A timeless choice for interiors, blue has never really gone out of fashion, and with our growing interest in using colour in our homes, its star is currently in the ascendant. From relaxing and restorative to energising and uplifting, blues can evoke an array of emotions and can work with a variety of styles. Here, we look at how you can incorporate blue into a room scheme, be it with a classic blue and white print for a piece of furniture, a blue feature wall or an all-out blue scheme that will immerse you in the hue. Read on for our top tips…
Create calm in a bedroom
Blue is renowned for its soothing properties, so it makes a fantastic choice for a calming bedroom scheme. The trick is to choose ethereal shades of blue that help promote a tranquil feel: think duck egg, pale aqua or soft sky blue, such as the gentle wall colour in this pretty bedroom. The paint colour is complemented with curtains and an upholstered bed in Kitty in Aqua Leaf, a beguiling tree of life design inspired by a block printed fabric. Note the punchy teal hue of the bed frame and the mellow yellow of the bedside table – warmer colours that, together with the soft gold tones in the fabric, prevent the scheme from feeling cold, whilst bringing an element of modernity to the room.
Add energy to a sitting room
If you think that blue brings a certain froideur to a room, you are probably picking the wrong tones for that space. Cool blues such as sky or periwinkle blues are fantastic in rooms that get a lot of natural light, while if your room is somewhat dark, it is better to embrace warmer blues like teal, turquoise or navy. Layer the hues to bring energy and depth to the space – or better still, select a lively pattern that combines your chosen blues. This arresting printed velvet, Kimono Dreams in Blaze, marries inky blue with teal and cobalt as well as red for added warmth. Pick out the different blues with plain wool or velvet fabrics for furniture – and don’t forget to add a splash of red for added oomph.
When you think of the beauty of Ming dynasty porcelain or the delicate freshness of an antique Delft tile, you know you are onto a winner with a classic pattern in blue and white. A traditional blue and white toile de Jouy wallpaper or floral print fabric will evoke a sense of timelessness, bringing a touch of nostalgia to a room scheme. The slipcover of this love seat showcases our Albertine floral in Classic Blue, a captivating linen print that captures the beauty of a summer garden. The prettiness of the fabric is enhanced with a generous frilled valance, while a scalloped table and ruffled cushions add to the romantic feel of the room. The bold cobalt blue and fresh leaf green of these accent pieces lend contemporary details, bringing this classic room scheme bang up to date.
Opt for all-over blue
There is something incredibly impactful about an all-blue room: shades of gentle blues can be used to create a soothing feel – perfect for a restful sitting room or bedroom – while bright, jewel-like tones of turquoise or lapis lazuli will lend a sense of drama, making them fantastic for an entertaining space such as a dining room. To avoid the scheme feeling flat, it is important to use different tone-on-tone shades: in this sitting room, we teamed soft aqua-coloured walls with a slightly darker tone for the sofa fabric, our luxurious Sienna boucle in Sapphire. The striped rug introduces another deeper blue as well as a touch of off-white, which is picked up in the cushion fabrics. The effect is incredibly tranquil, capturing the expansive feel of a calm ocean.
Take a cue from nature
Prints that show the beauty of nature are wonderful for connecting a room with its surroundings, helping to bring a restful feel to a scheme. For a nod to coastal style, have a look at The Wave wallpaper, which features stylised waves and comes in two blue colourways, Ocean or Indigo. For a laid-back room scheme, try a small-scale print such as our Maze linen fabric in Summer Sky. The simple leaf motif has a hand drawn feel that adds to its charm; team with other designs from our Small Prints collection, as well as natural materials such as wood, rattan or stone.
Use blue with a contrasting colour
If your chosen palette of blues errs on the cooler side, think about introducing contrasting colours that will inject some warmth into the scheme. Blue has the advantage of being a good bedfellow to a huge range of hues, from soft pastels to bold jewel tones to spicy colours – just think about how good denim jeans look with almost every hue and you realise how versatile blue can be. In this sitting room, curtains in a viscose-linen print in a mid-tone blue – Carnival in Indigo – are teamed with a sofa in a richer blue, our Tango velvet in Petrol. Accents in pinks and ochre yellows – our Tango velvet in Flamingo, Blossom and Ochre colourways – further warm up and enliven the scheme.
Choose blue and white
Blue and white is a classic combination that often conjures up images of breezy seaside homes. And while the coastal look will always be a perennial favourite – think relaxed linen stripes such as our Danube Stripe in Cornflower, Sky or Indigo, combined with natural textures – blue and white can also be used to more sophisticated effect. The trick is to select luxurious fabrics and dial down the white to shades of ecru and stone. In this drawing room, a contemporary-style damask, Miletto in Ocean, brings a smart feel to the sofa, while cushions featuring a cut ruche fringe pick up on the texture and colour of the contemporary deep-pile rug. Black accents lend an incisive touch, helping to ground the scheme.
Create interest with a blue feature wall
A feature wall is a wonderful way to introduce blue into a room scheme, and you can be inventive with your approach: consider painting or papering alcove niches in a bathroom, for example, or decorate the chimney breast in a dining room to make a focal point of the fireplace. If you choose a patterned wallpaper, you can use the various colours in the print to inform your scheme. Our beautiful Miyagi wallpaper in Indigo features a dark blue backdrop as well as a mid-blue that can be picked up with pieces of furniture in the room; use the soft yellow for accessories such as cushions or throws. Another option is to contrast the pattern with simple, pale pieces of furniture: in this bedroom, a cream upholstered bed and pale wood table offer a crisp contrast to the pretty print.
Introduce texture with blue
Texture is important in any scheme, but particularly a tonal one where tactile materials and fabrics will help bring life to a restrained palette. Aim to include a mix of blue-toned fabrics, such as velvets, wools and bouclé designs – they all feel lovely to the touch and are perfect for lending warmth to a room scheme. Our Faroe wool chenille design is an English classic: a small-scale herringbone that comes in an array of colours including several blues (pictured here are Azure, Navy and Mineral). Think tactile curtains or welcoming pieces of furniture, from cosy seating to a smart upholstered headboard for a bedroom scheme.
Add interest with blue florals
A floral is a fantastic way to bring a strong decorative element to a blue scheme, particularly if you opt for a lively print. This bathroom blind showcases one such beauty, our punchy Kahanu in Rose, which takes its inspiration from an antique chintz. The teal-hued foliage of the floral inspired the dark teal paint colour, which brings warmth to this bathroom scheme and nicely frames the window. Proof positive, if ever you needed it, that a blue scheme can feel warm and cosseting.
We hope these ideas have inspired you to incorporate blue into a room scheme. Remember to always think carefully about the available light in the space, as well as the effect you want to achieve. You may well want to use blues in a bold, dramatic manner in a dining room that is predominantly used in the evenings with electric lighting or candlelight, for example, while if you are choosing blue for a bathroom, you will want to consider a shade that will feel flattering at any time of day. Don’t forget to incorporate texture and complimentary colours into your blue scheme and remember, the right shade of blue is the one that enhances your specific room and makes your heart sing.