form a soothing backdrop for this room's nature-inspired décor.  Pillows are covered in simple botanical patterns; above the bed, an artist’s trio of works depicts Lake Tahoe’s characteristic boulders and sand patterns.

Working it

Thomas J. Story

Working it

Repaint a simple desk in a fun color, like aqua, to add flair to a home office space.

Vibrant seats

Thomas J. Story

Vibrant seats

Make chairs instantly (and affordably) chic by re-covering them with inexpensive, durable Ikea curtains in a bright color.

Curated effect

Thomas J. Story

Curated effect

Grouping similarly neutral-colored pieces of art on a soft blue wall creates a soothing yet modern look. Try a mix of high and low, like these original 19th-century illustrations that are displayed in $20 frames.

Pastel paradise

Thomas J. Story

Pastel paradise

This salvaged bench, reupholstered in lavender velvet, looks fresh against a sky-blue wall.

 

Time travel

Thomas J. Story

Time travel

An aqua wall can slant retro while remaining chic. It allows the midcentury wall unit and lamps to pop.

Dash of personality

Thomas J. Story

Dash of personality

Every surface is an opportunity to tell a story or create a mood. An antique still life really stands out on this dresser-top because the furniture and wall color blend well.

Power play

Thomas J. Story

Power play

A teal wall stands up well to pops of primary colors throughout a room, as seen on the flannel sheets and Pendleton blanket.

Cool color-blocking

Ericka McConnell

Cool color-blocking

A color-blocked daybed adds more hues to a room's decorative scheme while remaining sleek and modern. Here, we love the use of navy to counterbalance the neutrals.

Water world

Fired Earth

Water world

In this chic bathroom, ice blue glass mosaic tiles cover the countertop and extend into a tiled wall that also includes white and ocean blue.

Geometry study

Jeffery Cross

Geometry study

Repainting a room? Be inventive with a geometric paint pattern that's bolder than wallpaper. This cool palette, comprised of Benjamin Moore Aegean Teal 2136-40, Colorado Gray 2136-50, and Ocean Air 2123-50, looks smashing in a living room.

Stylish setting

Thomas J. Story

Stylish setting

These natural table settings go against the grain with the blues of the Pacific forming a nice contrast against hues inspired by winter citrus.

Beachy dreams

Thomas J. Story

Beachy dreams

Recover a headboard with coastal-inspired fabric.

Safe haven

Thomas J. Story

Safe haven

Blue and brown make for a soothing combination, perfect for a master bedroom.

 

Striking contrast

Thomas J. Story

Striking contrast

A bright turquoise stool and daybed (dressed in blue ticking stripes) are standouts on a dark-red porch.

Artful accent

Thomas J. Story

Artful accent

Set among so many warm tones, the cool blue cherry-blossom mural is a standout.

 

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